I’m 26, and I Still Live in My Parents’ House (2020 Edition)

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Written by Liz

Just your regular 27-year-old, queer, super-introverted, FIRE-chasing, frugal Singaporean, who lives a pretty good life while earning only a modest salary, but still plans to retire at age 40 with $1,000,000. Click here to read more

October 18, 2020

Last year in October 2019, I decided to write a post titled “I’m 25, and I Still Live in My Parents’ House”. That long blog post went into detail on my tumultuous relationship with my parents, my past, as well as my plans for the future.

It’s been a full year since then, so I decided to write this update post just before I turn 27.

I wrote this update using a series of questions, so just click on the question you’re interested in having answered, and feel free to skip the rest.

What’s it like being 26 and living with my parents?

Singapore is still a conservative Asian society, so it’s actually perfectly normal to be 26 and to still live with my parents. While a few of my friends have already married and moved out of their parents’ house, I still have many friends (who are my age) who have yet to marry and still live with their parents.

There are quite a few benefits to living with my parents, such as:

  • Lower expenses (I spend only $400 in “rent” instead of at least $800 if I were the move out); and
  • More quality time with family members (such as my siblings and relatives that I’m close to).

However, there is still the obvious and glaring disadvantage of living with them:

  • Lack of freedom (because my parents are still over-the-top controlling).

Essentially, I’m trading my freedom for financial benefits.

Am I getting to experience a little more freedom now?

Frankly, no, I’m not.

When the COVID-19 pandemic started, my parents got a hundred times more controlling and paranoid. And it was already bad before the COVID. When the lockdown started in April 2020, I wasn’t allowed to step out of the house for anything. This went on until June 2020, a good 3 months.

I did go out once to buy groceries, but after that my parents had a freak out and subsequently felt safer if I stayed at home. To their credit, their intention was to keep us safe from the COVID and to greatly reduce our chances of contracting it, but this was crazy extreme.

While I somewhat understand where they were coming from, their drastic authoritarian ways in forcing all my siblings and I to stay home were unpleasant. Instead of having discussions like mature adults, my siblings and I got reprimanded each time we even brought up going out of the house.

Their house, their rules, I guess.

How have I been coping with the lack of freedom?

Now that Singapore is in Phase 2, and going back to work for up to 50% of the total working days has been implemented, I’ve been using that as a means of getting out of the house. Since I only work 3 days a week (and I’m still working from home most days), I get to spend 2 days out of the house with my loved ones.

Since there’s not much I can do about my lack of freedom, I’m trying to keep positive about it all. Instead of wasting my time being upset at my parents, I’m throwing all my energy into working on my niche site and spending time with my loved ones at home.

After all, I don’t think there’s a better time to be working on my niche site, as I have no parental or child responsibilities, and I know I won’t be able to spend as much time with my siblings and cousins once I move out.

Has my relationship with my parents worsened?

I don’t think that my relationship with my parents has gotten worse over the last year, but it definitely hasn’t gotten better either.

My parents will sometimes get upset about even the smallest of things, and this COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t been good for their stress levels either, so I just try to keep out of their way and do as few things as possible to upset them.

My friends are still shocked at the fact that it’s been many years since I came out, but my parents have still refused to accept the situation. I guess it’s because they’ve always led such rich and comfortable lives, with everything going their way, and they also have a lot of “face” to save.

Will my girlfriend and I be getting a house?

Kind of.

We currently have a plan in the works, and I’ll probably write a separate update on this in the coming few weeks.

When will I be moving out?

The plan is for me to stay with my parents until the end of next year, and to move out early-2022. I haven’t brought up the topic of moving out to my parents yet, and I plan to do so next year, so we’ll see what happens then.

As always, thank you for reading and supporting the blog.

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