Boomerang Brats

We recently wrote about an article that pointed out the economic benefits to America when Boomerang "Kids" leave the nest.

Then, lo and behold, we found this gem: "The Benefits Of Being A Boomerang Kid" under the heading, "Growing Up Is Hard To Do." (Phil Villarreal, for The Consumerist)

The author lists three reasons that full-grown adults should continue to force their parents to support them and, consequently, avoid contributing to the economy and society at large.

On the top of his list, spending Mom and Pop's money instead of his own.

"Saving Up- With no rent or utilities, you can build up your nest egg as long as you're disciplined."

Gee that's right Kid, no worries. Has it occurred to you that while you're "building up your nest egg" that you're depleting your parents' nest egg in the process?

Boomerang Boy's second point is "Going to School." We can at least understand and don't necessarily disagree with this point, sometimes it does make sense for an adult student to bunk with the parents. However, we thought that the way he worded his explanation had an air of spoiled brat to it:

"While persuing [sic] all-consuming graduate degrees, sometimes it's not realistic to hold down a job that pays well enough to make ends meet. Living with your parents can minimize distractions."

Yes, Junior, being responsible and having a work ethic can be very distracting. But people do it everyday and do not die. It's nourishing and builds character.

The third point is the one that really brought brat to mind for us, "Becoming an Entrepreneur."

'When you have less overhead, you can be more daring with your time and money. If you launch a business and it fails, you can't lose your house because you don't have one to lose."

We could almost hear him thinking, "Hey, I have a great idea, I could put up Mom and Pop's house as collateral." Careful Sonny, where are you going to live when your big idea goes bust?

But wait, maybe we were being too hard on Boomerang Brat, so we checked out other articles he has written. The top of the list? "One-Stop Shopping For Beer Pong" which includes this literary gem:

"Beer pong players, where do you stock up on the equipment for your athletic endeavors?"

Never mind about that "too hard on him" stuff.

But we can't heap all of our scorn on this author, he was actually referencing another blog in his article, The Well Heeled Blog, where a young woman has a change of heart about moving back in with her parents. She has been on her own for several years but now thinks it would have been "nice" if she had stayed at home. What brought about this change of heart?

One of her contemporaries had the gall to write this:

"I don't think anyone should live at home after the age of 20. I don't care if you're a student or saving up for a house, or whatever other ridiculous excuse you think justifies leeching off your parents. Everyone needs the experience of being independent in order to become self-sufficient. If you do not have enough money to pay rent, you have to find a way to make more money — this is called problem solving, and it's an essential skill for coping with that scary thing called 'real life' so it's better to learn it sooner rather than later."

How dare a full-grown, twenty-something adult state such radical thoughts! Somehow this statement lead the author of Well Heeled Blog to write this (giving Beer Pong Boy a run for his parent's money):

"One of my friends was a manager making $80K. She lived at home because it was 15 miles from her work, and there was no point in renting an apartment when she can save that money for something else."

Wonder how much Mom and Pop were making? On the plus side, after scanning the comments sections of both blogs, there were some "kids" who wrote in that were highly opposed to sponging off of mom and dad with sentiments like this:

"I would only do it if one of my parents needed care, or I just didn't have any other options available. I don't think I would do it to merely save up extra cash. For me, it is fine to live with the rents during school or a move or tough financial times. that is what family is for. But using your parents as a crutch or your personal maids? No. No matter how nice and great the parents are, you have to learn to stand on your own two feet! Except in times of crisis/illness, I think parents' jobs are done at 18 or after schooling is complete. After that, they are for emotional support only--my parents have enough to deal with already; i'd never add my problems to the mix."

Nice to see that some of these young adults get it. However, for every one of those there seemed to be at least two of these:

"Though I said I never would, I moved back in with my parents after college to save money for a big trip I was taking. I was able to sock away $6,000 in six months by working full time and living on a really small budget. That money allowed me to travel Europe and America for six months."

Good for you, Little Man - wouldn't want Mom and Dad to be able to do any of that pesky traveling themselves! But this statement truly defined Boomerang Brat for us:

"CB lived at home for 2+ years after he graduated, and during that time he was able to squirrel money away (some of which to his retirement funds!)."

Yes Budro, building up your retirement fund at twenty-two is really quite admirable... but not if you're draining your about-to-retire parents' funds while you're at it.

David & Veronica,

YOUR TURN: Are we too harsh? Are the "benefits" these Boomerang "Kids" speaking of actually benefits? What to you think?

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