How much could you save by living with your parents?
For years, there was a certain ritual young adults could expect to follow: Graduate high school, earn a higher-education degree, get a job, rent an apartment and eventually, move into a house.
Not any longer. A new analysis of U.S. census data by the Pew Research Center found that in 2014, for the first time in over 130 years, adults ages 18 to 34 were more likely to be living with their parents than to be living with a spouse or partner in their own household. The reasons could include everything from later-life marriages to economic constraints, according to Pew. After the Great Recession, it simply became more common for young people to start living with their parents, and even though the economy has improved, many millennials are still choosing to live with mom and dad.
And there are good financial reasons to consider living with your parents, from saving on rent to building up your savings account. If you're mulling over making mom and dad your roommates again (or if you're a parent pondering whether to invite your adult kid back in), here's a roundup of reasons for remaining under one roof a little longer.
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You could save up for a house. That's what Ross Lipschultz, 26, of Los Angeles, did when he lived with his mother from 2012 to 2015. Lipschultz recently moved out, but thinks he'll be able to buy a house in the near future – a reach for anyone in Los Angeles, where rent and mortgage payments are sky high – because of the money he saved rooming with his mother.
But the living arrangement can benefit the parent, too.
"We recently had my grandmother living with us as well and I would take care of her, cook for the family, run her and my mom's errands, which made me feel like I was giving back to the women who helped raise me," Lipschultz says. "We just moved my grandma into an assisted living facility, and I was able to take a lot of the stress off of my mom, and she thanked me endlessly for it."
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You could start a business. Heather DeSantis, 27, of Columbus, Ohio, moved in with her mother shortly after quitting her job to start her own business.
Quitting was a little spontaneous, but once she did, she felt that moving in with her mother was the only smart recourse she had.
"I did not have a job, had no source of income and needed to move back home to get back my bearings," she said.
DeSantis went from $51,000 a year to working on launching her public relations firm. To bring in extra money, she made $13.33 an hour at a nearby gym. A year later, she still works there and lives with her mother, but her public relations business is starting to get off the ground.
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And she has no regrets. "Every day that I wake up and get to work on my business I am filled with so much passion and excitement," DeSantis says, and echoing Lipschultz's experience, there's been another bonus.
"It has given me time to deepen my relationship with my mom," says DeSantis, who went through some rough times with her mother when her father died during her senior year of high school.
You can use the time to pay off your student loans. Kelly Jacobson, 21, of Frederick, Maryland, has a decent-paying job, but she moved in with her parents at her mother's suggestion. Her mom's thinking? Jacobson could save on rent and other expenses while paying down her student loans and building her savings. After all, Jacobson's mother fretted about her daughter having enough money leftover in her solo budget for nutritious food.
And so Jacobson has been eating healthy, saving and helping out around the house and with her younger sisters.
"It's only awkward when it comes to dating, coming home hung over and [spending time] with my friends on weekends," Jacobson says.
Dating hasn't been awkward, however, for DeSantis. Her boyfriend, a 28-year-old sports reporter, lives with his mother, too.
You can create and pad a savings account. Many experts will tell you how important it is to have three to six months (if not more) of living expenses in a savings account. And many hard-working adults, buried under bills and credit card debt, likely read the advice and think, "Really?"
But kids who move back in with parents could actually do that. Holly Steffl, who works for a public relations firm in Minnetonka, Minnesota, graduated from college last December and moved in with her parents soon after.
"They let me live rent-free in exchange for picking up my old high school chores," Steffl says.
Her parents also are letting her stay on their health insurance, car insurance and cell phone plan as well.
Much of her money is going into a savings account. She'll have no problem building an emergency fund with six months or more in savings. (Of course, keeping the money there is another story.)
"I could live on my own if I really wanted to, but I also don't want to live off of ramen again," Steffl says. "There is just something nice about living at home and getting my feet underneath me. I have the whole rest of my life to pay rent or a mortgage, so I am very thankful for my parents' generosity."
But, she adds, "I do think it is important though if you move in with your parents [to] give yourself a timeline on when you want to leave. By giving myself a two-year deadline, it motivates me to save and pay off some of my loans quicker."
A deadline is probably a very wise idea. Pam Danziger, who lives in Stevens, Pennsylvania, has a 25-year-old son living with her and her husband. While she loves having him around, she can see where a millennial could overstay his or her welcome. Her son has a job but is still a few credits shy of getting his college degree; overall, she thinks he'd be happier and farther along in life if he had moved out some time ago.
"It's delaying his growing into adulthood ... and this arrangement just makes it entirely too easy," she says.
Copyright 2016 U.S. News & World Report
Not living with mom and dad? See the most popular cities for millennials here: