Generation Y Independence: Mission Impossible?

“We will not go quietly into the night!” We will not vanish without a fight! We’re going to live on! We’re going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day!

Get by with a little help from my friends

The economy is tough. The stock market is down, layoffs are up, new jobs are at a premium. Many of us are just starting out in the ‘adult’ working world or maybe you’re about to graduate and you’re looking for your first job. A lot of you may be thinking “What am I going to do? How am I going to support myself”? As someone who has been through the initial ‘first job’ hunt – I can attest to the overwhelming level of stress young adults are faced with as they end their collegiate tenure and look to start their career.

As we navigate through the barren wasteland of job opportunities and stare financial independence directly in the face, many are forced to side with the fact that they can’t support themselves. That somehow, either through loans or through familial support, getting some help is going to be inevitable.

Over the past several months I have noticed an ongoing debate 20-something Gen-Yers are faced with. Should you move back in with the folks, or tough it out on my own? What’s more important? Staying home and saving money or achieving independence and being able to say, “I got where I am today entirely on my own”? Is it seen as a sign of weakness to move home and accept support from your parents, or is it just an inevitable stage in the ‘new’ growing up process and a sign of these difficult times? And what about mom and dad? Should they welcome us home with open arms or push us away and encourage (or force) us to take care of ourselves?

A little about my background and situation. I have been very independent (financially and otherwise) since a very young age. When I was 15 I started a job bagging groceries and I haven’t stopped working since (not as a bagger – that was a one-time summer gig, thank God). I’ve taken financial responsibility for pretty much everything along the way. I was lucky enough to get a lot of help with college – the one benefit of my parent’s divorce was that they set up a college fund to dump money into starting when I was only a wee lad. Since graduation last May I have become 100% financially independent – I’ve got an apartment, the whole lot of bills, a car note, you name it – but I’m making it. Comfortably? No – but I’m getting by and doing ‘OK’ for myself considering I’m only 23 years old.

Is it OK to move back home?

All of that being said, I’m not writing this to toot my own horn, but I think it’s important for all of you to know my background to better understand where my perspective is coming from. Personally? I think there is a lot to be said for those people who are able to support themselves, and I couldn’t be happier about where I am today. I tried moving back home after college, but my parents encouraged me to stay on my own, and while I was hurt at the time, in the end, it made me a stronger person and it’s taught me a lot about myself, my personal ‘will’, and how to effectively manage a limited amount of money.

But it’s not for everyone. It’s not possible for everyone. Or is it? There are clearly two sides of this argument. One will say that moving back home is inevitable, that it’s better to not worry about being proud, suck it up, and move home while saving and pursuing your dreams. But others passionately attest to the idea of hard work, making it on your own, earning everything for yourself and not taking handouts from others.

None of us want to be the 40-year-old living in his parent’s basement playing Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons and Dragons, chatting in online sex forums. But many of us are fine with living at home in our 20’s while we ‘get our feet on the ground’. Where is the cutoff? Is there a certain age when it’s ‘OK’ for parents to push us away? Hopefully I will get the perspective of both parents and children here, as there appears to be a clear difference in opinion amongst generations.

So I turn the discussion over to you – tell us your story – what are your thoughts on the concept of living at home vs. being on your own? Should we be able to rely on our parents for financial support while we chase our dreams – or is the real ‘American Dream’ about making it on your own, dealing with the difficulties that come and maybe taking two steps back to take a step forward. Is someone who has ‘made it on their own’ more highly regarded than someone who had to rely on others? Share your stories and thoughts in the comments below.


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86 Responses
  • Norcross Reply

    I’ve seen this argument spelled out quite often, but one perspective that I haven’t seen is what the parents think. After all, it’s their home that you move into, their food, their privacy, etc. So while it can make sense financially for you, how will it affect them? Will you pay rent? Keep a curfew?

    I think that, as a last resort, going back home to the parents is OK for a short-term situation. However, doing it because it’ll make your life easier seems somewhat selfish.

    • Susan Pogorzelski Reply

      Andrew: I completely agree that moving back home can be considered selfish, especially since parents have been taking care of their kids for 18+ years and are due for some kind of break!

      From my own experience with moving back home: When I graduated from college I moved into an apartment with my best friend and landed a great job; however, due to circumstances, I ended up leaving that position and began working temporary jobs while trying to figure out my next step. I kept my apartment for two years during that time, but in the fall, there came a point where I just couldn’t afford it anymore (exorbitant rent increase, medical bills, etc). I talked it over with my parents and my roommate to try to find any other solution, but no other rational, sensible solution could be found.

      My parents have always been welcoming and they made it clear that adopting me and my dog and cat for awhile was not the problem that I was making it out to be. Yet I didn’t want to place that burden on them and, quite frankly, I loved being the type of independent that comes with paying bills and taking care of your home. Sometimes, though, things happen and it just doesn’t work out that way. I’m so grateful for my parents for being so open to the situation — practically to the point where I was hemming and hawing and they were telling me to move my stuff back home already.

      I made it perfectly clear, though, that the situation is temporary, and I hope to be back out and on my own by this fall. In the meantime, it’s an unspoken arrangement that I’ll help out with chores around the house, take care of their dog when they’re away, cook dinner every so often (which I bet they’re regretting), and take care of myself.

      I think each situation is incredibly different, and I was a lucky one. But I also think that maturity plays a large part in how one might handle moving back home. Are you moving back home just to fend off of Mom and Dad again because it’s easy? Or do you have a set goal, a purpose, that will benefit both parties? Moving home when you’re an adult isn’t easy on anyone, least of all the parents, so these things absolutely need to be discussed.

    • Matt Reply

      @Norcross – A parental perspective is one I would really appreciate here as well. Unfortunately, my reach amongst the parental units is somewhat limited (working on that – always actively trying to extend my reach and influence). And I agree with your assessment – there is a clear difference between moving home in a short-term situation. Sometimes taking two steps back is worth taking two steps forward.

      @Susan – Thank you for sharing your story. There seems to be a fine line between ‘selfish’ and ‘smart’ – I think I just have a different situation because moving back home will never be ‘inevitable’ for me – part of it is because I wouldn’t be welcomed back with open arms, and part of it is because I’m too damn proud to make that decision, and I think a lot of other people are in my situation. With that being said – it comes down to the individual. I don’t (at all) think I am a ‘better person’ than those who have chosen to move back home – but I do think I’m more secure and independent (which means a lot to me) than those who are moving home because they don’t know what they want to do, because it’s ‘safe’, because it’s free. Eventually – you’ve got to suck it up and move on, even if it means struggling – mooching off your folks is selfish – and as sharp as it sounds, you have to let them live their lives. Children are a joy, I completely agree there, but parents have lives, and after raising you for 20 years and having you around the house, there are probably some things they would like to do with their lives once you move out. It goes both ways.

  • Norcross Reply

    I’ve seen this argument spelled out quite often, but one perspective that I haven’t seen is what the parents think. After all, it’s their home that you move into, their food, their privacy, etc. So while it can make sense financially for you, how will it affect them? Will you pay rent? Keep a curfew?

    I think that, as a last resort, going back home to the parents is OK for a short-term situation. However, doing it because it’ll make your life easier seems somewhat selfish.

    • Susan Pogorzelski Reply

      Andrew: I completely agree that moving back home can be considered selfish, especially since parents have been taking care of their kids for 18+ years and are due for some kind of break!

      From my own experience with moving back home: When I graduated from college I moved into an apartment with my best friend and landed a great job; however, due to circumstances, I ended up leaving that position and began working temporary jobs while trying to figure out my next step. I kept my apartment for two years during that time, but in the fall, there came a point where I just couldn’t afford it anymore (exorbitant rent increase, medical bills, etc). I talked it over with my parents and my roommate to try to find any other solution, but no other rational, sensible solution could be found.

      My parents have always been welcoming and they made it clear that adopting me and my dog and cat for awhile was not the problem that I was making it out to be. Yet I didn’t want to place that burden on them and, quite frankly, I loved being the type of independent that comes with paying bills and taking care of your home. Sometimes, though, things happen and it just doesn’t work out that way. I’m so grateful for my parents for being so open to the situation — practically to the point where I was hemming and hawing and they were telling me to move my stuff back home already.

      I made it perfectly clear, though, that the situation is temporary, and I hope to be back out and on my own by this fall. In the meantime, it’s an unspoken arrangement that I’ll help out with chores around the house, take care of their dog when they’re away, cook dinner every so often (which I bet they’re regretting), and take care of myself.

      I think each situation is incredibly different, and I was a lucky one. But I also think that maturity plays a large part in how one might handle moving back home. Are you moving back home just to fend off of Mom and Dad again because it’s easy? Or do you have a set goal, a purpose, that will benefit both parties? Moving home when you’re an adult isn’t easy on anyone, least of all the parents, so these things absolutely need to be discussed.

    • Matt Reply

      @Norcross – A parental perspective is one I would really appreciate here as well. Unfortunately, my reach amongst the parental units is somewhat limited (working on that – always actively trying to extend my reach and influence). And I agree with your assessment – there is a clear difference between moving home in a short-term situation. Sometimes taking two steps back is worth taking two steps forward.

      @Susan – Thank you for sharing your story. There seems to be a fine line between ‘selfish’ and ‘smart’ – I think I just have a different situation because moving back home will never be ‘inevitable’ for me – part of it is because I wouldn’t be welcomed back with open arms, and part of it is because I’m too damn proud to make that decision, and I think a lot of other people are in my situation. With that being said – it comes down to the individual. I don’t (at all) think I am a ‘better person’ than those who have chosen to move back home – but I do think I’m more secure and independent (which means a lot to me) than those who are moving home because they don’t know what they want to do, because it’s ‘safe’, because it’s free. Eventually – you’ve got to suck it up and move on, even if it means struggling – mooching off your folks is selfish – and as sharp as it sounds, you have to let them live their lives. Children are a joy, I completely agree there, but parents have lives, and after raising you for 20 years and having you around the house, there are probably some things they would like to do with their lives once you move out. It goes both ways.

  • Emily Reply

    My story: I moved to DC out of college and struggled financially because that area is so expensive. I then moved to the midwest with DC burdens following me. My parents helped a little bit, but now I can’t stand the idea of taking their help, it just feels wrong to me. I should be independent by now.

    Friend’s story: She made a contract with her parents and lived at home for two years. During that time she paid rent and was otherwise financially independent (even on a school teacher’s salary). Last year she bought her own house. She is officially independent with no financial burdens.

    I think it all depends on situation. My parents made the offer to me, but I needed to have a job in that location. One brother got the same offer…the other didn’t. The one that didn’t is learning independence because he’s been pushed out into the world. So we’ll see how that goes…

    • Matt Reply

      @Emily – you share my sentiments. Are you still getting help from your folks or are you on your own now? You bring up the idea that I have discussed throughout some of the comments here – that ‘pride’ that we have that says ‘I don’t want no help from nobody’ – what do you think makes us feel like this? Why are (some of us) so unwilling to take help while others are? Is it a result of how we were brought up? Are some people, for lack of a better word, just ‘spoiled’ and used to having someone take care of them, while others have been forced to take care of themselves, for better or worse? I wonder where our sense of pride stems from…

  • Emily Reply

    My story: I moved to DC out of college and struggled financially because that area is so expensive. I then moved to the midwest with DC burdens following me. My parents helped a little bit, but now I can’t stand the idea of taking their help, it just feels wrong to me. I should be independent by now.

    Friend’s story: She made a contract with her parents and lived at home for two years. During that time she paid rent and was otherwise financially independent (even on a school teacher’s salary). Last year she bought her own house. She is officially independent with no financial burdens.

    I think it all depends on situation. My parents made the offer to me, but I needed to have a job in that location. One brother got the same offer…the other didn’t. The one that didn’t is learning independence because he’s been pushed out into the world. So we’ll see how that goes…

    • Matt Reply

      @Emily – you share my sentiments. Are you still getting help from your folks or are you on your own now? You bring up the idea that I have discussed throughout some of the comments here – that ‘pride’ that we have that says ‘I don’t want no help from nobody’ – what do you think makes us feel like this? Why are (some of us) so unwilling to take help while others are? Is it a result of how we were brought up? Are some people, for lack of a better word, just ‘spoiled’ and used to having someone take care of them, while others have been forced to take care of themselves, for better or worse? I wonder where our sense of pride stems from…

  • Kristina Reply

    I have moved back home. I was on my own, it was expensive, I wasn’t making much money, had maxed out credit cards trying to cover the shortfall, and was driving a 1983 volvo registered to my mother. Who, very lovingly said that if I became homeless I was not going to be living out of HER car. So, I moved back home. I pay “rent”, mostly I give her the food money I would spend if I were to do my own food shopping and she does the shopping, which is great because if I had to do it I would probably starve cause I never have time to shop. My laundry and my diet are better off for moving back home. My Mom loves having me back home. We actually have become closer for it. For me, the end of living at home will be when I go off to law school. Some of the current law students I talk to wish they could live at home. Here in San Diego, rent is ridiculous. I am very happy not to have half of my paycheck going on rent.

    • Matt Reply

      @Kristina – thanks for sharing your story. It sounds like you have a great situation and everything is working out well for you – few people are welcomed back home after college with such open arms. My question to you is, what value do you place on personal independence? Do you feel that, because you are under your mom’s roof – you have to follow her rules? Do you worry that she’ll hang it over your head that she’s taken you in and made life easier for you? Was the reason you moved home simply to save money, or were you not ready to ‘take on everything’ without support from your parents?

      Again, with my situation – obviously if moving home was an option it would be a great way to save money – but I’m almost glad I never did move back because it’s shaped me into who I am today, and it’s taught me (at times the hard way) the meaning of financial accountability and responsibility.

  • Kristina Reply

    I have moved back home. I was on my own, it was expensive, I wasn’t making much money, had maxed out credit cards trying to cover the shortfall, and was driving a 1983 volvo registered to my mother. Who, very lovingly said that if I became homeless I was not going to be living out of HER car. So, I moved back home. I pay “rent”, mostly I give her the food money I would spend if I were to do my own food shopping and she does the shopping, which is great because if I had to do it I would probably starve cause I never have time to shop. My laundry and my diet are better off for moving back home. My Mom loves having me back home. We actually have become closer for it. For me, the end of living at home will be when I go off to law school. Some of the current law students I talk to wish they could live at home. Here in San Diego, rent is ridiculous. I am very happy not to have half of my paycheck going on rent.

    • Matt Reply

      @Kristina – thanks for sharing your story. It sounds like you have a great situation and everything is working out well for you – few people are welcomed back home after college with such open arms. My question to you is, what value do you place on personal independence? Do you feel that, because you are under your mom’s roof – you have to follow her rules? Do you worry that she’ll hang it over your head that she’s taken you in and made life easier for you? Was the reason you moved home simply to save money, or were you not ready to ‘take on everything’ without support from your parents?

      Again, with my situation – obviously if moving home was an option it would be a great way to save money – but I’m almost glad I never did move back because it’s shaped me into who I am today, and it’s taught me (at times the hard way) the meaning of financial accountability and responsibility.

  • Sam Reply

    When I was still in school, it was kind of a given that I would graduate, get a job, and move out on my own. I had no idea how naive that was. The economy has not only made it harder to get a job, but it has also made becoming financially independent much more difficult. Instead of my original (dream) plan, I ended up living at home for about 10 months after graduating. It was frustrating at times, but my parents were very supportive, and we got to spend a lot of quality time together.

    I don’t think it’s a sign of weakness to move back home, especially when you’re just starting out and the economy is struggling. If your parents are willing and able to help you out while you establish yourself, take them up on it, don’t be shy. It will make a big difference in the long run.

    • Matt Reply

      @Sam – BUT I DON’T WANNA! Haha – there are a lot of people that won’t put their proudness to rest, and they’ll never accept moving home. It took a lot for me to even consider it and approach my mom about it. In the end, it didn’t go well and it was better for both of us that I continue on my own. Yes, I would have saved money and been a little better off than I am right now (they were still going to charge me rent) but…It’s one of those things that you can look back on later and be thankful for. Part of me wishes it would have worked so I could have been debt-free by now, but I know that I’m getting by and doing pretty well for myself considering I’m 23 and just getting started in the world of making money. More power to you for having that support there and being humble enough to accept it.

  • Sam Reply

    When I was still in school, it was kind of a given that I would graduate, get a job, and move out on my own. I had no idea how naive that was. The economy has not only made it harder to get a job, but it has also made becoming financially independent much more difficult. Instead of my original (dream) plan, I ended up living at home for about 10 months after graduating. It was frustrating at times, but my parents were very supportive, and we got to spend a lot of quality time together.

    I don’t think it’s a sign of weakness to move back home, especially when you’re just starting out and the economy is struggling. If your parents are willing and able to help you out while you establish yourself, take them up on it, don’t be shy. It will make a big difference in the long run.

    • Matt Reply

      @Sam – BUT I DON’T WANNA! Haha – there are a lot of people that won’t put their proudness to rest, and they’ll never accept moving home. It took a lot for me to even consider it and approach my mom about it. In the end, it didn’t go well and it was better for both of us that I continue on my own. Yes, I would have saved money and been a little better off than I am right now (they were still going to charge me rent) but…It’s one of those things that you can look back on later and be thankful for. Part of me wishes it would have worked so I could have been debt-free by now, but I know that I’m getting by and doing pretty well for myself considering I’m 23 and just getting started in the world of making money. More power to you for having that support there and being humble enough to accept it.

  • Christina Reply

    Like anything, I think there’s never going to be a clear cut answer. Everyone, from the Gen Y’er to the parents, is going to have their own degree of comfortablity of what age is too old to move back home or for how long it’s acceptable.

    A safer approach as I see it, is not to use your family as a catchall when things are tough. They are your safety net when things go beyond tough and into outright difficult. I’ve lived with my family twice; once right out of college while jobhunting and then again with for a month between leases. Rather than just assuming moving back in with my parents was an option as I get on in years towards 30, we had a discussion about the economy and the layoffs at my company to determine our best course of action as independent people and as a support system for one another.

    The conclusion which worked for us was that they are there to help when I desperately need it but that I need to be independent as well and therefore a rent of sorts as well as participation in the home (cooking, cleaning) would be required. It’s not something that would work for everyone, but for us it was a plan to keep me on my feet should things get bad enough.

    We do what we have to to survive. To me family is a key component in survival and it doesn’t mean I’m taking a handout or excepting charity – it’s family who loves me and is there for me in tough times and wants to see the best for me. Yes, they encourage hard work, independance, standing on my own, etc. And in good times they (and myself) expect me to take responsibility for my actions and own life. But they are also there to catch me and likewise I am here to catch them when the chaos of life consipires against us.

    • Matt Reply

      @Christina – I think the bond between family is the strongest of them all – I know that if I was in a really bad way, that my parents would help me, and I would/will always be there for them. I think having that level of support can mean a lot – but to some, the safety net becomes a fallback and not a ‘last resort’ – which leads to many taking advantage of their parent’s support, thus delaying someone from sucking it up and making it on their own.

      It remains interesting to me, that some people do not see a difference between moving home temporarily and moving home to be a mooch. Many people, primarily older generations, think it is a sign of weakness and downright wrong for us to move back home and rely on our parents. I think there is a lot to be said for independence, but I don’t think it’s WRONG to move back home – wrong to move home because it’s safe or your lazy, yes – but I understand that everyone’s situation is unique. Thanks so much for sharing your story here.

  • Christina Reply

    Like anything, I think there’s never going to be a clear cut answer. Everyone, from the Gen Y’er to the parents, is going to have their own degree of comfortablity of what age is too old to move back home or for how long it’s acceptable.

    A safer approach as I see it, is not to use your family as a catchall when things are tough. They are your safety net when things go beyond tough and into outright difficult. I’ve lived with my family twice; once right out of college while jobhunting and then again with for a month between leases. Rather than just assuming moving back in with my parents was an option as I get on in years towards 30, we had a discussion about the economy and the layoffs at my company to determine our best course of action as independent people and as a support system for one another.

    The conclusion which worked for us was that they are there to help when I desperately need it but that I need to be independent as well and therefore a rent of sorts as well as participation in the home (cooking, cleaning) would be required. It’s not something that would work for everyone, but for us it was a plan to keep me on my feet should things get bad enough.

    We do what we have to to survive. To me family is a key component in survival and it doesn’t mean I’m taking a handout or excepting charity – it’s family who loves me and is there for me in tough times and wants to see the best for me. Yes, they encourage hard work, independance, standing on my own, etc. And in good times they (and myself) expect me to take responsibility for my actions and own life. But they are also there to catch me and likewise I am here to catch them when the chaos of life consipires against us.

    • Matt Reply

      @Christina – I think the bond between family is the strongest of them all – I know that if I was in a really bad way, that my parents would help me, and I would/will always be there for them. I think having that level of support can mean a lot – but to some, the safety net becomes a fallback and not a ‘last resort’ – which leads to many taking advantage of their parent’s support, thus delaying someone from sucking it up and making it on their own.

      It remains interesting to me, that some people do not see a difference between moving home temporarily and moving home to be a mooch. Many people, primarily older generations, think it is a sign of weakness and downright wrong for us to move back home and rely on our parents. I think there is a lot to be said for independence, but I don’t think it’s WRONG to move back home – wrong to move home because it’s safe or your lazy, yes – but I understand that everyone’s situation is unique. Thanks so much for sharing your story here.

  • Chelsie Reply

    Good pick, Matt. I think a lot of us wonder what’s normal anymore as far as gaining independence. My husband, a GenXer, was buying his own clothes at 15 and has never been a stranger to work or responsibility; however, most of my generation piggyback their parents until they’re lucky enough to find someone else capable of taking care of them, or until Mom and Dad give ‘em the boot. And it’s not stopping with Gen-Y.

    In one of my lines of work, I see a lot of Gen-Y and iGen kids raised in this same mentality (and even lazier ones). They say, I don’t want responsibility and I’m going to put it off as long as possible.
    Do you remember how psyched you were to drive? Was it not like the doors of life opened for you, giving you unprecedented freedom? But even driver’s licenses, the only provision of adolescence, don’t ring their bell of independence. I’m telling ya, if these kids have a bell, they definitely want to keep it silent. They seem apathetic to gaining anything for themselves.

    And I’m sure that’s groovy for them, but as Norcross mentioned, what about the parents? From the time we’re children, we tend not to think of our parents as human beings, but rather vessels of comfort and security. So kids are comfortable using parental resources without a thought of gaining their own.

    While our folks are great voices of experience and big helps in those times of job hunting and what not, Gen-Y needs their parents to push them out into the world. Staying home while going to school is a fine way to save money and you gotta do whatcha gotta do, but man, some of us like to go to school until we’re late in our twenties! It’s pretty unacceptable for adults, who have all the freedoms of adults, to not understand responsibility.

    Those who learn life by trial-and-error or by watching their folks’ example have the best foot forward because they’ve actually taken the first step. A lot of us are accustomed to cushioned circumstances or denial of responsibility; this group will have the hardest time adapting to life, but they must, for their own sake and for their kids’ (because, irresponsibly, they still procreate :P ). Otherwise we’re setting ourselves up for more dependent generations. Like Matt said, independence isn’t always comfy, but it’s yours. And when something’s yours, you take pride in it. And when you take pride in something, you do it to the fullest. Isn’t that how we should live life?

    • Matt Reply

      @Chelsie – I love your thoughts here – and you bring up several good points. Your point on the apathetic views of younger generations is spot on – it’s like we’re becoming more and more content with not making it on our own, and as you said, parents are seen as these ‘vessels’ for providing us with care and nurturing.

      In another reply I left here – I talked about this and asked ‘what about the parents’ – isn’t it selfish to think ‘well, it’s my mom, she’ll take me in and take care of me, no matter what’. I think it is – What about what mum and dad want? They’ve spent a quarter of their life raising you and caring for you hand and foot – isn’t it time to give them a rest and let them pursue some of their own passions and dreams, the things that they might have put off so they could provide for you?

      I think we’re so focused on me, me, me all the time we forget who got us here, we forget about the people surrounding us. They have lives too – and while many of our parents will welcome us back home with open arms, we should think about giving them a rest after all their hard work – and showing them that they did a good job in raising us by getting out there, working hard, and making it on our own.

      Thanks so much for sharing your story!

  • Chelsie Reply

    Good pick, Matt. I think a lot of us wonder what’s normal anymore as far as gaining independence. My husband, a GenXer, was buying his own clothes at 15 and has never been a stranger to work or responsibility; however, most of my generation piggyback their parents until they’re lucky enough to find someone else capable of taking care of them, or until Mom and Dad give ‘em the boot. And it’s not stopping with Gen-Y.

    In one of my lines of work, I see a lot of Gen-Y and iGen kids raised in this same mentality (and even lazier ones). They say, I don’t want responsibility and I’m going to put it off as long as possible.
    Do you remember how psyched you were to drive? Was it not like the doors of life opened for you, giving you unprecedented freedom? But even driver’s licenses, the only provision of adolescence, don’t ring their bell of independence. I’m telling ya, if these kids have a bell, they definitely want to keep it silent. They seem apathetic to gaining anything for themselves.

    And I’m sure that’s groovy for them, but as Norcross mentioned, what about the parents? From the time we’re children, we tend not to think of our parents as human beings, but rather vessels of comfort and security. So kids are comfortable using parental resources without a thought of gaining their own.

    While our folks are great voices of experience and big helps in those times of job hunting and what not, Gen-Y needs their parents to push them out into the world. Staying home while going to school is a fine way to save money and you gotta do whatcha gotta do, but man, some of us like to go to school until we’re late in our twenties! It’s pretty unacceptable for adults, who have all the freedoms of adults, to not understand responsibility.

    Those who learn life by trial-and-error or by watching their folks’ example have the best foot forward because they’ve actually taken the first step. A lot of us are accustomed to cushioned circumstances or denial of responsibility; this group will have the hardest time adapting to life, but they must, for their own sake and for their kids’ (because, irresponsibly, they still procreate :P ). Otherwise we’re setting ourselves up for more dependent generations. Like Matt said, independence isn’t always comfy, but it’s yours. And when something’s yours, you take pride in it. And when you take pride in something, you do it to the fullest. Isn’t that how we should live life?

    • Matt Reply

      @Chelsie – I love your thoughts here – and you bring up several good points. Your point on the apathetic views of younger generations is spot on – it’s like we’re becoming more and more content with not making it on our own, and as you said, parents are seen as these ‘vessels’ for providing us with care and nurturing.

      In another reply I left here – I talked about this and asked ‘what about the parents’ – isn’t it selfish to think ‘well, it’s my mom, she’ll take me in and take care of me, no matter what’. I think it is – What about what mum and dad want? They’ve spent a quarter of their life raising you and caring for you hand and foot – isn’t it time to give them a rest and let them pursue some of their own passions and dreams, the things that they might have put off so they could provide for you?

      I think we’re so focused on me, me, me all the time we forget who got us here, we forget about the people surrounding us. They have lives too – and while many of our parents will welcome us back home with open arms, we should think about giving them a rest after all their hard work – and showing them that they did a good job in raising us by getting out there, working hard, and making it on our own.

      Thanks so much for sharing your story!

  • Dan Reply

    This is a really good post, and poses a question that is probably on young people’s minds now more then ever. I have been out of school for about 10 months (wow that long already!). I left school to go work for a start up company. I knew I was taking a risk, but I believed (and still believe) in our company and what we stand for, so I was alright with the risk.

    However, times have been tough. In my line of work I am not sure if I I am going to get a paycheck or not, so I have to put money away (or try to). We have already gone a 3 month stint with no money at all. It made us stronger, but it was not easy at all. What is so ironic is that I was interviewed by 20/20 about how much I make and along with the rest of my team I announced my salary on national TV. Unfortunately by the time it aired we were in the second month of not receiving any pay…

    I am not ashamed to say that I struggle with my spending habits, and I do enjoy the finer things in life. Unfortunately I can’t do it anymore. I really had to take a step back and start to budget. I don’t think I could move home, not because I am to proud to get help from my parents (I talk to them everyday), its because I think it would actually hold me back in my professional and personal growth.

    • Matt Reply

      @Dan. I hear what you’re saying man – it’s even more than a pride thing, it’s about being on your own, surviving thanks to your own will and hard work – and once you do that, you don’t want to go back, you don’t even want that support there. One thing I will say – and I’m sure you can attest to this – is that it’s so much sweeter when you reach a goal that you achieved with your own two hands, am I right? There is something about that moment when you can sit back and say, wow, I really nailed this, and look at what I have to prove for it!

      You guys are doing a great thing with Brazen – toughing it out now will pay dividends in the long run (I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that). Keep doing what you do Dan – let’s sit down and chat soon!

  • Dan Reply

    This is a really good post, and poses a question that is probably on young people’s minds now more then ever. I have been out of school for about 10 months (wow that long already!). I left school to go work for a start up company. I knew I was taking a risk, but I believed (and still believe) in our company and what we stand for, so I was alright with the risk.

    However, times have been tough. In my line of work I am not sure if I I am going to get a paycheck or not, so I have to put money away (or try to). We have already gone a 3 month stint with no money at all. It made us stronger, but it was not easy at all. What is so ironic is that I was interviewed by 20/20 about how much I make and along with the rest of my team I announced my salary on national TV. Unfortunately by the time it aired we were in the second month of not receiving any pay…

    I am not ashamed to say that I struggle with my spending habits, and I do enjoy the finer things in life. Unfortunately I can’t do it anymore. I really had to take a step back and start to budget. I don’t think I could move home, not because I am to proud to get help from my parents (I talk to them everyday), its because I think it would actually hold me back in my professional and personal growth.

    • Matt Reply

      @Dan. I hear what you’re saying man – it’s even more than a pride thing, it’s about being on your own, surviving thanks to your own will and hard work – and once you do that, you don’t want to go back, you don’t even want that support there. One thing I will say – and I’m sure you can attest to this – is that it’s so much sweeter when you reach a goal that you achieved with your own two hands, am I right? There is something about that moment when you can sit back and say, wow, I really nailed this, and look at what I have to prove for it!

      You guys are doing a great thing with Brazen – toughing it out now will pay dividends in the long run (I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that). Keep doing what you do Dan – let’s sit down and chat soon!

  • rikin Reply

    I’d love to know if anyone was in the position to buy rather than rent at a young age. What has your experience been like, or if you haven’t then why not? Obviously, financial reasons are the most common here but maybe there’s something else.

    For me the decision to live at home for the past two years has purely been because the job I had wasn’t too far of a commute from my parents’ home. It was convenient and though I’ve been contributing and paying rent at home I was able to save while others where flushing their money with the cost of rent. Now I’m in a position where I could rent or buy – I have someone else who would essentially be my roommate and partner in this endeavor – but want to make sure I’m making the right decision.

    • Matt Reply

      @Rikin – I would be interested to hear the story of a fellow Gen-Y who has made the plunge and is buying instead of renting. Lord knows I wish I could – I hate renting, it’s empty money and after years I’ve got nothing to show for it. If only I could have put the last few years rent toward a nice condo or something.

      So you’re saying that you, right now, are in a position to buy? What’s holding you back? Just curious – I wouldn’t hold back – it’s an investment, yes, but an investment well worth in, and your return on the investment will probably be significant, not to mention it will do wonders for establishing credit. I wish I was there, hopefully within the next few years (cross your fingers).

      • rikin Reply

        Well luckily I have an older more established partner in this endeavor. My parents cut me off a while ago so unfortunately no turning there.

        I’m in a possible position to buy but be extremely budgeted moving forward – I think though that the timing and the economy is right so it might be time to suck up my social life and a few luxuries and invest.

        • Matt Reply

          That’s awesome man – if you can do it, I definitely would try to make that investment – it will more than pay off in the long run!

  • rikin Reply

    I’d love to know if anyone was in the position to buy rather than rent at a young age. What has your experience been like, or if you haven’t then why not? Obviously, financial reasons are the most common here but maybe there’s something else.

    For me the decision to live at home for the past two years has purely been because the job I had wasn’t too far of a commute from my parents’ home. It was convenient and though I’ve been contributing and paying rent at home I was able to save while others where flushing their money with the cost of rent. Now I’m in a position where I could rent or buy – I have someone else who would essentially be my roommate and partner in this endeavor – but want to make sure I’m making the right decision.

    • Matt Reply

      @Rikin – I would be interested to hear the story of a fellow Gen-Y who has made the plunge and is buying instead of renting. Lord knows I wish I could – I hate renting, it’s empty money and after years I’ve got nothing to show for it. If only I could have put the last few years rent toward a nice condo or something.

      So you’re saying that you, right now, are in a position to buy? What’s holding you back? Just curious – I wouldn’t hold back – it’s an investment, yes, but an investment well worth in, and your return on the investment will probably be significant, not to mention it will do wonders for establishing credit. I wish I was there, hopefully within the next few years (cross your fingers).

      • rikin Reply

        Well luckily I have an older more established partner in this endeavor. My parents cut me off a while ago so unfortunately no turning there.

        I’m in a possible position to buy but be extremely budgeted moving forward – I think though that the timing and the economy is right so it might be time to suck up my social life and a few luxuries and invest.

        • Matt Reply

          That’s awesome man – if you can do it, I definitely would try to make that investment – it will more than pay off in the long run!

  • Pritesh Reply

    Matt:

    Well, you have started another great point to debate. There is no clear answer to it. Everyone has different perspective based on own experience. Here is what I think:

    There is nothing wrong to live with yr parents. C’mon: we all have lived for most of our lives with them. What’s wrong in it when you really need to watch yr wallets?

    Once they graduate, on an average, students carry $40,000 student loan debt. As you have said in your initial lines, it’s hard to get a job in this time. On top of that, every month we have another half a million experienced people join this race. How would you compete them while watching your money?

    Also, fixed cost like apt renting by your own with utilities (gas, electric, water, cable, internet etc) cost more than 60% of a monthly paycheck. It’s even hard to survive in remaining 40% of a paycheck, with a job.

    And I don’t think that living with the parents cost your independence and your personal ‘will’. It’s like an argument that you should drop out of the school and start your own company, like Bill Gates did. How many of drop out people have succeed so far compare to graduate students from prestigious university? The ratio is very minimal to even talk. If you believe in your-self and you know what you want to do, eventually you’ll able to do that. You’ll able to find out where you want to be and carve your own path.

    And even if you still think that living with parents means lose your freedom; there are many options to look into. Like, you can share an apt with friends just like you did in college dorms. Or you can live as a Paying guest with a family. That would definitely minimize your living expenses while you concentrate on your future. Also, nowadays there are many resources to find paying guest info, including Craigslist. Recently, I read an article where paying guests were paying nothing in return to clean the house and making foods for the owner. Isn’t it great? You can live free, meet new people, use your energy to find out about your career and use time to earn free rent.

    In nutshell, there is nothing wrong to live with your parents. ‘American Dream’ is not about making it on your own, just like ‘American Dream’ is not having your own house! ‘American Dream’ is to do what you think is the best for you in given opportunity while looking towards your money.

    Cheers,
    Pritesh
    http://twitter.com/mehta1p

    • Matt Reply

      @Pritesh – Thanks, as always, for your awesome insight here. I really like your take on the ‘American Dream’. I agree with you that there are many options one can take toward achieving independence, one of them being move home and save money. I think the most important thing is to not ‘abuse’ that privilege. Moving home temporarily to put some money aside is one thing, moving home be lazy and mooch off your folks, totally different. Being on your own can be extremely rewarding and teaches you a lot about yourself – if it’s a conceivable option, I would recommend everyone I know to make the personal sacrifices necessary to achieve independence at an early age – you’ll without a doubt benefit fro it over the long haul.

  • Pritesh Reply

    Matt:

    Well, you have started another great point to debate. There is no clear answer to it. Everyone has different perspective based on own experience. Here is what I think:

    There is nothing wrong to live with yr parents. C’mon: we all have lived for most of our lives with them. What’s wrong in it when you really need to watch yr wallets?

    Once they graduate, on an average, students carry $40,000 student loan debt. As you have said in your initial lines, it’s hard to get a job in this time. On top of that, every month we have another half a million experienced people join this race. How would you compete them while watching your money?

    Also, fixed cost like apt renting by your own with utilities (gas, electric, water, cable, internet etc) cost more than 60% of a monthly paycheck. It’s even hard to survive in remaining 40% of a paycheck, with a job.

    And I don’t think that living with the parents cost your independence and your personal ‘will’. It’s like an argument that you should drop out of the school and start your own company, like Bill Gates did. How many of drop out people have succeed so far compare to graduate students from prestigious university? The ratio is very minimal to even talk. If you believe in your-self and you know what you want to do, eventually you’ll able to do that. You’ll able to find out where you want to be and carve your own path.

    And even if you still think that living with parents means lose your freedom; there are many options to look into. Like, you can share an apt with friends just like you did in college dorms. Or you can live as a Paying guest with a family. That would definitely minimize your living expenses while you concentrate on your future. Also, nowadays there are many resources to find paying guest info, including Craigslist. Recently, I read an article where paying guests were paying nothing in return to clean the house and making foods for the owner. Isn’t it great? You can live free, meet new people, use your energy to find out about your career and use time to earn free rent.

    In nutshell, there is nothing wrong to live with your parents. ‘American Dream’ is not about making it on your own, just like ‘American Dream’ is not having your own house! ‘American Dream’ is to do what you think is the best for you in given opportunity while looking towards your money.

    Cheers,
    Pritesh
    http://twitter.com/mehta1p

    • Matt Reply

      @Pritesh – Thanks, as always, for your awesome insight here. I really like your take on the ‘American Dream’. I agree with you that there are many options one can take toward achieving independence, one of them being move home and save money. I think the most important thing is to not ‘abuse’ that privilege. Moving home temporarily to put some money aside is one thing, moving home be lazy and mooch off your folks, totally different. Being on your own can be extremely rewarding and teaches you a lot about yourself – if it’s a conceivable option, I would recommend everyone I know to make the personal sacrifices necessary to achieve independence at an early age – you’ll without a doubt benefit fro it over the long haul.

  • Marie Reply

    Great post, Matt. I lived with my parents after graduating college and did so until I got married. I moved out for about 2 months to live with a friend because I became “self-concious” about my decision to move home. And then I thought, perhaps selfishly, that I was wasting money paying rent to live 5 minutes from my parents so that I didn’t feel bad about not being “independent”.

    My mom is from the Philippines so for her it was completely natural that we come home until we start our own families. That’s the culture she was raised in. My dad didn’t care either way. I also have a teenaged sister who obviously lived at home so I guess it never felt like I was interrupting their lifestyle by moving home.

    I don’t think there are any rights or wrongs about this. It’s what works for you and your family. I definitely consider it a blessing that I a) had a family that was willing to let me move home b) have a family that I get along with really well. At the same time, I would be lying to say that I wish my parents hadn’t “pushed” me a little more like your parents did. I definitely think that parents who let their kids move home send an underlying message of “You can’t do this on your own, you need us” to their adult kids.

    • Matt Reply

      @Marie – thanks for coming by! Us fellow Antiochians (is that a word)? Have to stick together! I think your bring up an interesting point about cultures and the different values they place on moving home. In other countries and cultures, moving homes is just what you do, until your married or otherwise, it’s widely accepted. Why is it that America has developed such a negative connotation with living at home? Where does our sense of independence come from?

      Some thoughts to consider…

  • Marie Reply

    Great post, Matt. I lived with my parents after graduating college and did so until I got married. I moved out for about 2 months to live with a friend because I became “self-concious” about my decision to move home. And then I thought, perhaps selfishly, that I was wasting money paying rent to live 5 minutes from my parents so that I didn’t feel bad about not being “independent”.

    My mom is from the Philippines so for her it was completely natural that we come home until we start our own families. That’s the culture she was raised in. My dad didn’t care either way. I also have a teenaged sister who obviously lived at home so I guess it never felt like I was interrupting their lifestyle by moving home.

    I don’t think there are any rights or wrongs about this. It’s what works for you and your family. I definitely consider it a blessing that I a) had a family that was willing to let me move home b) have a family that I get along with really well. At the same time, I would be lying to say that I wish my parents hadn’t “pushed” me a little more like your parents did. I definitely think that parents who let their kids move home send an underlying message of “You can’t do this on your own, you need us” to their adult kids.

    • Matt Reply

      @Marie – thanks for coming by! Us fellow Antiochians (is that a word)? Have to stick together! I think your bring up an interesting point about cultures and the different values they place on moving home. In other countries and cultures, moving homes is just what you do, until your married or otherwise, it’s widely accepted. Why is it that America has developed such a negative connotation with living at home? Where does our sense of independence come from?

      Some thoughts to consider…

  • Preston Reply

    Ah an issue which I’m faced with in less than three weeks, as I am graduating in May. My thoughts are I’m going to do everything I can not to move back in. Hopefully, I’ll only be living there during the transition time from when I graduate from when I figure out where I’m going to work, then get an apartment where ever I end up.

    It’s not that I don’t like being around my family; I have a younger brother who is old enough to hang out with and my parents aren’t super strict or anything. But say I want to have some friends over for drinks or to work on a collaborative projects, my family and my friends, my “home” life and my social/professional life are going to be tripping all over each other. Having spent four years in college living away really makes me value my own, unshared space with my family, and that’s something I will work as hard as I have to in order to keep.

    • Matt Reply

      @Preston – I know exactly how you feel here bro. I have nothing at all against being around family either – but during college, when you are out on your own, you can go out for drinks, have people over and play Xbox until the wee hours of the morning, and so on, it’s kind of a culture shock moving back in with mom and dad, it’s like being back in high school – some of that freedom is lost, even if you don’t have strict parents. And good luck bringing the ladies home, that presents yet another tricky situation. It’s yet another one of the trade-offs and sacrifices you have to make if you decide to move back home.

      My advice, if you do have to move back home – don’t stay for too long, there’s nothing better than having your own place and only having to answer to yourself.

  • Preston Reply

    Ah an issue which I’m faced with in less than three weeks, as I am graduating in May. My thoughts are I’m going to do everything I can not to move back in. Hopefully, I’ll only be living there during the transition time from when I graduate from when I figure out where I’m going to work, then get an apartment where ever I end up.

    It’s not that I don’t like being around my family; I have a younger brother who is old enough to hang out with and my parents aren’t super strict or anything. But say I want to have some friends over for drinks or to work on a collaborative projects, my family and my friends, my “home” life and my social/professional life are going to be tripping all over each other. Having spent four years in college living away really makes me value my own, unshared space with my family, and that’s something I will work as hard as I have to in order to keep.

    • Matt Reply

      @Preston – I know exactly how you feel here bro. I have nothing at all against being around family either – but during college, when you are out on your own, you can go out for drinks, have people over and play Xbox until the wee hours of the morning, and so on, it’s kind of a culture shock moving back in with mom and dad, it’s like being back in high school – some of that freedom is lost, even if you don’t have strict parents. And good luck bringing the ladies home, that presents yet another tricky situation. It’s yet another one of the trade-offs and sacrifices you have to make if you decide to move back home.

      My advice, if you do have to move back home – don’t stay for too long, there’s nothing better than having your own place and only having to answer to yourself.

  • Erica Reply

    Is it really moving back home if your parents paid for your college education? Isn’t it kind of just relocating your bedroom back to your parent’s house?

    (This isn’t a criticism, because I think its fine to live at home while you get your feet on the ground, but it is a point that I think is worth making.)

    • Matt Reply

      I hear what you’re saying Erica. But I think a lot of parents think that once your done with college, it’s time to find a job and support yourself. You’re done with school, you’re in the working world, you should support yourself – that sort of mentality.

      I don’t think there is anything WRONG with moving home – I think that in the end, it comes down to your particular situation, and it also comes down to the value you place on personal independence. To me, it’s very important – I don’t WANT to have to rely on anyone else to take care of me – call me proud, call me whatever you want, but I place more emphasis on the idea of being entirely independent and being able to say, everything I’ve done I’ve done for myself. Maybe I’m just stubborn?

  • Erica Reply

    Is it really moving back home if your parents paid for your college education? Isn’t it kind of just relocating your bedroom back to your parent’s house?

    (This isn’t a criticism, because I think its fine to live at home while you get your feet on the ground, but it is a point that I think is worth making.)

    • Matt Reply

      I hear what you’re saying Erica. But I think a lot of parents think that once your done with college, it’s time to find a job and support yourself. You’re done with school, you’re in the working world, you should support yourself – that sort of mentality.

      I don’t think there is anything WRONG with moving home – I think that in the end, it comes down to your particular situation, and it also comes down to the value you place on personal independence. To me, it’s very important – I don’t WANT to have to rely on anyone else to take care of me – call me proud, call me whatever you want, but I place more emphasis on the idea of being entirely independent and being able to say, everything I’ve done I’ve done for myself. Maybe I’m just stubborn?

  • @mattstratton Reply

    I was just discussing this over the weekend with my sister-in-law, who is fresh out of college and was dealing with finding her SECOND job in less than a year, due to being laid off a couple of months ago.

    She did find a new position before she “had” to move home, but this was partially due (in my opinion) with the fact that her folks gave her an ultimatum – if she hadn’t found a job by April 1, they were going to stop helping her pay her rent and make her move back home until she got a new job. Suddenly, she somehow found something. And it turned out to be a WAY better job than the one she was let go from. But I feel like that threat of “moving home” may have lit a fire under her :)

  • @mattstratton Reply

    I was just discussing this over the weekend with my sister-in-law, who is fresh out of college and was dealing with finding her SECOND job in less than a year, due to being laid off a couple of months ago.

    She did find a new position before she “had” to move home, but this was partially due (in my opinion) with the fact that her folks gave her an ultimatum – if she hadn’t found a job by April 1, they were going to stop helping her pay her rent and make her move back home until she got a new job. Suddenly, she somehow found something. And it turned out to be a WAY better job than the one she was let go from. But I feel like that threat of “moving home” may have lit a fire under her :)

  • Eva Reply

    I think it would be far too judgmental of me to directly answer the questions you pose, Matt … in either direction of whether someone should do this vs. that, or how we should think of someone who has made the choice of X, Y, or Z.

    That being said, most people who live at home annoy me. It’s not the fact that they live at home, but their complete unawareness of the ungrateful attitude they exude. In my opinion, to talk about the benefits of a choice that is not available to everyone is pompous. It’s like talking about the benefits of being a millionaire or the benefits of being a male. My reaction, understandably I hope, tends to be: Good for you, but shut up already.

    • @mattstratton Reply

      I agree, Eva. I haven’t lived “at home” since I went away to college *coughcoughmumblemumble* years ago. I almost…ALMOST…had to move in with my parents in 2004 when I was having a really hard time finding a new job – but I managed to find something a few weeks before the deadline I’d given myself (similar to my sister-in-law’s situation I posted about above). But part of the reason I didn’t want to move back home had very little to do with things like “living under my parents’ rules” (I was 30 years old) and more to do with the self-stigma I would have felt. I’ve considered myself proudly independent for the majority of my life (so far), and I would have seen it as a show of defeat to throw in that towel.

      I think I might have felt differently had it been 5-8 years earlier in my career/life though. I think it’s great to take advantage of any step-up and assistance you can get, and I agree that it’s difficult to make a blanket statement about people who “live at home”.

      I think the greater problem is people who “live at home” but don’t see it as temporary assistance – the “ungrateful attitude” you mentioned. If the job market and economy causes you to need to make a change like moving back in with your parents, Job One should be planning to end that as soon as possible – and to do everything you can to prepare for that to not happen again.

    • Anonymous Reply

      Hypocrite.

      I’ve worked a full time summer job since I’ve been of legal age to do so, and held part-time jobs during school to help pay my way through college, much like the author. As far as I can tell, I’ve done everything “right” in my power as far as personal finances go, carrying no credit card debt, paying for my used car in cash, and generally being a frugal person. I graduated from a good school with a hard-earned degree and had several job offers all over the country. Still, my parents weren’t able to fully finance college for me, and I didn’t receive many scholarships to help cover the costs of an education. I graduated with less than $20 to my name and a mountain of student loan debt. The only responsible option was the one I hated- to take the socially regrettable decision to live at home with the family.

      People like you don’t understand that sometimes, you do what you have to do, and that very well may be the exact opposite of what you want to do. You were able to move away from home immediately after college, a life-step everyone pushes to achieve, because you had that option. Stop kidding yourself into thinking anyone who lives at home happily and pompously “brags” about it. Maybe these people are trying to talk about what’s good in their life, because consciously or not, it’s probable that you convey messages about how great it is to be on your own. Nobody is proud of needing to take the step to move back in with their parents. It’s simply a step that some people need to take, and this is something you aren’t realizing. Instead, you are professing how you hate people talking about the benefits of a choice not available to everyone else. I hope you can see the irony in this.

      The problem with this article is that it posed the question of, “What’s more important? Staying home and saving money or achieving independence…” Simply put, sometimes staying at home is a step towards achieving independence. Not everyone has the option to take the leap towards financial independence right away.

      • @mattstratton Reply

        As I said, I don’t think there’s anything intrinsically wrong with living at home because that’s what you have to do. I think the issue is with people who become dependent on others long-term, rather than finding their independence. We can’t all be independent at the same rate or time in our life – but when we consiously avoid our independence, be it from fear or just plain laziness, THAT is when it becomes a problem.

        I consider living at home to be “parental welfare” – it’s a fine short-term solution while you’re focusing your efforts elsewhere, but it’s not sustainable for the long haul.

    • Matt Reply

      @Eva – Thanks for getting involved in this discussion. The questions I ‘asked’ weren’t intended to be directly answered, they are pretty open ended in nature and were used to spark discussion and debate, which they’ve done. Mission accomplished there. I agree with you to a point. I think there are two distinct ‘types’ of people who move home. One annoys me, one does not – more on this later in my response to Anonymous. And I agree with your point on people bragging about benefits that some people don’t have, it’s different than me or you bragging about being financially independent, because except for very rare circumstances, it’s something everyone CAN achieve, if they are willing to make some sacrifices and work hard. Moving home is rarely ‘the only option.

      @Matt – It’s a pride thing, isn’t it? A lot of it comes down to that idea of not ‘throwing in the towel’ – that’s exactly how I feel – I’m Apollo Creed fighting the exhibition against Drago, you don’t EVER throw the towel in on me during a fight, even if I die and then my buddy has to come kick your ass in Russia. You are spot on with your assessment, and again, there are different ‘types’ of people who opt to move back home, those who do it temporarily to move forward, and those who do it on a more permanent basis. Read on for my response to Anon.

      Anonymous – Thanks for jumping in here – you offer up another side of this discussion and you really didn’t have to hide your identity – no one’s going to judge you or your opinion here. That being said, this post does not address the question of ‘what’s more important’ – does it question the values we place on independence, yes, does it question the theory that many people see moving home to be a sign of weakness, yes – because many, especially older generations, see us ‘self-entitled’ Generation Y folk to be selfish and lazy by moving back home.

      I 100% agree with you that moving back home can be a step in the right direction – but I disagree with your point that everyone does not have the OPTION to move toward financial independence. With hard work, almost anyone, unless in very unique circumstances, CAN make it on their own – maybe they have to take out a loan, maybe they have to make some personal sacrifices, but living on your own IS possible for anyone who is willing to work hard – moving home is very rarely NECESSARY for survival.

      I see two types of people who move home – those who are doing who have a good situation where they can live with their folks temporarily in order to save money before being on their own, and those who do it because it’s easy, because the ‘can’. These are the type of people who move home and don’t get out there and look for jobs, these are the people who sit in their bedroom and spend all day TALKING about doing but not actually getting out their and doing. When this type of person tries to talk about how entitled they are, how inspired they were when they turned down a job, how they’re launching their own business – I think to myself, ‘what the hell, I’m doing the same thing AND working 8-5 Monday-Friday AND paying all my bills AND surviving on my own’. I think independence and entitlement are harmonious.

      We can agree to disagree, but that’s my take. We may simply have a difference in core philosophies – you think that moving home is inevitable for some, I do not. It’s a choice, and a good one for some, but it’s very rarely a ‘have to’ situation.

      • Eva Reply

        I took out 13 loans to pay for an out-of-state undergrad AND grad and now I work two jobs to barely make rent and minimum payments. Best idea? Maybe not, but it’s worked out great so far. I don’t point that out to brag and I am 100% grateful for where I am right now.

        I also want to clarify that I didn’t take a stance one way or the other about the issue at hand as I think it would be too judgmental of me to weigh in on someone else’s situation.

        However, even though not everyone has all the options available to them, I do feel that everyone has a choice about everything, at the very least in terms of attitude. I realize that’s vague and I’ll expand on it in a blog post one day.

        • Matt Reply

          Agreed Eva – I am with you in that I believe everyone has a choice – very few are FORCED to move back home – moving home and saving money or staying on your own and taking out loans if necessary – I can’t say which is ‘better’ because I don’t think there is a better choice – that’s a personal decision that only you can make. But in the end, it’s still a choice.

  • Eva Reply

    I think it would be far too judgmental of me to directly answer the questions you pose, Matt … in either direction of whether someone should do this vs. that, or how we should think of someone who has made the choice of X, Y, or Z.

    That being said, most people who live at home annoy me. It’s not the fact that they live at home, but their complete unawareness of the ungrateful attitude they exude. In my opinion, to talk about the benefits of a choice that is not available to everyone is pompous. It’s like talking about the benefits of being a millionaire or the benefits of being a male. My reaction, understandably I hope, tends to be: Good for you, but shut up already.

    • @mattstratton Reply

      I agree, Eva. I haven’t lived “at home” since I went away to college *coughcoughmumblemumble* years ago. I almost…ALMOST…had to move in with my parents in 2004 when I was having a really hard time finding a new job – but I managed to find something a few weeks before the deadline I’d given myself (similar to my sister-in-law’s situation I posted about above). But part of the reason I didn’t want to move back home had very little to do with things like “living under my parents’ rules” (I was 30 years old) and more to do with the self-stigma I would have felt. I’ve considered myself proudly independent for the majority of my life (so far), and I would have seen it as a show of defeat to throw in that towel.

      I think I might have felt differently had it been 5-8 years earlier in my career/life though. I think it’s great to take advantage of any step-up and assistance you can get, and I agree that it’s difficult to make a blanket statement about people who “live at home”.

      I think the greater problem is people who “live at home” but don’t see it as temporary assistance – the “ungrateful attitude” you mentioned. If the job market and economy causes you to need to make a change like moving back in with your parents, Job One should be planning to end that as soon as possible – and to do everything you can to prepare for that to not happen again.

    • Anonymous Reply

      Hypocrite.

      I’ve worked a full time summer job since I’ve been of legal age to do so, and held part-time jobs during school to help pay my way through college, much like the author. As far as I can tell, I’ve done everything “right” in my power as far as personal finances go, carrying no credit card debt, paying for my used car in cash, and generally being a frugal person. I graduated from a good school with a hard-earned degree and had several job offers all over the country. Still, my parents weren’t able to fully finance college for me, and I didn’t receive many scholarships to help cover the costs of an education. I graduated with less than $20 to my name and a mountain of student loan debt. The only responsible option was the one I hated- to take the socially regrettable decision to live at home with the family.

      People like you don’t understand that sometimes, you do what you have to do, and that very well may be the exact opposite of what you want to do. You were able to move away from home immediately after college, a life-step everyone pushes to achieve, because you had that option. Stop kidding yourself into thinking anyone who lives at home happily and pompously “brags” about it. Maybe these people are trying to talk about what’s good in their life, because consciously or not, it’s probable that you convey messages about how great it is to be on your own. Nobody is proud of needing to take the step to move back in with their parents. It’s simply a step that some people need to take, and this is something you aren’t realizing. Instead, you are professing how you hate people talking about the benefits of a choice not available to everyone else. I hope you can see the irony in this.

      The problem with this article is that it posed the question of, “What’s more important? Staying home and saving money or achieving independence…” Simply put, sometimes staying at home is a step towards achieving independence. Not everyone has the option to take the leap towards financial independence right away.

      • @mattstratton Reply

        As I said, I don’t think there’s anything intrinsically wrong with living at home because that’s what you have to do. I think the issue is with people who become dependent on others long-term, rather than finding their independence. We can’t all be independent at the same rate or time in our life – but when we consiously avoid our independence, be it from fear or just plain laziness, THAT is when it becomes a problem.

        I consider living at home to be “parental welfare” – it’s a fine short-term solution while you’re focusing your efforts elsewhere, but it’s not sustainable for the long haul.

    • Matt Reply

      @Eva – Thanks for getting involved in this discussion. The questions I ‘asked’ weren’t intended to be directly answered, they are pretty open ended in nature and were used to spark discussion and debate, which they’ve done. Mission accomplished there. I agree with you to a point. I think there are two distinct ‘types’ of people who move home. One annoys me, one does not – more on this later in my response to Anonymous. And I agree with your point on people bragging about benefits that some people don’t have, it’s different than me or you bragging about being financially independent, because except for very rare circumstances, it’s something everyone CAN achieve, if they are willing to make some sacrifices and work hard. Moving home is rarely ‘the only option.

      @Matt – It’s a pride thing, isn’t it? A lot of it comes down to that idea of not ‘throwing in the towel’ – that’s exactly how I feel – I’m Apollo Creed fighting the exhibition against Drago, you don’t EVER throw the towel in on me during a fight, even if I die and then my buddy has to come kick your ass in Russia. You are spot on with your assessment, and again, there are different ‘types’ of people who opt to move back home, those who do it temporarily to move forward, and those who do it on a more permanent basis. Read on for my response to Anon.

      Anonymous – Thanks for jumping in here – you offer up another side of this discussion and you really didn’t have to hide your identity – no one’s going to judge you or your opinion here. That being said, this post does not address the question of ‘what’s more important’ – does it question the values we place on independence, yes, does it question the theory that many people see moving home to be a sign of weakness, yes – because many, especially older generations, see us ‘self-entitled’ Generation Y folk to be selfish and lazy by moving back home.

      I 100% agree with you that moving back home can be a step in the right direction – but I disagree with your point that everyone does not have the OPTION to move toward financial independence. With hard work, almost anyone, unless in very unique circumstances, CAN make it on their own – maybe they have to take out a loan, maybe they have to make some personal sacrifices, but living on your own IS possible for anyone who is willing to work hard – moving home is very rarely NECESSARY for survival.

      I see two types of people who move home – those who are doing who have a good situation where they can live with their folks temporarily in order to save money before being on their own, and those who do it because it’s easy, because the ‘can’. These are the type of people who move home and don’t get out there and look for jobs, these are the people who sit in their bedroom and spend all day TALKING about doing but not actually getting out their and doing. When this type of person tries to talk about how entitled they are, how inspired they were when they turned down a job, how they’re launching their own business – I think to myself, ‘what the hell, I’m doing the same thing AND working 8-5 Monday-Friday AND paying all my bills AND surviving on my own’. I think independence and entitlement are harmonious.

      We can agree to disagree, but that’s my take. We may simply have a difference in core philosophies – you think that moving home is inevitable for some, I do not. It’s a choice, and a good one for some, but it’s very rarely a ‘have to’ situation.

      • Eva Reply

        I took out 13 loans to pay for an out-of-state undergrad AND grad and now I work two jobs to barely make rent and minimum payments. Best idea? Maybe not, but it’s worked out great so far. I don’t point that out to brag and I am 100% grateful for where I am right now.

        I also want to clarify that I didn’t take a stance one way or the other about the issue at hand as I think it would be too judgmental of me to weigh in on someone else’s situation.

        However, even though not everyone has all the options available to them, I do feel that everyone has a choice about everything, at the very least in terms of attitude. I realize that’s vague and I’ll expand on it in a blog post one day.

        • Matt Reply

          Agreed Eva – I am with you in that I believe everyone has a choice – very few are FORCED to move back home – moving home and saving money or staying on your own and taking out loans if necessary – I can’t say which is ‘better’ because I don’t think there is a better choice – that’s a personal decision that only you can make. But in the end, it’s still a choice.

  • Jaym Reply

    I can speak to this topic quite well.

    At 14 I was a Tape Libearian processing IRA/Keogh information for banks. I’ve always worked hard, but rarely in positions “normal” kids would have worked. Out of college I became a Virtual Reality developer for training software applications for Fortune 500 companies. However, this was the beginning of the end- I list my entire 20’s to working 7 days a week. One employer didn’t pay me $7800, ruining my credit to this day.

    So at 30, when I was laid off from my last job due to office politics, I had no choice but to return to live with the only parent in the state, my mom. In her basement. Oh, U’m a computer gamer, too. So I guess I fit the stereotype, huh? 37 loser living in Mom’s basement playing games.

    Course I don’t recall the stereotype having the person worked for 8 straight years 7 days a week. Or having anxiety disorder I can’t cure.

    So my mom and I live off her Social Security. I can’t go get “any” job because I can’t work many- when’s the last time your McDonald’s cashier fainted in front of you before asking for fries with that?

    Without nationalized health care, I can only see a Nurse Practitioner, not a doctor. I can get anxiety mess that allow me to go out, but not work in typical environments. I applied for disability, and after a five year process was denied because I’d had no mental health treatment. Course, I informed the judge here in Michigan you have to be a threat to yourself or others to see someone.

    Since I can’t do what I used to, and can’t go back to school, I’ve been stuck at home for 7+ years trying to figure out how to make money. Living at home with no job, I can’t date, and I’m nearing 40- so I may end up alone with no kids- what I consider failing at life, since I didn’t pass on my DNA. So I’ve had no work since 2001, and haven’t dated since 1997. And of course I’m obligated to perform slave labor for my mom- shingle the garage roof… Redo the fllors, all sorts of manual labor jobs I suck at.

    But there’s still no question- how could I not go home? Even if you work at McDonald’s you don’t make enough to live on- and I’ve already suffered mental exhaustion twice from working 7 days a week around the click- last thing I need us to try working two jobs. My anxiety would crush me.

    So I say there’s nothing wrong going home- I just hope others have an out sooner than me, because if you’re there nearing 40 you’ve got problems that may seriously ruin your life, like me!

    (Pardon spelling/grammar errors- on my autocorrectinf iPod Touch!)

  • Jaym Reply

    I can speak to this topic quite well.

    At 14 I was a Tape Libearian processing IRA/Keogh information for banks. I’ve always worked hard, but rarely in positions “normal” kids would have worked. Out of college I became a Virtual Reality developer for training software applications for Fortune 500 companies. However, this was the beginning of the end- I list my entire 20’s to working 7 days a week. One employer didn’t pay me $7800, ruining my credit to this day.

    So at 30, when I was laid off from my last job due to office politics, I had no choice but to return to live with the only parent in the state, my mom. In her basement. Oh, U’m a computer gamer, too. So I guess I fit the stereotype, huh? 37 loser living in Mom’s basement playing games.

    Course I don’t recall the stereotype having the person worked for 8 straight years 7 days a week. Or having anxiety disorder I can’t cure.

    So my mom and I live off her Social Security. I can’t go get “any” job because I can’t work many- when’s the last time your McDonald’s cashier fainted in front of you before asking for fries with that?

    Without nationalized health care, I can only see a Nurse Practitioner, not a doctor. I can get anxiety mess that allow me to go out, but not work in typical environments. I applied for disability, and after a five year process was denied because I’d had no mental health treatment. Course, I informed the judge here in Michigan you have to be a threat to yourself or others to see someone.

    Since I can’t do what I used to, and can’t go back to school, I’ve been stuck at home for 7+ years trying to figure out how to make money. Living at home with no job, I can’t date, and I’m nearing 40- so I may end up alone with no kids- what I consider failing at life, since I didn’t pass on my DNA. So I’ve had no work since 2001, and haven’t dated since 1997. And of course I’m obligated to perform slave labor for my mom- shingle the garage roof… Redo the fllors, all sorts of manual labor jobs I suck at.

    But there’s still no question- how could I not go home? Even if you work at McDonald’s you don’t make enough to live on- and I’ve already suffered mental exhaustion twice from working 7 days a week around the click- last thing I need us to try working two jobs. My anxiety would crush me.

    So I say there’s nothing wrong going home- I just hope others have an out sooner than me, because if you’re there nearing 40 you’ve got problems that may seriously ruin your life, like me!

    (Pardon spelling/grammar errors- on my autocorrectinf iPod Touch!)

  • Grace Reply

    This is quite the hot debate, as I know many people who move back home but don’t have much of a choice.

    I for one, am in the same boat as you Matt. After college I traveled a bit in the summer, and stayed at home as the buffer because I moved out West to Colorado. As supportive as my parents are, they encouraged me to do my own thing and I also wanted to do the same. I’m 23, I support myself 100% and it’s not always easy, but it feels good. I understand however, not everyone is as lucky and sometimes luck doesn’t go their way.

    There are so many different circumstances, I guess it’s not fair to pass judgment. However, making the challenging leap that I did and supporting myself on my own not shacking up with my parents, and living in a new state and city has been fulfilling and shaped me to be who I am today. However, going home for the interim can sometimes be nice. I’m not sure when I would again (before grad school, job change, moving, etc.) but I understand it happens sometimes…

    • Matt Reply

      @Grace – we are a couple of the lucky ones aren’t we? I completely understand that I am fortunate in being able to say that I am financially independent at 23 years old. If I wouldn’t have landed the job that I did, who knows what would have happened – I don’t know where I would be today, but once can’t dwell on the ‘what if’s in life, only are and is. Independence does a lot to shape who you are – it makes you tough, it prepares you for the ‘real world’ – something that is inequitably misunderstood when you are living at home and being supported by mom and dad.

      I’m not one to pass judgment – and I do understand those who take a step back to move forward, but it’s those who move home and then act so ‘noble’ and ‘entitled’ like they can do whatever they like, not work for companies who aren’t exactly what they want, and mooch of their parents until they figure out exactly what they want to do with their lives, that annoy me a little. To those people I just want to say, suck it up, find a job, move out when you can, support yourself, and pursue your dreams as you go – don’t rely on your parents for support while you sit around figuring out what it is you want to do with your life. You can figure that out on your own.

  • Grace Reply

    This is quite the hot debate, as I know many people who move back home but don’t have much of a choice.

    I for one, am in the same boat as you Matt. After college I traveled a bit in the summer, and stayed at home as the buffer because I moved out West to Colorado. As supportive as my parents are, they encouraged me to do my own thing and I also wanted to do the same. I’m 23, I support myself 100% and it’s not always easy, but it feels good. I understand however, not everyone is as lucky and sometimes luck doesn’t go their way.

    There are so many different circumstances, I guess it’s not fair to pass judgment. However, making the challenging leap that I did and supporting myself on my own not shacking up with my parents, and living in a new state and city has been fulfilling and shaped me to be who I am today. However, going home for the interim can sometimes be nice. I’m not sure when I would again (before grad school, job change, moving, etc.) but I understand it happens sometimes…

    • Matt Reply

      @Grace – we are a couple of the lucky ones aren’t we? I completely understand that I am fortunate in being able to say that I am financially independent at 23 years old. If I wouldn’t have landed the job that I did, who knows what would have happened – I don’t know where I would be today, but once can’t dwell on the ‘what if’s in life, only are and is. Independence does a lot to shape who you are – it makes you tough, it prepares you for the ‘real world’ – something that is inequitably misunderstood when you are living at home and being supported by mom and dad.

      I’m not one to pass judgment – and I do understand those who take a step back to move forward, but it’s those who move home and then act so ‘noble’ and ‘entitled’ like they can do whatever they like, not work for companies who aren’t exactly what they want, and mooch of their parents until they figure out exactly what they want to do with their lives, that annoy me a little. To those people I just want to say, suck it up, find a job, move out when you can, support yourself, and pursue your dreams as you go – don’t rely on your parents for support while you sit around figuring out what it is you want to do with your life. You can figure that out on your own.

  • Benjamin Wilcox Reply

    This is a good post and it deals with an issue that I am sure people have been thinking a lot about lately. I have been unemployed now for about two months. As all of you can probably imagine, finding a job in this economy is difficult. Thankfully, I have enough saved up that I should I will be able to last a few more months, hopefully at least until I find a job.

    I have made a lot of changes with how I spend my money in order to cut back on my bills. I am ready to sell my 2008 model year car taking a loss if I need the money.

    As my small pile of money gets even smaller, moving back home has become a more realistic decision for me if I do not find a job soon. My personal decision is to not move back in with my parents until I have tried all other options. I do not want to burden with me by moving back in with them. If my dad loses his job as well, they will be less capable of taking care of themselves because I am living there.

    However, I can not fault anyone for moving back in with their parents. The person whom some of you are complaining is not the majority of people who live with their parents. In some other countries, it is customary for people to live with their parents until they get married. This is a culture difference that I think many are overlooking.

    • Matt Reply

      @Ben – thanks for sharing your thoughts, and don’t worry, you will find something soon! The job market is tough, believe me, I know – but there are some things out there, even if you have to take a step back to move forward. Keep looking and remain proactive.

      I agree that most people who move home are doing it as a last resort – I don’t fault these people at all – it’s those that do so because ‘it’s easy’ that I have somewhat of a problem with. They aren’t doing it to benefit themselves, they are stunting their own growth and development, and unnecessarily acting as a burden to their parents. Most don’t fall into this boat, some do – and to those I say “move out, get a job, and grow up”!

  • Benjamin Wilcox Reply

    This is a good post and it deals with an issue that I am sure people have been thinking a lot about lately. I have been unemployed now for about two months. As all of you can probably imagine, finding a job in this economy is difficult. Thankfully, I have enough saved up that I should I will be able to last a few more months, hopefully at least until I find a job.

    I have made a lot of changes with how I spend my money in order to cut back on my bills. I am ready to sell my 2008 model year car taking a loss if I need the money.

    As my small pile of money gets even smaller, moving back home has become a more realistic decision for me if I do not find a job soon. My personal decision is to not move back in with my parents until I have tried all other options. I do not want to burden with me by moving back in with them. If my dad loses his job as well, they will be less capable of taking care of themselves because I am living there.

    However, I can not fault anyone for moving back in with their parents. The person whom some of you are complaining is not the majority of people who live with their parents. In some other countries, it is customary for people to live with their parents until they get married. This is a culture difference that I think many are overlooking.

    • Matt Reply

      @Ben – thanks for sharing your thoughts, and don’t worry, you will find something soon! The job market is tough, believe me, I know – but there are some things out there, even if you have to take a step back to move forward. Keep looking and remain proactive.

      I agree that most people who move home are doing it as a last resort – I don’t fault these people at all – it’s those that do so because ‘it’s easy’ that I have somewhat of a problem with. They aren’t doing it to benefit themselves, they are stunting their own growth and development, and unnecessarily acting as a burden to their parents. Most don’t fall into this boat, some do – and to those I say “move out, get a job, and grow up”!

  • Suzanne Reply

    I have a 30 year old son that has moved back home twice since high school. Once after his stint in the Marines, and then again after he graduated from college. My daughter moved back home after college as well. For my daughter, it was the best thing that ever happened to her. She was able to get her bearings and after a year move out and attend grad school. She’s been on her own eversince. She just bought her first home. My son on the other hand, has never recovered from “needing” that crutch. Unfortunately he needs to move back home, but is stubbornly refusing to do so.

    This generation is not as self-sufficient as the past generations have been. I moved out at 18 when I got married. The option to return home was never even in my mind. Yes we had some tough early year marriage times, but neither of us even dreamed of moving back home. I think parents (me included)in an attempt to “help” our kids sometimes hinder them. I know I’ve hindered my son by enabling him and allowing him to use me as a crutch. It’s a fine line between parenting and coddling. A very fine line.

    • Matt Reply

      Hey Suzanne – missed you around here lately, thanks for jumping in to this conversation. You give a parental perspective that is very much needed in this discussion. I agree with you that there is a fine line between parenting and ‘coddling’. How do you know when you should push your children away? How do you know when to put your foot down? It’s a very difficult decision for any parent I’m sure.

      I completely understand letting your children move back home in allowing them to get their feet on the ground. Or, if there is a situation where my children are REALLY struggling, I would of course welcome them home as a temporary aid – but the key word is temporary. While my home will always be a home to my children, I plan to enforce personal responsibility and the importance of independence, and encourage them to be out on their own once they’re done with school. I’m living proof that it’s possible. Difficult at times, but possible.

  • Suzanne Reply

    I have a 30 year old son that has moved back home twice since high school. Once after his stint in the Marines, and then again after he graduated from college. My daughter moved back home after college as well. For my daughter, it was the best thing that ever happened to her. She was able to get her bearings and after a year move out and attend grad school. She’s been on her own eversince. She just bought her first home. My son on the other hand, has never recovered from “needing” that crutch. Unfortunately he needs to move back home, but is stubbornly refusing to do so.

    This generation is not as self-sufficient as the past generations have been. I moved out at 18 when I got married. The option to return home was never even in my mind. Yes we had some tough early year marriage times, but neither of us even dreamed of moving back home. I think parents (me included)in an attempt to “help” our kids sometimes hinder them. I know I’ve hindered my son by enabling him and allowing him to use me as a crutch. It’s a fine line between parenting and coddling. A very fine line.

    • Matt Reply

      Hey Suzanne – missed you around here lately, thanks for jumping in to this conversation. You give a parental perspective that is very much needed in this discussion. I agree with you that there is a fine line between parenting and ‘coddling’. How do you know when you should push your children away? How do you know when to put your foot down? It’s a very difficult decision for any parent I’m sure.

      I completely understand letting your children move back home in allowing them to get their feet on the ground. Or, if there is a situation where my children are REALLY struggling, I would of course welcome them home as a temporary aid – but the key word is temporary. While my home will always be a home to my children, I plan to enforce personal responsibility and the importance of independence, and encourage them to be out on their own once they’re done with school. I’m living proof that it’s possible. Difficult at times, but possible.

  • Nicholasitalia2000 Reply

    I really wish I could leave the home. I have a good part time job that happens to pay VERY WELL: $15.00 an hour! (I will not tell you what my average paychek is. Of course it is not huge, but it is sufficient) This is not normal for most part time jobs, which pay little more than minimum wage. I also play piano at a bar on the weekends (which is what I really want to do with my life; I see my “wage job” as the “other job,”) and I get variable tip rates for that- the most I ever made was $45.00. Of course, that was on Halloween, so of course the restaurant was crowded. Lucky Saturday! On the other hand, sometimes I make only $5.00, if barely anyone is there.
    But I have a problem that really sucks. I am epileptic. Yes, I have seizures. I have not had any in a while (about 6 months- that is a lot better than it used to be!) I take strong medicine for my epilepsy. Not all medication worked well, I had to experiment.
    Nonetheless, my parents are very afraid of my leaving the home. Even if I can turn my $15.00-an-hour part time job into a full time job, which I want to do, I know my parents will not let me leave the house if I could. I beg my mother to let me ride the subway by myself (She lets me ride the bus by myself), but she will not let me. I live in New York, which is very expensive and turning into the city-for-the-rich.
    Will I ever move out? I certainly hope so. I just turned 29 years old, and I manage my expenses as best I can. I pay my parents $100.00 a month in return for letting me stay.

  • kkc Reply

    I recently married a man who had two adult kids from his previous marriage. My husband and I bought our own house . He owned his other house where his children continued to live. He made an arrangement with his son who would be renting the house. The arrangement was informal, nothing was ever in writing, but they did agree on a set amount of rent, and that his son would pay the bills. Well it has been 6 months and his son has made one weeks payment and paid none of the bills. He always has excuses about why he can’t afford it. he is working and his girlfriend who also works, lives there too.

    My husband is an enabler and does not try to enforce anything. This is causing conflict with us. I hate seeing his son taking advantage of him and then seeing my husband do nothing about it. My husband claims that he doesn’t want to cause any conflict. His son doesnt’ seem to care about the house or want to take any responsibility for it, yet he wants to change things around, build new rooms in the basement and get rid of his dad’s stuff.
    Not sure how or when things will change unless my husband and his son actually talk about this and set some expecations.

    Frustrated

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