Author Topic: Finding a roommate, living at home, going out on my own?  (Read 3500 times)

gene parmesan

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Finding a roommate, living at home, going out on my own?
« on: August 19, 2013, 11:54:52 AM »
Hello everyone,

I graduated in may with about $30k in student loans. I am down to about $22k in student loans (I've been very careful to put nearly all my money towards the loans).

I make upper $30,000s and have a relatively stable job. I'm really hoping to relocate after a year (within my company) or so to get away from my home town.

So my parents told me that I will have to start paying $600/mo to keep living at home and they will not budge at all. So I have a few options now:

Find a roommate on craigslist (any tips on this? some of the situations have options for about $500 a month).
Get my own apartment (probably around $900 a month for a studio)
Stay at home ($600 a month and probably the loss of my sanity)

I really want to pay down my student loans as quickly as possible so that when I move I won't have these loans holding me down. What do you guys think?

xenon5

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Re: Finding a roommate, living at home, going out on my own?
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2013, 12:14:20 PM »
There are a few other factors to consider.  What area are you in?  What is the general cost of living like there?  How close do you live to work and how do you get there?   $900 for a studio is at the high end nationally (assuming you're in NA).  If you live in a high COL area, for example LA or the NYC tri-state, it might still be financially wise to stay with your parents.  Does that $600 include any special perks unlikely to be found on your own, such as food, laundry, utilities, maybe even shared transportation?  When you live with roommates or on your own you also have to pay for at least heat, electricity, water, internet and laundry (laundromat or extra electricity).
« Last Edit: August 19, 2013, 12:26:27 PM by xenon5 »

gene parmesan

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Re: Finding a roommate, living at home, going out on my own?
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2013, 12:58:06 PM »
There are a few other factors to consider.  What area are you in?  What is the general cost of living like there?  How close do you live to work and how do you get there?   $900 for a studio is at the high end nationally (assuming you're in NA).  If you live in a high COL area, for example LA or the NYC tri-state, it might still be financially wise to stay with your parents.  Does that $600 include any special perks unlikely to be found on your own, such as food, laundry, utilities, maybe even shared transportation?  When you live with roommates or on your own you also have to pay for at least heat, electricity, water, internet and laundry (laundromat or extra electricity).

Thanks for the response xenon. I live in new england in a relatively high cost of living area. My house is only 2.5 miles from work currently (THE big perk of living at home). Staying at home everything would be paid for except food, which I would have to buy on my own. It's really frustrating because my parents have a big empty house and if I leave my room won't be used for anything. I know that if I move out though, it will likely be nominally more expensive (living with roommates that is, living alone would probably be significantly more expensive)

RhythmKats

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Re: Finding a roommate, living at home, going out on my own?
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2013, 01:14:04 PM »
I'd suck it up and live at home for a bit. Sure, it kind of sucks, but you won't have to account for utilities, laundromat, internet, etc. That could add up to some decent savings, if even for only 6 months to a year. Even though you'll be buying your own food, hopefully your parents will allow you to share some common ingredients like olive oil, spices, etc, which can add up quickly if you are stocking up your first kitchen.

I don't fault your folks for asking you to pay rent since you are working (not saying you are). Perhaps you could also work out some trades to lower the cost from time to time. For example, asking for a discount for each time you shovel snow during winter.

Being 2.5 miles from your job is nice and would allow you to bike.

I know it's a drag to live with the 'rents once you're done with school. I didn't do it myself. But I also ended up living where I finished my grad work, which was not near my hometown. Maybe give yourself mini goals. Check in with your situation every 4 months and re-evaluate.

TrulyStashin

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Re: Finding a roommate, living at home, going out on my own?
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2013, 03:05:56 PM »
I'd suck it up and live at home for a bit. Sure, it kind of sucks, but you won't have to account for utilities, laundromat, internet, etc. That could add up to some decent savings, if even for only 6 months to a year. Even though you'll be buying your own food, hopefully your parents will allow you to share some common ingredients like olive oil, spices, etc, which can add up quickly if you are stocking up your first kitchen.

I don't fault your folks for asking you to pay rent since you are working (not saying you are). Perhaps you could also work out some trades to lower the cost from time to time. For example, asking for a discount for each time you shovel snow during winter.

Being 2.5 miles from your job is nice and would allow you to bike.

I know it's a drag to live with the 'rents once you're done with school. I didn't do it myself. But I also ended up living where I finished my grad work, which was not near my hometown. Maybe give yourself mini goals. Check in with your situation every 4 months and re-evaluate.

+1 to all of this.

You might try creating a list of all the chores around the house that you could do in exchange for a rent reduction -- cut grass in summer; clean gutters in fall; shovel snow in winter; clean the house weekly; run errands; grocery shop -- whatever.   Create a "business plan" that you present to your parents with the list of chores you'd do in exchange for lower rent ($500, maybe) and then also show them how much you used to owe on student loans; how much you owe now; give a detailed plan of how you'd leverage that extra $100 a month in lesser rent toward paying off your loans; and then show what your goal is for SL balance due in one year's time.

Treat it like a business deal and make your case in a professional way as one adult talking to other adults -- without any hint or trace of "geez, this is unfair" or any such sentiment.  They're charging you rent because you're an adult and they're  treating you that way.  It's a sign of respect, actually.   Good on 'em.

frugaldrummer

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Re: Finding a roommate, living at home, going out on my own?
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2013, 05:31:48 PM »
Well, I guess my answer depends on what you think your parents' motivation is.  Is it:

A) They want to teach you to be a responsible adult who isn't sponging off his parents?  If so, pay the $600, enjoy being close to your job and the free utilities and perks of being there, and accept it'll take you a little longer to pay off your debt but it's still a sweet deal.

B) Are they financially strapped and the additional expense of you being there (utilities etc) is a problem for them?  If so, pay the $600, enjoy a sweet deal AND the pleasure of helping your parents at the same time

C) Do they feel like you are blowing your money on foolish things and therefore they don't want to subsidize your lifestyle?  (This seems unlikely given the headway you've made on your loans, but if so, perhaps showing them your financials and how you are paying off your loans would help).

D) Are they hoping to get back to being empty nesters, and thinking that charging rent will result in you moving out sooner?  If so, find a room mate situation and move out. 

James

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Re: Finding a roommate, living at home, going out on my own?
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2013, 06:03:50 PM »
Sounds to me like they want an empty nest, so if that is the case I would find a room to rent as cheap as possible. I don't know your local market, but I find it hard to believe a simple room in a shared apartment would cost more than $600/mo, even accounting for extras. But absolutely do the math and just start working on finding that perfect place that is both cheap and livable. Don't rush the decision and make a rash move, but focus on the math and see if you can some way to turn this into a kick in the seat helping you focus on paying off your debt even faster than you were. Sometimes it takes a ton of networking, calling around, asking questions and getting sick and tired of trying to find the right option before it finally shows itself. And in the end maybe staying at home makes financial sense, but I would start with the idea of trying to find something else if they would like an empty nest.

gene parmesan

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Re: Finding a roommate, living at home, going out on my own?
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2013, 06:02:48 PM »
Thanks for all of your advice everyone. It definitely put things into perspective. I don't really know if they want an empty nest, I think they just think it's fair to charge me at this point (which is pretty valid I guess). Financially, they are doing VERY well (which is part of the reason this is somewhat frustrating to me). I've made it very clear to them I just want to pay my loans (I spend hardly any money). At this point, I think I'll stay and pay for now and keep my eyes and ears open.

ATL

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Re: Finding a roommate, living at home, going out on my own?
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2013, 07:57:22 PM »
I agree with pp that sticking it out at home for as long as you can is wise advice. I lived at home after grad school for a few years and was able to pay off 65k in SL even though I wasn't making much at the time (I also gave my parents money for living expenses ). My mom and I love each other but we love each other most when there's some distance so I would have lived there longer but our relationship got a lot better when I moved out. No regrets though as it was a huge relief to be rid of tht debt.

SunshineGirl

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Re: Finding a roommate, living at home, going out on my own?
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2013, 10:18:23 AM »
I also advise staying at home as long as you can manage to knock out those loans. It gives you a great flexibility to leave when you want.

As far as your parents charging you rent, I'll just mention what my plan sort of is for when my kids get older. We have a property that works very well for multiple adults living here and having some independence, and so I expect this may happen. And in fact, I'd like for it to happen, both because we all get along well and because it would help my kids achieve their financial goals. My plan is that once they're in the "real world," (after college or when working), they will pay a proportion of all household expenses. Now, my spouse and I pay 100% of utilities, food, property tax, etc., but if we have one working adult join us, that person would pay 1/3 of household expenses. If a fourth or fifth (through a roommate situation or significant other) joins in, that reduces everyone's expenses proportionately. And it isn't because we "need" the money, but it is what's fair. That $600/month means your parents can take a few awesome trips every year, all while helping you out. Or it means they'll be able to pay for longterm care insurance, or...whatever. I do think it's fair, and I think keeping money in the family is a good thing, too.

But it also means you are an equal partner in the household, and the negative aspects of "parenting" should stop.