How to do DIY

Help your children leave home

When you first had your children you probably looked into the future and worried about the time they decided to move out of the family home and leave you suffering from empty nest syndrome.

But now, the years have flown by and they show no sign of leaving because they can't possibly afford to get onto the property ladder. You still love them dearly, but maybe you're feeling you wouldn't mind a bit more room in the nest now, especially if they have partners who seem to have moved in too.

Give the kids a helping hand

You may not be able to do much about the inflated property prices, but you could offer to help them get set up in their first rental place - or perhaps even help them with a deposit so they can secure a mortgage.

Of the two, the rental option is less of a gamble. If they're employed, they should be able to meet the monthly bills well enough, but everything else might feel like a bit of a stretch. But have you been furniture shopping lately? Things are so much cheaper than they used to be - you could kit out the whole of a one-bedroom place for not too much money.

If they pick an unfurnished place, it's much easier to make it feel like a home. Offer to help them out with buying the furniture - but don't give them a blank cheque. Set limits or even go out and buy the items with them. To begin with, a cheap dining table and chairs, a sofa and a bed will be a good start.

And if you do end up feeling like you've got an empty nest, they're sure to accept offers of help with the washing and the ironing for a good few years to come!

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