Remember when you were ill and mum used to bring you tea in bed?
Maybe you’d watch football on the tele with your dad, have the best home cooked meals or get to lie in all day at the weekend?
What if that never changed? What if you could stay at home forever?
Okay, so it’s not quite that simple, but why are more and more young people still living at home?
Are you still living at home?
Maybe you went off to university, graduated and haven’t been able to find a job, or a stable one at least, or you aren’t earning enough money to afford the rent in the city you’re in? I know it well.
BBC interviewed a number of people who told their stories about living at home.
“I’ve kind of given up now. When I was around 30, I wanted to move out but you get to the point that it’s not worth it.” Helen, 37.
The number of young people (ages 20-35) currently living at home with their parents has increased drastically in the last couple of years. In 2017 the number reached 3.4 million, a 25.91% increase from 1997 (Guardian)
Why? The rents are going up, the cost of living is going up, the prices of transport never fails to increase. Many companies aren’t willing to hire those without solid experience, making it difficult for fresh graduates who didn’t have a great job placement, or maybe didn’t get a 2:1, to secure a job that provides enough income. It can also be a problem for adults in their late twenties / early thirties who are looking for a career change.
Last year, in the UK, 49% of 23 year olds were still living at home. Why? For many of the reasons listed above. Some other reasons may be because of health problems, they’re young parents or just because they simply enjoy the home comforts.
Personally, I’ve lived at home on and off since I first left school at 18. I lived with my grandpa for a few months. Then back to my mum’s house 9 months later. I then stayed at home throughout my undergraduate degree because my parents had a home in the UK but were living abroad at the time.
I was offered a scholarship for my Masters degree which lasted me nearly 18 months, but my parents still helped me out on occasion.
5 months after that I was back home again due to money and health problems. I stayed for nearly 2 years before moving out again to travel and try and teach abroad, but even then my parents still helped! I thought going abroad would be a big opportunity to earn some serious money, but for many reasons I ended up back at home again.
This doesn’t apply to everyone, obviously, but for many young adults it’s extremely difficult to leave home these days.
Do you know how much it costs to move into a one bedroom apartment? I’m not even going to talk about the big cities like Manchester and London. Even Bournemouth is expensive nowadays.
I’m currently in Sheffield, but working in Manchester. I looked at places in Manchester and for one room in a shared house (with bills) the average price is £500 per month. For a studio or one bedroom flat it’s nearly £1,000.
In Sheffield, the average price of a room in a shared house (with bills) is £350 per month. For a studio £600 and a one or two bedroom flat it’s around £700. That’s not so bad, is it?
It’s not terrible, in fact many people would be overjoyed at only paying that much per month.
So what’s the problem?
The problem is that if you’re looking to move into a place of your own, or with a partner or friend, the fees are outrageous.
Unless you’re very lucky it’s unlikely you’ll be able to rent through a private landlord, which means you’ll be renting via an estate agent.
And in my opinion the estate agent fees are disgusting.
I’ve been looking to move into my own place because I’m absolutely sick of living with smelly, dirty, inconsiderate people who can’t wash up, or clean a toilet, or keep the noise down at 3am.
Take this one bedroom apartment for example. It looks nice, but it’s not spectacular.
It’s £575 per month without bills and council tax, so probably an extra £160-200 per month.
When I clicked on fees apply there are: 6 week deposits, security deposit, tenancy agreements, reference fees, agreement of guarantor, moving in fees and a few others.
The minimum total cost to move in? £1,872
WHO HAS THAT MONEY LYING AROUND?!
I certainly don’t.
Not only is this a problem for young people, but also for the parents. When the ‘children’ (Remember, we’re talking about adult children here) finally leave home, it’s time for the parents to relax and enjoy each other’s company once again without the constant responsibilities that they once had, such as making breakfast / dinner, washing and ironing, taxi of mum and dad etc for the children. Now they should be able to focus on themselves more and worry a little less.
A recent study shows that when children move back into the family home, the parents’ quality of life often declines.
“[The parents] enjoy this stage in life, finding new hobbies and activities. When adult children move back, it is a violation of that equilibrium.”
This move back home can also have an impact on the social life and mental health of everyone involved. Both parents and children are likely to feel frustrated with the lack of: space, freedom and future prospects.
Living at home may mean children are following their parents’ rules once again, limiting their social life or hindering relationships. However, this also works the same for the parents as having their children at home may mean there is less space for guests or socialising.
On the other hand, perhaps some parents love having their children at home – are there any of you out there?
What about young adults? Do you love living at home with your parents or are you desperate to move out?
In all honesty, unless some drastic changes happen in terms of house prices, rental costs or minimum wage, I don’t see this situation improving any time soon.
Every time I leave home I promise my parents that it will be the last time. The last time I claim a room in their little house. The last time I borrow money. The last time I ask them for anything.
Unfortunately, for all of us, I haven’t reached that stage yet. I just don’t earn enough money to cover my rent, my bills, my glasses, my medicine and my train fares to work each week.
I haven’t bought new clothes in months, I haven’t bought make up or jewellery. I’ve not had a night out or gone to the cinema. It sounds dramatic, I know, but living at home I was able to afford those nice things.
The only thing I’m spending money on is food and a coffee on Saturdays, but even then I feel like I’m spending too much. But I’ve got to eat, right?
So, my questions to you lovely readers are:
Are you still living at home and if yes, why?
Are your adult children still living at home?
How do you think this will change in the future and what can we do to improve the situation?
I’m looking forward to hearing more opinions about this topic, regardless of who you are and what your situation is.