- last updated on JAN 22, 2018 -
This is a conscious decision that I’ve made for the past few years. As great as it probably would be to live on my own, I think I’ll be living with my parents for a while. Keep in mind that I really don’t have to, but please let me explain why I do it.
I’ve been living with my parents for all 24 years of my existence. The first opportunity I had to live without them was when I started college. The main factor to why I didn’t was cost. Fortunately, I went to a school that was close enough for me to commute to. That commute did take me around 1.5 hours every day between Westchester and Brooklyn one way, but I was happy to do it to save my parents money. People always asked me why I didn’t dorm, but that would have cost at least $10k every year on top of tuition. I was already so grateful of my parents to help with tuition, and I didn’t want to put further financial burden on us. It was a family decision.
Now that I’ve graduated and have a full-time job, I really can afford to live on my own. I wrote here that I pay $850 every month on maintenance and utilities for where we currently live in the Bronx. I also pay for things like Internet. I just try to help financially wherever I can. Let me compare these costs to what friends pay. For example, I have two friends living in a Brooklyn apartment with a third person for $2,500 per month. I actually also know a different set of three people living in Brooklyn as well with the same monthly rent. That comes out to around $833 individually, so it’s very comparable to what I pay to live where I live now. The obvious advantage they have is not having parents around.
So why do I choose to pay a similar amount to live with my parents? If I’m not the one paying it, that’s more money that my parents would be paying. To be honest, I feel like I owe this to them. As all parents have to do, mine have spent so much to raise a child. College tuition alone makes me feel indebted for a lifetime. I consider the three of us as a team when it comes to financial decisions. I know they do what’s best for all of us, and I do what’s best too. I’m not thinking that I would be paying $833 or whatever for rent to live with friends. Instead, I’m thinking that my parents and I together would be paying $850 per month for their place PLUS my rent. That’s how my mind works. I feel like my money is their money and vice versa. It’s not just living expenses that I help with. For example, I make sure my parents don’t have to pay for flights when traveling. Thanks to credit card rewards, I am able to do that for them.
Most people probably feel like they couldn’t live with their parents. I have a great relationship with mine, and we’re all fine living with each other. I’m pretty comfortable with my home life as it is now, and the main downside is a longer commute. I’m used to it though. We don’t live in Westchester anymore, but my commute now to work is really close in time to my old commute to school. I’ve been doing this kind of commute for well over 6 years now, and I have no complaints. I usually watch movies or read books on the train anyway.
I don’t see myself moving out anytime soon. However, I don’t know about years down the line. I wrote here about how I’d like to try living in different places, so I’d obviously leave my parents in that case. As long as my dad and I are still working in NYC, I think we’ll continue to save money this way. He’s turning 60 years old this March though, and he could actually retire now if he wanted. It seems like my parents want to keep a place in NYC even after retirement, so I’ll continue living with them until otherwise. I don’t just think of my own financial independence with this type of decision. I consider my parents’ financial independence too. The only thing that would probably motivate me to leave sooner is a serious relationship, but I don’t know if that will ever happen!
Yeah, I’m like Matthew McConaughey in Failure to Launch. That movie blows though.