The Pros and Cons of Living at Home
Ah, our twenties: a wondrous time filled with excitement, crazy-high rents, and the inscrutable question of what the hell we’re all going to do with our lives. But maybe that second one isn’t always the case. Millennials are moving back home with their parents en masse after college graduation—I know I did. A stagnant economy and a less-than-stellar job market, combined with high rents in basically every big city in the world, means that sometimes, a trade-off is necessary for financial security. Living at home sounds like the very worst, and sometimes downright embarrassing. But it’s also totally awesome at times.
Pro: You have zero expenses. When you live at home, you don’t have to pay 1. rent, 2. food expenses, 3. heating and electric, 4. water, 5. cable and wi-fi, AND THE LIST GOES ON. That’s hundreds of dollars of month directly into your pocket. Happy hour, anyone? No? Just me then.
Con: Your parents may ask you to chip in, thus eliminating this beautiful, shining pro.
Pro: You’re going to be saving a hell of a lot of money that you can use for your future home/travel/investments/rent. With zero expenses comes the question of what you’re going to do with your paycheck. If you’re smart, you’ll either save or invest, and then you’ll be that much closer—like thousands of dollars a year closer—to beginning a stable financial future.
Con: You’ll feel like you’re still in high school, huddled in your old twin bed at night and dodging your mom’s requests to take out the trash, clean your room, and set the table for dinner. *Sigh.*
Pro: You’ll get to know your parents as adults, not just as parents. You’ll be able to relate to them on a whole other level, have important, grown-up discussions about politics and saving the earth, and feel like their equals. And they’ll be able to get to know you more personally, as an adult and not just as their child. This is invaluable, and also valuable. Ask their advice on all matters, because at one time they were your age and doing all of this too.
Con: They’ll ask you not to stay out too late at night, and to please be quiet when you come in at 4 a.m.—sans date. Cause who wants to bring someone home to their mommy? Literally no one.
Pro: No terrible roommates to deal with. No one to leave their plates encrusted with grime in the sink, no one who you’re afraid might steal your stuff so you lock your bedroom door when you leave, no catfights after hours when they’ve brought sleazeballs back to the apartment, and no parties to clean up.
Con: YOU’RE the terrible roommate your parents have to deal with. Also, no parties to clean up. :(
Pro: You’re living in a nice, bigger-than-a-studio-apartment house with things like curtains on the windows and actual fitted sheets on the bed.
Con: You won’t necessarily feel the pride and power that comes with having your own established living space and being able to decorate it as you see fit. There’s a strange feeling of being a houseguest in your own childhood home.
Pro: Your parents may pick up the slack with big chores like getting oil changes or reminding you to set up this year’s slew of doctor’s appointments.
Con: You’ll feel seventeen again.
Pro: You’ll feel seventeen again!
Con: Your peers may look at you funny. Dating is a lot more complicated, and you may feel like you’re missing out on the freedom and recklessness of your twenties by making the financial—and sometimes necessary—decision to live at home during these crazy years.
Pro: You’ll be much less stressed out and confused than your other twenty-something friends, because at the end of the day, your water will never be shut off because you forgot to pay the bill. And when you do want a night out of carefree fun (without having to remember to be in before 4 so that the alarm chime doesn’t wake up the ‘rents), then you can always crash at a friend’s.