For Parents of Adults Who Still Live at Home

Simple question, as I’m trying to go about setting new house rules now that my daughter is about to celebrate her 21st birthday:

If your adult offspring live at home, do they pay anything to you for their room and board?

Also if you are an adult still living at home, do you pay anything to your parents?

I lived with my parents for about 16 months after my first job after college ended (worked for the Dems during the 2000 elections), then for the 3 months I was studying for the Bar and currently, as I am working on stuff or business school (for four months before school starts).

  1. I’ve never paid any rent (had a job during the 16 month period, saved every penny as commanded, paid off a 1/3rd of law school upfront)

  2. I help my parents with whatever they want/ask regarding housework/yardwork.

  3. I don’t bring anyone home. I haven’t had much of a life in Boston since I left for college.

  4. The fact that I’ve only been “unemployed” for 4 months in the 10 years since I graduated college is why my parents allow me to stop in during transitional periods without paying rent.

The rule in our house was after high school, adult children living at home paid rent if they weren’t going to school. Most of us moved out at 18. :slight_smile:

I think your rules are going to depend on your daughter.

I lived at home for a year. Didn’t pay a dime. All my meals and a roof over my head - taken care of. That said, I was working for the family business and waiting to go to grad school.

I think if I had been an unmotivated, unemployed stoner, it might have been a different story.

I don’t pay a dime and live at home.

But, i work for my dads startup company, for next to no pay in order to help him, and me, out.

I don’t bring anyone home, but i don’t have much of a life at the moment so it’s no biggie.

Not exactly, but there are varying degrees of what they do and/or contribute to the household.

Our 21 year old son is struggling with some health issues and is an on-again, off-again part time community college student. He does all of his own laundry and is a very good roommate in that he is quiet, considerate and cleans up after himself. He also is the grocery shopper for the family, once a week goes to the store (with my $$ and a list) and does a good job. I give him a little pocket money. I also pay his car insurance, cell phone bill, and dental insurance.

Our 23 year old son is fresh out of the Marine Corps. When he came back home he brought his fiancee and they have a six-week-old baby. They buy all of the baby stuff as well as their own washing powders, toiletries etc. but they eat out of the family groceries. They pay their own car insurance and cell phone bills. He is a full-time community college student on the G.I. bill, also has a part-time job. He provides all their pocket money.

Our 20-year old daughter is in about the same boat as the 21-year old son, but she buys all her own clothes and makeup, and provides most of her own pocket money. She’s a full time ‘big’ college student (usually lives in the dorm, home for the summer).

Our 25 year old daughter just moved out and while she was here, we provided the basics (food, shampoo, laundry soap) but she bought all her own clothes. She has a full-time job but I still pay her car insurance, medical insurance and cell phone bill (it’s $10 a month) because her salary isn’t so great.

The thing is, if you need for your daughter to help out, it doesn’t matter what other people do. You do what is best for y’all. :slight_smile:

Thanks so much for the answers so far. Let’s say, the daughter works full-time, does not contribute to the bills or housecleaning at all. Mother cooks her dinner even though she may have dinner elsewhere, whatever, dinner is there for her. She has no curfew and spends some evenings out. She’s an adult. But up until 2 months ago I drove her everywhere, every day of the week. Now she has her own car so I’m free of that job.

And yes, we could use the extra. I don’t know what’s fair though, and as she says NONE of her friends pay anything at all if they’re still at home. She feels I’m being unfair. I don’t know. When I was her age I’d been paying ALL the bills for my mother because she was sick. I’d been giving my mom over half my paycheck from the time I was fifteen because we were that poor. If I didn’t put in, we didn’t eat.

If she’s working full-time and working towards getting out on her own, I would be fine with her not paying rent. As long as it’s seen as a temporary situation designed to help her out. As for the rest, I think you ought to step back and just congratulate yourself. Your kid has it better than you did. That is (should be) a primary goal of any parent.

Question: if she moved out, would you rent her room out? If not, then I would not ask her to pay rent. Not unless you are actually losing something.

You’re not being unfair. I know many people who live with their parents, and all the ones who are now working fulltime year round (opposed to college kids home for the summer) have paid room and board since finishing school.

21 is three years into adulthood here, not just turning into an adult. I believe she’s telling the truth when she says none of her friends pay for anything, but I don’t think it’s good for adult children to free ride on parents. She can call herself an adult, but adults pay their own way. She’s just an overgrown child.

I don’t know if we’d rent her room out or just take it. At this point Mig and I sleep in the living room with my five year old daughter. She has a bedroom, we do not.

I never minded her being here, as a matter of fact she’s my best friend. We’ve always had that kind of relationship. She knows money here is very tight (not as bad as when I was a kid!). I want her to stay here. I thought she could save her money and go to school. If she lost her job living at home, she’d be okay. We’d make it.

What I’m really wanting is for her to take responsibility for herself. She needs to learn that bills must be paid. She thinks if she overspends she shouldn’t have to pay her share here.

My parents try to convince me to come back home and live with them, by offering meals, free room and board and such as incentives. My room is still the same from when I left after college. I have my own apartment and all, but sometimes when I’m on break, I do visit them for a few weeks to keep them company and all. It’s rather weird, and feels sorta like high school in the sense that everything’s the same as it used to be, they just miss having me around and all. But i don’t like staying there for longer (Though I did stay at home for a year after college when I was still trying to figure out somethings- when I did that, I had a curfew, and basically all the same stuff as if it was high school again, but no room/board/rent etc- i was just expected to live by their rules, which was fair enough).

:shrug: It depends on how much you want the kids there I suppose. No rent/etc seems like you want to help them out and keep them around, if that’s not the case, slowly raise the rent until it seems like a fair incentive for them to consider moving out. Or find a middle ground compromise.

I don’t want to criticize my daughter at all; I just want to know if I’m being fair.
She has been paying one-fifth of our basic bills total. It comes out as about one fourth of her pay, and has paid this without fail since she started working. She’s been really, really good about it. What she pays covers her food, lights, rent, and phone; one-fifth of that total. She also pays the internet. I wouldn’t pay it if she moves out; it was her idea to get it, but I do use it.

It’s just bothering me because she said tonight not one of her friends living at home pays a penny. I wonder if they have chores. She does nothing around the house and I’m fine with that since I’m at home with my five year old.

It’s nearly thirty years ago now, but when I finished uni my parents were quite happy for me to stay in the family home, as long as I paid board. And they set the rate reasonably high, because, as an actuarial graduate, I stepped into a very well paid job. I don’t recall the figure now, but it would have been around 60-70% of normal rental costs. I quickly decided that I was better off moving out and putting the money towards a mortgage on my own place.

One-fifth, by the way, is because there are five of us living in the home.

One-quarter of her pay for bills sounds more than fair - that’s what my mom pays in the subsidized seniors’ condos she lives in. If you don’t mind that she doesn’t do any chores, that’s between you and her. I wouldn’t worry about the other parents that don’t make their adult children pay anything - that’s not doing them any favours in the long run.

I am 20 and I live at home (or in the dorms at college for ~8 months of the year and I don’t pay anything and I have no plans. What am I to do?

The fact that your daughter thinks that she’s entitled to live at home without contributing would be disturbing to me as a parent. She should feel extremely grateful that you are allowing her to stay and be willing to contribute whatever she can.

She’s young. If my mom had asked me to contribute to household expenses when I was 21 I would have balked as well - although to be fair, almost all Koreans live at home until they get married and don’t really contribute anything until they graduate and get a job, so it’s more of a cultural norm here.

Using her other friends as an excuse to complain is a childish thing to do. Every family is in a different situation and has different rules. If she doesn’t like your rules, she can move out.

My brother still lives with my mom; doesn’t pay her anything that I’m aware of.