Friday, 16 September 2011

I've Finished Uni, Where Should I Live?

Over one third of 20-35 year olds in the UK live with their parents.

The hotly debated topic between myself and my housemates in the final year was where to live when we finished Uni. At the time I was totally against the idea of moving back in with my parents. My parents wound me up after a week or so of the summer holiday, imagine months of it (or even years *shudder*)!

I had hoped to live with my boyfriend (of 5 years.. it's about time!). He had the foresight to think about saving money for his Masters degree however, meaning I just couldn't compete with the £100 his mum was charging for rent, bills and food.

I looked into renting a flat of my own but Cornwall's one of the most expensive places to live in the country. The rent alone was too much for my meagre budget, even aside from bills and this new concept of council tax – glad we avoided that one as students!

When I start my new job in autumn I will probably become a lodger, but to save money for the time being I am living with my parents. We agreed on the rather cushy rent of £30 a week, which includes bills although I do buy some food for the four of us (my younger sister's currently living at home too).

So what are the pros and cons of living with your parents?

It certainly feels like a step backwards. You go to Uni feeling like you've become an adult, capable of functioning in the real world, but then return to the same bedroom you've had since you were two. (Complete with a faded carpet depicting teddy bears, dolls and building blocks...) It certainly took a bit of getting used to, both for myself and my parents who had got used to living on their own again. At times we can get under each other's skin, although on the other hand it's nice to see them regularly again.

Another major issue is that your independence is severely reduced. I was used to living by my own rules, doing what I liked whenever I fancied. Now I have to let someone know if I'll be home for dinner or what time I'll be back from work!

In my present circumstances, where every pound counts, the positive effect on my bank account outweighs any other issues I had, including the slight dent to my pride when many friends have now permanently flown the nest. I'd be interested to hear from other recent graduates to see if their situation differs to mine.

To anyone considering moving back home after Uni: consider living with family if you need to save some cash, although it's not a situation that everyone would enjoy!


Frugal Down Under said...

I went back home 4 times between the ages of 19 to 36. I paid some rent and it was win win for my mum and I.

My partner babysat in exchange for a room.

And we have done lots of house sitting stunts. Our longest one was 5 months!!! 5 months rent free!!! We were pretty frugal in the home and so they decided to pay all the electricity and water bills too. We were able to commence saving our home deposit.

All of these options were worth the sacrifice of not living in our own space.

Bryallen said...

House sitting sounds like a great idea! I think in general my arrangement with my parents is win win. I help by buying and cooking cheap but healthy meals every once in a while. My Dad's not impressed with the increase in water usage however, so my new goal is to shower for less than 5 minutes (I'm already frugal with water in other ways, but I take far too long washing my hair!).

I'm off to read your blog. "Eco-frugality" caught my eye! :)