In Defence Of Living With Your Parents As An Adult

25.5% of young people aged 20-34 now live with their parents*. But what's it actually like to cohabit with mum and dad as an adult? *ONS


by Debrief Staff |
Published on

If you’re putting money aside for the big move, your savings are protected by the FSCS. Check your money is protected and find out more here.

9 months ago I was spending a solid 60% of my salary renting a room in Finsbury Park. On the surface it was fab. I was 25, living in Zone 2, 15 minutes from work, £6 Uber from the East End, on the N29 home from Soho. Young, free and single, London was my oyster (lol, Oyster).

Except that it wasn’t. With my rent at £895 a month, and a trendy media job which didn’t pay that much, I could barely afford my Oyster, let alone make full and proper use of our capital. To top it all off, in that gorgeous split level flat with high ceilings and a south-facing garden, I was pretty much confined to my room. I was living with a couple, one of whom worked from home, and they inhabited the kitchen and living room pretty much constantly. The sad thing was, with my crippling rent I couldn’t even escape, because I couldn’t afford to go out.

Knowing that as a single twenty-something Londoner I’d never be able to rent a place of my own, let alone buy one, because I couldn’t even make it 3 weeks into the month with anything left in my bank account, I was forced to make a horrific decision. I packed up my bits and pieces, got on the train and tail between my legs moved back in with Mum & Dad (and my 2 younger sisters), in leafy St. Albans.

At first I found it really hard to admit and talk about. I felt pretty ashamed. I had gone from (barely) supporting myself in a cool flat in the capital, to sleeping in a single bed and eating Mum’s Shepherd’s Pie for dinner. I would tell Tinder dates and colleagues that it was ‘temporary, you know, finding a place to rent is a total mare!’. And friends-from-home didn’t make the situation easier either, what with their weddings, and babies, and mortgages and expensive all-inclusive holidays twice a year and joint bank accounts. I felt like a child again.

But, after a while, it started to grow on me. I’ve recently committed to living with them for another year, because, guess what, by then I’ll be able to afford a deposit on a place of my own! I’m focusing on the good bits. So, in defence of living with your parents as a 26 year old grown up, here they are:

It gives you the opportunity to save

This is obvious. But it’s so true. Instead of making empty promises to myself each month that ‘this month will be different’, knowing by the 10th I’d be broke again, I’ve managed to clear all my debts and start putting a substantial amount away each month. The good thing about this is that I can actually see my savings climbing pretty quickly – it’s satisfying, and I know that a home of my own is an actual possibility.

You get head space to think about what you really want

I’m really lucky – I have a nice and supportive family (without being too Waltons-esque) and I feel really relaxed, safe and comfortable at home. Not having to worry about rent, food or bills for a few months has given me the time and head space to concentrate on what I really want for the future, rather than just haphazardly living pay day to pay day.

You’re not poor any more!

Even with saving, I can afford to go out and not worry about it. Okay, I live in the suburbs, but you know what? If I miss the last train home, there’s enough in my bank account for a cab home.

It’s annoying – but you can afford to escape it!

Okay, I’m going to level with you, you WILL regress to teenage strops every so often. It’s inevitable. My skin crawls every time my dad asks what time I’m going to be home, or my mum asks me to tidy my room, or I have no tights left despite buying a fresh pack because my sister has taken them all, BUT, but, I can escape it. I can afford to have drinks after work, or nip to the cinema, or take myself out to get my nails done if it’s all getting a bit claustra.

I have THINGS again!

It’s quite nice having things. I’m not talking designer handbags or things like that, I’m still saving, after all. But I mean, I have a car (albeit my nan’s old one), and a gym membership, and I re-joined my old choir, and I’m having piano lessons. I have a life.

So there you have it. I’ve made the leap, and I’ve gotten over the ‘shame’ of it. I must admit, the full fridge and my dad’s constantly stocked wine rack certainly helped…

I know that moving home isn’t an option for everyone, and I’m super lucky to have parents that don’t live too far from my job and are happy to have me. If it’s not an option for you, there are loads of other ways you can cut down on your rent! Have you thought about property guardianship? Or living in a studio?

*If you want to save to buy a place of your own, find out how your savings are protected by the FSCS. Click here to find out more

*And for more options and savvy renting tips, check out this article.**[


This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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