How a 24-year-old living with her parents spends her paychecks
Share Now on:
Abigail Gomez, a 24-year-old production supervisor from Logan, Utah, spends $100 to $120 on vitamins every month. Other recent purchases include Fendi sunglasses, a pricey tote bag and a Red Light Therapy lamp.
“I do buy some things that are expensive,” Gomez said. “I try to limit myself on those purchases but … I have so much money to spend, that I’m just like, ‘Why not?’ I can afford it.”
Gomez is among the nearly 50% of young adults living with their parents and fueling high demand for luxury goods, according to a recent research note from Morgan Stanley.
Gomez, who said she makes around $78,000 annually working for Thermo Fisher Scientific, lives with her parents, older sister and her sister’s two children. “The room I’m in now is the one I’ve been in since I was probably 14,” she said.
Gomez considered buying a house just before the pandemic hit. “I got approved for a loan, and I was looking into the market,” she said. “I was like, ‘Wow, if I put this as a downpayment to this house, I’m going to be left with nothing but a house … so I backed out and was just like, ‘Uh, I’ll just stay with my parents. It’s fine.’”
As the cost of living rises, living independently is becoming more unattainable for young adults like Gomez. Home prices have more than doubled since 1972 in inflation-adjusted dollars. All the while, education, medical and transportation costs have increased as well.
The share of young adults living in multigenerational households was 9% higher in 2021 than it was in 1971, according to a Pew Research report.
Though Gomez pays $400 per month for the privilege of living in her parents’ home, it’s far cheaper than an average rental in Logan — around $1,650 per month, according to the rental platform RentCafe.
Gomez’s living situation has other benefits too, like home-cooked meals and free laundry service. “[My mom] does my laundry still without me even asking,” Gomez said. “I know it’s horrible, but she does it and I enjoy it.”
Her monthly expenses include WiFi, a cell phone and insurance. “I try to save and invest, I want to say, about 40% of my paycheck,” she said. “I never want to be in a place where I do not feel financially secure.”
Gomez’s current living situation does have drawbacks though. “Number one is just privacy,” she said. “I was talking to my boyfriend the other day, like, sometimes my parents will knock, but it’ll be like a one second and then just walk in.”
The 24-year-old said she hopes to get a place of her own in the next couple of years. “But I do want to say, living at home has given me a good step up to where I would like to be in the future,” she said. “I’m super grateful for my parents for just being able to support me in the ways that they have.”
There’s a lot happening in the world. Through it all, Marketplace is here for you.
You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible.
Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.