The Bank of Mom & Dad ?

So I just read this NYT article, The Bank of Mom and Dad and it's got me thinking. What type of society are we living in, when college educated individuals literally cannot afford to live on their own without additional support?

Some would argue that the cost of living is too high. Sure this is the case in many of the nation's largest cities: San Francisco, New York, Washington D.C., etc. Yet, I managed to live within my means (for the most part) for 7 years in New York City as a teacher. Sure I had to make sacrifices. I had to have a roommate, and we shared a tiny 580 sq ft., 1 bedroom apartment. I didn't eat out all that often. I rarely took cabs, opting to use my monthly Metrocard. Sacrifice helped me to live there.

So what does this say of some of these college grads? They want their parents' lifestyle, without putting in the 20+ years of work to get there. We can't all afford Pottery Barn furniture with Crate & Barrel dishes straight out of college, along with the gorgeous apartment in the city. But most can afford a smaller apartment, in a safe neighborhood, with Martha Stewart dishes and Straight from the Crate furniture. One of the children listed in this article had a dog that his mother was paying $16 per day for doggie day care. What in the heck?! If you can't afford your dog, why do you have it? Why not wait to get the dog until you can afford it on your salary? Why in the world should Mom and Dad have to spend this money after you are old enough and capable?

It is our materialism, pride and greed that allow us to think this is ok. Sacrifice is a word not heard often these days. We live in a society that tells us we *need* it NOW, and we can pay for it later. Credit card debt is not ok. Living off of our parents is not ok once you have the degree and job. Live within your means, and you'll be much better off in the long term. You'll be learning principles that will help you later on in life.


About jaimeanne

I'm me. Graphic designer extraordinaire, urban master teacher of social studies, former adjunct professor, high school principal, and now most importantly-- Mom to the cutest little girl ever. I try to live by the quote, "Work like you don't need money, Love like you've never been hurt, And dance like no one's watching." I believe in Christ, and sometimes I'm just trying to figure out what He wants me to do. This blog chronicles that journey.
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3 Responses to The Bank of Mom & Dad ?

  1. John Taber says:

    Just don’t judge everyone who lives with their parents so harshly. I did for two different stints after college – and it was a matter of survival, not luxury. (Gettting out was a matter of survival too.)

  2. jaimeanne says:

    I’m not necessarily talking about people who are living in a bedroom at Mom & Dad’s. I’m talking about the people that think they are entitled to the lifestyle they grew up without working for it. These are people who live WAY beyond their means. People who live at home with Mom and Dad are living within their means, unless they run up crazy credit card debt for materialistic items, but that’s rare since they typically don’t pay rent and use that money for something else (savings, paying off debt, etc), not running up excessive debt.
    The article details numerous people who are living on their own, yet they indulge in luxuries and their parents are paying for it. Why would Mom need to pay for a dogwalker for you? Why do you need to go into credit card debt for Pottery Barn luxury items? It makes no sense, but that’s the lifestyle today. Let’s mortgage our future earnings for things we “need” (or rather, want) today.

  3. John Taber says:

    Understood, but I felt like there was a bullseye on my chest with your last paragraph or two.

    The second time around I could have stuck around longer, until I bought a house or something. I couldn’t wait to get out, though. I wound up getting an apartment (my fifth lease in just under six years, both stints with my parents during that time) about five weeks after starting my job.

    One pattern I do see all too often, as a clerk (4 1/2 of the last 6 1/2 years, the last two as stake membership clerk) is young married couples with children living with one set of parents. That’s something President Kimball (speaking from personal experience) advised against. For Alisa and me, it’s enough of a struggle living two wards and ten miles from my parents . . .

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