Tuesday, October 13, 2009

"Get a life...get out and pay rent."

X: "She's living at home, with her parents."
Y: "Geez, she needs to go get a life! Get out and pay rent. I mean, we pay rent and bills..."
X: "She's got a life. She doesn't need to pay rent in order to get a life."


Z (subject of X & Y's conversation): Three properties, share portfolio, well travelled, goes out a lot, plays sport and yes...has not found her Prince Charming and is still living at home, helping the parents with the family business on weekends
Y: Renting, mother of two, no assets

Y seems to think that if one hasn't got a boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife or babies and kids, then they haven't got a life. Y also thinks that if you still live at home with your parents, then you haven't got a life.

Not sure where she got her preconceived ideas from but it's rather narrow. Firstly, living at home does preclude person from having a life. Secondly, not all twenty or thirty somethings who live at home are irresponsible. I don't know where the concept of kids having to move out of home when they finish school was first derived but in some cultures (particularly Asian and European cultures), kids live at home until they find a partner to marry. And if they never find the partner, then they live at home and look after the parents when the parents get older.

They don't put their parents into nursing homes.

You could argue that twenty and thirty somethings who still live at home are pathetic, consuming their parents retirement funds and worse, but let's not lump everyone into the same category. Is there any point in forcing kids out of the family home, into renting some crappy place, spending all their income on rent and bills? If they can stay in the family home, help do chores around the house, save up for buying their own place or to invest... is that being irresponsible or having no life?

I can understand that living with your parents could mean playing havoc with your sex life but if that's what's important to you, then move out.

Economy of scales - it works with households too. It's cheaper to live as a family or with flat mates rather than by yourself. Even better for the environment. Simply because when you have dinner, instead of just you, one light and your dinner...compare this to a family having dinner under one light... electricity bill can really be effectively split between multiple heads.

A family of four watching one TV versus a family of 4 with two kids who moved out with 3 TVs switched on between the three homes. Conserving both money and energy. Better for your pocket and better for the environment. Actually, I really don't care if anyone lives at home with their parents or move out, I just personally prefer it if people lived in some type of shared or communal households so that there's less drain on our environment.

Pros of living at home with parents:
* Split bills, no bills or less bills to pay
* No rent (no 'dead money'), or if you pay board, the boarding cost is cheaper than rent
* Better for the environment
* Develop closer relationship to family
* Can save money on sharing and splitting utility bills (landline, internet, electricity, gas)
* Can build a house deposit or savings a lot quicker due to lower expenses

Cons of living at home with parents:
* Can't have partners and friends staying overnight or visiting too frequently
* No partying and wild drinking at home
* Possible lack of personal development and maturity (eg: if your parents do all your laundry, cooking and cleaning)
* Possible lack of financial skills (eg: budgeting for household bills, saving for expenses)

Pros of living alone:
* Freedom to do as one wishes with friends and partners visiting or staying over
* Er... I can't come up with any more pro's really...simply because I don't like living by myself

Cons of living alone:
* You pay all bills by yourself, whether that be mortgage (which is not too bad), rent (definitely bad), electricity, gas, water, phone line, internet, property insurance
* No-one to talk to when you get home
* Cook all your meals by yourself all the time

Anyway, it's a bit rash to presume that just because someone is living at home, then they haven't got a life, aren't mature or aren't responsible. I don't think a person is mature and has a 'life', simply because they've moved out, are paying rent and struggling financially.

Financial and personal maturity/success is achieved when you can support yourself independently in any situation without struggling from day to day and having to fall back on credit cards and debt. As for having a life...anyone can have a life, whether they live at home or not.

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