Saturday, 10 June 2023

Business News

Moving in with mom and dad isn’t the rock bottom people think it is

Moving in with mom and dad isn't the rock bottom people think it is

When Erin Crawley moved to Dallas in 2016 after graduating college, she was excited to start crafting her adult life, complete with her own apartment, social calendar, and career. Less exciting: All of the bills that come with it.

“I was in an okay financial situation before. I was making payments on my student loans, able to pay for rent and everything. But I was only paying the minimum amount,” Crawley, 28, tells Fortune. “I wanted to relieve myself of the stress.”

With her bills taking up most of her income, she worked a second job for a few years just to have a little to spend without guilt. By the end of 2021, she had stressed enough. Facing a $400-per-month rent increase, Crawley took the fabled and oft-maligned step of many a millennial before her: She decided to move in with her father and stepmother to save money and pay down her student loans. It’s been a pretty good arrangement over the past year-and-a-half. Crawley lives rent free with her own bedroom, working her marketing job remotely. In return, she occasionally babysits her two younger sisters and pays for some groceries and utilities.

“Watching movies, watching a young girl move to the city, get her own apartment, that was a dream of mine. When I did it, I felt cool, I felt accomplished. But I wasn’t making nearly enough money to sustain living on my own,” she says.

Living with family allowed her to put significantly more toward her student loan payments, and she was able to knock out the entire $41,000 balance earlier this year, seven years earlier than her initial projections when she was making the minimum payments each month. Now, she’s saving aggressively for retirement and other goals, like travel.

“It’s really allowed me to put my money towards quality of life goals,” she says. “My costs are so low. I’m so lucky to have them.”

The share of young adults in the U.S. living with their parents or in another type of multi-generational household—in particular, those aged 25 to 34—has been increasing over the past few decades, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Rising student loan burdens and housing costs, particularly in major cities, are big reasons why.

While the increasing number of millennials moving back home has gotten a bad rap in American culture—36% of Americans tell Pew that more young adults living with their parents is actively bad for society, and personal finance personality Dave Ramsey calls them “train…

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