If there’s one thing I’m afraid of, it’s paying bills. Hydro, cell phone, TV, Internet, car insurance, the list goes on. As the Financial Literacy Action Group (FLAG) has dubbed November “Financial Literacy Month,” I would like to ask just how FLAG would read my situation: I work at a chain retail store, coach dance on the side and attend school full time; how am I supposed to afford the rising cost of living? While Credit Canada would offer up some sort of budget plan, I’d like to argue that I simply couldn’t. But I don’t have to – not as long as my parents have a home with room for a futon.
Many 20-somethings have opted out of heading into the big, scary world on their own as their elders have previously (bravely) done. For some, this sounds completely sensible. For others, the notion that a person over the age of 18 is living with his or her parents is unimaginable. Who’s to say what’s right? Is there an age at which parents must cut off their children from access to the home? Contrary to my Grandmother’s belief, staying at home during your 20s might just be the smartest thing a student can do.
If you pay attention to current news, you know two things: Rob Ford is in a pickle, and our economy isn’t stellar. Inflation isn’t slowing down and you can forget about job-hunting because there’s little employment. Without a steady job equipped with a pension, benefits and above-minimum wage pay, the cost of living is overwhelming. Now, imagine you’re 23. You have $30,000 of student debt. Numerous bills to pay. By living with your parents, one can at least take the stress of paying hefty bills out of the equation of life during or after college.
If you’re not sold yet, a gander at the Canadian Federation of Students’ website reveals that the average student owes almost $27,000 after graduation. With that figure in mind, it’s hard to argue against staying with your parents. It seems to be the least stressful way of dealing with overwhelming student loans.
Yes, staying at home while going to school, shortly after graduating, or saving up the money in order to rent your first, mouldy, creaking-door apartment is an educated decision to make. But let’s get one thing straight: I don’t see the point in living with your parents if you’ve earned enough money to live on your own or with roommates. Aren’t you ready to leave the nest? Relying on your parents for some emotional stability and support throughout life is completely acceptable. Relying on them for total financial support? Nuh-uh.
Independence is calling, young Jedi. Answer the call.
Samantha is a second year Creative Communications student at the University of Winnipeg.