According to Pew research, living with one's parents is the most common living arrangement for Americans ages 18 to 34. And though it's the most common negative stereotype levied against millennials, living with my parents was one of the best decisions I could have made financially and career-wise in my 20s — and one that set me up for success in the coming years.
If you have the opportunity, the privilege to live at home after college, don't feel embarrassed. Here's what I learned from the experience:
I saved a ton of money:
Over the four years I lived at home I saved about $62,000 on rent and utilities.
To reach that number, I tallied the costs of my fictional alternative life in the city, assuming I lived in a two-bedroom apartment in Harlem with a roommate. The range for rent on a similar apartment is $2,200 to $4,500. Factoring in utilities and the fact we might not be able to snag the cheapest possible apartment, I planned for monthly costs of roughly $2,500 and divided by two.
Since I lived farther away from New York City, I had to buy a monthly Metro North card from Harrison, New York, which costs about $260. Along with occasional subway rides, my transit costs added up to about $14,000 over the course of the four years.
Still, that left me with savings of $47,000.
While that money didn't go directly into my savings account, it went toward paying off my student loans, helping out with the occasional grocery run for my family, going out with friends or siblings, and eventually, covering costs associated with graduate school.