Millennials can't do anything without there being some sort of stigma attached—they've been accused of killing everything from chain restaurants to doorbells, and they're constantly being labeled lazy and wasteful, despite countless studies proving that that's not necessarily the case.
So of course, taking into consideration that a number of millennials live at home with their parents, many people jump to the conclusion that it's because they're lazy and not ready to face adulthood — a conclusion that's as unfair as it is inaccurate.
Before you buy into the stereotypes, consider this: millennials want to be homeowners, and saving up for that — especially on an entry level salary — while also paying rent is no easy feat, even if you live in a city that's known for having more affordable rent prices. And once you also factor in student debt, you piece together the picture that it can be a massive challenge for millennials to set money aside to for a down payment these days.
Every Little Bit Adds Up—and Parents Get it
According to Zillow, the median price of homes sold in the US is $225,262 and the median rent is $1,600. One year of rent at that price is $19,200, nearly half of a 20 percent down payment on the median home price, and a sizable chunk of change that could be put towards a down payment if it weren't being direct debited to a landlord. Along with first time homebuyer assistance programs and other reduced down payment options, a year or two of living at home could very well translate into a millennial purchasing their first home.
Most parents seem to understand this, too—since the majority (64 percent, according to a 2017 Bank of America report) don't actually charge their adult children living at home for rent or monthly bills to live with them.
Take it From Those Who've Done it
A recent article from USA Today reached out to a few millennials (ranging in age from 23 to 34) who shared their personal experiences living at home and saving up. Twenty-three-year-old Katie Powers, for example, moved back home rent-free after graduating in 2016, and in about a year was able to save up $25,000—and that's on a salary of $32,000, with help from a part-time job, too. She told USA Today that she planned to stay at home for another year to reach $50,000 so she would have enough for a 20 percent down payment on a home in the $200,000 to 250,000 range. (You can read more about her story—and the others profiled—here).
So, maybe it's not what you've been led to believe after all — millennials aren't living at home because they're lazy, they're doing it because it makes a ton of financial sense.