3/15/17

Hey Millennials: It's Okay To Live With Your Families!

Millennials are being nicknamed the Boomerang Generation for our tendency to move back in with Mom & Dad after college. But as you can tell by Mya's look of contentment, she didn't mind having 2 extra hands around the house for petting!

As you can probably tell by now, Christian and I really enjoy money. We don't necessarily enjoy having the actual physical dollars and cents, but we enjoy the freedom and experiences that money allows us to have. Who wouldn't?

The level of financial freedom we are lucky enough to experience does not come easily. We have both made decisions along the way that haven't exactly been our top choice but that have gone a long way to helping us to achieve the level of financial freedom we currently experience. In fact, we both made a very similar decision which helped propel our financial lives forward for about the first 20 months of our working lives.

High Rollers

Christian and I graduated college with business degrees in May of 2015. We were hotshots who had accepted positions at large companies and who were about to start earning regular full-time incomes for the first time in our lives. The first decisions we made were, of course, every young college grad's dream:

Christian moved in with his sister, and I moved into my parents' basement.

I know what you're thinking, but rest assured, just because we're way cooler than most does not mean that we've completely lost touch with reality. We have somehow remained grounded despite our envious living situations.

Motherly Love

I can now say with 100% certainty that regardless of the fact that her child has been living on his own for the past 4 years, a mother never loses that strong motherly instinct. I mean, how else would I remember to do things like drive safely, stir my fruit, or clean my room without a loving reminder?

Sure, at times the jerky teenager left in me would lash out with a snarky comment. But somehow those sweet motherly reminders don't bother you quite as much when you can reinvest some of your rent savings to go to the sports bar to watch the game and grab a beer. Oh and by the way, the free dinners most nights of the week dulled out the regular thud of 3 or 4 pairs of my shoes being spitefully hurled down the basement steps. Somehow, leaving my shoes in the middle of the living room wasn't such a big deal in college.

Although I was actually quite content with my living situation and never saw myself as your prototypical lives in his mom's basement kind of guy, the people around me did not take that golden opportunity lightly. I'm a pretty fun-loving and sarcastic guy, but one quick jab at a friend or coworker, and I was left scrambling to recover from the strong left hook of some variation of a you live in your mom's basement joke.

Not Your Average Siblings


I might not have been able to convince them to play a lot of baseball in the backyard, but I at least got them to come to my high school graduation. Which sister do I look like the most? (Left=Chelstin, Right=Rachel)

For many people the first stage of sibling companionship begins as a playmate. Someone to play cops and robbers, catch, or hide and seek with. Someone who shares similar interests and can help pass those good, old-fashioned long days of summer. Growing up with sisters five and six years older, however, was a little different. For some reason, an 8 year old sports obsessed brother didn't have a lot of luck persuading his 13 and 14 year old sisters to play baseball in the backyard. This led to me becoming an expert on how to play all nine positions on both teams, umpire, and announcer all at the same time.

Despite the fact that my sisters were not the prototypical playmates for a young boy, we still remained close. Sometimes we would make indoor tents with bed sheets for "camping" excursions, and if we really worked up enough courage, we would attempt outside sleepovers in our play fort (this was a big deal for wimpy city kids). As we grew older I began to recognize that my sisters were very apparent role models in my life. While they both taught me many lessons that have helped shape who I am today, two fundamental qualities jump to the top of the list: Rachel demonstrated the importance of diligence and hard work in school, and Chelstin showed me how to be independent and live in the big city on my own. 

Similar to Alex, I was not off the hook for some friendly jabs regarding my living situation after college graduation. Moving in with my sister was not the cool, sleek apartment in the Short North or Arena District, and sometimes my friends reminded me of this. I can take the jokes though; I wouldn't change a thing if I had the chance.

Why Did We Do It?

No, we didn't always dream of spending our first 2 years of semi-bachelorhood living with family. The most important reason we made that decision was because of the close relationships we have with our families. Even we understand that life isn't all about money, and we are incredibly grateful for our relationships with our families. We both understand that we would not be where we are today without amazing home lives with which we have both been blessed. The luck and privilege we have both experienced throughout our lives have not been lost on us.

And yes, there was obviously a financial component to all of this. As much as I love my parents, a 1.5-hour commute came at both a financial and a lifestyle cost. That cost, however, paled in comparison to the savings associated with free rent and food.

Christian paid $200/month to live in Clintonville which is just north of Columbus. I paid $0 to live in Bucyrus which is in the middle of nowhere. Actually, Bucyrus claims to be the small town in the middle of everywhere, but you do have to drive about 30 minutes to find the closest sign of real civilization. I love my hometown, but again, not exactly the ideal spot for a 23 year old who spent the last 4 years in the heart of Columbus.

We each held our respective living situations for about 20 months. That amounted to a whopping $4,000 for Christian and.... let's see... $0 for me. According to the site Rent Jungle, the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Columbus is $822. Again according to Rent Jungle, the average in Findlay is $656. That equates to an astronomical savings of $12,440 for Christian and $13,120 (plus food) for me!

Just do us a favor and please don't share those figures with our families. We don't need to have any lawsuits or back rent requests coming our way.

Laugh All The Way To The Bank

You've heard it all before: millennials are lazy, they're financially irresponsible, they can't handle living on their own and supporting themselves. The fact is that over 25% of millennials are living with their parents. Sure, not all of those millennials are making sound financial decisions. But what if a quarter of them are? What if our generation can become so financially savvy that half of those people living with their parents are using that as an opportunity to succeed for life? That could have a huge impact on each individual's life and ultimately on our economy as a whole.

If you have the opportunity to live with your family and save a little cash, you hereby have been granted permission to do so by the wannabe financial professionals at Smart Money Seed. Take your lumps when people make fun of you, make smart financial decisions to capitalize on this opportunity, and laugh all the way to the bank. You'll thank yourself later. 

1 comment:

  1. Living with family or parents can be great. Just understand you may have worn out your welcome if you arrive home one day and find your bed sawed into small pieces. It has happened.

    ReplyDelete