Should I Still Be Living at Home? // And Why I’m Not

We all know there are plenty of reasons to live at home throughout college if you have a solid relationship with your family. This is especially true if they are offering free rent like mine did. (Their caveat was that I remain in school full time. Oops.) Not only does living at home save you buckets of money – see below – but it gives you a chance to hang out with your family just a little more often. Once you move out, it can be difficult to see family frequently even if you’re just a city over. I do my best to eat dinner with my parents once a week, but that doesn’t always work out between weekend events on both ends. Luckily (or unluckily), I work in the same office as my father which makes it easier for them to make sure I’m still alive.

Well now that that family stuff is over… That makes me feel so old! Like I’m losing touch with my teenage self and all of her angst about control and irritating siblings. I’ve grown out of some of that, but not all as you’ll see.

I wish I’d lived at home a little longer….

I moved out in April 2015 and have since lived in three different places. In the last year (and one month!), I spent $6,400 on rent including utilities and $1,250 on groceries. I’m well aware that there’s two different reasonable reactions to this:

  • Uh… That’s not actually a lot! Did you forget a number? Did you add instead of multiplying?

Yes I know, and no, I didn’t forget anything (I think). As I’ve mentioned before, I have been quite lucky with, well, a lot, including finding good roommates on Craigslist. To be clear, I moved three times and paid three different rents – 3 months at $700 a month, half a year at $450 a month, and 4 months at my current place at $400 a month. In regards to groceries, I’m only feeding myself, I don’t eat much, and I have “poor taste” (I eat a lot of chicken and rice), so my average grocery spending comes out to just under $100/month.

  • You could have maxed out your Roth IRA for the first time ever AND been able to pay off more of your car with that! If only you’d stayed home….

I know, I know, you’re right.  My net worth would probably be double what it is now if I’d continued living with my parents. Woulda, coulda, shoulda….?

Just kidding!

I moved out for a reason, and honestly, I don’t regret it. Savings and money is important, but they don’t buy happiness. Since I moved out, my relationships with my parents and siblings have improved massively – they can’t helicopter as effectively, I can’t make a mess of their house. We see each other near weekly and the familial tension has never been lower! It’s the most amazing thing and I’m incredibly grateful for it; I never thought I’d have the relationship with my parents that I do now.

There is at least one other reason I moved out: I no longer have to obey a curfew imposed by my parents (just the one imposed by the crummy parking situation at my current place). I can stay out late with friends without my parents breathing down my back with worry (they mean well). I can host get togethers pretty much whenever without having to beg permission. My sex life is far less restrained.

That’s the big reason and the commodity I’m paying for: freedom! I’m paying rent and groceries so that I can have the freedom I want. It’s a payoff but it’s one that’s worth it to me. You have to examine your own situation to figure out what’s right for you.

Do you/how long did you live at home? Was it worth it? What did you pay for or give up?

5 thoughts on “Should I Still Be Living at Home? // And Why I’m Not

  1. I lived with my mom until I was 25. I am extremely fortunate that she moved with me to grad school so that I didn’t have to take out any student loans at all. At the time I would have told you that I was an independent adult who just happened to live with her mom. It wasn’t until I was on my own that I realized how little about adulting I actually knew. There definitely is an advantage to living at home for as long as you can, but evntually you got to leave then nest and go at it on your own. Even if that means taking a little longer to max out your IRA.

    I am glad to hear your relationship with your parents is better now that you’ve moved out! And that other aspects of your life have improved too. Not everything is about money.

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    • Wow your mom moved with you? How far away was grad school?
      Being on my own showed me both how little and how much I knew – or rather how much I remembered that I thought I didn’t know just from watching my mom cook and clean around the house.

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  2. Living with family can definitely help save a lot of money. However, after I visit my parents for two weeks, I’m ready to go back to my place and breathe some fresh air of freedom. They’re wonderful people, but I need my own space where I’m not bombarded with questions and concerns all the time. -_-

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  3. Pingback: Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is! | Finding the (Glass) Ceiling

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