Why I Still Live With My Mother

It happens a lot. I am talking to people and tell me to move out of the family home. Sometimes it’s more subtle. They’d ask questions like, “Are you still living with your mother?” and the question is more a put-down rather than an actual question. I don’t know why it bothers me. On one hand I think maybe I care about other people’s opinions too much, and I shouldn’t care about what other people think.

Most people who don’t know me too well assume that I live with my mother because I am poor and therefore I cannot afford a house. They would say something like, “Houses are so expensive nowadays!” But I earn a six-figure income, and I could easily afford to buy a house. I wouldn’t even need to borrow money from the bank to afford a house. But I choose not to. If I move out and rent a place on my own, I waste money on rent. If I move out and live in a house I buy, I waste money paying interest on the mortgage (see Don’t Aspire to Buy and Live in Your Own Home). If you want to invest in property, you can still invest in property and live with your parents. Furthermore, if you take this route, you’re able to rent out your property and earn rental income, which you would not get if you lived in your home. Regardless of whether your rent or buy, you lose money. Either you pay and waste rent or you forego rent by living in a house that you would have been able to rent out. In the latter situation, this is known in economics as opportunity cost.

In my opinion, there is an even better strategy than buying an investment property and living with your parents so you can rent out your property to tenants. That strategy is to simply invest in real-estate investment trusts (REITs), which you can buy off the stock exchange via a discount online broker. If you live in Australia, all you need to do is sign up to an online broker such as CommSec and then buy REIT ETFs. All this can be done online in the comfort of your own home. REITs invest mostly in commercial real estate such as shopping malls, offices, and industrial real estate.

There is definitely a social stigma that comes with not owning property and living with your mother, but it is one that I accept. Most people are conformists. They follow what society sets out for them. I am trying hard to combat stereotypes. I try hard to urge people to think for themselves, to explain in detail how not paying rent or mortgage interest can help them, but it’s very difficult. Often you need to stop trying to change people and just be the change you want to see, to live the life you want to live and show people that, by living with your parents, you actually increase your independence by reducing your debt, increasing your net worth, and therefore increase your freedom. Most people just go along with society, buy a house, go on many expensive holidays, buy a car on finance, and then find themselves so deep in debt that they must work forever to pay it off.

The only difference between a developed democratic society and a third-world dictatorship is that the tools of slavery in a developed economy are more efficient. There is still oppression. There is still slavery. But debt and obligation is used rather than whips and chains.

2 thoughts on “Why I Still Live With My Mother”

  1. Good on you for being open and unashamed of living with your mum. I think it’s a good choice for some people, if it works for them and for their parents.

    Unfortunately a lot of parents aren’t in a financial position to support the “rent”, utilities and other costs that come with having an extra person in their home. They were the generation that were lured into credit and buying everything on finance. If you’re contributing your fair share of living costs then it’s pretty much equivalent to sharing a rental with a couple of housemates (plus you might get a little more free-reign and less parental breathing down your neck). Some people also have tense relationships with their parents and their happiness level improving by getting away from an unhappy living situation is going to have such a positive effect on their life.

    Tristan and I stopped living with our parents around 21, it was definitely the right choice for us – parents were cramping our style and we have so much more daily enjoyment living together, on our own with our own rules. I would say our financial outlook/choices have grown so much since living on our own.

    It’d be interesting to hear what your mum says – it’s such a personal thing in each family what dynamics work for them, I’ve known of many parents who wouldn’t have it any other way , they love their kids living with them.

    Jasmin

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    1. Thanks for your comment. You are right this is about the same as living with friends. The main idea is that you share accommodation so that costs are split, but I can definitely see how this can be an issue depending on who you’re with and your relationship with them. My mother is happy with me living with her. Once again, thanks for commenting!

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