RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A rising cost of living hit many people hard last year, and according to a recent study from U.S. News & World Report’s 360 Reviews, increased costs for food, bills and rent caused many people to make big changes to their living situation. The study surveyed 2,000 U.S. adults who either moved back in with family or had to get a roommate in 2022, and found some of the reasons they made this decision.
Inflation is currently at a 25-year high, according to U.S. News & World Report. From June 2021 to June 2022, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers increased by 9.1%, the largest 12-month increase since 1981. This sharp increase happened alongside rising student loan debt and high rent prices.
With all these factors at play, U.S. News & World Report states that many Americans spent 2022 struggling to pay for day-to-day expenses like gas and groceries, housing costs and their utility bills.
In the study, U.S. News & World Report found that some attempts to get through rising inflation included selling personal belongings, pulling money from savings or starting a side hustle. But one of the most popular changes was to move in with a roommate or even move back in with family.
While this decision can help save money, it may also bring some personal embarrassment. Over half of the people that were surveyed believe there is a stigma associated with moving back in with family as an adult, even during inflation, and 41% believed there was stigma around having a roommate as an adult. However, the tide may be turning on these viewpoints. Of those that were surveyed, 72% believed that multigenerational households are becoming more accepted during rising cost of living.
Moving back in with family or a few extra people is likely not a temporary phenomenon. More than half of the people U.S. News & World Report surveyed said they expected to live in their current situation for more than a year. While 71% of respondents ultimately wanted to be home owners, most of them are putting these goals on the back burner for the time being.
Even as more people are making big changes to their housing situations, jobs and how they are spending their money, U.S. News & World Report found that these changes for many were not the ultimate solution. In order to move out of the family home or to no longer require a roommate, over half of the participants in the study said inflation would have fall or they needed a pay increase from their primary job.