You’ve heard me say it – it’s time to get out! Out there in the world and live a life of my own. Not that I haven’t been, it’s just a whole lot different when you’ve been living with your parents again for three years, going on four. It somehow equates to a feeling of being in high school all over again. *shudder* Gack!Pop Culture: Living with Ma and Pa Image Credit: http://www.thegridto.com/life/finance/living-large-with-mom-and-dad/
The thought that living with them could, or rather is, damaging my finances sounds a bit oxymoronic. Contradictory in the sense that I pay insanely low rent of $150, why would I want to leave? What’s the flipside of that? The flipside is I take quite a bit for granted and spend my extra cash rather foolishly. I suppose that any sane individual would take this type of opportunity to snag the low rent and save every other dime into some home savings fund. Written on paper it sounds fabulous, cuddly and warm, but it’s fabulous only for someone with an insane amount of willpower. Hey, we’re all human here and we all know that if given the chance, we would spend our money on things we WANT. Not need, but WANT.
The insanely low rent is like a free ticket to stuffville, or clothing in my case. Now I’m sure you’re thinking: Michelle, you must be mad! Why for the love of god are you not socking away every other last penny you have? Good question…let’s blame it on a little thing called human nature and a temporary lack of willpower.
Tell me, if you had all kinds of extra cash lying around what would you do? Please don’t say I’d invest it. You’d sound like a programmed parakeet to me. That’s the canned answer…unless of course you love the thrill of the chase in finding and investing in the latest and greatest stock. If that’s your fantasy, kudos to you and I hope to be in your place one day – very soon actually 🙂
If however, you’re like rest of us that are still overcoming our need for stuff and have just recently come to the realization, like me, that stuff is totally not important, you’re still having trouble socking away that extra dough somewhere special that will make it grow.
Sadly, it’s not a switch that gets flipped overnight going from spender to saver, it takes time and is a gradual process, just like getting used to a budget. When you have habitually done all the spendy things with your money for thirty odd years, you can bet it’s going to take a few years to get yourself turned around the other way. And yea for me, I am turning it around.
Why Exactly Can Living With Family Be Damaging To Your Finances?
- Complacency. This one’s easy…you have no real reason to save your money. You’ve formed a lifestyle where rent is cheap and the rest of the money, after you’ve put a bit away for savings, well, magically its yours. You’re not fighting to survive as you know there’s a nice cushy backup lazyboy recliner in place.
- They help out = Budget Sabotage. As luck would have it, no matter how many times you tell them not to, they’re your parents, they love you and want to help you out. They buy the toilet paper, share food on occasion and round down when you owe them money. NOT GOOD. This messes with your budget; you know you should be budgeting for toilet paper but never do because you know the parental units will buy it.
- Procrastination. You become LAZY. You say: I SHOULD be investing and I SHOULD be saving and I SHOULD have a place of my own but have you made it a MUST? Anything is possible once you set aside procrastination and fear, which is why I’m doing my darndest to do exactly that and get out on my own by the end of this year. I’m focusing on my “why”.
It’s All Fun and Games Til’ Someone Gets Called Names!
While doing some research on the number of adults that move back with family, I came across some funny and somewhat scary terms which apply mostly to 20-29 somethings and not late 30-somethings – odd – (none of these apply to me thank goodness! although, Parasite Single would be rather close if I wasn’t paying rent, making meals and helping out):
Boomerang generation is a term applied to the current generation of young adults in Western culture. They are so named for the frequency with which they choose to cohabitate with their parents after a brief period of living on their own – thus boomeranging back to their place of origin. This cohabitation can take many forms, ranging from situations that mirror the high dependency of pre-adulthood to highly independent, separate-household arrangements.
University of Western Ontario professor Roderic Beaujot discusses the phenomenon of delayed home-leaving at length. He cites Canadian census statistics showing that, in 1981, 27.5% of Canadians aged 20–29 lived with their parents; in 2001, the figure had grown to 41%. In the United States the proportion of adults ages 20 to 34 living with their parents has increased from 9% in 1960 to almost 17% in 2000.
Parasite single is a single person who lives with their parents beyond their late 20s in order to enjoy a carefree and comfortable life. In Japanese culture, the term is especially used when negatively describing young unmarried women.
While some adult children help with the household chores or pay a share of the rent, the vast majority do not. According to some statistics, about 85% of the children do not help with shared living expenses, but instead receive free housekeeping, laundry services, and meals from their parents. On top of that, about 50% of the children receive additional financial assistance from their parents.
This situation allows the children to live in considerable comfort, and while many save money, others spend all their income on luxury items, traveling, and other non-essential expenses. Many children wish to live with their parents until they marry.
Twixters are typically young adults who live with their parents or are otherwise not independent financially. If they are employed, they often have unsteady and low-paying jobs. They may have recently left university or high school, or recently embarked on a career. These young adults also typically marry later than usual and gain more college or career training.
They Even Made A Movie!
Failure to Launch is a 2006 American romantic comedy film. In the movie a 35-year-old man lives in the home of his parents and shows no interest in leaving the comfortable life his parents, especially his mother, have made for him there.
Reading all of this, and writing this post, has once again reinforced the feeling that I am somewhat embarrassed as a thirty-eight year old to be living with my parents again. For a short period of time, I suppose it’s fine to use the opportunity to get back on your feet after a divorce, but for an extended period of time it’s never good for your life or your finances. Quite often, I get a feeling that my life is “on hold”, that I’m waiting for someone to come back on the line and say “Thank you for holding, we’ve taken care of that for you, please move on now.” Inevitably, the only one that can exact that type of change is me. I need to break free from the comfy, cushy couch and get on with it, whether my finances are 100% in order or not. Relying on the excuse that “my finances aren’t in order yet” or “my debt isn’t paid off” isn’t going to cut it anymore. There’s many singles out there that pay full rent and have some debt, time to suck it up!
It’s time to move on…