Hello everyone! I hope some of you are enjoying a three day weekend here in the US. Monday’s are my normal day off so I don’t get an extra day, but I do get overtime, so I can’t complain. Some days, I would rather have the bigger paycheck than a day off.
I have briefly mentioned in the past that I chose to live with my parents during college, and a year after I graduated. Today, I wanted to share the reasons with you all.
Many of my friends are still living at home. I think R and I were the first to get our own apartment. One of the biggest reasons being that we were able to split the cost. It would have been a rather daunting task to find an apartment either of us could afford on our own.
5 reasons I chose to live with my parents after graduation
1. Affordability. I’m going to list the obvious one first. When I was researching our options last year, most of the prices seemed in line with each other. Studios were running for about $800-$1,000, 1 bedrooms were about $1,100-$1,300, and forget 2-bedrooms. I just filtered the results in Craigslist by listing $1,100 as our maximum. As I’ve said before, we pay slightly more than that, but this was the only place that would allow us to have cats.
There was no way I was going to be able to afford living on my own unless I decided to do a room-share. Even those are about $500-$700, just for a room and then sharing the rest of the living space. Personally, I didn’t see the value in that. I was paying for the majority of my own stuff while living with my parents, and I was comfortable.
I had done the “room share” thing years ago with an ex, and it stressed me out. We didn’t know the other tenants, and I rarely surfaced from our bedroom. I didn’t feel the need to be independent, either. I know everyone has different situations, but at the time I figured it was best to remain at home over venturing into a new situation.
2. My family is great. I’ll be honest and say there were trying times, especially when my dad was laid off. My parents were under a lot of stress and understandably, there were fights. Overall though, I am lucky to have a good relationship with both of them. I know a lot of my friends aren’t so lucky, and living at home with their parents is really stressful.
In hindsight, I’m glad I decided to stay, since I knew my parents would eventually be moving away. I was able to spend more time with them than I would have had I moved out earlier. In any case, R and I were hoping to move in together when we did, so everything worked out.
3. My parents wanted me to stay. This might sound silly, but as an only child, my leaving meant an empty nest for my parents. Maybe they weren’t quite ready for it. When I was discussing the possibility of attending college out of state, my mom made it pretty clear she didn’t really want me to go. Not in a controlling way, but I knew she would miss having me around.
That didn’t really have much of an influence in my decision to commute to college (it was just the cheaper alternative), but it was comforting to know they wanted me there. I know there are some parents out there who think that kids should be out and on their own by eighteen.
I think that was more viable in the past, when there were more jobs available. So many millennial’s are moving back in with their parents after trying to make it on their own, which proves that times have changed. Not for everyone, but it’s definitely affected a good many people I know.
4. It allowed me to build up my emergency fund. I’ve spoken about this before as well. While I had a job a month after graduating, it didn’t pay amazingly well. It was a standard entry-level office job, but living with my parents enabled me to stash a lot of money away. Rent eats away most of my income now, so I am grateful I was smart about saving early on. If I had tried to move out right after getting that job, I would never have the amount in my EF that I do now (as evidenced by the lower savings rate I currently have).
5. It helped my parents out. Emotionally, and financially. They only charged me $100 a month, which is really not a lot when compared to others. R had to pay $200 a month, and I know some of you were paying fair market value. However, if my parents needed extra, I would give it to them. Again, we were kind of struggling even when I was still in college, so I looked forward to the day when I had income that I could contribute.
Do I have any regrets?
Nope, not at all. If I could go back and do it all over again, I would, though I might actually pay more in rent. I am still really grateful my parents continued to let me live with them after I graduated college. They could have easily told me I could afford to rent somewhere else, or told me that I was a burden, but they didn’t.
I know to some people, living with their parents sounds “lame.” There’s always that joke about living in their basement, being unproductive, but that’s not true unless you make it so. You can contribute to your family to make it easier on them. Buy your own groceries or put money toward shopping trips, cook once in a while, clean, pay your own bills if possible, and try not to be a nuisance.
There are those that will move back in with their parents and think that their parents are totally obligated to take them back. That is definitely not true. Don’t take your family for granted, especially if you have younger siblings your parents still have to take care of. R’s brother moved back home recently, and his mom is trying not to rip her hair out right now as he’s turned the house into a mess. Don’t be that person!
Have you ever moved back home to live with your parents? When did you move out on your own? If you’re a parent, what are your thoughts on the matter?