Home again (un)naturally

I wouldn’t have believed you if four years ago you told me I would be moving back home after I graduated. But since August I’ve been adjusting to life back in my childhood abode.

According to the Pew Research Center, more young adults are giving up the chance to live alone in favor of moving back. While some (ahem, NYT!) may consider it a sign of our generation’s lack of maturity, others see this as a sign of financial thoughtfulness.

The biggest advantage of living at home is having the opportunity to save money. A Millennial living in the city on an entry-level salary, while they could afford housing, would have to have fairly cheap rent. Once rent is taken out of the paycheck, there is little left for even the basic essentials, much less going out with co-workers or friends. Living at home allows us the opportunity to start saving up for a down payment, or just having extra cash to visit those friends who live in the city.

One of the hottest controversies surrounding the topic of moving home is whether or not parents should charge their adult children rent. On one hand if children could afford rent, why would they choose to move home?

But then again, by charging rent, the child would learn responsibility and not succumb to the stereotype of “not growing up” or that they mooch off their parents.

For the record, this is a personal family decision that should arise from a discussion between the child and his or her parents. I do believe parents can ask their child for rent. However, the money shouldn’t go towards Mom and Dad’s vacation fund, rather it should be saved and put towards a down-payment for an apartment or house for the child when they move out. This arrangement would allow the child to learn the responsibility of rent while also working towards the ultimate goal of moving out of their parent’s house for good.

Moving back home wasn’t my ideal choice, but I had to take what I got. While my parents are supportive of what I do, they’re always pushing encouraging me to find full-time paying gigs, starting after I finish my internship. They’re even nice enough to buy me train tickets so I don’t have to spend hours in traffic commuting.

While living at home may not be my ideal living situation, all the perks (free food, internet, cable tv on a big screen, etc) are worth the hassles.

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