Should your Child Pay You Rent?

I was at the hairdressers today and I got talking to the young trainee hairstylist. She was 16 and living at home. She shared about her siblings 18 and 20 who also lived at home…not studying or working just blobbing.  Funnily enough last time I visited this same salon another assistant told me of her two grown children living at home, not working or studying, not wanting to help out around home, borrowing her car and the list goes on.  It got me thinking…

In NZ once you turn 18 you can get an unemployment benefit to keep you fed and housed while you have no other income so there’s a good chance these kids are receiving this.  Its not a huge amount but enough to make you comfortable if you aren’t paying anything for your upkeep. Often their money is going on takeaways, social lives, cars, alcohol, clothes etc.

The kids mentioned above are currently not showing much responsibility for their upkeep or any motivation for their future and why should they bother they have a free ride.   I think a simple thing parents can do to help them at this age and stage is to charge them rent!  And not just kids who are sloths on the couch but your working children too!

The best idea I have heard is of parents who charge their kids rent each week and then save it for them using it towards their first house, wedding, car, travel, study etc.

What a great blessing you can give back to your kids!

Not all families can afford to do this but how about keeping half  for your costs and saving the rest for them.

Some parents will say they don’t charge rent so that the kids can save but I’ve heard all too many times that it often doesn’t pan out this way.  Yes there will be the exceptions who will be great savers.

A lady I know was feeling frustrated with her son who was still in his teens and working full time. He was spending a lot of money modifying his very entry level car. Meanwhile he lived rent free at home as she raced from job to job trying to support their large family. I couldn’t help but think if she only charged him even $50 a week how it could take some pressure off her. Or even better $150 and set aside the $100 for his future expenses that will have a more lasting impact on his life than an upgraded dumpster of a vehicle.

The benefits of grown kids paying rent:

  • Teach them responsibility for oneself and form good habits
  • Take pressure off the family budget
  • Get them used to life in the real world
  • Save for their future
  • Redirect some of their money from being wasted on futile things

How about you? Did your grown children pay you rent while they lived at home? How much did / do you charge?


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