In 2016, co-habitating with parents is the most common living arrangement amongst 18-34 year olds. It’s not uncommon for millennials to return to the family fold at some point, whether it be directly post-graduation or some years later. The reasons for this are numerable and include rising housing costs, delayed marriage, student debt and continued underemployment.
If this is your current scenario, or may soon be your current scenario, don’t despair; there are so many reasons to approach a return to the nest, for any window of time, from a place of gratitude. After all, the stigma around shacking up with your parents after the age of 18 is a uniquely American phenomenon — in Europe, more than 50% of all 18-29 year-olds live at home, and this is a perfectly acceptable arrangement.
Here, a few reasons to reconsider your perspective on living with your folks as an adult:
1. You can pay off debts and save money.
This is the most obvious benefit of living at home, and it’s a big one. Nearly 50% of 25-year-olds have student loans in excess of $20,000, and the rising cost of housing means that budgets for this mostly underemployed demographic are squeezed incredibly tight. If you live with your parents, you can save anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars a month to a couple of thousand dollars a month, depending on where you live, and put that towards paying down debt and building a fiscal safety net for yourself that would otherwise be impossible to accrue.
… there are so many reasons to approach a return to the nest, for any window of time, from a place of gratitude.
2. You’re able to make riskier career moves.
Rent is such a beast of an obligation — particularly in urban areas — that it ties you to whatever pays you enough to write that check on the first of every month. If you are living rent-free, you can potentially afford to take a job that pays a little less and is more so in the direction of your dreams. Many people also start their own businesses while co-habitating with their parents.
3. You get to know your parents as adults.
Many of us leave home when we’re still teenagers, before we’ve had the time or experience to gain true perspective on our parents. Living with them as a grown-up can be a completely different experience. You may come to understand them in ways you didn’t before. You begin to see them as humans as opposed to just as parents.
4. Your parents get to know you as an adult.
This is a cool thing, when your parents get to learn who you are as a fully-formed human, as well. They may always remember you as a baby, but they’ll be amazed by the opinions you express as an adult, the ways in which you desire to spend your time, and the relationships you’ve built outside of the family. With enough time, you will likely become something more akin to friends with your parents than you ever were before.
5. You can help your parents out.
Chances are, your parents are still going strong in their 50s and early 60s, and they might not need a lot of help. Still, this doesn’t mean they wouldn’t welcome it all the same. With you in-house, they have someone with whom to split the burden of chores again (and to explain Snapchat, maybe).
6. You’ll get irreplaceable memories.
Unfortunately, none of us are aging backwards, and our time with our parents as adults is precious. It’s normal to look towards building your own family at a certain age, but if you are living with your parents as an adult for any reason, we suggest you take a moment to notice the moments that will one day be memories — memories you’ll be so grateful you were able to make.
Are you currently living at home? What’s surprised you about it?
Images via Becca Tapert