First Person: Our Grown ‘Millennials’ Living at Home Save Us Money

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With the astronomical costs of rent in our Florida community, it would be financial foolishness for us to encourage our young adult children to move out. Rent is so high that my husband and I couldn't afford to rent out a home similar to the one we own with a 15-year mortgage. According to new research cited in a Christian Science Monitor article, more than a third of young adults lived with their parents in 2012. It's the highest rate of young adults living at home in four decades. My own children are 18 and 20. My older son is a "boomerang" child who lived on his own for one year, while my younger son never left the nest. The Pew Research Center's study showed 36 percent of the Millennial generation aged 18 to 31 lived at home last year. That number compares with 32 percent in 2007 and 34 percent in 2009. Although some parents bemoan the situation of having an adult child at home, we save money by having a multi-generational household.

Saving on car bills

My older son pays his own car insurance and gasoline. Yet, he is able to contribute to our economic situation by chauffeuring around his younger brother. We also combine trips such as visits to the dentist. When my son lived in New York, I spent a lot more money on gasoline and upkeep to our vehicles. By living at home, I'm able to talk to my sons more often about topics such as living on the McDonald's budget and living below their means.

Reducing our food bills

Having grown children around also helps lower our food bills. My younger son enjoys gardening, which means we have inexpensive produce during the two growing seasons in Florida. My older son likes to cook, which means we tend to eat out less. They both find Internet coupons and deals for us to use. Instead of spending more to feed two young adult children, we simply throw less food away. Our actual grocery bill is about 10 percent lower now than it was when my son was in New York.

Enjoying cheap recreation

Another advantage to having young adult children around is that they are willing to find inexpensive forms of entertainment and recreation. My sons like to go bicycling, visit community swimming pool or watch movies at home. Since most of their friends live at home with their parents or with grandparents, there is no stigma attached to being in a multi-generational home.

According to the study, at least a third of the Millennials living at home are college students. The Pew report included young adults living in dorms. Another study showed 78 percent of the young adults are pleased with their living arrangements. Living at home gives my children an opportunity to save money in their late teens and 20s so they can afford a nicer home of their own when they are older. It also helps them afford college. As a Gen-X parent, I'm not upset about my young adult children at home because they contribute to our family dynamics in a positive way.

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