If you have the opportunity, living with parents to save money after college is a wise and responsible way to save money and plan for your future. Upon graduation, I decided to work full-time virtually while living at home after asking myself “should I save money or move out?”
Living with parents to save money carries 5 main benefits. These benefits are less stress, paying off student loans faster, opportunity to travel more, build your emergency fund, and the ability to enter the stock market early. In this article we will dive into each of these benefits to learn whether living with parents after college is right for you.
I had to make the decision whether to live in the city where my office was (in the North East) or stay home and save money. I had the luxury of having supportive parents whom were okay with my extended stay.
Because of this decision, I stayed home for a year while working and saved over $13,000 worth of rent + utilities (I helped my parents pay for groceries). These savings were then invested, giving me a higher rate of return on my live at home decision.
It is common for college grads to think “live with my parents?! What would my friends think?” Just because you decide to live with your parents, does not mean you are “socially behind” your friends living paycheck to paycheck in NYC. This way of thinking is mostly only present in the United States and should not deter you from making smart financial decisions.
How Much Money Can I Save Living With My Parents?
This is the golden question that many people ask themselves when deciding on their future living arrangements. Of course, this answer will vary greatly based on location and how much you would be spending at your parents. For example, if you would help pay for groceries.
According to HotPads, the median rent for post grads living in the United States is $1,535. This number is highly inflated for NYC and California so I am going to lower it to $1,100 for people living outside of those two areas.
Lets say you would spend $300 a month on food, $100 on utilities, and $100 on parking if you live in a city. This plus rent totals $1,600 a month. A year this is $19,200!
In a perfect and lucky living at home situation, you are not paying for food, parking, utilities and rent. So on average, you would save around $19,000 a year living at home.
Lets discuss below the benefits of having this money saved and utilized towards other aspects of your life to benefit your future financial well-being.
5 Benefits of Living With Parents to Save Money After College
1. Less Stress
Determining where you want to sign a year lease after graduation is stressful! After all, you are still in college when you would need to make this decision IF you do not want to live at home after you graduate.
Maybe you already know what city you want to live in, great. Although, you still need to visit the city to tour apartments, find a roommate, determine your budget based on your expected salary, etc. To do all of this while completing your degree is stressful.
If you are fortunate to land a remote job or a job in a city next to your parents home, then that relieves a massive amount of stress. Change is difficult and starting a new job upon graduation is a very big change.
It is beneficial to your mental state to ease into change to avoid stress hurting your health. Moving into a familiar place like your parents home is a great way to avoid that stress, especially if you are starting a new job in a nearby/remote city.
2. Pay Off Student Loans Faster
The second benefit to living with parents to save money is the opportunity to pay off your student loans faster. If you have read past articles on this website, then you know how adamant I am about paying off debt FAST.
If you pay off student loans earlier, then you pay less over the life of the loan. This is because of compound interest on your debt. The more debt you have, the more interest that accrues.
Living with your parents allows you to allocate a larger amount of money towards your student loans. Even if you do not pay off all of your loans by the time you move out, you still have the opportunity to pay off a large chunk of it. This large chunk will greatly minimize the interest on the loan, allowing you to save money in the long run.
3. Enter the Stock Market Early
Above I mentioned how compound interest can work against you with debt. Now we talk about how you can use it for your benefit. The stock market is not as scary and risky as it seems.
Investing for the long term with safe index funds that track the market (like an index mimicking the S&P 500) is low risk in the long term. Of course the market will fluctuate over time which can be scary. But as long as you do not pull out your investment, your money grow in the span of ten years.
If you are interested in learning exactly how the stock market works and how you can profit from it, check out this article on investing. Here I dive into how the stock market works, how you can profit from it and how to enter it. It is much simpler then you would believe and does not require minimum investments.
Since you are living at home and saving money, this allows you to put more money into the stock market then you would otherwise. For example, lets say you invested $1,000 and then $500 a month for 20 years, 10% RoR. At the end of the 20 years, your investement would be worth $35,363! Best part is that $24,365 of that would be soley off interest! This is why starting young can be extremely beneficial.
4. Build Your Emergency Fund
Living with your parents gives you the great opportunity to start building your emergency fund. After college, there is a very little chance that you have started your emergency fund. THIS IS OK.
An emergency fund is exactly how it sounds. In the event you lose your job and cannot cover your expenses, this fund comes into play.
When you decide to leave home, try to have an emergency fund of 3-6 months of living expenses.
By all living expenses, I mean ALL living expenses. Future rent, student loans payment, food, utilities, etc. This will give you peace of mind when you leave home knowing that you have a large cushion to fall on if you lose your job.
5. Travel More!
Wait wait wait, I thought this article was about saving money, not spending it. By now, it is obvious that you can save a ton of money by living at home after college.
Once you allocate those saved funds towards the above benefits, you may have some left over in your budget. If you budget well, you could throw some money into a travel fund.
You are not paying rent so you are saving tons and tons of money. Travelling is not as expensive as many make it seem. It depends on the type of vacation but AirBnb’s are relatively cheap. Use some of those savings to explore the country!
Your friends who live in NYC and pay astronomical rent will become jealous of your ability to travel more. After college at an entry level job, they likely will not have the funds to travel after paying next months rent.
Living at home with parents can be a smart financial decision if done correctly. Budgeting is still needed to make sure funds are being allocated towards smart financial moves (investing, student loans, emergency fund, IRA, etc).
I hope each of these 5 benefits to living with parents to save money enticed you to consider the idea. Again, there is nothing socially wrong with living with family and you should be happy to do so if you have the opportunity. Thank you for reading!