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Updated on Wednesday, December 30, 2015
Sharon Rosenblatt had been living away from her parents for a while. Until recently she was sharing an apartment with two friends in Silver Spring, MD, but then one of her roommates moved in with his fiancée. Rosenblatt and her other friend didn’t want to find a new third roommate, nor did they want to stay in their apartment, which needed some TLC. After researching the prices of shared two-bedroom apartments in the pricey Washington D.C. suburbs, moving back in with her parents started to seem like a good idea.
A Mounting Pile of Debt
Not only was rent uber expensive in the area, but Rosenblatt was saddled with about $2,000 in medical bills from a surgery she’d had over the summer, as well as about $6,000 in credit card debt. “Like most millennials, I spent unwisely in my early 20s, and I’m paying off credit cards and interest now at the wiser and more frustrated age of 27,” she says.
It was another financial kick in the teeth when she aged out of her parents’ health insurance and had to purchase coverage on the Maryland Health Exchange. “I fall just out of the financial range for a federal subsidy,” she said. “I’m lucky that my job includes a stipend for health insurance, though, and that helped a lot.”
So Rosenblatt decided not to sign a new lease with her previous roommate, and instead reclaimed her childhood bedroom in New Haven, CT for the short term. Now she telecommutes to her job as an IT specialist, and when she’s at home she makes space for herself among her high school knick-knacks. “I just finished cleaning out all the old binders I kept,” she said. “I was still keeping physics notes from high school.”
Cleaning Up her Finances
Rosenblatt still has a car payment and other expenses, but living rent-free has definitely made it possible for her to make real financial strides. “I have one more payment on the surgery,” she says. “Rent is a huge thing I’m happy I don’t have to factor in.” She’s also nixed about $1,000 of her credit card debt so far.
She pays $150 a month to rent a space in a local co-work facility three blocks from her father’s office, and they carpool. “I like having a place to go,” Rosenblatt says. “I need that structure.”
She considers herself lucky to be able to move back in with her mom and dad. “I’m fortunate that my parents are wonderful people who don’t mind cooking for a third person now,” she added.
Rosenblatt plans to be out of her parents’ house in a year, and perhaps find new roommates. She’s even thought about saving up for a house. “It would be nice to be in a position to own property instead of renting,” she says. “I would love to get back on my own.”