Tom Purcell, 6/9/2014 [Archive]

How to Live with Your Parents

By Tom Purcell

Hey, young adults, living at home with Mom and Dad isn't the end of the world — if you follow the right advice.

As it goes, reports the U.K.'s Daily Mail, nearly 30 percent of adults under age 35 are living at home with their parents.

Why? Well, the economy continues to sputter along, producing few entry-level jobs that allow young college graduates to get their careers underway.

And thanks to soaring tuition costs, there is the record amount of college-loan debt that young people are carrying. Nearly 37 million young Americans owe more than $1 trillion in student-loan debt — most of it FEDERAL student loan debt.

When you combine college loans with credit cards and money bummed from family members, says CNN, each member of the Class of 2013 owes an average of $35,200 — and thousands owe lots more than that, making the cost of their monthly student-loan payments well more than the cost of a mortgage for a starter home.

So many young people are opting to stay at home with Mom and Dad. Let me offer some helpful tips to make these living arrangements slightly more bearable.

The odds are good that your mother is much more willing than your father to keep covering your expenses even though you may be in your 20s or 30s. Parade magazine reports that 41 percent of parents are giving 10 percent of their combined income to their still-at-home kids.

So the last thing you want to do is further antagonize your father. To that end, always be sure to put the Reader's Digest back on the toilet lid, where it belongs. If you need to borrow Dad's crossword-puzzle pencil to jot something down, be sure to put that back, too — on the toilet lid, right next to the Reader's Digest.

Every now and then, approach Dad. Tell him that you are sorry for struggling so long and hard, but the economy is killing you. Still, you say, you would like to pay some monthly stipend to help cover the costs of food and utilities — but make sure Mom is there when you make the offer, as she will want to hear nothing of it. In this way, you can placate the old man without having to come up with the extra cash.

By this point in your life, with you still living at home and all, your parents will hold fairly low expectations for you and your future. They won't blame it all on you, of course. Gallup recently released a poll that shows almost 60 percent of Americans think the American dream is dead. Many parents worry their children will be the first generation to not do better than their parents.

Of course, their expectations may be so low, they won't even expect you to pick up after yourself, clean, cut the grass or wash the cars. Every once in a while, surprise them by doing some of these unexpected chores. (Don't surprise them too often, however, or they may begin to expect you to pick up after yourself, clean, cut the grass and wash the cars.)

In any event, since our political leaders are doing little to address our country's core problems — debt, deficit, spending, entitlements, economic growth, federal student-loan bubble, etc. — there is every reason to expect young people may live at home way longer than they, or their parents, would like.

You'll need a sense of humor to get through these difficult times. I recommend Reader's Digest's "Life in These United States" — but, as I said, don't forget to put the magazine back on the toilet lid, where it belongs.

——-

© 2014 Tom Purcell. Tom Purcell, author of "Misadventures of a 1970's Childhood" and "Comical Sense: A Lone Humorist Takes on a World Gone Nutty!" is a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review humor columnist and is nationally syndicated exclusively by Cagle Cartoons Inc. For info on using this column in your publication or website, contact Sales@cagle.com or call (805) 969-2829. Send comments to Tom at Purcell@caglecartoons.com.

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