I'm a millennial with a job. Here's why I'm still living at home

Me and my dad at my college graduation.
Me and my dad at my college graduation.

In the world of millennials, talking about parental support is taboo. As someone who chose to live with their parents after college and who isn't shy about disclosing it, I've always found this strange.

I was born and raised in Queens, New York, in a working-class immigrant family. Then I attended a private liberal arts college in Connecticut where most of the students were from a very different socioeconomic class.

After graduation, I, and lots of students in my class, did what many millennials do: They moved to New York City for work.

But while I moved back home to both help and be helped by my family — my parents emigrated from Morocco and in our culture it's customary for children to help out once we have jobs — my friends who were originally from the city had different ideas. Whether or not they were making money, they wanted to live on their own.

"Don't you want to be independent?" they asked me.

The question bothered me for a while until I attended their parties and understood the irony. They were not fully employed yet but they inhabited spaces that were twice the size of my parents' home, because their parents were assisting them financially.

They thought they were being independent. Meanwhile, my goal was achieving actual financial independence, and being debt-free, by the age of 25. Living at home while I work full-time is part of my plan.

The most obvious plus is that I don't have to pay rent. My parents own their apartment, so they mostly are concerned with other expenses, like utilities, wifi, laundry, and groceries.

I took over paying for these expenses so my parents could focus on saving money for retirement and travel. I contribute about $600 a month to cover these costs. That is still much lower than average rent in New York City, which is about $2700.

View of the Manhattan skyline from Long Island City in Queens.
Richard Levine | Getty Images
View of the Manhattan skyline from Long Island City in Queens.

I also have a small family. It's just me and my parents, so that means I'm paying at most $600 per month to have my own room and live five minutes from the subway and 25 minutes from Midtown.

The only disadvantage is that I can't go out and socialize as much as my friends do. My parents are not that strict, but they do want to spend time with me on weekends since I am extremely busy during the week. I am living in their home for free, so I agree to abide by their rules.

Also, less partying means more money in my savings account.

By living with my parents and helping pay the bills, we all save money — and I get to know that, whatever my friends think, I'm actually the independent one.