Should my son pay me rent, utilities, etc...?

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steelerfan
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Should my son pay me rent, utilities, etc...?

Post by steelerfan » Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:55 am

So here is the situation, my son just graduated high school this past May. He has been trying to find a job and we think he finally has landed one working at a local grocery store. He could make up to $1200/month.

He still lives at home. We have made him buy his own car (cash, of course), car insurance, gas, etc...

The question is, should he pay us rent, and if so, how much? Should he also pay for utilities and groceries - how much?

Thanks for your input....
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Post by mikep » Mon Aug 09, 2010 11:03 am

What I would do is this:
If he is (EDIT: going, saving, or trying to go) to college this fall, then no. If he has made up his mind that he's not going to college, then yes, charge him 1/x of the utilities where x=number of people in the house. For rent, you can do it that way with the mortgage, or check local classifieds for what rooms for rent are going for then charge him a market rate. (EDIT: Then maybe stick that in a Roth IRA for him)
Last edited by mikep on Mon Aug 09, 2010 11:06 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by Zook13 » Mon Aug 09, 2010 11:05 am

mikep wrote:What I would do is this:
If he is going to college this fall, then no. If he has made up his mind that he's not going to college, then yes, charge him 1/x of the utilities where x=number of people in the house. For rent, you can do it that way with the mortgage, or check local classifieds for what rooms for rent are going for then charge him a market rate.
I agree...

Just to piggy back a little...

I think charging an extra $50-$100 a month on top and then returning that money to him as forced savings is a nice gesture...
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Post by nimo956 » Mon Aug 09, 2010 11:12 am

I would not charge him for rent, utilities, or groceries. Why not help him get a sound financial footing by allowing him to quickly build up an emergency fund and save for the future (house down payment, retirement, etc.)? As long as he is being responsible with his money and not spending it frivolously, why not help him now so it's easier for him later? My parents have allowed me to live at home since I graduated from college 2 years ago, and even though I only made ~$30k right out of school, I've managed to save over $50k for retirement already. My career opportunities have only grown since that time, and I'll soon be able to move out, but that initial amount of money compounding over the next 40 years will certainly play a large role in putting me on the path to financial independence.

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Post by chaz » Mon Aug 09, 2010 11:41 am

nimo956 wrote:I would not charge him for rent, utilities, or groceries. Why not help him get a sound financial footing by allowing him to quickly build up an emergency fund and save for the future (house down payment, retirement, etc.)? As long as he is being responsible with his money and not spending it frivolously, why not help him now so it's easier for him later? My parents have allowed me to live at home since I graduated from college 2 years ago, and even though I only made ~$30k right out of school, I've managed to save over $50k for retirement already. My career opportunities have only grown since that time, and I'll soon be able to move out, but that initial amount of money compounding over the next 40 years will certainly play a large role in putting me on the path to financial independence.
I agree.
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Post by Rodc » Mon Aug 09, 2010 11:54 am

nimo956 wrote:I would not charge him for rent, utilities, or groceries. Why not help him get a sound financial footing by allowing him to quickly build up an emergency fund and save for the future (house down payment, retirement, etc.)? As long as he is being responsible with his money and not spending it frivolously, why not help him now so it's easier for him later? My parents have allowed me to live at home since I graduated from college 2 years ago, and even though I only made ~$30k right out of school, I've managed to save over $50k for retirement already. My career opportunities have only grown since that time, and I'll soon be able to move out, but that initial amount of money compounding over the next 40 years will certainly play a large role in putting me on the path to financial independence.
That is largely what we decided to do with our daughter who graduates in late August from college. She starts a full time job later this week.

But it is not open ended. First of the year she will have to pay a modest "rent", some for food, etc. May not be fully 1/x of the bills (but then I get all the appreciation and equity in the home, so I don't think 1/x of the mortgage makes sense).

That gives her 5 months to build up money for her own apartment, car, etc.

I think in the long run "kids" are better off learning to be full fledged adults, rather than continuing in a delayed state of adolescence by sponging off their their parents. They will have less savings perhaps if they have to pay their way more fully in life, but in the long run it is better for them, IMHO.

And frankly, my dd would be very unhappy living off mom and dad; she wants to be a full on grown up.

That said, no one right answer: different families might be better off doing something else.
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Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Mon Aug 09, 2010 11:55 am

chaz wrote:
nimo956 wrote:I would not charge him for rent, utilities, or groceries. Why not help him get a sound financial footing by allowing him to quickly build up an emergency fund and save for the future (house down payment, retirement, etc.)? As long as he is being responsible with his money and not spending it frivolously, why not help him now so it's easier for him later? My parents have allowed me to live at home since I graduated from college 2 years ago, and even though I only made ~$30k right out of school, I've managed to save over $50k for retirement already. My career opportunities have only grown since that time, and I'll soon be able to move out, but that initial amount of money compounding over the next 40 years will certainly play a large role in putting me on the path to financial independence.
I agree.

^^^^ This.
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Post by JimHalpert » Mon Aug 09, 2010 11:58 am

I plan on charging, placing 100% into a separate savings account (unknown by him), and returning it to him when he decides its time to move out. Rent isn't free in the real world, so charging (below market) rent can only help his money management skills.

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Post by jwtietz » Mon Aug 09, 2010 11:59 am

I wouldn't charge him. He is going to have enough to pay for with car insurance and other bills. I would make him save for those things so he doesn't just spend his money and then have nothing left. I always looked at it, with the thought, that i could spend my money on many things that were a lot worse than spending it on my son. Just try to watch his spending so he just doesn't waste the earnings.

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Post by Sulvar » Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:01 pm

My parents have allowed me to live at home since I graduated from college 2 years ago, and even though I only made ~$30k right out of school, I've managed to save over $50k for retirement already
I'm curious how you managed to save 50K for retirement in 2 years when you only make 30K a year?

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Post by Xile F Investor » Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:03 pm

Looks like the answer isn't so straight forward. It all hinges on the character of your son.

If your son is responsible (and not looking for a free ride), then now is a great time for him to see the results of disciplined saving and investments.

If your son is a little less than motivated, then I say definitely charge him, to show him the cost of real life when he steps out on his own, and return it to him in savings/IRA/etc. so that he can see the result of being a disciplined saver/investor.

Either way, you are helping him towards standing on his own two feet, while building a base for future life costs.

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Post by ann_l » Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:14 pm

The only rent/utilities/groceries I would charge him now would be maybe $100-$200 a month that promptly goes into a Roth IRA in his name.

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Post by steelerfan » Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:17 pm

OP here - thank you everyone for your comments. Several of you brought up issues like college, character, etc... So let me elaborate.

He is not going to college, no plans anyhow. He has never had a job and we had to "make him" fill out some applications in order to get a job. He is a good kid (no drugs/alcohol, no legal issues). He goes to church and Wednesday evening Bible study with us. But the problem is he is a bit lazy, unmotivated, and has a poor work ethic.

My thoughts were to charge him a small amount for rent, utilities, and groceries and put that money (or a percentage of it) into a ROTH IRA for him.

We are also going to put him on a buget to control his spending. We'll be sure he invests, saves, pays his bills, tithes, etc...
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Post by Rubiosa » Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:51 pm

Your son won't pick up much in the way of skills in a $1200 per month grocery store job; he could, though, learn a lot and mature somewhat in the military, from which you're retired. Why not guide him into one of the services, raising his pay and benefits, exposing him to salable skills, and solving the rent problem, all in one fell swoop. If he's not amenable, push hard. :^)

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Post by nimo956 » Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:54 pm

Sulvar wrote:
My parents have allowed me to live at home since I graduated from college 2 years ago, and even though I only made ~$30k right out of school, I've managed to save over $50k for retirement already
I'm curious how you managed to save 50K for retirement in 2 years when you only make 30K a year?
I'll admit that I already had ~$10k in savings when I graduated from college. However, with only student loans and a few other small bills to pay, I am still able to save about 60% of my income.

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Post by OAG » Mon Aug 09, 2010 1:04 pm

I would not charge him rent utilities, etc., (if you do that I assume he gets all the privileges of renting; parties with friends etc., :lol: at his "rental home"). I would sit down with him and try to set a time frame for the "staying at home" period. What is his goal? Heading to college, military better job, etc. I went through this years ago and my kids did have to pay a share of car insurance, share a car (even with one parent) but no rent or utilities. Fortunately, all went to college or to the military so I did not have to put up with a long period of "at home" and no "boomerangs" so maybe my experiences were not so similar to yours.

BTW hello to another Army Retiree.
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Post by Spirit Rider » Mon Aug 09, 2010 1:41 pm

I realize I'm of a different generation, but I paid my father room and board in the amount of 25% of my take home pay.

He had a basic rule, if you were going to college (allocating 50% to college costs) you didn't have to pay anything. However, if you didn't go to college you had to pay the 25%. Also, he allowed college graduates to come back home rent free if they saved 50% to buy a house. Worked pretty damn well for five kids.

I didn't go to college immediately after high school, so I had to pay. It wasn't a lot, but what other expenses did I have to pay at eighteen years old. It gets you to realize that living isn't free.

I'm sorry, but we deserve the new generation we are creating by coddling them from the real world. You are doing him no favors by giving a free ride. You would be only encouraging him to continue to be lazy, unmotivated, and without a strong work ethic.

Other than that I have no opinion :)

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Post by flowerbuyer » Mon Aug 09, 2010 2:06 pm

If he is not going to college, then yes, pay rent and a portion of the utiilities.

Here's the deal my folks worked out for me (many, many years ago). As long as I was going to college, I did not pay rent. If I was not enrolled in classes, I had to pay rent and a portion of the utilities.

I worked 1/2 time during college, and full-time during summers. I paid for my own car and insurance. l lived at home. As long as I saved nearly all of my paycheck, and attended college, I was charged no rent, and my parents paid for my tuition, books, and fees. During the two quarters that I took "time off" from college, I was charged rent, plus 1/4 of the utilities.

When I graduated and got married, I had the money to make the down payment on the house, buy the new appliances, etc.

Unfortunately, my husband had not saved a dime......a preview of things to come. :oops:

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Post by Alex Frakt » Mon Aug 09, 2010 2:20 pm

How about a gradually escalating rent? Start at something nominal ($100/month) and increase it every quarter until you hit market price.

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Post by investor » Mon Aug 09, 2010 2:23 pm


Your son won't pick up much in the way of skills in a $1200 per month grocery store job; he could, though, learn a lot and mature somewhat in the military, from which you're retired. Why not guide him into one of the services, raising his pay and benefits, exposing him to salable skills, and solving the rent problem, all in one fell swoop. If he's not amenable, push hard. :^)

Agree with the above.

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Post by Opponent Process » Mon Aug 09, 2010 2:25 pm

my mom always claimed that her parents started charging her rent at 16. :shock:
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Post by Gekko » Mon Aug 09, 2010 2:29 pm

IMO no parent should charge their kids rent until they are at least age 21.

BUT what you could do is charge him rent but put it in savings account for him and give it to him in a lump sum when he decides to move out OR use it to start and grow an IRA for him. i think that would be neat.

but to charge rent for the children you brought into the world and have some responsibility for - especially when they are under 21 is wrong. i'm all about tough love and making kids appreciate what you give them and not spoil them - but a kid 18 years old needs some help getting on his feet.

i'd probably cut him some slack until 21 and not charge anything. if you must - at most charge $100/month and give it back to him at a later date per above. or force him to put it into a savings account or IRA he can't touch.

good luck.

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Post by stemikger » Mon Aug 09, 2010 2:48 pm

Only if you are going to put this money on the side and give it to him to buy his own house or use for his future. I'm a big fan of teaching your kids money lessons and this is a great way, but I'm not a big fan of making your kids pay you rent.

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Post by tdhg566 » Mon Aug 09, 2010 2:59 pm

steelerfan wrote:OP here - thank you everyone for your comments. Several of you brought up issues like college, character, etc... So let me elaborate.

He is not going to college, no plans anyhow. He has never had a job and we had to "make him" fill out some applications in order to get a job. He is a good kid (no drugs/alcohol, no legal issues). He goes to church and Wednesday evening Bible study with us. But the problem is he is a bit lazy, unmotivated, and has a poor work ethic.

My thoughts were to charge him a small amount for rent, utilities, and groceries and put that money (or a percentage of it) into a ROTH IRA for him.

We are also going to put him on a buget to control his spending. We'll be sure he invests, saves, pays his bills, tithes, etc...
$1,200/mo with few bills to pay (insurance, cell phone, etc) can leave a LOT of free cash left over. Having a lot of spending money doesn't teach that it's impossible to live as an independent adult in this country on that salary. Unless you take steps to reduce the free cash left at the end of the month, it probably won't sink in that the situation isn't sustainable.

Funny story (semi-related): When our son graduated from grad school and got a good job, he was still living at home (where he lived during grad school). When he didn't immediately start looking for an apartment, we starting charging him rent: 1/3 of all house expenses. He could easily afford that, and the situation didn't change UNTIL he went out on a date once and the girl wanted to pick HIM up. Well, his mother answered the door LOL, and the very next day son was bringing home leases for possible apartments. He was out within a few weeks. :wink:
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Post by BenAiken » Mon Aug 09, 2010 3:10 pm

does he have plans to go to college? Yes, Have him save up or charge rent and and save that up to help pay for his college.

No, pay rent

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Post by MoneyOCD » Mon Aug 09, 2010 3:17 pm

I would say pay $X per month in rent OR put $X per month into Roth IRA.
Your choice. And hope kid will choose IRA.

It is nice as people suggesting to charge rent and put it in IRA for kid but it teaches that retirement savings is someone else responsibility.

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Post by bluemarlin08 » Mon Aug 09, 2010 3:37 pm

What if he doesn't pay? Would you evict? I think there are more issues here than paying rent. Dad gave us a choice, college, technical school or the military.

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Post by Rodc » Mon Aug 09, 2010 3:39 pm

He is not going to college, no plans anyhow. He has never had a job and we had to "make him" fill out some applications in order to get a job.
...

But the problem is he is a bit lazy, unmotivated, and has a poor work ethic.
Sounds a little like you may be a bit late in helping him learn some life skills, but it is never too late.

He sounds like a candidate for some tough love. Not beat the tar out of him or anything. :) But, he sounds exactly like the sort of kid who needs to start paying his own way in life. The lessons learned will be worth more than cash in the bank.

FWIW: many kids who start out this way do end up as productive adults!
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Post by Ron » Mon Aug 09, 2010 3:41 pm

Gekko wrote:IMO no parent should charge their kids rent until they are at least age 21.
Yeah, sure :roll: ...

Maybe I'm just crabby, just old, or both...

The month I turned 14, I was sent to work at one of my father's "enterprises" (one of many he had, over many years).

My work schedule? 8-10 hour day on any day that I did not go to school; that included weekends, holidays (except Christmas) and school "vacations".

I was never paid a penny, other than a small allowance, depending on age, for the years I worked there.

When I reached the age of 16 and wanted my own car, I approached my father to start getting paid (at the time, $.80/hour, as the rest of the teens I worked with, did), he said no. My "contribution" was expected to pay for my room/board. If I didn't like it? I had two choices (the front, or back door).

This continued through HS and a tech school I attended, post-HS (college was not in the equation). Between the time I graduated and went into the military (about a seven-month period), I had the option of either working seven days a week or get a job and I would have to pay him 50% of my net pay, every week.

I got a job, he got his "pound of flesh" every week, and I had weekends to myself for the first time in many, many years.

Needless to say, when I left for boot camp, I never lived in my "home" again, leaving the month I turned 19. I got to take one of those "doors" he had previously spoken of, with a bus ticket and a few dollars in my pocket.

Sort of a crappy story but it is probably the primary reason why I'm in the financial shape I'm in today (along with having a great wife and a bit of investment luck). After having little money, I found out its importance (and no, it's not the "love of money", but the flexibility you have with it).

A lesson hard taught, but well learned. BTW, I treated my son much differently. While he held jobs in HS/College, that money went into his college fund. When he graduated from college and lived with us, he did pay room/board (of course he was over 21). At least the practices of the prior generation did not carry forward.

- Ron

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Post by Rodc » Mon Aug 09, 2010 3:44 pm

bluemarlin08 wrote:What if he doesn't pay? Would you evict? I think there are more issues here than paying rent. Dad gave us a choice, college, technical school or the military.
And what was his response if you had said no? Eviction?

Unfortunately anything other than rolling over dead can lead to problems. And rolling over dead leads to its own problems! :)

I hope I never end up in that position, but if I do I expect it will be due to earlier failures in my parenting. Unfortunately though, some kids go bad even with decent parenting. Heaven forbid. One down, two to go in my house, so I won't know how this is going to turn out for some time!
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Post by runthetrails » Mon Aug 09, 2010 3:46 pm

Depends on if you want him there or you want him out.

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Post by flowerbuyer » Mon Aug 09, 2010 3:46 pm

By the way, my parents saved the rent and utility money, and gave it back to me when I graduated. But for the times I was paying rent and not going to school, I was also learning there is no such thing as a free lunch. (even though in retrospect, there was....but I had no idea my folks were going to give the money back to me)
flowerbuyer wrote:If he is not going to college, then yes, pay rent and a portion of the utiilities.

Here's the deal my folks worked out for me (many, many years ago). As long as I was going to college, I did not pay rent. If I was not enrolled in classes, I had to pay rent and a portion of the utilities.

I worked 1/2 time during college, and full-time during summers. I paid for my own car and insurance. l lived at home. As long as I saved nearly all of my paycheck, and attended college, I was charged no rent, and my parents paid for my tuition, books, and fees. During the two quarters that I took "time off" from college, I was charged rent, plus 1/4 of the utilities.


By the time I graduated and got married, I had the money to make the down payment on the house, buy the new appliances, etc.

Unfortunately, my husband had not saved a dime......a preview of things to come. :oops:

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Post by HomerJ » Mon Aug 09, 2010 4:00 pm

Rodc wrote:Unfortunately though, some kids go bad even with decent parenting.
Always remember that before you judge other people. :)

I knew a family with 3 girls and a boy... The girls are all successful, the boy flunked out of two colleges, developed a drug habit, etc. The parents spent tens of thousands trying to help him.

Same parents. Different results.

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Post by Rodc » Mon Aug 09, 2010 4:07 pm

rrosenkoetter wrote:
Rodc wrote:Unfortunately though, some kids go bad even with decent parenting.
Always remember that before you judge other people. :)

I knew a family with 3 girls and a boy... The girls are all successful, the boy flunked out of two colleges, developed a drug habit, etc. The parents spent tens of thousands trying to help him.

Same parents. Different results.
Agreed.

When people tell me I must be a great dad because our oldest turned out well and I always demure. If I take credit for the first one I have to take credit for the younger ones too, good or bad and they are only 10, so who knows how they will turn out? :)

(so far so good on them, but the real test is when they hit about 14. That is when I came off the rails ... :) )
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Post by matt » Mon Aug 09, 2010 4:16 pm

Alex Frakt wrote:How about a gradually escalating rent? Start at something nominal ($100/month) and increase it every quarter until you hit market price.
Once the OP mentioned that the kid's a slacker, that's exactly what I was thinking. Don't hit him too hard with the rent right away, but let him know that reality is coming soon and he'll need to pay full rent in the near future no matter where he's living.

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Post by Opponent Process » Mon Aug 09, 2010 4:39 pm

I can't imagine how to handle this. I've come to assume that all 18 year-olds are spring-loaded with ambition. Maybe not so talented, but still ambitious. It's kind of like fighting deflation in an economy. Seems to be no way out.

I'm guessing some Bogleheads with fully-ripened 529s are going to have to go through this scenario?
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Post by norookie » Mon Aug 09, 2010 5:01 pm

I would charge him........whatever you see fit as teaching him lifes not "free" or supplemented by mom&dad. He will have less chance of being a slacker...........as I've seen so many of born in the 80's generation. JMO :D I really do not understand kids these days. @ 14 I was cleanup the "lot boy" summers @ a BK/McDees, :roll: along with lawn service and landscaping winters. (thats cutting many of the lawns on the street and shoveling in the winter)IYKWIM. :roll:// I was charged 60.00 a month @ 17 in the 70s.-just sayin-
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Post by stevewolfe » Mon Aug 09, 2010 5:39 pm

I'd recommend charging a small amount for rent, say $35 a week.

Now, having said that, I'll let you know how it went when my father asked me to pay rent when I turned 18. I said "OK" and moved out 3 days later. Of course it cost me more to live on my own than to pay him rent, BUT, the goal of his was to make me more self reliant - and it worked. I worked my way through college and when my friends mostly moved back home I was already established on my own and with no student loans to boot.

It was the best thing he could've done for me at the time to get me to take my situation more seriously and to take control of my own fate.

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Post by milestogo » Mon Aug 09, 2010 5:42 pm

You should charge him even if you save the amount you charge him in a separate account. He may change his mind and attend college later and could appreciate the savings at that point or could use the savings for another purpose such as a car. I might not mention I was saving money for him in case he might start to view it as "his".
I have 2 kids about this age; they seem to find it difficult to save money when working but they are also in college and use that as their excuse. If they were only working and not attending college, I would charge rent if they were living at home.
Many kids this age have no concept of expenses until forced to "shell out" for them.

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Post by Curlyq » Mon Aug 09, 2010 6:13 pm

.....
Last edited by Curlyq on Thu Oct 18, 2018 10:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

livesoft
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Post by livesoft » Mon Aug 09, 2010 6:23 pm

The problem is how to "launch" this young adult. I think parents must make it more painful to stay at home than to go out and get a job, find a place to live, and become self-sufficient. You start when they are 13 years old by telling them every day or every week what will happen to them when they are 18. You cannot wait until they turn 18 and then change the rules on them.

Call_Me_Op
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Post by Call_Me_Op » Mon Aug 09, 2010 6:42 pm

A good approach I've seen is for the parents to collect rent and invest it for the kid in a Roth IRA.
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JULIE
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Post by JULIE » Mon Aug 09, 2010 7:08 pm

Charge him rent. Invest in Roth for him.

Make him do chores. You (or your SO) do not cook/clean for him anymore.

He better be cutting your lawn.

I'm 27 and I see too many people in my age range that are slackers for life. He needs to contribute, especially since he does not plan to go to college.

Make a plan. Escalate rent payments at certain intervals so it makes it uncomfortable for him to stay at home. That is, unless you want him to live with you for a long time.

True story, I had a coworker who lived in his father's basement. He is now 42 and still lives with his dad. Do you see where I am going with this?

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steelerfan
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Post by steelerfan » Mon Aug 09, 2010 8:32 pm

JULIE wrote:Make him do chores. You (or your SO) do not cook/clean for him anymore.

He better be cutting your lawn.

I'm 27 and I see too many people in my age range that are slackers for life. He needs to contribute, especially since he does not plan to go to college.

Make a plan. Escalate rent payments at certain intervals so it makes it uncomfortable for him to stay at home. That is, unless you want him to live with you for a long time.

True story, I had a coworker who lived in his father's basement. He is now 42 and still lives with his dad. Do you see where I am going with this?
Julie - haha yes I do see where you are going and this is our fear. Rest assured, he IS cutting our grass and a several other chores as well. Does he do a great job? No. We are working with him on the quality of his work.

And I like the idea of an escalating rent payment too. I too believe you have to make it uncomfortable to stay with mommy and daddy. He must have some incentive to leave home eventually.
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alec
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Post by alec » Mon Aug 09, 2010 8:43 pm

Depending on how fiscally advanced he is and how many monthly bills he has now, you might start off with one monthly payment for "housing." He is 18 after all.

When my bro was living at home, the 'rents charged him something like $200/month to get him used to paying something. Apparantly, it was annoying enough to get him to move out six months later. :lol:

Once he's used to paying bills every month [he might miss some 'cause he's 18] then adding some more when he gets his own place, it'll be easy to handle.

Time to learn!!
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rustymutt
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Post by rustymutt » Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:20 pm

Certainly ok to charge him, but if he's a responsible boy, and is trying hard to save money and get an education, you can cut him slack. I'm not to far from this myself. I view myself at my son's best chance to discover the truth about life, and I'd rather he learn lessons from me, then someone who won't care about him. Good luck with him
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tarnation
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Re: Should my son pay me rent, utilities, etc...?

Post by tarnation » Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:29 pm

steelerfan wrote:So here is the situation, my son just graduated high school this past May. He has been trying to find a job and we think he finally has landed one working at a local grocery store. He could make up to $1200/month.

He still lives at home. We have made him buy his own car (cash, of course), car insurance, gas, etc...

The question is, should he pay us rent, and if so, how much? Should he also pay for utilities and groceries - how much?

Thanks for your input....
I do not think 18ish year old should be self-sufficient unless by necessity. Just two short years ago, they could not even be trusted to have the good judgment to drive a car. They just now have the good judgment to vote and in many states still can't be trusted to drink for several more years.

I believe it wasn't long ago (and still is some places) that children lived at home until they were married and started a family of their own. My neighbor who recently passed away lived her entire life in her family home that her grandparents built.
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Post by Rodc » Tue Aug 10, 2010 8:54 am

I do not think 18ish year old should be self-sufficient unless by necessity.
Seems to me that if you start early most 18 year olds can be expected to be reasonably capable of being full fledged adults. That is consistent with being able to sign contracts, go off to fight wars, etc. Look at the WWII generation for example: many very young men were leading men into battle and performing with distinction. Our young men and women today are made with the same genetic material, we just tend to coddle them a great deal more.

Now, my father went to college on the GI Bill and got a BS and MS in four years, and met my mom and got engaged in 10 weeks. I always said I'd rather not go through WWII to gain that sort of motivation! So, I'm not suggesting my kids go through something like WWII!

Here is the flip side though: I was talking to some parents about when it was ok on vacation for the parents to go to the hotel bar for a drink and leave their kids in the room. One parent said she would not even do that when her kid was 18! (Hopefully when that day comes she will have a different opinion.) Good grief: if you can't leave your 18 old alone in a hotel room you have failed as a parent (IMHO, and of course excepting special needs kids).

By 18 a kid should be able to plan and execute their own vacation plans, taking road trips on their own cross country, plan out where and why and how to finance college, etc.

Now, must an 18 year old be fully self sufficient? If they are working hard towards an education, or starting a business, or working hard to land a job and get on their feet, then no. You want them to be capable if needed, but that does not mean you kick them out the door on their birthday.

But to get there some kids need more of a kick in the pants than others. Our daughter was headed down the slacker path, and so we let her know early she needed to earn her own spending money, no allowance for movies and such. She worked three years of high school at the local grocery store. Some of our friends were of the opinion that kids should not work in school: school was their job. That is the best answer for some kids. But our dd learned some valuable lessons: It felt good to earn your own money, and working a low end service job sucks so maybe she better change her mind about college. So, she did go to college (paid for by her parents, so really we are not meanies). And unlike the 50% or so who fail out, she busted her butt from day one and got good grades. She continued to work all through college, paid and unpaid, and unlike many graduates in this economy she graduated with a job, as a direct result of an internship. She is not brilliant, but she is doing well because she learned early the value of hard work.

There are many paths to teaching a kid the value of working hard, some come to it naturally and for some lesson is more difficult to learn. You have to gauge your own kid and adjust. But starting early is likely to help, IMHO.

Check back in 10-15 years and we'll see if I still feel like I have any answers on this topic as we have only gone down this path with child #1, with children #2 and #3 still to go. Wish us luck. :)
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Post by KyleAAA » Tue Aug 10, 2010 8:57 am

I would charge a small amount in rent. But I don't have kids, so ignore my advice.

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In The Weeds
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Post by In The Weeds » Tue Aug 10, 2010 11:46 am

EVERY abled body should contribute something to the household.
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