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Lauren talks about living at home with your parents after college.

Websites mentioned:
http://www.lynda.com
http://www.codeacademy.com
http://www.skillshare.com

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Lauren: Hey guys! It's Lauren from The Financial Diet and today I'm here to talk about what it's like to live at home after college with your parents. Now I know that living at home after school with your parents is not an option available to everyone, but I'm just speaking from my experience and how I made the best of the situation. Now for a lot of people there's this palpable stigma attached to living at home with your parents. One that, like, conjures up images of Will Ferrell in Wedding Crashers who's screaming like "MOM, THE MEATLOAF!" like sitting in his pajamas, like it's really tragic. The things is that you don't have to act like a child if you live at home with your parents and just because you do doesn't mean you're some giant freeloader.

Now if you are able to move back home with your parents after school this is the perfect opportunity to maximize saving money and building strong foundations in your career. Now for me this started with making the most out of living in a small town. I grew up and I lived home after school in the suburbs of New Jersey. Now if there's one thing that small towns really have going for them is that the competition pool is much, much smaller than it is compared to a big city. So now it the perfect opportunity to set yourself up as the neighborhood X. Like the neighborhood stylist, graphic designer, photographer, painter, builder, whatever. You wanna be the go to person for whatever it is that you do best.

So for me it was really selling my graphic design skills and asking people whether they needed help with their save the dates for their wedding, their invitations, their logos, business cards, anything to get your name out there. So for me I really maximized my free time to work on portfolio and personal design projects. It was a huge advantage to not have to run a household yet, so I really wanted to make my free time work for me. So in between household chores I brushed up my technical skills on websites like lynda.com, Codecademy, and Skillshare, which are all awesome resources and I'll include the links to those websites in the description below. 

So moving back home with my parents also meant that I could utilize the connections with people that I already knew growing up and I took on any extra side job that I could. Everything from like babysitting to waitressing to catering parties. I even painted a friend's window of the restaurant he owned at one point. Anything to just make a little extra money to save. So I can't stress this enough, but saving during this time, living at home with your parents, is an opportunity that you'll never get again! If you think about it having a full-time job like I did when I lived at home allowed me to basically have a full-time salary coming in and little to no bills being paid. I mean I had my school loans and my car payments and like fun spending, but now a lot. Now I pay rent, utilities, grocery shopping, so when I look at the 2 situations I realize how much potential I had for saving then versus now. 

So because I was living at home I knew that I needed to aggressively save. This meant that every paycheck, I put 30% of it right into savings so that I could not look at it. Then I also had a portion of money taken out of my paycheck for my retirement savings and then a small chunk put into my checking account. So in order to save really aggressively I made sure that from each paycheck I was setting aside 30% that went directly into savings into an account that I couldn't see so I couldn't spend it. Then I also had a small amount of money portioned out into my retirement savings and then I also put a small amount into my checking account. Now I never let my checking account go over $500 because I didn't want to have the money in there because for sure have spent it.

So one of the perks of living at home is while you do have to say no to some social activities that cost a lot of money you don't have to say no to everything because technically you are still saving a lot of money by living at home. So one of the aspects about living at home is that you don't feel independent and in order to combat this what I did is I would take weekend trips away. I'd go visit friend's and stay with them for awhile and really try to get out and about and do things that made me feel like I could stand on my own 2 feet without my parent's help for a long period of time. And going back to what I said before about not being a freeloader and mooching off your parents, it's really important that you offer up things like whether it's a weekly rent stipend or groceries or cooking dinner for your family. These are all great ways to feel like an integral part of the household and not just one giant mooch. 

And even if your parents are really on your side and refuse to take the money from you, insist on doing things for them that really show that you are an adult and you can take care of yourself and by extension them. Now even if you're still living at home, you should absolutely be paying your own bills so that when you move out, you don't get slammed with it all at once and take it in baby steps. You know, right when you graduate from college you might not be handling all of your bills just yet, but you should absolutely be paying your own phone bill then you can move on to paying your insurance, start buying your own food, everything like that so that you get used to having those responsibilities and monthly payments. 

Moving back home with your parents after school can either feel like a burden or it can set yourself up for a healthy financial future and you can build a strong career foundation for yourself. And don't get down if people start to make fun of you. You know, don't take it to heart, don't spin off into an emotional well of self pity and doubt. Just laugh along with them because you're saving hella money! When I lived at home I could not wait to move out, but now that I actually have moved out I kind of wish that I could go back and save a ton more money. Think of it as a short term sacrifice to build a better future yourself. As always thanks for watching and don't forget to hit the subscribe button and go to thefinancialdiet.com for more. Bye!