When my landlord increased my rent by £17 a month this year, I completely understood why many young adults are choosing to move back home and live with their parents. I mean, that’s three pints less a month for me. It’s not as if, with that extra £17, my landlord has replaced the rusty kettle, unblocked the drains or fixed our broken front door.
This is the reality for a lot of 20-somethings who took the plunge to fly the nest and are now unable to afford the rising rental prices and are often stuck living with a group of strangers in awful accommodation. We are forced to accept our poor living conditions and stop desiring luxury. I once invited my dad round for dinner and I made him a pot noodle using shower water because I couldn’t afford a kettle or a saucepan and if I’m honest, it was pretty decent- he didn’t really agree.
Although one in four millennials are now living back with their parents, the fact of the matter is that we are being priced out of our independence and our ability to buy homes and settle down in the near future.
A couple of years ago, I had to move back home for a few months because I spent all of my rent money on Urban Outfitters clothes, gin and Tesco meal deals and to be honest, I felt like I’d gone backwards in life. Eight months later, I moved to London and haven’t looked back. But as I currently live in the capital city, in a house of seven people that only has one bathroom (I know…) I’ve really started wondering: should I stay or should I move back home and save?
At home, there are no secrets
By far the worst part of living back with your parents is that they end up knowing everything about your life. What you did, who you did and when you did it. Nuala, a Marketing Assistant from Liverpool, moved back home after a 3 year stint in London. “I got used to being independent from my parents and now they can see what I’m doing”, she complained, “I can’t just tell them what I’m up to and leave out the bits they don’t need to know about.” To put it bluntly, when you move back home and you’re ‘Netflix and chilling’, you’re genuinely watching Netflix and chilling.
Living at home definitely allows you to be less responsible. Rob, a recent graduate from Cardiff moved back home to have a more chilled life. “I just got sick of paying for council tax and putting the bins out on a Monday morning”, he admitted, “it’s so good to come home and all of that shit is taken care of.”
For me, one of the biggest benefits was having someone to answer the door when I’d forgotten my key. Countless hours have been spent sitting on the front doorstep desperately trying to make that final 5% of my phone battery last longer because I can’t get into my house. But when I lived at home, we had a really fucking loud doorbell so if I rocked up at 5am, my dad could be easily woken albeit begrudgingly.
There is a stigma attached to living at home, though…
A lot of journalists have taken the piss out of adults who move back home suggesting that they are lazy, parasitical, Peter Pan-type people who are unable to grow up; they claim that millennials are suffering from the aptly named, ‘failure to launch’ syndrome. Callum, a 3rd year student at University of Birmingham lived at home for his first year. “I hated it,” he told us, “people don’t think you’re really an adult if your mum still washes your socks and forget about bringing girls back.” Come on guys, give us millennials a break. Please.
Your mum still wakes you up at 8am to ‘have a day’ and by this she means, get off your arse and sort your life out. But living at home, virtually rent free, is the only time you can save a lot of money. You can finally find the time to build your career or plan to travel without the pain of working 50 hour weeks. Dan, a film director from London, attributes his current success to his brief move back home. “I needed time and money to get started on my career and moving home made sense,” he told us, “I only lived there for six months but because of it, I now have my own flat, a good job and a dog. It was totally worth it for the dog.”
Moving home can seem a bit shit, but as Sam, a tattoo artist from Chester suggests, “sometimes you just have to see the bigger picture. Think to yourself, ‘where is it going to take you?’ Appreciate it, embrace it, and keep working towards changing it.” It’s all about envisaging the direction you want your life to take, and taking the steps to get there, even if it means living back home for a short while.