OPINION: The Cultured Case for Living With Your Parents


By Jeneta Nwosu

Like any academic validation addict, I was an ambitious child. My plan was simple: get my degree, get my money up and get the hell out of Dodge. Dodge being my parents’ house, not the proverbial city in Kansas. 

Then everything changed. The scales fell from my eyes. In short, I grew up. Obviously, stacking ludicrous amounts of paper will be a breeze, especially after graduating with a shiny new Human and Organizational Development degree. But newsflash, y’all! Living with your parents isn’t just for the poors. In fact, if you’re serious about your grindset, you may want to stay put right exactly in Dodge where you belong.

Consider the two alternatives most younger generations — from the creakiest elder millennials to the sprightliest of zoomers — have in today’s society. Choice one is that which most of us make by default: renting. It makes sense, of course. With no forays into the noble but labyrinthine bank lending system, it’s almost too easy. Just a credit check, a background check, a reference check and a quick verification of your income level. Couldn’t be simpler.

 I’m not sure, however, if we have collectively examined the impact of this choice. I mean, seriously, think about it. Month after month, paycheck after paycheck, hour after hour of painstaking labor (arranging bullet points on a PowerPoint slide) — all gone. It never ends. Assuming $900 per month, roughly the sum for an Iowa one-bedroom, just existing for ten years will cost you $108,000. 

Don’t get me wrong, that’s chump change. For a future assistant management solutions specialist like me? Nothing. It just completely violates both economic and ethical principles. It’d be fine and dandy if the money funded a good cause, like a round of CBD mocktails for beleaguered freelance consultants at your local WeWork. But instead, it lines the greasy pockets of a landlord. And a landlord is just SOME GUY. Who is, in theory, supposed to provide services in exchange for your hard-earned money. But in reality, the incentives are all wrong! They could blow it on bulk orders of cigarettes, piss it away on parlays or, even worse, let it stagnate in an account with a 0.01% interest rate. As a society, we’ve subsidized a whole class fully able to sit on their rears in perpetuity after acquiring property. How am I the first and only person on earth to point out this appalling blunder? WHY IS NO ONE TALKING ABOUT THIS? 

Now we move on to choice two, homeownership. There’s more to like here. It comes with a heftier upfront cost, but nothing I couldn’t knock out in a couple years of hustling. Plus, instead of an individual with unclear moral principles, you’re essentially paying yourself. As all philosophers agree, maximizing personal gain is the highest moral good. The bank gets a cut, too — famously the nation’s most God-fearing institution, amen. However, all my major purchases need to be a revenue generating investment. (It’s called a growth mindset.) You can’t profit from a house until it’s sold, and then where would you live? If some dastardly developer builds an affordable multifamily housing complex nearby, you could even lose money from the ensuing drop in your home’s value. Not to mention costs like paying strong, callused men to fix inevitable household catastrophes. I can’t unclog my own toilet. My fingies might get dirty. 

I don’t know if this is apparent to those among you who don’t read Bloomberg, but larger forces are at work here. Nowadays, hedge fund management companies own billions in residential real estate. I know what you’re thinking. Isn’t this awesome? Doesn’t this guarantee tons of new returns for shareholders? Tempting thought, but think again. I have a buddy who interns for Blackstone, and let’s just say he’s not as proficient in Excel as he says. The poor schmuck couldn’t VLOOKUP his way out of a paper bag. In truth, not even our sacred alternative asset investment industry is safe from the scourge of incompetence. These landlords aren’t just some GUY, but incorporated companies of just some GUYS. And assuming you go against my personal recommendations and decide you, in fact, want a house, you’ll be competing against A LEGION of some guys for that snazzy little suburban 4-bed 3.5-bath with a two-car garage and a pool. 

Dear readers, I see the strings our overlords are pulling. Despite claims to the contrary, I AM #WokeAF. And you can be, too. The only way to beat the game is to not play. Escape the Matrix and live with Mommy and Daddy! Bonus: it’s literally super progressive. The oldest generations are the richest. By refusing to unlatch from their financial teat, you’d be engaging in a historic redistribution of wealth. 

I mean, you don’t have to be a total leech. Buy your mother gifts here and there. Take out the trash sometimes and save your old man’s back. It’s not all smooth sailing; this path undeniably requires sacrifices. You may suffer nitpicking about your appearance, lifestyle habits and the fact you always need to borrow the car. (No point in buying one. It’s literally a depreciating asset.) Your situation may repel prospective paramours. But even with costs incurred for parental brownie points and occasional psychotherapy, the money saved is staggering. Besides, if your partner doesn’t respect your grind, they’re not the one. Put all the money you would have spent on rent or a house into an index fund, and you’re well on your way to millionaire status, baby.

“But madam,” you might say, “what do I do? My parents don’t own a home!” Or “they do but they don’t love me enough to let me stay!” Or “I don’t have parents!”

In that case, you’re out of luck. Sorry. Have fun on Apartments.com, you prole.

  • April 21, 2024