Yeah, I’m 26 years old, and I still live at home with my family. Well, my sister and her family… but still.
While many of my friends are finding roommates to live with, buying their first house, or starting a family with their loved ones, I am still living in the basement. And the truth is, I don’t really have any intentions of moving out in the near future.
Are there times that I wish I lived on my own? Yes. As much as I love my family, there are times where I would like to come home to an empty home after work, throw my stuff wherever I would like to, and simply feel the independence that comes with living on your own.
But do I consider myself childish, lame, or unsuccessful because I am 26 and I still live at home with my family? Absolutely not! I actually think it’s smart for me to still be living at home. While there I times where I wish I had more independence, I think my living situation is pretty freaking awesome.
Most millennials hate the idea of living with their families past the age of 18. Once you get into college or can legally make decisions for yourself, you are led to believe that you should be out there on your own.
Others think that living with their families past the age of 25 means that they are a failure and that their lives are over. They will never start a family and all hope for their lives is lost.
Calm down. Your life isn’t over just because you still live at home. In fact, living at home can actually be a good thing.
The cost of living is more expensive than it has ever been. Between the cost of gas, groceries, living expenses, etc. It adds up incredibly fast.
I guess I can only speak for myself, but if I lived on my own as of right now, I would barely make enough to keep myself afloat. Between rent, groceries, utilities, car payments, car insurance, phone bills, health insurance, 401k, and oh yeah… student loans. I would be far more stressed than I already am and would have far less hair.
So for anybody who is telling you that you need to move out, just ignore it. Here are some reasons why I’m glad I still live at home with my family despite being 26 years old.
1. Rushing leads to bad decisions
I don’t know where I want to live yet. I don’t have a family that I need to support, I don’t have other mouths to feed, and I don’t know what I want to be doing with my life in the next year. Why would I want to rush into a long-term decision knowing that my life could completely change in the matter of a day, a week, or a few months?
In still living with my family, I have the flexibility to do basically whatever I want to whenever I’m ready to. If the time comes where I want to move cities, I am able to. If the time comes where I am ready to start a family, I will be ready to. There is a lot more flexibility in living with family than there is either buying a house or signing a long-term lease.
2. I am able to save a lot of money.
For the record, I do pay rent. For the bedroom that I am living in, I pay my sister $475 per month. The nice thing about this, though, is that the $475 covers everything from internet, electricity, to water, etc.
It’s a win-win for the two of us. She wasn’t going to be using the room anyhow, so it’s an extra $475 per month for her. As for me, well $475 for all that’s included is a steal of a deal and allows me to save money and pay off some of the debt that I have collected from buying a car and from student loans.
Whatever money I am not spending simply goes into a savings account so that when the time comes where I do buy a house, I will have enough to put down the initial down payment while still having enough leftover to feel financially secured for a while.
3. Get to spend time around my favorite people.
This is probably my favorite part of living at home. I have always been a family man. My parents are my best friends (even though they don’t live with me), and I have always been really close to my sisters. Getting to live with them and hang out with them is something that I truly enjoy doing.
Aside from that, I also have a soon-to-be 5-year-old niece that I get to watch grow up right before my eyes. I have learned so much about parenting and adulting since living with her. While I don’t do any of the parenting, I definitely feel confident that when the day comes to start a family, I will be more prepared.
4. I have others there to help me when I need.
Up until a year and a half ago, I was at a bad place in my life. My depression was peaking, I was living with an eating disorder that was spiraling out of control, and I was completely locking myself away from the outside world.
Part of the reason why I was locking myself away from the outside world was because I was scared of taking any chances and failing. I didn’t know how I would be able to pick myself back up once I did fail.
The nice thing about living with family is that there is always somebody around to help pick you up. Whether I take a chance and fail, whether I am having a bad day, or whether I just need somebody to talk to, there is always somebody there for me. Knowing that I am not alone has truly done wonders in the battle with my mental illnesses.
Just because you are in your twenties and still live at home with your family doesn’t make you ‘lame’ or ‘hopeless.’ There are benefits to both moving out on your own and living at home with your family.
My best advice for you would be to follow your heart. If you want to live on your own, then do so. If you want to wait to live on your own, then do so. Whatever you do, just don’t let the judgment of others decide for you.