My plans as a graduate were lofty. I thought I would get a great apartment in New York City (where I worked at the time) and resume the independent lifestyle I had enjoyed as a college student.
Only then did reality take over and I realized that renting my own house wasn’t feasible. I wasn’t particularly keen on living with roommates, and the pile of school debt I was on the verge of paying off was quite daunting.
Plus, my savings account was seriously low on money. Since I had paid for four years of college tuition on my own, it was understandable. But all in all, I quickly realized that I wasn’t in a financial position to rent a house of my own. So instead, I moved back in with my parents for a short time.
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Living with my parents had its perks, including my mother’s delicious cooking and the occasional ride home from the subway on those nights when I had to work late (or just stayed out late). But this had its drawbacks live with my parents. Even though I wasn’t looking for a serious relationship at 22, it was hard to bring a date home knowing that my mom and dad were probably watching TV in the next room.
But living at home for a while after college was, to this day, one of the best financial decisions I’ve ever made. And I don’t regret it one bit.
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A move that helped me reach a financially stable position
I was lucky enough to get a good finance job after college. Through careful spending and frugal living, within about 18 months of earning my degree, I was able to not only pay off the educational debt I incurred, but also build up a solid amount of savings. My emergency fund then proceeded to save me from numerous financial bottlenecks throughout my 30s, when I had more expenses. But that wouldn’t have been possible if I hadn’t enjoyed months of free rent while living at home.
During my 30s, I bought a house, had kids, upgraded my car, and faced a number of other expenses that inevitably led to more expenses. The purchase of my home, for example, involved numerous repairs (despite purchasing a new construction) and I had to pay for vehicle repairs on more than one occasion.
Therefore, when I was 30 years old, saving money was not so easy. The great job I had in my twenties involved intense work hours that were not sustainable. I traded that job for a lower-paying job around age 27, meaning that for much of my 30s my income was lower. If we add the above expenses to this, my savings haven’t increased much. But that was okay, because I had the emergency fund I had built in my twenties.
A move I would recommend to anyone
It’s hard to move back in with your parents once you go to college and experience some freedom. But if you don’t make this move like I did, you may be missing a prime opportunity to improve your finances before you actually have to manage them yourself.
SecureSave reports that 63% of Americans today don’t have the cash reserves to cover a $500 emergency. But you may be able to save 10 times that amount – or more – if you live at home for a while as a young adult.
And heck, there’s nothing wrong with moving back home for a while as a not-so-young adult if your parents are willing and you need to unload some expenses for a while to pay off debt or build up savings. It may be a humbling experience, but it could benefit you for years as it did for me.
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