Basement Chillin’

19 Nov

One month before I graduated from college in 2008, I told my parents that I would be moving out.  It was quite a dramatic ordeal, actually, with them reminding me that they weren’t kicking me out or expecting me to pay rent and me reminding them that I was a young adult about to find my first job and that I needed to go it on my own.  Well, graduation day came and went, and I had nary a job in sight.

Enter me moving back home. 

My parents understood my desire for independence and met me partway with a basement apartment complete with seperate entrance to the house.  The basement apartment of sorts was a 2 br space with a living room, 2 seperate bedrooms,1 full bathroom, treadmill, weights, washer and dryer and tons of closet space.  The only thing it was missing was a kitchen and it really could have been my own space!  But that’s neither here nor there.  The most important thing was, I could go out and live as wild of wild life I could and not worry about waking anyone up with my drunken stumbles and horrible whispering abilities.  The guest policy remained a sturdy NOPE! but that’s ok because the house was in East Nowheresville, Queens that any guest would have to have been mentally unstable to go all the way out there with me. 

After about a month of desperate searching, I finally found a job.  At $34,000 per annum, it didn’t pay as well as I what I thought I’d be making right out of college, so moving out became out of the question.  I got a little more comfortable in my space and bought some new sheets and hand towels to decorate the bathroom.  I also decided not to be a complete leech and offered to pay a utility bill and my portion of the family cell plan.  When I switched jobs a year later with an $11,000 pay raise, for some reason, moving out didn’t really occur to me.  I had a good daily routine, I liked saving money and my mom would make my food.  Now, I didn’t ask her to do it, she just did. AND WHO AM I TO SAY NO?  So, I didn’t.  I just ate.  Every fingerlicking greatness of it.  I also started paying the entire phone bill for my family.

A year later, I got into business school, and that is when the pressure started to build.  Coming back from school was almost a 2 hour ride.  Coming back late started cutting into my sleep time and school affected my social life.  I barely had any me time.  I was just going to school, going home, and lathering and rinsing and repeating that mess.  I became miserable and desperate.  AND THEN…I got laid off.

Enter me cutting out any thought of moving out.

Thankfully, my stint with unemployment was about 1.5 months.  I got right back on my feet with a new job that paid about $10,000 more than my last.  So I was up to $55,000 and I could seriously consider moving out and finally making good on my promise from 3 years prior.  Except, a) living alone is friggin expensive and b) business school is not cheap, ok?  While I tried to justify it by saying I was 25 and it was about damn time and I even went on several apartment visits, told all my friends and family that I was finally moving out, when push came to shove, I couldn’t do it.

I’m gonna go ahead and stop speaking in the past tense, because its present day and I STILL live with my parents.

Yes, I do think there is something a bit off about me being 25 and still living with my parents.  BUT, I think before I or anyone else judges me,  I think you should take a look at the mess that exists around here.  Peeps, this is a real life recession, not one of those fake ones that you read about and think, “uh, what an inspiring story” or something like that.  Would I love to not live at home?  HELLS YES.  Would I have lived at home if I started out making $55,000 a year?  Probably.  But that wasn’t the hand I wasn’t dealt, and I’m kind of thankful for it.

Because of that, I have been able to save almost 50% of my salary since I started work.  This has funded trips to Panama, Uruguay, Argentina, and next year Israel.  I’m also able to start paying down my debt while I’m in school, especially the high interest loans that are a pain in the arse.  In a less financially responsible context, I’m able to live a lifestyle that I wouldn’t otherwise have if I was socking away money somewhere else.  Namely, I can travel, I can shop without feeling buyer’s remorse, I have an emergency fund that helped me through unemployment; for the most part, I can do what I want when I want.

More importantly, I don’t plan on living with the ‘rents for the rest of my life.  And while I didn’t plan on living with them after undergrad, this is different.  Even if the recession lasts forever, I know that there will be a time when I’m no longer accruing debt in the name of higher learning, and maybe I might have a husband or a kid or two.  Although I’ve heard of children moving back home with their parents and then starting their own families, I don’t think that’ll be me. 

But…you never you.  😉


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