Don’t Be Ashamed If You Still Live at Home

Helena Bala | January 9, 2017

Don’t be ashamed about those free meals, either


If you’d have told me years ago that after graduating from college, I’d have to move back in with my parents, one word would have jumped to mind: regressive. This, of course, followed by a brief-but-vibrant mental montage from Step Brothers of John C. Reilly and Will Ferrell — who play 40-somethings still living with their parents — fashioning a DIY bunk bed in their childhood bedroom to make room for activities. I equated living with my parents post-grad with a permanent, self-imposed failure to launch. Turns out, I couldn’t have been more mistaken.

A 2016 Pew Study found that 32.1% of adults between 18 and 34 live at home with their parents. The most preferred alternative was cohabiting with a romantic partner, trailed by people who had “other living arrangement(s)” — those living with a family member other than their parents, or with roommates or in group quarters.

Although this may sound unusual or culturally jarring to American ears, it’s actually quite common elsewhere. For instance, take the Italians: A study reported that 60.7% of Italians aged 18 to 29 live at home. 45.2% of South Koreans in their 60s report living with their children. This study’s age groupings are skewed to cover young adults (starting at age 15), but still show the same thing: countries like Greece, Spain, France and the UK are all experiencing a marked rise in the number of children living with their parents.

This begs the question, why?? Well, for starters, it’s not really a choice. Aside from cultural differences (for Italians, living with your parents in your thirties isn’t stigmatized), one factor that almost all adult children living with their parents cite is financial hardship. Millennials are often called the boomerang, kangaroo or Peter Pan generation — all allusions to our seeming inability to grow up and out of our childhood homes. For example, we’re getting married later in life than any generation before us. The median age of first marriages today is encroaching on 28 and 30 for women and men, respectively.

We’re delaying other things, too. Women are getting pregnant with their first child later in life — at 26.3 in 2014, as compared to 24.9 in 2000 and 21.4 in 1970. If this piques your curiosity, take a gander at how this compares to first-time pregnancy ages in other countries.

We’re also buying our first homes later in life, at the average age of 33. This compares to 29 in the mid-1970s when, incidentally, people spent about 1.8 times their yearly income on their first home. Want to know what that number is today? 2.6 times. Oh, and when adjusted for inflation, our incomes haven’t actually changed all that much compared to the 1970s.

The average first-home price — $140,327.58 — is quite misleading. In the cities that increasingly attract millennials due to job opportunities, that figure looks more like $580,700 (for Somerville, MA) or $631,900 (for Arlington, VA), suburbs of Boston and DC, respectively. These numbers for places like New York City (any borough) or San Francisco are so stratospheric that I won’t even bother mentioning them.

If you decide to rent (which millennials do for an average of six years before buying their first home), costs are still high in big cities and their suburbs. Let’s say you compromise and live with roommates, or live far away from the urban hub where prices aren’t quite as high. You’re still paying for your commute. Either way, the numbers add up very quickly.

The moral? If you want to find a job that matches your qualifications, want to pay off your student loans, don’t want to waste more than the recommended 1/3 of your after-tax salary on rent and want to save enough money to buy a house someday, your options are very limited. Living with your parents under these conditions shouldn’t be taboo.

If you’re anything like me, you did everything in your power post-graduation to not move back in with your folks. The fact that so many millennials are resorting to a previously unattractive option is not a sign of our incompetence or laziness, but rather the unique challenges that we face as a generation. We’re not in it for the built-in meals and free laundry services (nice perks, though), but rather due to constraints uniquely ours: rising student loan debt, rising property values and stagnant wages in an increasingly complex and globalized world.

Did you or do you live with your parents to save money? Do you find it particularly challenging to do so as an adult? Financially, has your choice been worth it? Do you have tips for those looking to save a little money and make some key investments this coming year? Sound off below!

Helena Bala is a writer, former lawyer and the genius behind Craigslist Confessional. Follow her on Twitter @ClistconfessionIllustration by Meghann Stephenson. Follow her on Instagram @meghannfinley.

  • Katie

    Thanks so much for this timely post! I was supposed to move in with my boyfriend last month, and he got cold feet at the last minute and we broke up. Coming off of a year full of financial hardships, I was not financially prepared to get my own place. I decided to temporarily move in with my grandfather, which was not an easy decision. At first, at the age of 31, it did feel like I was regressing, but I have realized that I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to save some money and better my financial situation, and spend some quality time with him.

  • Rheanonn Clarissa Perez

    i moved to new york city straight out of high school. i lived there for 3 years, each year in a different, shitty craigslist apartment. in my late teens/early 20s i had no credit score so i didn’t qualify to even sign a lease & i didn’t have anyone eligible to co-sign for me. because there was no lease i was never sure how long i could stay in each shitty apartment! it was a scary feeling, especially with the craziness that already comes with new york life. it sounds crazy but i was also fully supporting myself as a barista at starbucks, then a supervisor at starbucks, then a merchandiser at forever 21.

    after attempting to look for my fourth room to rent, i was done. i cried on the train because i felt so hopeless & tired & just wanted a place to call home for more than a year. i called my dad when i got home & told him i wanted to move back. i have been back for a year now & i think it was a good decision. i still do my own laundry, make my own food, pay my own bills, including a little rent to my dad. it feels soo good not having to worry about where i will live in a year. i’m also saving a lot of money for traveling & *maybe* school, which i wasn’t able to do when i was on my own. i love & miss new york, it taught me so much. my dream now is to move BACK to nyc lol! but next time with a better job & more stability.

    • tmm16

      Good for you! It shows a lot of courage to reach out to your Dad and ask for help. Just know a lot of people probably wouldn’t have been able to do that 🙂 hope you get to travel in 2017!

      • Rheanonn Clarissa Perez

        thanks so much, same to u!

    • Jolie

      I’ve felt like that so many times, haha. I definitely feel you. Living here can get so exhausting and miserable that you just can’t take it. Lots of luck with traveling, school, and moving back! You can do it 🙂

      • Rheanonn Clarissa Perez

        aw thank you!!! i’ll be back haha

    • Seal_Of-The-Sea

      NYC is hella expensive, especially now. I lived in the LES and the East Village for years by myself, mind you the apartments were dumpy but they were studios and one bedrooms and I sacrificed A LOT to live there. Now, I told my Mom (who lives in Rockaway) that I want to move home. I’ve had enough living like a pauper just to have my own place (which is second rate at best). Sure, I could live in a nicer place – a room for $1000 a month sharing with 4 others – but that’s not my style, and I’ve heard horror stories about those share situations.
      Nope. I want to go home. My Mom lives in my childhood home – three floors with a basement and attic – five bedrooms and two bathrooms. Just her and I I’ll have tons more room, my own bathroom, and it’s a house!! With the bills and all it honestly works out to a bit more than what I pay for my tiny, dumpy studio that the LL wants to push me out of so he can jack the rent up to $2000 for that same tiny, maybe-not-so-dumpy studio.

  • tmm16

    We need to get rid of this stigma. I just graduated college in May, and I have so many friends who have jobs and don’t have jobs who continue to live with their parents because 1) It’s convenient, 2) They can, and 3) They can’t afford to live on their own yet, and that’s OK, and 4) Other various reasons. Most college grads are only 21-23 *including myself* and we don’t have to have it all figured out yet, and I believe we shouldn’t.

    I tried everything in my power to not move back home after graduation, because I knew it would set me back in regards to my professional and personal goals. I pay my own rent, bills, and plan a monthly budget, and it’s always financially tight, but that doesn’t mean my friends who live with their parents DON’T do the same and don’t struggle just as much as I do. I think the bigger picture is obviously eliminating the expectations for young adults after graduating college, as it’s a common societal “ideal” that we need to have our shit together. Post grad depression exists and it sucks. We all learn and grow in different stages, and we shouldn’t be judged by where we are living and what stage we are at.

    • Marialice Barone

      Joining the military is an option…college grads can go in as an officer and they give you a housing and food allowance! If you stay in for 4-6 years you can get a great job in private industry since many companies love junior military officers.
      My daughter came out of the army as a Captain and she wound up selling neuro-surgical instruments making 200K a year!
      Do you have to live in Ny? There are plenty of affordable cities!

  • GM

    My family lives in the suburbs of NYC and I have been living at home commuting to my job where I don’t make enough money to even dream about moving into the city. I love living in my house, with free meals, laundry and everything else. Commuting adds up, but nothing is better than living rent free.

    I definitely feel that there is a stigma about living at home. The first question always is “Are you ever going to move out?” I will, a few promotions later but for right now it’s impossible. The worst part is dating. Nothing says romance like getting dropped off the train station or a text from your mom saying “ARE YOU COMING HOME?” Also, most nights end with me eating dinner and watching wheel of fortune like grandparent…but I am so good at wheel of fortune now.

    • PM

      100% agree the worst part is dating. I always date guys in the city (cause the guys around me are the ones from high school…yiiiikes) and a few have made comment about the 25 min ride I take into the city to see them. The guy that just broke up with me made a tiny comment about how it wasn’t fair for me to keep having to go in and out of the city. SO of course my sad brain has been wondering lately what my dating life would be like if I didn’t still live with my parents. Besides that, I want to have sex in my own bed!!!! I want someone to cook dinner with me in MY kitchen, fall asleep on MY couch, be able to find out more about my personality by what my apartment looks like and what books, movies, whatever I have. Isn’t there a bit of power in the person who gets to GIVE the toothbrush? Totally got kind of deep there but living in your parents house definitely keeps a chunk of your personality away from the person you’re dating.

      • Depressingly true, and I feel the same way. Although now I’d be happy to have my own space.

        Having that privacy, space and independence, and I think these are outweighing the financial benefit of living at home.

    • Lisa Estrada

      “ARE YOU COMING HOME?” – I scarily relate so much to this =/

    • Ha! I’m married and living an hour and change away from my parents, and I still get the: “call me when you’re home!” text 🙂

    • Haha yup, I get those texts all the time to, and I also get dropped off at the station. Nothing like a “What time do I need to pick you up?” message from your mom.

      • Seal_Of-The-Sea

        Yup. I look forward to that when I move back home. The other day was a really crappy snow day and I so wished I was heading to Rockaway cause Mom would insist on picking me up at the train. (She loves driving, and considers bad weather a challenge).

    • Angela Gentile

      DUDE SAME. I live in staten island so my commute sucks and the first thing people ask when I tell them about my commute is “omg so are you planning on moving out?” Nah dude I’m planning on taking the ferry home to my house where dinners already made and my family can tell me about their days.

  • Ashley

    Oh shit this is so relevant to me right now its incredible. Ive been seriously considering moving back home, Ive been out of the house since I graduated 5 years ago but moving back for a year to make a giant dent in my loans is starting to seem very appealing but also weirdly like admitting defeat. Somebody help me.

    • Mon Valdés

      Hi Ashley, I live with my parents and younger brother at home, and I’m a 27 year old still paying for her student loans. I’m from Mexico and here is not really stigmatized to live at home even when you are a bit older. I do think it’s a cultural thing, here it’s not so common to move elsewhere to go to university, we usually study local, so it’s more than convenient to stay at home (no rent, no extra payment for meals), and then people usually move out when they get married. But as the article says, that age keeps going up. And even if it’s a cultural aspect, I’ve never felt like this takes something away from my adulthood; my finances are better because I can focus on paying my student loans, (even if I do my own thing, I do my laundry, I pay my own gas, etc.), at the end, family is there to help you, so if you are considering it, don’t think it’s like a personal failure. It might be worth it and you can always move out when you feel like your finances are getting better.

      • Ashley

        Thanks so much to both of you guys!

    • I second @monvalds:disqus on the sentiment. There is absolutely nothing to be ashamed about, either. Family is there to help – and I hope you have a family system that is supportive of you. I admit it can be hard living with your parents as an adult, but not really a big deal. It can’t be worse than living with a roommate, and you at least know and trust your family.

      • ah

        My uncle just asked me tonight if i paid off all my student loans yet and when am i going to get my own place. Made me find kind of like a loser but im still tryna figure sh i t out. I left a very exhausting job a year ago that had me burnt out and feeling suicidal for a much lesser paying job that i enjoy but i know that i can’t stay at this job forever yet i dont want another toxic job. I just want to be healthy and happy (and debt free).

        • @disqus_hN8o2fpmE8:disqus I totally understand what you’ve been through. I used to be of the mentality that there were certain things I just *had* to do no matter how I personally felt about it. And ultimately I became miserable, unhealthy, and disheartened by a lot of things. I’ve learned that the most important thing in life is finding contentment and peace of mind. And a lot of happy moments. Money won’t buy happiness, and horrible jobs are just that: horrible. No matter how much they pay.

          Just take care of yourself and your wellbeing, regardless of what your uncle or society expects you to do. And besides, student loans are artifacts of the recent years, something he will probably never understand.

      • Marialice Barone

        I.m from the Midwest and I married someone from NJ fifty years fathermade it clear to my sister and I that when graduated from college, which he paid for, that we needed to support ourselves…when I came to NJ to meet my fiancée friends I was shocked that all his single buddies still lived at home with their parents and would do so until they married.
        My point is that people were living with their parents 50 years ago so it’s not a new phenomena.
        Hopefully the economy will improve with Trump. The best jobs are in the private sector with room for promotion and financial growth. The jobs Obama created were either part time or in govt. ….he.s never had better than a 2% growth….a good economy is 4-5% growth.
        Hang in their and in the mean time work hard!

      • momtogemma

        You think it is hard for the child? See it from the parent’s point of view. They’ve done their job of raising you. They’ve put their lives on hold for the last 18 to 23 years. When your children finish school and move out, it’s like crossing the finish line of a marathon. Now you want them to start running again.

        Your parents are people just like you are. They value their privacy, freedom & personal space. If they allow you to move into THEIR home, please remember that they are making a big concession. Be grateful and never, never, never take them for granted.

  • This was amazing and really validating. Thank you Helena. I live with my parents mainly for financial reasons, though our culture doesn’t stigmatize living with your parents (I’m Cuban-American). My parents keep telling me to move out when I’m getting married or find a long-term partner.

    I work in Chicago and commute from the suburbs. The price for an apartment is really high, and if it’s cheap then it’s in a violent neighborhood – which is not a good idea for a woman living alone. I’m saving for a downpayment on a place, but as the prices keep going up, it just feels like I’m chasing a moving target. I don’t even mind living with my parents, but the distance from my work is frustrating, since my commute takes a total of 4 hours a day. Definitely not doing this out of laziness!!

    • Yikes! 4 hours. (Let me know if you want some audio book recommendations.) Also, I get what you’re saying about rent prices climbing higher and higher. It’s hard to have goals when they seem financially futile, but on the upside, it’s pretty great that you get to save a little bit of money. This enables other pursuits, like paying off debt or doing a bit of traveling.

      • It’s definitely helped me travel more and save more! My parents are really supportive, so they don’t even ask for rent. And I’d totally love some audio book recommendations! I really need to invent ways of being productive during those train hours.

  • Ana Tellez

    My Mexican parents have always found it so strange that Americans leave their hometown for college. In Mexico it is very common for people to live with their parents until they get married or find a job that’s not at home. And it’s not considered taboo at all! I think it has a lot to do with our family oriented culture.

    • Jolie

      Haha! I’m American, and when I lived in Mexico I thought it was so weird that everyone in their late twenties was still living at home. I think the weird part to me was that all the people I met were not just living at home at that age, but still depending on their parents’ money because they didn’t want to find jobs (this was in Mexico City, so I assume it’s different in other Mexican cities). But they all thought I was weird for moving out on my own at 18, so 🙂

      • ah

        I stayed in Mexico when i was 19 🙂 wish i was still so adventurous!#

      • Adrianna

        It’s supposed to be a reciprocal relationship. In my Polish family, grandparents and great-grandparents lived and depended on their children during retirement.

    • Vivien Hackenhaar

      I’m Brazilian living in Bangkok, I saw this culture difference here also, because in Brazil is like the text says…(I myself left my home to study and work with 17) and here in Bangkok it is like, people just leave their parents home when get married, and what some of them do is after school go to study some course outside the country… so after they come back to theirs parents home again…is very common here.

    • Adrianna

      Same with Polish culture. (My mother grew up on a farm and lived with multiple generations even after she got married.)

      We immigrated to small Polish town in New Jersey when I was a kid and moved to Pennsylvania when I was 14. I moved to NYC when I was 18. I went back to visit that town in NJ ten years later, and my Polish NJ landlord found it so strange that I left Pennsylvania.

  • Ginger

    It should be mentioned that moving back in or living with parents is a privilege reserved for those whose parents can afford to support them. For me (and many other people who put themselves through college or are self-supported) living at home is not an option because my parents can’t afford to have another individual living there without contributing financially to taxes, food, water bills for that laundry, etc. So perhaps instead of seeing it as some last resort safeguard it would be better to see it as the a pretty unique and very lucky situation!

    • kellymcd

      This is very true. My younger brother recently moved back home after hitting some speed bumps his first two years of college away from home. However, during that time, my parents began divorce negotiations and are both struggling financially because of it. So, its getting difficult for my dad to support having my brother home and both parents are now pushing my brother to move into his own place. He’s lucky he has my parent’s home as a landing pad, but financially, no one is really winning so its time to go. Sure, not everyone is at home by choice (and living with your parents past age 18 sucks in general), but having it as an option when nothing else is working is incredibly valuable

    • ah

      I cant live with my parents bc my dad is a deadbeat and my mother suffers from mental illness. But i do have a rommate to make ends meet.

    • Adrianna

      I’m in a similar boat as you and the people who commented on your post. I actually envied people who had the option to live at home after college. I live in NYC and a lot of the people I met at parties were living at home despite the fact that they had a job. But that also spoke of the privileged backgrounds they came from – their parents lived in houses in NJ and Staten Island where you could easily commute to Manhattan.

      (I obviously know that people move in and sometimes financially contribute to their parents’ households)

  • nevvvvave

    I live at home currently since I’m in an in between place where I haven’t graduated college yet but decided to do school part time and work part time, for the near future. I got lucky with my part time job since it’s a corporate position in pharma which pays more than someone at 23 without a degree would usually get…But tbh I’m really ready to move out and try to pursue something I have an interest in (fashion/business) in NYC and see where that can take me. my family is Ukrainian/jewish so culturally it’s not a stigma for me to be at home, it’s more of a personal yearning for obvious characteristics of independence

  • T-Fierce

    I’ve actually lived with my parents since I graduated over two years ago. I don’t have any loans, so it’s been really helpful just to start saving up money for who knows what (future rent, car, etc.). But I think what I enjoy most is spending more time with my parents–I was always sort of sad that high school might’ve been the last time I got to see them EVERY DAY, so I’ve really embraced getting some extra time to hang with them. And my cats.

    • ah

      Im jealous. Ill leave it at that.

    • Meg S

      After finally moving out 3 years ago (I moved between renting and living with my parents for a long time), my dad asks me to move back home every time I go to their place for dinner. I haven’t, but I spend extra time watching tv with him after we eat instead of running back home. If there’s one thing I miss, it’s family dinners. Texting/calling isn’t the same as sitting down to talk every night. Mom & Dad’s cooking always tastes better than my cooking.

  • Angela Gentile

    Honestly, once I graduated college, I didn’t realize I had any other option than to move back home. My entire extended family has done the same thing. Most of us are first or second generation Italian-Americans so everyone just assumed we’d all be moving back in once we finished college. And we’re all living home till we get married. I tell people that the only way to move out is to get married or die. My older male cousin moved into an apartment in Brooklyn with his friends, and my dad yelled at me because he didn’t like that my cousin moved out…

    • Mon Valdés

      “the only way to move out is to get married or die” HAHAHA this is awesome

      • Perla

        I just laughed so hard @ “get married or die”

  • Arielle Manstein

    I did for 6 years after college and through grad school. Good times and bad times, but I am so thankful to be out on the other side. It makes having my own space now that much sweeter cuz I really feel like I earned it.

  • Jolie

    I moved to Manhattan after I graduated high school (after growing up nearby) in an attempt to be fully financially independent. I worked full-time, went to school full-time, and shared a room (not an apartment — a room) with a friend the entire time. I never moved back in with my parents and still live in the city (now in Queens).

    I’ll be honest…living by myself taught me A LOT. I was working as a server all during college, but that money did allow me to keep living in my apartments, even though I had almost nothing left over after rent and bills. It taught me how to be independent, not just financially but emotionally. I learned how to do everything: get plumbing problems fixed, deal with the IRS, lease an apartment. It felt (and feels still) amazing to depend on only myself to survive.

    I find that I’m an anomaly — most of my friends, in their early-to-mid twenties, still live at home. I definitely understand why they do and don’t judge them at all. I thought it was weird when I moved away at 18, and all my friends constantly marveled at how independent I was. Years later, they’re still telling me the same things: “How can you afford to rent an apartment?” “How can you work full-time and still have a good life?” “How do I get my wifi installed?” etc. Those are the things that worry me about delaying financial independence. They should know how to do those things by now.

    • Seal_Of-The-Sea

      I agree totally. My years living on my own have made me an independant person who, once I move back home this summer, will be an asset to my Mom. I’ve even learned how to plaster and paint an apartment (when I couldn’t get my LL to do it), fix plumbing problems, detect electrical problems et al. My mother lives alone in the house at this time and she spends hundreds on little repairs that I will happily do for her (and yes, I’m going to set up WiFi for her, she’s paying for it through the cable package but “can’t figure out how to plug it in”). 🙂

  • belle

    I was home during my job search but moved out as soon as I got a job. I now spend about 50% of my income (post-tax, though) on rent but live in a nice place close to work, so I spend zero money commuting and I don’t have any debt or loans. I wish I could save more but I know I still have it better than most!

  • Maggie Oneill

    I graduated college in 2012 I moved to Australia to reunite with my Aussie boyfriend- we met while he was studying abroad. We rented for a few years and decided that the next step financially was to buy a house. At the moment (at least in Melbourne) you can’t even think of buying a house under a million. We moved in with his parents and have been living with them for close to a year.

    We’re saving about 88% of our salaries and hoping to be able to afford a house within the next year. The majority of the couples we know have moved back into their partner’s family home to save for a house as well. Sacrificing our freedom to stay with his parents has been an amazing opportunity for us which we are grateful for. And I only have to cook once a week now!

  • SO RELATE TO THIS. I loved living with my parents after college but after a year moved out and almost feel guilty now because of all the money I could still be saving, student loans, and quality time with my parents. Honestly, it was great to spend more time with them after college, but I feel like having your own space helps you develop who you are and move on in life, mentally. You get to decorate things and decide who you want to be, and if you want to stay in bed until 2 pm, no one judges you. Still torn on this one.

  • Reilly

    Agreed on the timeliness of this post! I moved back home in March after staying in New Orleans for an extra year after I graduated. I’m really happy I extended my time there after college, but I couldn’t justify paying increasingly high rent while also applying to grad school. (I’m from Omaha, so really any other city is expensive in comparison, unlike my friends from the Bay Area or NYC who couldn’t afford to move home if they wanted to).
    I moved home in March, found a job as a server/bartender my first day home (in my neighborhood so I walk to work=less $$!), and a second job at a law office in June. I work 80 hours and have minimal social life, but I spend my free time with my parents (who are actually fun humans?? and I can now drink with?? who knew.) After 5 years of independence and ‘play’ in NOLA, I don’t mind the work-grind. I just got accepted into law school, and because I saved up $$ all year, I’ve put myself in a position to be debt-free throughout law school and use savings to rent an affordable place.

    • Marialice Barone

      I like your way of thinking. You will be successful. Some of these people on this post sound awfully whinny. They don’t want to work as hard as you. I applaud you!
      Hard work always pays off. I,ve owned a business for 40 years and noticed that millennials are the laziest and more entitled than past generations.
      Their mantra is Working sucks!

  • Carla C

    I moved home recently and my 30 year old sister followed suit shortly after. It’s definitely an adjustment but very comforting at the same time. Obviously, not being in the epicentre hub of the city and having to commute is the lowest point in the deal but to be honest, the dynamic that I have with my parents contributes to how not-so-bad it really is. We’ve both been living independently for so long and I’ve even lived in Australia by myself for almost a year so its not like I have a curfew anymore. I’m currently in between jobs and am super grateful that I haven’t scarred my parents toooooo bad that they’re willing to take me back. Fighting the stigma one cooked meal at a time…

    • Gen X

      Your parents love you and wish for you to be happy. Try not to worry about what other people think.

      • Marialice Barone

        They also want you to do something useful!

  • Alessia

    I think the really hard part is not living at home, but living on your own for a while and *then* going back. That really felt like a defeat for me, after three years in Milan for uni (I’m an Italian girl living in Italy) and a few months in London for an internship. I had to go back home to my parents for financial reasons and it was such a shock… I had to give up my independence, and even though in my country it’s really not a big deal, to me it really is.
    I am so grateful to my parents for letting me stay, and I love being able to save money while my Londoner friends can barely pay the bills, but still… I can’t wait to live by myself again.

  • lola

    I was born and raised in new york city – my mom has a big loft in alphabet city. as soon as I graduated college (i left NYC for it) I moved back to the city, but IMMEDIATELY into an expensive apartment in brooklyn. all my friends who i grew up with in NYC lived at home for at least 2/3 years. I was basically the only one who lived on my own/with roommates. I ended up moving apartments every year, from clinton hill to bushwick to another apartment in bushwick. i ended up leaving my job in September because I hated it and was super unhappy, and moved back to my mom’s in the alphabet city/east village area. the worst part of all of it is the shame i feel for being 25 and living at home, and the projected(?) shame i feel when i’m talking about it with people. wish i had lived at home straight after college and saved to move out now rather than vice-versa, but ah well. it’s extremely convenient at times. x

  • Annie

    I’ll be graduating in May from NYU and plan on starting grad school in September! The grad program I want is online, and at first I was stauntly opposed to my mom’s suggestion that I move home to LI. But when I considered the money I’d save on rent, I couldn’t deny the benefits. And now, even my most progressive, go-getter friends from school back my decision!

  • Itzel Herrera

    Thank you for this! I get judged unfairly at my college because I still live at home, obviously it wasn’t by choice but i’m not even complaining! I have wonderful parents that love and support me and while I don’t think it’s horrible people make me feel like it is.

  • Marion A.

    Great Post and so relevant! I think it all depends on the situation. My parents are so awesome, I moved in with them while I worked and paid for graduate school. Once I graduated they let me stay with them till I got a good job, paid off my credit cards, and saved up to buy my first place! I tried to be helpful, bought my own food and pay for all my other bills. I think it sort of sucked sometimes when I would think “I’m grown why do I still sleep in a twin bed?” but I tried to focus on what I wanted most ( no debt and a home/ investment ) not what I wanted in the short term (live on my own but renting and not setting myself up for the future). It helps that things are cheaper in Texas too 🙂

  • The young people are stigmatizing this way out of proportion. I think it was started by the young who don’t have a solid support system.
    The days of coming out of high school and getting any good job you choose are long gone.
    Preparation times have greatly increased. The young must realize this, stop beating up on each other, and adjust.

    • Seal_Of-The-Sea

      Very true. In the 80s when I was a teen almost everyone finished high school and got a pretty good paying job, then moved out of the house. Now? Not happening. Even now it’s gotten so expensive to live on my own (NYC) that I’ve decided to move home – to live cheaper and of course help my Mom. I see it as a step up actually. No more tiny dumpy studio apartments or renting a room and sharing with four other people.
      I get to move home, where Mom and I can cook in the kitchen all day if we choose, laundry machines in the house, warm and beautiful home, and cable tv. Boy, I’ve missed cable.

  • L. Roger Rich

    They live at home because the parents allow them. Non of my children live at home. They went to school and got a job. They all have their own homes.


      Not al parents lol. Good for you.

  • ter ber

    It’s always a choice for men and women to delay adulthood and procreation.

  • Marialice Barone

    Hopefully Trump will be able get private industry to be able to create better jobs so there is a path to financial growth.
    Some suggestions….don’t get a liberal arts degree! The good jobs are for Fianance, engineering, computer science majors. Become as computer literate as you possibly can. Work more than one job.

    • bo po

      add robot mechanics to that jobs list 😉

      • Marialice Barone

        Good idea. There,s all kinds of specialty engineering

    • Duke of Hazzard

      Good advice Marialice. On top of that, I’d add to consider going to a public university instead of private. Why get stuck with a 100k+ student loan after graduation, when paying off a 25k – 40k loan would be so much easier.

      • Marialice Barone

        Going to a community college for two years and take the required courses there and then transfer to a public U for your major. However,a lot of spoiled brats want to go to expensive private schools because their friends are going even if their parents can’t afford it. They wind up with more debt than can afford.
        Get an ROTC scholar ship. They pay full tuition and give you tax free money every month.
        You come out debt-free with a good job.

    • Gen X

      Yep, we should all closely watch Twitter over the coming months for when details on the secret great-jobs-creation plan is revealed. It may have to wait until the secret plan to defeat ISIS is revealed, but the wait will be worth it, believe me. It’s gonna be YUGE!

      • Marialice Barone

        It’s not a big mystery. If you lower taxes for corporations, cut out a lot of restrictions and let companies bring back their overseas profits amounting to trillions by charging less than presently, they will more than likely invest that money on expansion creating more jobs.
        Companies are already promising to keep plants here with anticipation that taxes will be lowered.
        Obamacare has not been useful to companies either. Small companies especially cut jobs or made them part-time so they didn’t have to comply with such an expensive deal forced by Washington.
        This is not rocket science…anyone who know anything at all knows these things worse. We had an economic growth of less than 2% under Obama..4-5% is normal. That sums up his legacy in a nutshell

        • Gen X

          Of course – the same old trickle-down nonsense we’ve heard for the last 30+ years. It’s going to work this time for regular Americans rather than just line the pockets of the oligarchs? We’ll just have to wait and see, but so great that you’ve got it all figured out.

          • Marialice Barone

            If you are young, you,ve been living under Obama, but if you believe in Capitalism you necessarily have trickle done economics!

          • Gen X

            I’m afraid I’m getting to the point that I can no longer claim to be young. I’ve been around for Reagan and the Bushes. There’s been something trickling down on the middle and working classes, but it’s not been prosperity. Remember when Bush 41 called trickle-down “voodoo economics”? I wish there were still Republicans of principle around like him. I believe in capitalism that is reasonably regulated with a responsible tax code.

          • Marialice Barone

            I agree with you. there was no impetus under Obama to impel businesses to create jobs. I am a retired physician and business owner with medical Device companies as clients and Obama taxed these companies a percentage of GROSS sales every quarter which meant that Medtronic, a major company, for example put their headquarters in Ireland and some others in Switzerland..not exactly a way to drive business.
            Good jobs can solve most of our ills, Obama was clueless…not sure what he was thinking.

          • Gen X

            It’s clear you’ve got a strong fixation with President Obama given that you mention him in most posts. For the record, I think he has been a great president and will be sorely missed. Recent polling suggests that’s a majority opinion, but I really don’t care to go down that rabbit hole with the Fox News crowd. As far as job creation, I don’t believe any president can have much impact on the job market, regardless of what they might promise on the campaign trail. Factors well beyond their control – the natural business cycle, population growth/decline, technology, international growth, … are the drivers on what happens with jobs. I left a community in economic decline in a mid-western state for a job in a booming community in a mid-Atlantic state. If we blame the president for the declining community, does he get equal credit for the booming community?

  • bo po

    At 19 I moved out as soon as scraped enough money up for a security deposit. Growing up in a family of 8 was an asset but having MY SPACE and freedom was a strong incentive. Went back for a couple months after a divorce, got on my feet and never looked back. Sometimes it took 3 jobs which left little time to get into trouble. I never liked anyone telling me what to do and still don’t.
    Now I have a ‘Millie’ living in my basement and working 25 hours a week, partly because of Obamacare. After 30 hours employers have to cover you.
    My theory is work however many jobs and whatever it takes to get the money you need. At almost 30, who could stand being dependent on parents? Not me. My kids grew up in a very nice suburb because I and their Mom worked multiple jobs even though divorced. If I drop tomorrow, I’ve no idea what my Millie will survive on.
    my 3 kids were shown the example of hard work, living within means, eating well for little, having chores, not the best toys, cars, vacations blahx3. All 3 had the choice of college, 2/3 paid for, 1/3 to them. One is a Pharmacist, one is an Army Vet radio tower climber and system installer, one dropped college for the ASAF.(and DNF that either) It was the Dope….. been a long recovery which was supported by me cuz the Mum cut ties.
    I’m old tired and done with it and the drama; and still I wait lol!

  • Jenny F. A. McMillen

    I’ve honestly tried to find another job after I finished my bachelor of design in Toronto in late-spring 2009. I’ve quitted my last and first job at a cashier/merchandiser to focus on my last semester of studies. After failing to land any kind of work, even with the help of two employment centres, my Dad has gotten sick and couldn’t keep working his 29-year job. Being unemployed meant that I had to take a lot of time to care for him (he wasn’t always grateful or pleasant and we got on each other’s nerves). The best I could get for work during this time was a temp agency across town and having to take placements that were 1-2 hours travel time, alternative times I would do long-houred jobs online temp job freelancing via Freelancer and Fiverr.

    Nowadays, Dad’s mentality has gotten worse and Mom’s now doing part-time to care for Dad mostly (though they’re hardly calling her in for work). My availability technically skyrocketed now, however I’m still transiting away from the habits that I had to apply to my previous lifestyle of coping with my Dad’s failing health and behaviour. I became shuted-in, couldn’t really go anywhere without Mom being off from work or longer that a walk 2 hours max. and mostly had to depend on their financial support and for a time Toronto’s Social Services for covering my living costs.

    Being now fresh into 2017, I want to begin changing myself into a more independent, healthier and happier woman, having not just a job but a career in the design industry. I want to be more proud of myself for making myself into a success in life. I’m hoping that this is the year that I can finally truly live my own life here in Toronto.

  • Mad_Cat

    Here’s a comment from one of those parents whose home you want to return to.

    First, you have developed you own personality/life style during your absence. So have I…it is one without children (3 raised) and involves things I like to do. Therefore, this:

    You shall
    – promptly pay an equal share of all household expenses including taxes, mortgage/rent, utilities, all of it. Buy your own cellphone…no house privileges.
    – Buy your own food and cook it. Wash your own dishes.
    – Do your own laundry with your own soap/etc.
    – Absolutely NO illegal drugs or usage in my house at any time, not even if “just passin’ through”. (The gov’t seizes houses/cars/boats/planes/whatever anytime a felony is committed [or facilitated] therein.)
    – No loud parties/music, etc.
    – The list to be expanded as needed.
    – Oh yes…clean up after yourself and keep your room in “inspection order”. (All men of my age learned that in boot camp.)

    Bottom line: My house, my rules, it is not a democracy.

    • Marialice Barone

      You got that right. A lot of parents with children moving back enable them and than bitch about how they have ungrateful lazy kids!

  • Clyde Barrow

    This is due to the socialistic society that Obama wanted to create over the last a years. Lowest GDP less than 3% over his 8 years. 93 million unemployed,jobs moved overseas because corporate taxes are too high. The government is in everything and everyone’s life. We are 20 Trillion in debt. It’s alll his liberal preaching of globalization that has your bottoms living at home. Do your homework and you will see how much better off you are going to be over the next 4-8 years. Take out all the fake news and research for yourself.

    • Gen X

      Yep, we should all closely watch Twitter over the coming months for when details on the secret great-jobs-creation plan is revealed. It may have to wait until the secret plan to defeat ISIS is revealed, but the wait will be worth it, believe me. It’s gonna be YUGE! Sean Hannity said we’re gonna be rich everybody*! – and by everybody, I don’t mean the brown-skinned folk. *(disclaimer: you may be paid in vodka credits)

      • Marialice Barone

        Why are you so cynical! Your sarcasm is not clever!

        • Gen X

          I am not seeking the approval of a internet comments section lady.

      • Clyde Barrow

        I believe it’s no secret. IBM,Apple,Amazon,car manufacturing…He must have found that magic wand Obamas been looking for over the past 8 years on all those golf courses. Free stuff and higher taxes equals debt while corporate tax cuts creates jobs which boosts economy and makes for a stronger America. Civics? Economics? President Trump tells it like it is. No sugar coating. He will be the first President to have never served in a public office or military before. Washington DC needs this as do we.

    • Marialice Barone

      Try a GDP under 2% most quarters…several under 1%!

      • Clyde Barrow

        I stand corrected. The only growth we had was debt and unemployment.

        • Marialice Barone

          So true

  • Ede

    In Nigeria, the norm is that you live with your parents until you get married. Usually people who live on their own don’t live in the same state as their family or they have enough money to rent a place

  • Lydia

    I lived at home all through college and have simply continued to do so after graduating. I paid off my loans last year and would like to eventually buy a condo/apartment. I haven’t done any research yet but the price has to be less intimidating than that of a house, right?
    Very grateful to my family in the meantime.

  • Andrea

    It is a cultural thing. I’m from Spain and people usually only move because their college/work of choice is out of town or if they are in a relationship (and even in a serious relationship some people don’t move together until they decide to get married or have children).
    I’m 30, my brother is 28, and we live with our mother. We don’t do it because we can’t afford a rent or even a mortgage by ourselves but because we want to. We don’t contribute to our home expenses because my mother won’t allow it not because we refuse to or have money enough to (as I said, I could be paying a mortgage and in Spain that is something nowadays).
    Our conduct is not weird, is just a different culture and, of course, no one feels embarrassed of living with their folkoks in their 20s or 30s.

  • Roos .

    This is called Waithood in Anthropology. Our generation (worldwide!!) are not granted the same positions that our parents were. And to be honest, I think we have a right to be fucking pissed about it.

    But then we also have to do something about it.

    I do not like that part.

    I do not like doing things.

    • Gen X

      In all sincerity, doing things does most often suck. The tipping point occurs when the alternative to doing things (not doing things) is worse.

      • Roos .

        I think it’s also just the fact that, we have no fucking clue where we’re headed as a species. Not that anyone of our parents did, but the question seems more urgent what with technology giving us insane possibilities and just generally, what does it mean to be human?

        • Gen X

          True – we’re living in strange times and trying to move forward without a map as best we can.

          • Marialice Barone

            All times are strange in every generation. My parents had to deal with the depression and you think those were strange times. My generation had to deal with Vietnam and the assasination of JFK, MLK and RFK.
            What the hell is your problem?

          • Gen X

            Yes, there were other strange times in the past.

        • Marialice Barone

          Stop contemplating your navel and find several jobs and while earning money you may find yourself. You self indulgent people are pretty sickening…stop asking and start giving!

      • momtogemma

        There is pride in any job that is well done. I encourage you to leave your pity party & embrace your life. You will learn invaluable lessons from entry level jobs. You will learn a lot about yourself & who you want to become. You may look back on these days fondly. Best of luck.

    • Marialice Barone

      You mean like working!

    • momtogemma

      The world is always changing. I think when you start moving forward, you won’t have as much time to feel cheated. The truth is that none of us are guaranteed anything. Your future will be what you make of it. It won’t be handed to you. Welcome to adulthood.

  • momtogemma

    Living wage jobs are available. You will need to swallow your pride and give up the idea that your degree entitles you to a position in that field. Delivery businesses (UPS, FED EX, USPS), trash haulers, etc. are all looking for workers. It isn’t glamorous but you can raise a family on these jobs. FYI, I speak from experience.

    • Marialice Barone

      No reason why a young person can’t work two jobs until the economy improves which it will under Trump.
      Did you ever think of moving to an affordable city where the money you makes goes further?

      • momtogemma

        I do not share your optimism regarding the Donald but your suggestion of relocating is a good one. Life is full of compromises.

        • Marialice Barone

          If we can get more good jobs, young people will have a route to promotions and upward mobility, which we had during the Reagan presidency. Obama surrounded himself with yes people and academicians all clueless about job creation. They just want the government to be more and more and more intrusive.

          • momtogemma

            I’m not sure how you define “good jobs” or if they will be a surge of them in the next 4 years. I do think that young people will need to be open to jobs that they may not have considered doing. I hope our economy will continue to grow, as it has under the Obama administration. Time will tell.

          • Marialice Barone

            Obama created part time jobs and crappy ones with no upward mobility. The proof in the pudding is that the economy grew at less than 2%…horrible!
            Good jobs are in the private sector, not the public one. They also pay a lot better and allow hard work to get rewarded. My daughter worked selling neuro-surgical instruments and made 200k but she worked lots of hours.

        • Marialice Barone

          Young people don’t want to even consider compromise or inconvenience and they wonder why they don’t get ahead!
          My children were all in the military and they grew up fast! My Grandson is a Lieutenant in the Navy…he had a scholarship and graduated with no debt and a good job.
          Whenever I suggest military scholarships or that grads go to OCS and become officers and then get a great job in private industry, they think I’m crazy!

          • momtogemma

            I don’t know if too many young people were raised with a sense of entitlement or they are just afraid of failure. Personally, I couldn’t wait to move out of my parent’s home & be independent. I worked the jobs I could get until I found something better & live in what I could afford. Things were never perfect but I was happy.

    • Marialice Barone

      Yes, there are jobs out there which don’t require a college degree, but training. plumbers, electricians, boiler makers etc do quite well. Some industries are begging for certain skills like machine tool makers etc.

      • momtogemma

        Very true.

  • I stayed at home for university and then accepted a full-time position at the office I had been working at since I was 16. I took two years and stayed with my parents until deciding on and getting into my dream grad program. I saved enough for two years of living expenses in NYC and moved for school last summer.

    Living at home was really shitty for everyone involved; I wanted out, my parents wanted me out, it caused problems that still aren’t 100% (like, not even 60%) solved between us. Ultimately, it allowed me to save enough money to come here. I never thought I would get in to grad school two years ago, let alone be able to go and then be on a career path that includes a PhD after this and I’m so lucky I could stay home despite it being a wrench in my relationships and mental health.

  • momtogemma

    I hope prospective students will consider what they will receive in exchange for that student loan. If they don’t have a solid plan for paying it off, don’t take the money. There’s more than one way around the barn.