About two years ago, I devised a plan. At the very last-minute, I decided to apply for a Master’s program in Spain. When accepted into that Master’s program, I would bring my stuff back from Boston, put it in my parents’ house, move to Spain and do the program, and then come back to Colorado for good. In fact, it was that idea that sold my mom on the master’s program. It was partially what sold me, too.
Since I made that plan, I knew that when I came back from Spain I would live with my parents. I mean, it was just a given. While living off a tiny salary in Boston, I longed for the financial freedom of rent-free life. My parents are also very handy at fixing cars, hemming clothes, and buying groceries. It never seemed like a big deal to me; my sister lived at home for almost a year after she got back from working in Australia and she was older than I am now.
Plus, in Spain EVERYONE lives with their parents.
It just makes sense: I save money on rent, food, utilities, cable, internet, phone, car maintenance and tailoring! My original plan was to stick it out for about a year and save up enough to buy a place of my own.
However, despite the longstanding plan and the convenience that living at home offers, I’ve been noticing lately that I feel pretty embarrassed to admit to people that I live at home.
There are other downsides too: my commute to and from work is pretty long, there isn’t room for all of my stuff and I feel pretty crowded/disorganized, I live far from pretty much everything fun.
And then there’s the typical dynamic of a young adult (I’m still a young adult, right?) cohabiting with parental units: we fight sometimes. Not a lot, but enough. Most recently, I got in a fight with my dad because he ate my coconut milk ice cream.
Unfortunately, my friend Lauren was visiting last weekend and was there to witness this. But the thing is…the actual coconut ice cream was not the problem. The problem was that he eats EVERYTHING in sight and it’s annoying to feel like you can’t leave anything in the fridge because it will just disappear. And I think I was also feeling a little defensive because he was kind of a jerk about it, and my parents haven’t been overly supportive about my decision to go vegan. Since I became vegan, they have only cooked one meal that I could eat. And that happened because of a conversation that went something like this:
Mom: “What are you and Lauren going to have for dinner?”
Me: “I have no idea. I have no food in the house.” (I obviously now have to shop for myself. There goes the argument that I save money on food!)
Mom: “Well, I’m just going to make what I had planned, then. My shrimp and pasta dish. If she eats it, she eats it.”
Me: “I can’t remember if she eats shrimp. I’ll ask her. You do realize that I don’t eat shrimp, though.”
To her credit, my mom ended up going to the store and making two versions of stuffed peppers that night: One that Lauren and I could eat (Lauren is vegetarian) and one for my dad and her.
That hasn’t happened since. But my dad did buy me a new tub of coconut milk ice cream.
Another problem is that I don’t really like accounting for my whereabouts 24/7. Am I the only person who feels this way? For a while, I really tried to get used to talking about every hour I spent outside of the house. Not telling, I felt, was childish. I’m not a teenager anymore and I have nothing to hide, so I should be able to talk about my plans, activities, and social life.
Recently, I had a change of heart. I’m not a teenager anymore, which means that saying “I was out” is good enough when it comes to saying where I was. “I have plans” suffices for times when I expect to be out. Nothing more required. I feel much better when I maintain an air of mystery.
What I’m trying to say is that, despite my long-term plans and the conveniences and savings living at home offers, I NEED TO GET OUT.
Buying a place is overrated.
In all seriousness, it just isn’t right for me now. My long-term plan has stopped here and I don’t know where I will be in 5 years. I also don’t think it’s smart to buy a house someplace in Denver when I haven’t lived in some different neighborhoods beforehand to get a feel for them.
So, I think I know the neighborhood I want to move to for the short-term, and I’m going to start looking in the next month or so and plan to move out come January.
That still gives me a couple of months to continue saving.
I want to live alone, and I want a dog.
I want my own space and my own food and my own TV.
I also want lots of money in savings, but I guess you can’t have it all.