When I was choosing where I wanted to go to college, I was really between going to school in NYC, Boston, or Chicago. I am not a “middle of nowhere- college town” kinda guy, so I knew it had to be a big city. Since I am from New York, I wanted to experience a different city so I decided on Chicago and stayed for 6 years. Over that time I graduated school, had 4 jobs, adopted my cat Wellington, and moved to 5 different apartments (one of them being my first studio apartment alone.) I feel that I became an adult in Chicago.
So when I realized I was outgrowing Chicago and wanted to move back to NYC- it wasn’t even an option to me to move back home with my parents. Every time a friend would ask if I was moving in with my parents, my response was always “absolutely not.”
Then I started looking for apartments in NYC… I quickly realized that it made no sense for me to move right from my Chicago studio where I was paying $780 a month to an apartment in NYC with strangers in a sketchy neighborhood for $1700 a month. So I settled on moving home temporarily. I told myself I would move in with my parents and if I hated it, I would move out in a month.
It turns out that moving home was one of the smartest decisions I have ever made.
If you have the option to move in with your parents after school and they live in a place that you don’t absolutely hate- DO IT. It really isn’t as bad as you might think once you get over worrying about judgment from others.
A huge bonus to moving home is saving money. Not having to pay rent is pretty sweet but it can be tempting to spend your paycheck on fun things since you do not have any bills! I, like most people my age, have student loans that need to be paid off. Instead of paying rent, I am using that money to pay larger sums of money to those loans, as well as putting money into my savings.
Is living at home the most ideal situation? No. But the ability to pay off student loans and build my savings is necessary if I want to build credit and buy a home some day. 🙂
I am a very “big picture” person and know what I need to do to get to where I want to go. It made absolutely no sense for me to rush to an apartment in the city where I would be wasting my entire paycheck. SO I make living with my parents work and here is how I do it:
1- Help out. Since I don’t pay rent, I try to pick up groceries once a week and make dinner. It is a nice gesture and it shows you aren’t being a freeloader.
2- Try not to be around so much. I work 9-hour workdays in the city and commute 3 hours total a day. That leaves little time for my family and I to get on each other’s nerves. Creating distance with your schedule also allows you to appreciate your time with your family more when you’re all together. If you work from home, try to discover cool coffee shops or public libraries near your family’s home to work from.
3- Decorate your room. When I moved in, I thought it was going to be temporary so I didn’t want to spend a dollar on new furniture. Then I started to get depressed by the decor and redid the place. I made it into my own studio! The funny thing is I moved into my attic and it is actually way bigger than my studio in Chicago. I am going to write a post on how I redid it next week so stay tuned!
4- Know that it is only temporary! As long as you have a goal of when you want to leave, and how much money you want to have saved, you are going to be okay. A lot of my friends say they wished they had lived home and saved more money before they moved out.
5- Stop with the FOMO. I can totally understand why a single person would hate living at home with their parents because they feel like they are missing out on this extravagant life in the city. However, even my friends who have moved out have their own personal struggles on top of paying expensive rent.—It’s all about perspective. You can still have a very fun social life, it just takes more effort and planning. Since I am in a long distance relationship and my boyfriend knows the deal, I have no one I feel the need to impress with an overpriced shoebox apartment.
So in total, living with your parents doesn’t have to suck and I actually really enjoy it! Not being around them for 6 years has made me appreciate them so much more. My due date to move out is around March or April of next year so I want to enjoy this time with my family as much as possible! Stay tuned for the second part of this where I show how I decorated my “studio.” 🙂
Ciao for now,