The Living At Home Conundrum

Exploring all the aspects of the young professional’s new life has made me realize how many different pieces of the puzzle there are to consider. It’s a big adjustment in more ways than one, regardless of what anyone says.

I’ve found the biggest adjustment to be moving back in with my parents. Let me start with a disclaimer: this post is not a reflection of solely my situation and is not intended to bash my parents or anyone else’s. Like with similar posts, it is an area of discussion among new, young professionals.

When you graduate college, a job is not a guarantee like it used to be. Neither is the financial stability to move out on your own. More than likely, after you graduate, you will be moving back in with your parents. Within my circle of friends who have graduated, all but one have moved back in with their parents or relatives. As of June 2012, 53 percent of 18 to 24 year-olds said they moved back in with their parents after college because of the economy. That’s more than half of the college graduates.

welcome backIf you ask a college graduate if they wanted to move back in with their parents, I’d bet you an overwhelming majority would say absolutely not. It’s not that we hate our parents but that we’ve been independent for the last four years; no one wants to give that up. I certainly didn’t and now have the ‘move-out’ inch.

There are obviously pros and cons to living at home. For those who have forgotten, let’s give you a refresher:

Pros: 

1. Money Earned, Money Saved: Most parents I know are not charging their recent college grads rent. This means you are immediately saving more money than you would be living on your own. Even if you pay something, it’s absolutely less than normal rent. Saving money also means you can spend it on other fun things like concerts or vacations. Expendable income is higher while living at home.

2. Support System: Your family has been your support system for the last 20 or so years. You are comfortable with them and they are right there when you need something. They are also supportive in ways you never thought of. Like when the heat breaks, you don’t have to call your landlord and pay to get it fixed. Either Dad walks down the stairs to fix it or Mom calls the repairman and pays for it.

3. Space: More than likely, your parents live in a house, with space to move around, hide or even entertain friends. Your apartment doesn’t have that basement to store your sports trophies or the backyard with the pool.

Cons:

1. It’s Not Yours: There’s something to be said for being able to call a place your own. It’s yours to decorate, to mess up, to have a puppy in. It means your friends or significant other can come and go as they please. When you live at home, it is only fair that you need to ask if people can come over or crash.   It’s not your house so you have to be respectful of when you’re bringing people in it.

2. Privacy: I have three siblings, three parents and there’s usually a continuous flow of people in and out of both my houses. I love these people to death but sometimes a moment of peace and quiet would be nice. Sometimes I’d like to hide and cry into a pillow or scream. When you’re living at home, someone’s bound to find you. Try having a phone conversation. Someone will know how much those concert tickets cost.

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3. Independence:  In college, you came and went when you pleased. Coming home at 4am on a Tuesday? No problem! I don’t care how lenient your parents are, they want to know where you are. That doesn’t mean they won’t let you go. But it does mean you are responsible for keeping them updated on your location.

Recent college grads are very lucky to have parents that will take them back in and let them live rent-free. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that and that it’s only temporary. Do you struggle with living at home? Share your challenges!

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4 thoughts on “The Living At Home Conundrum

  1. Sam March 26, 2013 at 10:38 am Reply

    Oh man. I hope I don’t have to move back in with my parents after school. Like you said, it’s not that I hate them, I just am used to having my independence at this point. Oh jeez. Only time will tell, I guess. Saving money would be a plus, but I don’t want to live with my parents forever!

  2. Alex Crispino March 27, 2013 at 7:46 am Reply

    Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts! It is an adjustment but it’s worth it. The money saved is a beautiful thing 🙂 Just keep looking at your bank account and remember it’s temporary!

  3. niki marie March 28, 2013 at 4:59 pm Reply

    Great post! I love living on my own but I will be the first person to say that I sometimes envy my friends living at home who are able to save SO much money by doing so. Living on your own is insanely expensive and there is nothing wrong with taking time to save up money!

    • Alex Crispino March 29, 2013 at 9:55 am Reply

      Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts! It’s a tough call — I’m insanely jealous of your apartment and the independence that comes with it. I still feel like a little kid. I get what you’re saying about saving money though. True, I have saved money by living at home. But there’s other expenses and a budget I’m trying really hard to live by.

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