Smart Reasons to Save, Use and Invest Money

Living With Your Parents While Being Young, Successful And Married

My wife once worked with a young, successful, preppy, attractive girl that recently graduated with her MBA degree, let’s call her Sally.  She was working full-time in a VP of marketing position (or something similar) making much more money than my wife did, back when my wife worked at this company.  She was recently married and her husband was even more successful than she was! 

At first I thought my wife was telling me the classic story of two young DINKS (Dual Income No Kids), setting out to conquer the world…  

But these two DINKS were a bit different!  You see, both of these highly educated, successful adults were living in the basement of Sally’s parent’s house!  I said “WHAT”, thinking that I misheard my wife, but she confirmed it again!  Apparently, my wife was shocked too, and she asked the pretty VP to go into greater detail, explaining the young DINK’s logic…

Sally told my wife that her parents are rich, so the basement was finished with a kitchen and bathroom and plenty of room…  Sally and her husband were socking away all of their money and living as cheaply as possible.  Kudos to them for living a frugal life way before it become popular right?  Not so fast!

You see they were saving for a million dollar house, and while they might be able to afford it, it would have been a pretty tight squeeze.  I should mention that where I live, a million dollar house is a very BIG house!

So their plan was to live in Sally’s parents house for a five year time span, saving all the money for a huge down payment on the million dollar house.

A clever way to go, and I’m sure Sally’s parents house was big enough…  But still, that would be incredible awkward for me, especially if I were her husband!

What would you do, would you mooch off of your spouse’s parents while saving money?  In some ways I applaud them, even though it leaves a nasty taste in my mouth!  But, Sally’s parents are filthy rich, and they didn’t seem to mind…  So, why not!?

-MR

34 Responses to Living With Your Parents While Being Young, Successful And Married

  1. That’s a tough call! I think it comes down to desire to save cash vs. dealing with your in laws.

    I think I could do it, but I am positive The Wife would go bat shit crazy living with my parents lol

  2. Was “Sally” from a different culture?

    In Asian cultures it’s not unusual for married couples to live with their parents until they can afford their own place. It’s not as common amongst the younger generation as it used be but I’m sure lots of people still do it.

    Asian parents usually encourage their kids to live at home until they are financially sound. And, if Sally comes from a rich family, “financially sound” means “being able to afford a giant house”.

  3. Is Sally an only child? If so, it might be good for her parents to have company once in a while. Plus, if sally’s a marketing exec, that means she’s probably on the road most of the time.

    I think it’s fine. Most high power jobs come with tons of travel, so does it really matter if sally’s stuff is in her parents basement when she’s probably only there 20% of the time?

    Does anyone keep stuff in their parent’s attics? Is that uncool too.

    I guess I don’t see a problem with it. I’m not sure I’d be kicking my kids out if I had the space. I’d want to get my money’s worth out of the house I had, so using it to help my kids get on their feet would be cool with me unless they were deadbeats.

  4. If the ending of that story would have been, “they’re saving their money for retirement, or for their future,” NOT for a million-dollar home, I would have applauded their efforts. However, it seems kind of silly to plunk a bunch of money into some huge home. I’m all for saving a down payment for a house; but what’s the point of having some huge mortgage after living apparently rent-free!?

    As for living with parents, I moved out at 18 so I really can’t understand living with parents as a young adult. However, I do have two, no -now one, younger sibling still living with my parents, but I just don’t get it.

  5. @Jin6655321
    They were the typical caucasian power couple. GQ, Ken & Barbie like. That’s what’s so surprising… Most young adults like them are half way out of the door in a hurray… Leaping, before they look.

  6. Wow, living with parents to save for a million dollar house (that is probably worth half that now). I couldn’t imagine. Part of the fun of growing up is becoming independent and figuring things out.

    But, as was said by another commenter, to each their own I guess.

  7. It is pretty common in Asian culture to live with our parents. I would do it in a heart beat, not to save money but just to live with and take care of our parents.

    If the basement would be empty otherwise and they help their parents out with day to day activities/around the house/take care of them and give them company, I personally don’t see anything wrong in their living situation.

    To each to their own…

  8. My wife and I get along wonderfully with both sets of parents, so I would jump on this opportunity in a heartbeat if possible!

    I think that people shouldn’t be in a rush to live on their own just to prove something. Many people would be in better financial situations if they took this route!

    Of course, I wish their goal was something a little “better” than an overpriced house – but everyone has different priorities.

  9. it’s a great idea and has been done for generations in societies where joint family systems are predominant. think india, UAE, etc. wealth stays within the family and the family gets richer over time. these families also tend to pass down businesses and large inheritance amounts. in the USA, we have been spoiled, partly because of the “american dream” of owning your own home and becoming independent. today, that same american dream has bitten many and has forced them to move back with the rents, often with kids and pets, let alone a spouse.

  10. @Sandy L
    If my memory serves me correctly, the husband travelled most of the time, so he wasn’t home much.

    I can’t remember if she was the only child or not.

    I’m pretty sure I would help give my daughter a boost, by letting them live in my basement. Especially if they were responsible adults.

  11. @Budgeting in the Fun Stuff
    I’m with you on this one! I moved out at 19 too!

    But my relationship with my parents (especially my mom) improved once I was out of the house.

  12. @Little House
    I think with all families, old kids get less spoiled than the younger kids. I think the younger kids get babied a lot, so they find living at home more enjoyable.

    The DINKs were saving for more than the typical 20% down… I believe they were saving 60% (or was it 40%) of the downpayment.

  13. @Everyday Tips
    Unfortunately, my wife got a different job before I heard what happened at the end of the 5 year agreement between the DINKs and Sally’s parents.

    While my wife was there, I never heard of any problems though, so I’m guessing that everything went well.

    In Asian and Indian cultures, staying with the core family is much more common.

    Personally, I was very glad to be out of my parent’s house!!!

  14. @Suba @ Wealth Informatics
    I think it’s admirable for your culture to respect your elders as so!

    I would have loved to live with my grandparents, but with my parents, we sometimes viewed things differently. So I was happy to escape, and I’m sure they were have to have me escape too!

    I like the way Asian culture splits the load of caring for their parents among the kids…

  15. @Khaleef @ KNS Financial
    It’s great to have such parents!!! I was that way with my grandparents (especially the ones on my mom’s side).

    To bad they didn’t pump that money into investments! Perhaps they could have been semi-retired by now at the ripe old age of somewhere in their thirties…

  16. @Sunil from The Extra Money Blog
    Good point.

    The average american walks the tightrope without a net, while the wise family wealth groups have the support of everybody in their family! But perhaps this is because of the wealth over here too. Perhas as america keeps becoming less wealthy as a nation, kids and parents will have to live together out of need…

  17. I’d NEVER do it…. although, if the parents had a mansion, and I never saw them except once a week, I’d think about it 🙂

    Your post reminds me of a backlogged post I wrote last month. Guess I’ll have to dig it out and schedule it. Too many!

  18. @Financial Samurai
    Yep, I reached out to my wife for this one 🙂

    If I had different parents I might (and the house was huge like the DINKs in this post…)

    I know Sally told my wife that she didn’t see her dad that much really, so I’m assuming the house must have been huge!

  19. I really thought the end of this story was going to be “oh, they’re saving for an early retirement!” Once they get that million dollar house the maintenance, insurance, mortgage payments means their savings rate will plummet.

  20. @The Saved Quarter
    I couldn’t do it either, but I guess if the house is more like a mansion than a house… I guess we could manage 🙂

    Still, it odd seeing a power couple live in their parent’s basement for 5 years (which at the time to me seemed way too long)…

    I’m sure they got their million dollar house… Some day, I will have to be nosey and check 🙂

  21. @SeeJaneGetRich.com
    First, let me say it great to hear from you! I hope you have been well!

    Yes, I agree, just the real estate taxes are going to be pretty high (almost as high as the average monthly mortgage payment…)

    I’m sure they are making over $200,000 today, but wow, what I could do with that million dollars or so they are trying to save up.

  22. […] from Money Reasons presents Living With Your Parents While Being Young, Successful And Married, and says, “A story of wise young couple’s frugality even though they are very […]

  23. ehhh…I never could. I left home at 17, and hope to never go back.

    The BF probably wouldn’t be opposed to the idea; he’s quite close to his family. Infact last year he suggested we move in with his mum and brother! Argh!

  24. I actually think it’s a great idea. Saving the majority of their earnings for five years will give the couple more options (and financial security) in the long run.

    Whether they decide to still use it as a down payment for the million dollar home or whether they change their mind and just pay cash for a smaller home (sounds like they’re trying to save at least $400,000), they would be better off financially.

    Imagine being in your thirties and having a $400,000 home paid off…and all you had to do was live with family for 5 years! Not a bad tradeoff is you ask me.

    Of course factors like whether your family drives you and your spouse crazy is something to take into consideration. In this situation, it doesn’t sound like Sally’s parents mind and the couple seems fine living there.

    I’m 28 and my husband is 31…we’re thinking about doing something similar.

    • I say, why not!

      If you get along with your parents fabulously… then… go for it!

      I couldn’t do it because of problems with my parents, but if I had an excellent relationship with them and they had a huge house like the lady I posted about… Then I would live there too. Especially if my spouse and I had a degree of privacy!

      Go for it, you’ll be that much further ahead 🙂

  25. I think it’s excellent and if you can do it, why not. They saved for something they really wanted and they found a way to be able to do it. We got rid of our car to save on gas and insurance but if I could live with my parents again, it might lead to even more savings.