Fifteen percent of 18- to 34-year-olds live with their parents, according to Pew Research Center. This means that adult children living at home after high school or college graduation is actually pretty common. Are the cost savings worth the loss of autonomy?
The obvious response is to say that moving back home is a step backward. I’ll get to that point of view in a minute. But let’s think about this analytically. After all, it’s common for children in other cultures to live with their parents long after their primary education is over.
The Pros of Adult Children Living at Home
Moving back home makes fantastic financial sense. It doesn’t cost your parents much to house you, but you save a ton of money. I mean, even taking into account the additional groceries and extra utilities you use, it still probably only costs your parents $150 to $200 per month to keep you. Even a student can pay a $200 rent bill to their parents, if asked.
Something else to consider is the family’s financial situation as a whole. When thinking of this “big picture,” it makes sense for kids to stay at home longer. Here’s an illustration:
- Jimmy lives on his own for $900 per month.
- His parents live on their own for $2,000 per month.
- If Jimmy moves back home, the total family costs will certainly be less than $2,900. It will probably be something like $2,300.
Thus, the family as a whole saves $600 per month because Jimmy is at home.
No matter how Jimmy’s expenses are divided, it will be cheaper for the family to keep more members under the same roof. The family legacy can now grow by $600 per month. Some parents encourage kids to come home for just this reason.
Living at home can allow you to get ahead in life. You can pay off student loans, start investing, get a more reliable car, focus on your job (hopefully you have one), and even start saving up for a house of your own. Living at home can put you on the fast track to financial success.
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Money and millennials aside, adult children living at home may be good for the parents. Parents get to see their children more often. That brings joy to the hearts of most parents. (Of course, no parent has been interviewed for this story to confirm or deny this fact.)
Parents are also free to take trips since they know the house and any pets will be in good hands. The children can also do chores. In my experience, baby boomers don’t much care to climb in attics or install a new refrigerator anymore.
But millennials are the perfect age for these activities. The aging parents can even have their kids mow the lawn, shovel the snow, etc. The parents won’t have to outsource that work. The savings alone may be enough to pay the increase in bills from having their grown children in the house.
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The Cons of Adult Children Living at Home
I like to stay positive, but I feel I should shed light on the downsides of adult children living at home.
I know many people who move back home to run away from the world. Some aren’t good at making friends. Others can’t hold onto a job. The majority, it seems, hate living a downgraded lifestyle. They live at home so that they can live in a good neighborhood and have access to luxuries they can’t afford on their own.
Some people move back home because they're lazy. These are the kinds of people who still need their mothers to remind them of dentist appointments. If you are considering moving back home for any of these reasons, I beg you to reconsider. You are only delaying the inevitable.
There are many beautiful aspects of not moving back home. For starters, you’re forced to succeed. You aren’t going to fall back on your parents. You will keep pushing forward until you start winning at life.
I think pretty much anyone can succeed in life if they try hard enough. Think about it like this: If someone said they would torture you if you don’t get your life figured out, would you? Yes. Definitely.