After two years of living in New York City, I recently moved back home with my parents. Two years, two different apartments, over $30,000 in rent payments later and here I am, back at square one. The last time I lived at home was the summer after graduation when I was interviewing for jobs in the city. My goal was to find a job so I could move into an apartment, and that’s exactly what I did. So, why am I here now?
Two words: student loans.
If you were fortunate enough to have your education paid for, you will never understand the struggle of paying two rents every month. Luckily, I could afford to live in the city and still make my loan payments, but a savings account was a foreign concept to me. With the amount of money I’ve spent on rent, I could have paid off one of my student loans. Since I would never actually own my apartment, I might as well have been lighting my money on fire every month. That’s when I realized I needed to move back home.
I honestly thought I would be more depressed moving home at 25.
I felt like my life was going in reverse. Normally that’s when people start moving out. But when the first of the month hit and I didn’t have to write that rent check, I was grinning from ear to ear. The hour and a half commute on Metro North doesn’t feel so bad when you don’t see that number in your bank decrease by $1,200. Free food and my mom’s cooking is also not something to complain about. My days of Seamless have come to an end and probably for the better — for both my body and bank account.
One of the biggest transitions though for me has been, well, living with my parents. It’s no longer my apartment, my rules.
I can’t party all night long, be completely carefree and messy and expect to get away with it. I have a daily reminder to make my bed and clean my room. It’s like clockwork every morning when my mom drives me to the train station and every evening when she picks me up. Living under my parent’s roof also means picking up more responsibilities around the house like doing chores, taking care of my dog – although my dog is also one of the biggest pros of living at home.
I’m definitely going to miss the perks of having my own apartment.
I can’t wake up a half hour before work and stumble home drunk at 4 a.m. Although I’ll probably be going out a lot less, I still have a place to crash thanks to my friends (well, at least until they get sick of me).
But at the end of the day, moving back home is not so bad.
It’s not an option for everyone, but neither is living in the city. This is one of the most expensive cities in the world, so rent alone is enough to break someone’s back, never mind student loans.
Just because you’ve chosen to move back home doesn’t mean you’re a failure either.
I’ve learned at this point in my life that I need to do what makes the most sense for me at the moment. The stress of living paycheck to paycheck wasn’t worth my bedroom that’s 60 miles closer to my job. Besides, this is just a temporary solution until I can save up some real money. Although with how good I have it at home, I might just milk this for as long as I can. Sorry, mom and dad!