First things first: Don’t be the lazy-behind loser sitting on your mama’s couch every day, getting head in your childhood bedroom, hosting your friends in the family basement, and acting like you’re running ish.
There are scores of advantages to living on your own, from actualizing all of your theories about how you’d run a house, to learning about yourself sans parents and pesky RAs. But there is one major disadvantage: you end up spending a lot of money.
According to Debt.org, the average student loan debt load (including credit cards) is a whopping $38,000—that’s more than many folks’ annual salary. Even if debt doesn’t have you in a noose, the increased costs of living (rent, food, travel to work) may impede your ability to get ahead financially. If any of these issues ring true, it may be time to take one step back so you can leap forward.
“Many people frown upon moving back home because of what they feel others may say about them or their internal pride, but the truth of the matter is that moving home is a great financial move especially for those who are experiencing a financial transition,” says money expert, Ash “Ash Cash” Exantus. “With rent/mortgage being the biggest expense that most people have, moving back home will give them the financial, and mental space, needed to effectively plan and execute their next move.”
It’s clear that moving home to save could seriously put you ahead. But all financial goals weren’t created equal. Here are six respectable reasons to move back in with your family.
1 Pay off student loans.
This type of debt is finite, meaning once you pay it you’re done. Unfortunately, too many people elect to put themselves on the lowest payment plan and drag out repayment for decades, which often results in paying double or triple the initial loan amount in interest. Even worse, as you get older and have more life expenses (think: children), this debt load starts to feel more like an anvil. Moving home to triple up the monthly payments turns a life sentence into a two- to three-year bid. Your ultimate freedom is worth a few months of curfews and chores.
2 Save for a house or condo.
Most folks aren’t going to be gifted $10,000 to put a downpayment on their home, and saving that amount of cash on top of rent can take years depending on your salary. Moving home for a year and making a household contribution versus paying full-on rent can help you accelerate your savings.
3 Save for a business.
Cash flow is one of the biggest hindrances to business success. Moving home for a year gives you room to make strategic investments and create an emergency fund to handle unexpected expenses.
4 See the world.
Life is to be lived. While it’s most convenient to take a gap year between high school and college, there isn’t a rule that says you can’t do it a bit later. If you don’t have major responsibilities, move home, save for a year, then take a few months to travel the world, learn about other regions and cultures, and engage in enriching experiences. It will broaden your perspective and give you some killer anecdotes for your interviews when you return to the work force or start your own business.
5 Pay off credit cards.
Some folks OD on consumer debt. If you’ve dug a hole that isn’t manageable and are committed to making a change, confess to your parents and ask for a few months to get your crap together. There’s just one thing: you actually have to reform. If not, you will enter mooch territory and likely ruin your familial relationships.
6 Just save.
There’s this amazing thing called an emergency fund that is supposed to be 6-12 months worth of living expenses, but most folks don’t even have $1,000 stashed in the event of an unexpected issue such as a layoff or medical expense. If you really want to do this adulthood thing right, get that money up by any means necessary. When your next lease expires, head home for a bit.