How young people from Tucumán who want to live alone like in “Big Bang Theory” look for a life

How young people from Tucumán who want to live alone like in “Big Bang Theory” look for a life
How young people from Tucumán who want to live alone like in “Big Bang Theory” look for a life

Leaving the family home represents a great challenge for those who try. The simplest recipe to do so is based on this word: “share.”

“Sharing rent costs makes it much easier to move in alone,” he says. Nahuel Ibarra, a 23-year-old young man from Tucuman who became independent at the age of 18. This student lived in the interior of the province, but decided to move to the capital to pursue the career that he was passionate about, Arts. To fulfill his dream, Nahuel first looked for people in the same condition as him because he had realized early on that he would not be able to do it alone. Through an advertisement on social networks, he contacted two girls who rented, but could no longer afford their expenses.

More and more young people are adopting the lifestyle of the characters in the series The Big Bang Theory in which Leonard Hofstadter, played by Johnny Galecki, and Sheldon Cooper, played by Jim Parsons, work as physicists at the California Institute of Technology and They share an apartment. The same situation is repeated in different places in the province and groups of friends. Tucumans also look for “roomies”, which can be colleagues, friends, acquaintances and sometimes even strangers. It is clear that the key to leaving the parental home is “sharing.”

The hardest part

Rent is generally the biggest expense. The monthly payment for a studio apartment ranges between $100,000 and $180,000 depending on the location and quality, according to a survey carried out by LA GACETA in four real estate agencies in San Miguel de Tucumán. On the other hand, expenses imply between $15,000 and $50,000. You also have to think about the prices of food for one person, approximately $150,000. Other extras are transportation, which can be $20,000 more, and Wi-Fi or cell phone data, which can range from $20,000 to $40,000. If we add all these numbers, the economic panorama becomes complicated for those who only study; They study and work, or are doing their first work experience. A moderate estimate of what a young person needs to survive is close to $400,000 per month.

The reality is that the majority of young people face different obstacles when it comes to becoming independent. Starting with the resistance of real estate agencies, who see these clients as problematic or insolvent people, a situation that was verified in the tour carried out for this production. In the agencies they are on the defensive: the first thing they do if a girl shows up to ask is to clarify that she must have formal salaries or parents who are guarantors. In some places they directly close the doors to the youth public. This causes many interested parties to decide to make a direct agreement with the owner of the home. In general, there is a lack of real estate products aimed at the sub-30 segment.

Only a minority of young people have sufficient income to cover the aforementioned expenses. Many of them have precarious jobs with minimum wages. If the parents do not come out to support them, the idea of ​​leaving their roof can only be overcome by looking for “partners.” Sharing a flat seems like the most appropriate solution. For example, Nahuel lives with two girls, but only one of them has a registered job (“blank”), so the apartment rental contract is in her name. Each month they put in $60,000 and, in this way, three of them manage to cover the cost of the $180,000 location.

What are other tricks implemented to reduce costs? Some young people who live alone commented that they reduced their food expenses with the food that their relatives provided them. And they also tried to use public transportation little: whenever they could, they traveled on foot or by bike.

Money is not everything

Another who is “in the same” is Sofía Vega, a 28-year-old student and gastronomic employee who lives with her sister, a call center worker. It helped them make a direct agreement with the owner of the property, which allowed them to pay a lower rent than that charged when a real estate agency intervenes. After the roof, the second problem is in the pantry. “This month we paid $90,000 in groceries,” she explained. To that ticket we must add around $5,000 a day for butcher and vegetable purchases.

To leave your parents’ house and not be shipwrecked in the attempt, you must be clear that getting into debt is not advisable. Although the credit card appears as a lifeline that helps make ends meet, the ideal is to stay within a budget and control additional expenses. This is always appropriate, but even more so in times of inflation, adjustment and recession like the current ones.

Although the scenario is difficult, good management allows Sofía to live alone and even pay for psychological therapy and recreational activities. “It is a luxury for many, but I make the effort to pay for it. Each session costs $6,000,” she said. This young woman also practices swimming, with a monthly payment of $20,000. Although she knows that it puts pressure on her budget, she believes that it brings her health. “It is necessary to be able to unload ourselves,” she noted. Sofia uses the bike. “Otherwise, my salary would be completely spent on transportation,” she reflected.

“I am not using the bus currently. I go to Facu and most places on foot. If you have to go to work by bus, I estimate that it is $24,000 pesos per month just to get around,” said Martina Laxague. She is a young woman from La Plata who moved to Tucumán to study at university. She also collaborates in a student political group. At present, Martina lives with “friends of friends”: a partner and an acquaintance. Between the four of them they pay the $200,000 rent: each one puts up $50,000. “This means that all the money in the fee goes away. The reality is that in the most accessible jobs you earn ‘approximately’ $150,000 per month,” the student analyzed. According to her, this is one of the reasons why many young people cannot take the big step of becoming independent.

Due to the crisis, new generations postpone the desire to leave their parents’ house. The fear caused by the idea of ​​living with other peers is, on the contrary, changing. Already in 2022, a report prepared by the real estate site Zonaprop had specified that 73% of young Argentines who are between 18 and 30 years old would share the rent due to the high prices. Along these lines, the study detailed that 33% would only rent with someone they know, while 6% would rent with a stranger and the remaining 61% would analyze it depending on the environment. And, if the prices given by the young people consulted for rent, food and transportation are considered, sharing accommodation represents a significant saving for everyone.

But money is not everything. In addition to the financial benefits, the experience of living with other young people can be emotionally supportive. Roommates must organize themselves for household chores, for cooking together and even for enjoying social activities, which, with the right people, helps create strong and lasting bonds. In Tucumán, many young people come from other places to study at universities, which means they are far from their family and need to “create one” with friends. As said at the beginning, “sharing” is the magic word to leave the parents’ home. And now it is easier to do it than before because “sharing” is, by the way, the dominant code of social networks.

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