A recent article over at Elite Daily, titled “Nearly Half of All 25-Year-Olds Are Living at Home With Their Parents,” starts like this:
Think your life is a mess because you’re 25 years old and still living at your parents’ house? Don’t worry; according to statistics, nearly half of people your age are complete messes, too.
Translation: “If you’re 25 and you live at home, your existence is deprived and pointless. You’ve probably given up on life or committed a heinous crime. Likely both.”
The rest of the article goes on to not-so-subtly shame those who live with their parents (or other older family members, but I’ll say parents from here on for simplicity’s sake).
“Harder,” “dismal,” “insane,” “not a chance in hell,” “out of reach,” “sad,” and “complete mess” are just a few of the words and phrases used to describe the plight of millennials who either never left home or were forced to move back.
The author of the piece points out that student loan debt, a lackluster job market, and expensive housing are conspiring to keep millennials at home. And while it’s true that hardships are a reason people live with their parents, they aren’t the only reason. The article does a disservice to those who live at home, or are considering it, in its failure to point out any of the benefits.
A perusal of the article will leave you thinking Elite Daily reprinted a section of Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road,” in which a father and son try to survive in a dreary, post-apocalyptic, jobless future. While living at home presents challenges, I’d argue that it’s a whole lot better then the media often make it out to be.
I lived at home every summer from 2005 to 2011, and then for a full year during 2012. Looking back, there were far more positives than negatives. Here were the main benefits, from my perspective:
The median price of a one-bedroom apartment in Los Angeles, my hometown, is currently $1,800 per month. Prorated for a three-month summer stay, that is $5,400 per summer. So I saved as much as $32,000 during my summer stays and $21,600 in the year I spent at home in 2012.
That’s a total of over $50,000. Those costs would be lower if I had lived with roommates or bought a studio, but the point is: I still saved thousands of dollars.
That’s “fully stock your emergency fund” kind of money. That’s “retire early if you invest properly” kind of money. That’s “rounds of drinks on you every time you go out” kind of money!
Wait, don’t do that last one unless you plan on never moving out.
But that kind of money can be instrumental in getting your career off the ground. If you’re looking to start your own business or build up an emergency fund, living at home to supercharge your savings is not pathetic, it’s smart.
No, it’s not a trendy studio downtown, but living for a stretch in your childhood bedroom can help you supercharge your savings. Photo: Connie Ma