When you first graduate college, you might not know where to go next. Some people are lucky and can line up a job and a quality living situation shortly after graduation, but many others are faced with the decision of either scraping by and living paycheck to paycheck in order to afford an apartment or moving back in with their parents, which helps them save money, but also means sacrificing their freedom. It’s a difficult decision for anyone and there are pros and cons to each scenario.
Getting an apartment
- Cost – No matter what city you live in, an apartment is going to cost a significant amount of money per month. You’ll be paying rent, utilities, purchasing your own food, and buying furniture. For someone just beginning their career, these costs can take a significant amount of your paycheck each month.
- Lease – Leases often come with a lot of rules you must follow and some of them may seem a little ridiculous. You’re also often locked into a lease for a least a year, which means you need to stay in one place and consistently pay rent each month. If you find a better opportunity elsewhere, it can be difficult to just leave.
- People – You’re likely going to be living with roommates or have very close neighbors. Unless you know all these people extremely well, they could be completely unpleasant to live around. You also run the risk of having a difficult landlord.
- Privacy – The biggest pro of having an apartment is the amount of privacy and independence you’ll have, especially if you live alone. Living with your parents seriously limits your privacy and ability to do what you want; parents often find it difficult to accept you never being home and staying out late and your dating life can get pretty complicated.
- Social life – Living in your own apartment in a city makes it much easier to make connections with your coworkers or other people living there. You have a place to hang out and it’s easier to attend networking events.
- Privacy – Naturally, unless your parents have an attached apartment or are rarely home, your privacy suffers when you move back home. It’s difficult to host anything at your house and it’s pretty awkward if you want to bring a date home. In college, you did your own thing whenever you wanted, but now your parents will probably question your decision to watch Netflix until 2am while eating mac and cheese.
- Personal growth – Living alone is the best time to learn more about yourself and fully transition into being an independent adult. If you’re living at home, not worrying much about your finances, rarely buying and making your own food, and not having to clean or do much laundry, it’s likely you still feel like a child. In order to grow, you need to be on your own.
- Cost – The biggest pro, and really the main reason anyone moves back in with their parents, is the cost. Depending how long you live at home, you’ll save thousands of dollars. If your home is close enough to a decent job, you’ll have the benefit of work and avoid the financial stress of an apartment. Even if you do pay your parents some rent or contribute to household costs, you’re going to save a lot of money that’ll help you pay off your debts or save for a house, grad school, or something else. Once you do move out, you’ll be on better financial footing than many of your peers.
- Give back – Another pro not many people discuss is that living at home allows you to give back to your parents for all the years they took care of you. If you contribute to household expenses and help out at home, you save them that stress. If they’re getting older, you can also help care for them or other older family members. Family is important and strengthening those bonds is fantastic.