Mumbai: You would think millennials living with their parents would save more, but not really. There is more money to spend, more freedom to plan big goals without taking on housing loans and their repayments and more conversations about money. Start-up founders Kimerberly Fernandez and Vishal Balsara, investment banker Praneet Singh and not-for-profit professional Shubodeep Datta, talk about what living with parents is like for millennials from a financial point of view:

Save more, spend more

“When you live away from your parents, the biggest expense is rent," said 28-year old Shubhodeep Datta, who spent the first two years of his working life, in tier-2 towns, before he returned to Noida, to live with his parents. He said moving back to New Delhi has not affected his finances. He saves on rent but spends more on maintaining a car. Saving is easier when you live with parents, said 26-year-old Praneet Singh, who lived at home in Gurgaon and worked as a consultant for 2 years. Whatever he saved in those years was used in contributing towards his then 19 lakh fee at IIM Calcutta.

Start-up dreams

For 22-year-old Kimberly Fernandez, the opportunity to co-found Mumbai-based Zars Sports Academy happened because she lives with her parents and did not have to worry about spending on rent or food. She also managed to enlist her parents as investors, borrowing seed capital of a few lakhs from them to start her sports management firm. Similarly Vishal Balsara, who was 22 when he started The Media Guys, his Mumbai-based advertising agency and production house, said that living with parents helped him with his entrepreneurial journey. Balsara said, “Because I was staying at home, I could take that step." Balsara and his partner Nishant, who also lives with his parents, spent a year doing freelance projects before starting their own company. They did not have to budget for rent which helped the duo save up a few lakhs for the company.

I invests  <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>20,000 every month in bank fixed deposits. I will continue doing that, says Vishal Balsara, start-up founder
I invests 20,000 every month in bank fixed deposits. I will continue doing that, says Vishal Balsara, start-up founder

Option to splurge

Millennials, who live with their parents, also have the option to splurge.

“My weekend trips every few weeks to Mumbai and Bengaluru to meet friends can cost 30,000 a month," said Singh. Datta said his biggest expense is on travel.

“For me, the cost of eating out at restaurants and gymkhanas, membership to places such as the Soho Club in Mumbai, add up to over 30,000 a month," says Balsara.

Fernandez said she used to spend a lot on eating out which she regrets now.

Discussing money

When you live with your parents, you often end up discussing money.

“It might be about a shoe that costs 2,000," said Balsara. “My mother finds it stupid if I tell her I spent this much on a pair of shoes." Or a branded TV that costs 15,000 more than a Chinese made one. “Parents have grown up in harder times when income was less; they tend to spend less and save more. So it is up to you to instil the confidence in them that you are financially prudent," said Singh, who discusses his expenses and investments with his parents.

Contributing to home expenses

It is rarely a formal arrangement but you end up contributing to the household expenses. “My first pay cheque was 5,000 from MTV, and I still remember the thrill of it," said Balsara, who handed the entire amount to his mother.

Balsara said he contributes to household expenses such as paying the odd house maintenance work. “It is obviously very minimal," he said. Singh pays utility bills and has also got his parents to use milk delivery app BB Daily, an app for buying groceries, which he recharges at frequent intervals.

A file photo of Shubodeep Datta. I am working on balancing my portfolio- monitoring my mix of equity and debt. I have also a Rs5 lakh health insurance policy that I bought after consulting my family.
A file photo of Shubodeep Datta. I am working on balancing my portfolio- monitoring my mix of equity and debt. I have also a Rs5 lakh health insurance policy that I bought after consulting my family.

‘Why buy a house?’

Not having to invest in buying a house, loan repayments or rent means millennials, who live with their parents, can work towards a different set of goals. For Balsara and Datta, this means putting aside money so they may study abroad. Balsara would like to study different filming techniques and Datta would like to study public policy.

Fernandez has given herself three years to take her startup to a cash positive stage. She will then use those proceeds to repay her debts and build on the business.

Singh would like to continue saving 60% of his salary and build his financial portfolio. “I monitor my finances on an Excel sheet, which I can access through Google sheets on any device. I use Paytm money to track my mutual funds’ portfolio," said Singh.

What next?

“Buying a house is not on the horizon. My parents have a house, I am grateful to them," said Datta. All the four millennials said they have not set a time frame for when they would like to live independently.

Friends, who have studied abroad, complain they feel constricted living with their parents, said Balsara, because they do not like answering about their whereabouts. “But for me, I get all my freedom. So no point staying alone."

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