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For those of us who graduated college during the recession (hey), it’s likely that your plans of a median-income salary and living on your own were flushed down the toilet when the only jobs you could get involved knowing how to draw a leaf in a latte. A big part of this had to do with fiscal responsibility – we saw what happened to our parents and friends, so we smartly understood that saving that rent money (and utility money and grocery money and….) by living with mom and dad, we’d have a little bit of a safety net and be able to pay off our loans and become financially independent that much faster. Of course, there’s a time to fly the coop and go out on your own, skyrocketing rents be damned. Thankfully for us, Money surveyed millennials so we officially know that if you still lived at home by age 26, kids these days think you’re a total loser. Thanks for that, Money.
In their survey, Money and TD Ameritrade found that young millennials aged 20-26 thought it was “embarrassing” to still live at home by 28, but when the same question was asked of teens, they thought that living at home by age 26 was completely unacceptable. Oh, to be an optimistic youth again. Obviously, these kids were able to look a few years into the future and determine that in the next couple of years, they’d be out on their own, contributing to their 401(k)s, and saving for a home. I’m sure the 16-year-olds surveyed didn’t think it would be cool if they were still living at home after college, but since these are the kids obsessed with fidget spinners and puppy dog filters, I’m not sure I’m going to just take their word for it.
A word to the kids who think fiscal responsibility is “embarrassing”: just wait. Walk across the stage at age 22, realize you’re half a mortgage in student debt, and then try to rationalize spending four figures a month on rent just so you don’t have to go back to a room with *NSYNC posters. In your panic, you may decide to go to grad school to eat up the next 2-4 years, but once you start considering the debt involved with not just a Master’s degree but the cost of living, staying at home may not be such a bad option anymore. Sure, you’ll have to continue your Tinder dates at another location (or receive breakfast in bed a la Failure to Launch which tbh doesn’t seem like that bad of an option these days), but when you’re putting the 5 figures you’d spend on rent towards your student loan payments, you’ll be so much happier. I know living at home seems embarrassing, but you know what’s really fulfilling? Debt paydown, baby.
While you’re out living paycheck to paycheck in a 600 square foot apartment, the rest of us will be getting rich (or, okay, less poor) one paycheck at a time, and honestly, that’s more than worth the mockery of high-schoolers everywhere..