I am, ugh I hate this word, a Millennial. The talking heads like to call us the Digital Generation, Generation Y, and maybe a rival most-hated term, the Boomerang Generation. Those talking heads love to complain about how we’re ruining everything (did WE, those under 30 really get us into this financial mess?) and how we’re spoiled entitled brats who need constant reassurance. I can assure you, we are not. While there are some of us who have failed to properly launch our lives in the same timeframe our parents and grandparents had, it is more likely series of circumstances than lack of motivation. We’ve been raised with faster and faster digital devices and then been told that where all the jobs are. Yes, we Tweet and Instagram and text message a lot but we are a generation hungry, starving for both quality and density. Having amazing content in our faces at all times has pushed us to not settle, which is why we get married later and later and delay some basic life events like moving out of our parent’s houses. Jobs are still scarce since bosses think we just won’t work hard enough combined with corporate greed and old-school standards. We’re saddled with college debt and instead of accepting yet another unpaid internship, we are a generation of producers who are looking to push the button and have the luxury of taking our time to find that unique role of technology, digital and intelligence. You gotta give us a break every now and then, we were raised with special assemblies in elementary school about recycling, we were raised to realize everything matters.
It’s likely if you’re finding interest in this, you’re of this certain generation. And it’s not like you haven’t come from generations of men and women moving out of their parent’s nest. This isn’t a new concept, and I promise I won’t patronize you. You’re a beautiful, bright creature and we’re going to go places all without having to be assholes, you guys.
The first thing you should know other than I’m also a Millennial is I have moved out of my parent’s house and moved back in, only to move back out. I know the difficulty of each transition and they’re pretty fresh to share with you.
- Moving is not cheap. There are so many things to consider. Moving boxes, moving supplies, moving trucks or your dad’s truck or your boyfriend’s truck or your retired neighbor’s truck, saying an adequate thank you to your helpers, gas for all those trucks. The list goes on and on. No matter what your new place is like, you should feel proud of your accomplishment because yay you get new freedom to be pantsless in your house. You get to text friends back on Friday night saying, Sorry, de-panted already and Netflix is cued up on the screen already. Maybe tomorrow? Keep all of this money spending in check by having a plan. A time plan, a budget plan, a thank you for helping me move for as cheap as possible plan. Your parents will be forgiving if you wait to thank their efforts for a few weeks while you settle in and recover your bank account.
- You’re going to have to buy things you’ve never had to own before because they were always shared by the collective household you lived in before. A modem, trashcan, trash bags, lamps. Forget about fancy TVs (is that a thing people do still? I have never purchased a TV and never had cable outside of my parent’s house) and designer furniture, you’re going to realize the super harsh reality of the price tag of a trashcan. Gross, I know. Add things here slowly. Start with the basics and add as needed. I started with a single cast iron pan my dad had gifted me and later purchased a pots and pans set once I was ready to do more cooking. Buy a spatula you like and is sturdy and will last a long time, I promise you won’t regret that purchase. But don’t run out and buy every knife you’ll think you ever need. Have one nice knife, find out it can cut cheese and bread and vegetables all with deft competence.
- This is a time to really develop a personal style. You don’t have to fill every wall with art from day one. You don’t have to have a formal sitting area. Pick up a rocking chair at a vintage store and the 50s coffee table at a thrift store because it’s $5. Or buy the Ikea special of the month. Or buy the expensive couch from Pottery Barn that makes you happy. And know you can’t afford the bookcases and kitchen table right now. There’s no rush to the finish line here, it’s your life, remember? It took me probably a year to get in a space where I wanted to be and everything since then has been adding and subtracting to refine my space.
- I recently had this conversation with a friend’s girlfriend who is still in college. There’s no shame in being included in some of your parent’s bills. Pay your own rent, for sure, but that Netflix account? Leach off that for as long as you want, I say. Pay your parents for your share of the cell phone bill because getting your own account means you will not get the same grandfathered-in rates your parents have secured. You’ll get off that eventually.
- There’s no such thing as what an adult is supposed to do. Guess what, you’re an adult and this is what you’re doing. Don’t compare yourself to your peers. You’re working on your own path, your own story. Keep yourself busy developing into an interesting person that can be single or alone or a full and rounded person in a relationship.
- Living alone? Yay, I love living alone. Realize the first week/s might feel super strange to you and you might get a little lonely. Use this new time to work on a hobby. Write that novel, paint that portrait, develop the recipe for the perfect mole sauce. Go out, sit at the bar, talk to others there just like you. Network!
- Moving in with roommates? All relationships need communication. Discuss realities and don’t let something drive you crazy until you’re sleeping back at your parent’s house just to get away from this crazy person. Please refrain from leaving passive aggressive notes.
- Respect your neighbors. Having a party? Knock on their door to let them know and invite them over. Give them your phone number and ask if you’re too loud to please give you a text or call and you’ll get it under control. This will avoid any noise ordinances if the police get called.
- Please eat some vegetables, and not just when mom tells you to.
- You’ll discover some things you can buy at Ikea and some things you should spend a little more money on. I love Ikea, I love Target, they’re great places to get on-point trends to decorate my home but the truth is, the desk chips and those chairs are wobbly. You’ll need to decide, maybe more through trial and error, what is worth spending a little more money on.
- Put your bills on autopay. It’s not cute to get the gas turned off because you simply forgot to pay. And for petes sake, get renter’s insurance. It’s like, $8 a month.