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This start-up founder and TikTok star makes $120,000 a year but still lives with his mom—here’s why

While most 31-year-olds may be living on their own or looking to get away from their parents, start-up founder and TikTok star Jay Wey had no problem moving back in with his.

Wey, who grew up in California but later moved to Taiwan to pursue a career in professional basketball and then in business, lives in his childhood home with his mom and wife despite earning $120,000 by making videos for TikTok in his spare time.

He decided to move back in with his mom in northern California when the company he co-founded was looking to expand its business into the U.S. market. Because American salaries were out of their price range, Wey and his co-founders determined that the best course of action would be to send him home.

In exchange for living with his mother instead of expensing a rental to the company, all of Wey’s travel and insurance is paid for through work. And instead of earning a salary, he receives equity in the company.

“We’re very blessed that my mom lets me live here rent-free,” he tells CNBC Make It. “She’s a great landlord.”

Jay and his wife Sharon started their TikTok channel in summer 2020 and within a few months were receiving offers to create ads for different brands.

Toroes Thomas

Wey is well aware that in the United States adults who still live at home are sometimes stigmatized and seen as “mooching” off their parents’ generosity, but he’s at total ease with his decision.

“In Asian culture, especially having lived in Taiwan, it’s so normalized to live with your parents,” Wey says. “You’re not burdening them. It’s a sense of having an obligation to take care of them.”

He doesn’t pay rent because his mother owns the house outright, but Wey covers all of the utilities and groceries for the household.

“It’s not … mooching off them,” he explains. “We want to take care of our parents. If I ever do end up upgrading to the next house, I’m still gonna take my mom with me.”

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