I am writing this myTake after a brief conversation I had with my girlfriend last night. I am 28 years old, and I will be 29 in a few days. I recently moved out of my parents' house and got my own place. Over the course of my 20s, I have faced a lot of backlash and criticism for living with my parents and not living on my own. It's crazy how there is a stigma against 20-somethings living with their parents. So, in this myTake, I am going to talk a little bit about my experiences, why I decided to live with my parents for so long and how it benefited me.
A Little About Me:
When you think about a grown-ass man who lives at home with his parents, you probably think of someone who is a deadbeat - no job/career, grossly overweight, lives in the basement and has no life. That is far from the truth!
I actually went to college, have a 4-year college degree, have a full-time job, workout 3-4 times a week, run side businesses... and I have a girlfriend! Shocker, right?! Back in the day, you were considered a loser if you lived with your parents and were an absolute deadbeat. You are now considered a "loser" if you just live with your parents, no matter what you do in life. Funny how that works!
So... you may be asking, "why did you choose to live with your parents so long? Because it was beneficial to me! I'll explain in other sections. However, let's watch a video:
This will all make sense as I continue this myTake... BUT let's talk about my peers and group of friends.
When I was in high school, I had different types of friends.
These group of friends were "destined" to be successful no matter what they did. Their parents had high paying jobs - CEOs of companies they created, doctors, lawyers, dentists... you get the overall picture. They didn't have to work for much. All their parents told them was, "you have to go to college, and once you finish, we got you covered." This group had it pretty easy. They had their schooling paid for, their living arrangements paid for in college and a little bit after college and were given the family business after they graduated college.
For example, one of my best friends from high school, his dad is a lawyer and his mom is dentist. He had his entire education paid for and lived in a beach house for a while. What is he doing now? He isn't really working. He is traveling the world, learning about different cultures and working in these different countries to see what it's like. His parents have a trust fund set up for him. That's just one example.
These group of friends, while their families were pretty average... this group excelled in science and mathematics. They worked hard for what they had, but their schooling and education was paid for with the scholarships they received, and they got high-paying jobs after college in engineering and science fields.
These group of friends were extremely average. They came from an average background, were very free spirited, didn't try hard in life and didn't really care about achievement. These were the type of friends who got jobs and moved out immediately after high school. They never attended college and worked standard 9-5 jobs on factory lines, retail, fast food and warehouses. They still work in the same position today and live in the same apartment.
Where Did I Fit In?
My parents weren't rich. I was a good student in school, but I never had an interest in math/science and I wanted more for myself. After high school, I went to college and tried to figure things out for myself.
Life In College:
I worked full-time in college. My dad and I went half on a $2,000 used car, so I can get around, work and go to school. I decided to go a community college first and used my job to pay for the tuition, while my parents helped my footing some of the text book costs.
I then transferred to a university and I had to take out student loans to pay for the rest of education. I stayed in-state and went to a university 20 minutes away from my house. So, I lived at home while going to school. When I finished in 2014, my student loan price tag was $25,000. Not too bad, to be honest. I met people in college and after college who had $75,000+ student loan debt, so I couldn't complain.
Life After College:
When I got out of college, everyone that I went to college with either found apartments with roommates or lived on their own and found a job. I decided to stay at home and live with my parents.
Because of my decision to live at home, people often clowned me for it:
-My friends would say things like, "You should move out. You finished school and there's no reason for you to live at home. You are not free when you a live with your parents."
-My aunts and uncles would also say things like, "You have a degree and a job, why are you still at home? You have enough to live on your own."
-My older sister who is 10 years older than me would also clown me as well. She would crack jokes and say, "You still live at home. That's hilarious!" The irony here is that she moved in with my parents twice in her 20s, because she was constantly broke.
-Dating? Don't even get me started. When a woman showed interest but found out I was living at home, they would cut off all communication. One woman said, "I want an independent man that can take care of himself. I don't want someone who lives with mommy and daddy."
Basically, whenever someone found out about my living situation, they always judged me. They never saw the big picture and looked down on me like I was a loser for living at home.
I had a lot of freedom while living at home. I used to go out every weekend with my friends. I used to have sex (one night stands at the girl's house obviously). I used to stay out all hours of the night. My parents never questioned me, they never asked me about my whereabouts and they felt more like "roommates" than parents. I also paid all my own bills and cooked all my own meals while living with them. They weren't really taking care of me. They just allowed me to stay there.
So Why Live With Your Parents For So Long?
By living with my parents for so long, here is what I was able to accomplish:
-I paid off my student loans early. All of my friends that moved out after college and got roommates... they are still paying off all those loans. For example, my best friend in college is $90,000 in student loan debt. He just got married, which put him about $10,000 deeper into debt and he just had a kid.
-I got a new car and paid it off. It wasn't really "new". I purchased a used car that was "like new" with 10,000 miles on it. Had the car for 3 years now. I don't have to worry about car loan or car debt.
-I built side businesses. I didn't talk about this too much in my story, but I had a lot of bad experiences with jobs, and I learned that having a job isn't always the best move. So, I created side businesses for myself and I don't have to work a typical 40 hour work week to get money from a job. I still have a job (for additional income), but I really don't need it. If I got laid off or fired tomorrow, my side businesses would be a big asset in making sure I stay afloat.
-I put a lot of money into saving a retirement. Not going to say how much a put away, but it was a lot. I learned about investments and retirements and put some money away. These are things my friends couldn't do, because of their massive debts and bills.
-I purchased furniture little by little for my future house. Since I didn't have to worry about rent, I put some of the money I got and purchased furniture and items for my future house. Most people buy all those things at once, but I did it overtime, just so I can plan ahead and save money.
I don't live paycheck to paycheck. Because of my savings, I don't have to live paycheck to paycheck. It's funny. When I lived with my parents, everyone was clowning me, but a lot of those people (my aunts/uncles, my friends from college and my older sister) live paycheck to paycheck and always complain about money. I don't have that issue. Even some of the girls I tried dating were living paycheck to paycheck or had money issues as well. I was also able to keep a perfect credit score.
I purchased a house. I had enough for a downpayment for a house. This means I don't have to worry about rent or fluctuating rent costs.
Moral of the Story:
I wasn't writing this myTake to brag about my wonderful life, because my life is far from perfect. I was writing this myTake to show people that there is nothing wrong with living with your parents when you are in your 20s.
It just always made me laugh that people were so concerned with my living conditions. At the end of the day, any fool can live on their own, and everyone will live on their own at some point. It's not a race.
The people who rushed for independence got what they wanted. They got their independence earlier, but they are paying for it now. A lot of my friends I met in college are saddled down by massive student loan debt, bills and working jobs they don't really want to work.
I took the slow and steady route, paid off everything before moving out and now I don't have to worry about a lot of things that they have to worry about. That was the point of living with my parents, and I don't regret my decisions.
At some point, everyone in life will have their own place... so why rush?