By Les Christie, CNNMoney
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- As the economy continues to take a toll on consumers' finances, a growing number of people are discovering that becoming roommates with mom and dad, or a 20- or 30-something son or daughter, helps to ease some of the financial pain in tough times.
As of 2010, 4.4 million U.S. homes held three generations or more under one roof, a 15% increase from 3.8 million households two years earlier, according to the latest data available from the Census Bureau.
When Alicia Moura's father-in-law, Aecio D'Silva, retired from teaching at the University of Arizona in 2010 to pursue private-sector projects in aqua-culture and bio-fuel, he didn't expect to wait long before his efforts paid off. But then the economy tanked, development funds dried up and his ventures languished.
Soon afterward, Alicia started experiencing some medical issues with her pregnancy and the family decided it would be best to move in together. Now everyone - Alicia, her husband, their two young daughters and the in-laws - live under one roof.
"We not only save money by having a joined household, but we save on stress, time and other resources by having in-home day care," said Moura.