I’m an analyst with a top U.S. investment bank in London. I’ve worked here for two years since leaving university and travel between London and New York to liaise with our clients. I’m probably earning more than most of my university counterparts, but I’m still living with my parents in the Surrey commuter belt.
I’m pretty unusual. I’d say that no more than 10% of my analyst class is living with their parents now. My parents live around 40 miles from London and it takes me an hour to commute on a train that goes directly to Waterloo Station.
Even though London rents are notoriously high, I could comfortably afford to live there if I wanted to. Someday, I probably will move away as most of my friends have done. I’ve certainly considered it. For the moment, though, I don’t want to. I’m living with my parents for a trial period and it makes total sense: being with them lets me focus on work and enjoy certain home comforts. If I want to socialize and stay in London, I just go to friends’ houses.
Needless to say, there are also big financial advantages. Living with my parents means that I avoid paying for a property – and all its associated bills – where I’d do nothing but sleep after working hours. By living with my parents, I estimate that I’m saving a significant amount – probably £12k ($18.2k) a year, or more. I don’t pay them any rent and only a few bills. On the other hand, my train fare is around £4.5k annually, so those gains need to be netted against this additional cost.
How do my parents feel about all this? They seem fine and help me a lot. My job is pretty intense and I often work 80+ hours a week, including weekends. My parents are surprised at how much I work – especially with the two-hour commute each day. They’ve raised concerns about my working hours and suggested I find something less pressured instead, but I’ve pointed out that banking’s the kind of thing you only do for a few years anyway, so it’s no big deal.”
Said Jain is a pseudonym