Living at Home: Part 2

One woman describes what it's like to live at home, and what type of strain it is putting on her love life.

Love + Money

Living at Home, Part Two

Can my relationship survive?

-Robin DeCicco

a couple having an argumentReality set in when I blew out the pink candles on my chocolate birthday cake. Sitting in a trendy Manhattan eatery, I looked around my table of friends and realized that although my pedicured feet were shining in polka-dot pumps and my little black ruffled number resembled something a Hollywood starlet would wear, I was no closer to making the move they had already made – the move to independence.

While they were able to hail cabs to take them back to their apartments, I had the luxury of speed-dialing my mom to tell her what time I would be home. It did agitate me that after being on my own for four years of college, where I could have traveled anywhere without my parents ever knowing, I was now back at home, phoning in to announce my tardiness.

The reason for my status as a twenty-something living at home – financial constraints, what else?

At this time in my life, I don’t have the money to pay over a thousand a month in rent, plus hundreds on utilities and even more on food and dry cleaning.

Neither does my better-paid, financially savvy boyfriend, who refuses to move out of his house until he can afford to buy.

I understand his logic of not wanting to rent – it didn’t work so well for my friend who paid over $50,000 last year in rent and doesn’t have a dollar in savings or anything to show for it – but still, he can at least afford to move out and he is deliberately choosing not to, which has definitely put a strain on our relationship.

Yes, Suze Orman would be proud. He’s waiting until a time when he can not only buy, but a time when he can live honestly, by actually making his mortgage and car payments, unlike others who have contributed to the country’s economic crisis by driving Lexuses in their Chanel sunglasses, while sinking in thousands of dollars of debt.

His actions, or lack thereof, are commendable; however, he’s slowly but surely killing me. We have been together for three years and I don’t know how much longer we will last by both living at home. Our time alone is infrequent and we’re never really “alone,” because someone is always lurking around. Whether we want to cuddle, act goofy or scream at each other, someone will see or hear us.

I can’t even yell at him when it’s clear that we’re both annoyed with each other, because he doesn’t want our parents to hear us fighting. Again, this is commendable, but unrealistic. I need to be a relationship where I have the freedom to yell.

My friend who lives with her boyfriend says that being able to say anything aloud is one of the perks of living alone, something she will miss when she moves back home due to an empty savings account.

Another friend recently told me about her cousin and his wife moving back in with his parents, for he is afraid of losing his job.

“It will be a different relationship for them. They will have to act in certain ways in front of his parents and put on a ‘couple front,’ like, ‘we have no problems, everything’s perfect’,” she says.

So, I’m not the only one out there who has difficulty sharing space with her boyfriend and the two sets of parents, making small talk when all you want to do is complain about your day and plastering on a smile when you just want to be you.

Only time will tell how much longer my boyfriend and I will make it, while both living at home. The plus is that we are obviously saving money – me, not enough to move out, him – more than enough. The very evident con is that we have no privacy.

Some might consider our monthly entertainment bill (movie tickets, drinks at bars, meals out) to be a bit high, but the truth of the matter is that we spend this money to remain sane. Maybe when we move out, we will enjoy cooking meals together at home, but for now, eating and socializing outside of our houses is our only alone time. So for now, reservations please.

Read Living at Home, Part One

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0 thoughts on “Living at Home: Part 2

  1. I haven’t lived at home since I was 18 and went away to college. Why do you need $1000+ a month for rent? Ever hear of roommates? I can’t imagine having a serious relationship with someone who still lets mommy do his laundry.

  2. Great article! I’m in almost exactly the same situation and I agree with lotsowritin25, your boyfreind has the right idea, no rush. It will pay off in the long run…

  3. I think that you need to change your mindset. Stop saying that you live “at home,” and start saying that you still live with your parents. And consider getting an apartment with roommates, as alterego suggested.

  4. Again KS, like I posted on the previous article…What am I 12, that I need to say I live with my parents? Please let us all know where you live. Ain’t happening in NY, NJ, CT or MA. Even if you have roommates like so many people I know, it will still cost you at least $1,000,000 just for rent. Then there is the phone, car, gas, electric, cable, and food.

  5. Really, Ashley12, “at least $1,000,000 just for rent”? I live near the coast in California, and I go without some extras like cable. I’m only saying that DeCicco has options.

  6. Note to youngsters starting out: If you wait until you “can afford it,” you will never move-out, never have kids, or never live life! Just do it and MAKE it work, you’ll be amazed at how “needs” will motivate you to work harder, save more, be more frugle, etc.

  7. “He’s waiting until a time when he can not only buy, but a time when he can live honestly, by actually making his mortgage and car payments, unlike others who have contributed to the country’s economic crisis by driving Lexuses in their Chanel sunglasses, while sinking in thousands of dollars of debt”

    1. Anybody with a mortgage is thousands of dollars in debt. 99.99% of people buy homes/cars on credit. So it sounds like DeCiccio’s boyfriend will be living at home until about 2060. At least then, she wont have to worry about yelling or fighting as the parents will likely be deaf.

    2. The financial crisis was precipitated by banks failing to perform their due diligence on loan applicants before approving variable rate mortgages. Blame the banks not the Lexus owners!

  8. Great article, hon! I couldn’t agree with you more, and it’s a good idea for your boyfriend to save a little more money — but, like you said, the fact is that you’re both living with your parents, which is definitely a relationship-damper.

    These times are just so financially difficult….

  9. Ahsley12 is right, in the north east you need $1,000 at least if you want a decent apartment…to JDater,everyone needs loans but you need to live within your means which most people don’t know how to do. If they did so many people wouldn’t be defaulting on thier loans because thier payment schedule became too high.If should be the individual’s responsiblity to know how much they can borrow…

  10. Does your boyfriend clip coupons too??? I dated a cheap, wouldn’t move out of his parents’ house guy for a while and it was miserable! Seriously, we couldn’t even go out to dinner unless he had a coupon! And trust me, he had a great job and plenty of money.

    It’s time to move out – both of you. Figure it out, get creative, whatever, but get on with your life!!!

  11. Excellent article…DeCicco does a great job pointing out the trade-offs between the perks of privacy associated with getting an apartment and the amount of money one can save living at home with the fam for a little while. Personally, I think her boyfriend is making the right decision to save up before leaping into home ownership. Being financially conservative will pay off in the long run!

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