Young adults are increasingly moving back in with Mom and Dad or simply not moving out at all until their late 20s or early 30s. A recent blog from The Wall Street Journal indicated that one in three young adults still lives at home, and most of them are satisfied with these living conditions while they gain financial footing.
The blog argues that since the economy is improving, shouldn’t young adults be taking the leap of independence? Why are employed, unmarried young adults still living at home? The author stresses that other factors other than work must play a role somehow, but finances are still a major reason young adults remain at home.
I appreciate that my parents allow me to continue living at home in my 20s. Initially, I was embarrassed to move back home. I was worried about how other people would perceive it. I looked at it as a failure when I moved back into my old room after graduating from college because my goal had been to immediately land a full-time job and fend for myself.
In hindsight, it has been a positive growing experience for me. Instead of having a harsh “welcome to the real world” experience right after I graduated, I have been able to take on new financial responsibilities gradually. I’ve learned how to budget on a small income in order to pay the bills I do have, like my car payment, car insurance and my cell phone bill.
I also didn’t have a car of my own until after college. I still borrowed one of my parents’ cars when I needed to go somewhere until about six months ago. Being the responsible parents they are (as frustrating as good parenting can be sometimes), they made it clear they would not buy me a car. Growing up, they had to purchase their own, so I would, too. Taking that into account, it would have been hard for me to move right away even if I did land a great job. I wouldn’t have known how to budget well, and I certainly would not have been able to afford a car at the same time, not even a used one.
Another benefit to living at home is that I have time to start building my credit so that when I do move into my own place, I won’t need someone to cosign my lease. I can also save money so that when I am able to move, it can be into a nice building in a nice neighborhood. I won’t be forced to forego safety in the name of independence.
One big reason I am thankful to still live at home is safety. As a young woman, I have never been comfortable with the thought of living by myself. I realize there is a great benefit to living with roommates, but I like knowing my dad is nearby just in case. I know it is encouraged in some families and cultures for women to live at home until marriage. I have never held strongly to that belief personally, but I do like knowing I live under the protection of my family while unmarried.
If you currently live at home, what have been some of the benefits or struggles for you? How old is too old to live at home? And if you live on your own, what advice would you give in hindsight to those of us who haven’t left the nest yet?
Copyright 2013 Amy Kessler. All Rights Reserved.