Home again (un)naturally

By Julia Drewniak

I wouldn’t have believed you if four years ago you told me I would be moving back home after I graduated. But since August I’ve been adjusting to life back in my childhood abode.

According to the Pew Research Center, more young adults are giving up the chance to live alone in favor of moving back. While some (ahem, NYT!) may consider it a sign of our generation’s lack of maturity, others see this as a sign of financial thoughtfulness.

The biggest advantage of living at home is having the opportunity to save money. A Millennial living in the city on an entry-level salary, while they could afford housing, would have to have fairly cheap rent. Once rent is taken out of the paycheck, there is little left for even the basic essentials, much less going out with co-workers or friends. Living at home allows us the opportunity to start saving up for a down payment, or just having extra cash to visit those friends who live in the city.

One of the hottest controversies surrounding the topic of moving home is whether or not parents should charge their adult children rent. On one hand if children could afford rent, why would they choose to move home?

But then again, by charging rent, the child would learn responsibility and not succumb to the stereotype of “not growing up” or that they mooch off their parents.

For the record, this is a personal family decision that should arise from a discussion between the child and his or her parents. I do believe parents can ask their child for rent. However, the money shouldn’t go towards Mom and Dad’s vacation fund, rather it should be saved and put towards a down-payment for an apartment or house for the child when they move out. This arrangement would allow the child to learn the responsibility of rent while also working towards the ultimate goal of moving out of their parent’s house for good.

Moving back home wasn’t my ideal choice, but I had to take what I got. While my parents are supportive of what I do, they’re always pushing encouraging me to find full-time paying gigs, starting after I finish my internship. They’re even nice enough to buy me train tickets so I don’t have to spend hours in traffic commuting.

While living at home may not be my ideal living situation, all the perks (free food, internet, cable tv on a big screen, etc) are worth the hassles.

Photo by Lindsey T

What do you think of Millennials living at home with their parents?


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2 Responses to “Home again (un)naturally”

  1. Howie

    Good move! I will tell you why. I moved to LA from NY when I was too young. I had no money in the bank. And I struggled because of it. I moved with no job waiting and only $3k to my name in 1992. I loved being free but I also hated being poor. And trust me your first few jobs won’t be enough to get a BMW for 99% of us. If I was to do it over I would of stayed an extra 2 years and saved up a lot more money. I also would of ensured I had a real job waiting for me when I moved out.

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  2. Tom Miesen

    I have incredibly supportive parents, and they’re actively encouraging me to stay at home instead of chasing every crappy opportunity so I can save a little money. I know it’s a good move for the future, but I’m terrible at thinking long-term. It takes a lot of self-restraint not to leave.

    The perks are great, but I’m so used to my old life in college. I’ve only been home for 6 weeks, but it feels a lot longer! It takes a lot of adjustments.

    Howie, I’m trying to find a real job and move out, but I’m finding that searching for jobs in different cities is pretty difficult. They don’t seem to take you seriously until you’re actually in that city, and many places won’t help with relocation (financially, advice-wise, etc). You’d think in an age with Skype and the internet, it would be easier to search for jobs remotely.

    I think that when I look back, I’ll be happy that my parents are letting me stay with them until I find something better. When you think about it, we’re very young, and there’s still a ton of time to get to the right place. Until then, it’s just about biding time and enjoying the perks.

    Great article! Definitely something a lot of us can relate to.

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