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    • MSE Sarah
    • By MSE Sarah 7th Sep 17, 1:30 PM
    • 101Posts
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    MSE Sarah
    Money Moral Dilemma: How much should we charge our daughter for living with us?
    • #1
    • 7th Sep 17, 1:30 PM
    Money Moral Dilemma: How much should we charge our daughter for living with us? 7th Sep 17 at 1:30 PM
    This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks...

    Our daughter has returned home after flying the nest as she found the cost of independent living too expensive. She earns over £20,000 a year after tax and has plenty of money left over each month for clothes and social events. We want to be reasonable parents but would appreciate a small contribution regularly to help us with the extra costs and she is not keen on this suggestion. This is causing a bit of an atmosphere at home as we are not wealthy and are economising every day. What would be a reasonable amount to charge?

    Unfortunately the MSE team can't always answer money moral dilemma questions as contributions are often emailed in or suggested in person. They are intended to be enjoyed as a point of debate and discussed at face value.

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Page 2
    • WibblyGirly
    • By WibblyGirly 13th Sep 17, 8:46 AM
    • 227 Posts
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    WibblyGirly
    This question has been done so much here. Choose something else for people to argue about.
    • Schush
    • By Schush 13th Sep 17, 8:51 AM
    • 4 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    Schush
    My son is 23 and pays us £200. This goes to bills and food (he eats for 3!). He still manages to pay for his car/phone/gym and save and has a good deposit already for his own house. I have also educated him in managing his money and choosing/switching savings accounts to maximise his interest.. Do we need it? No. But if he had his own place, he knows it would cost him a lot more and it is getting him used to managing his income. He is an adult, therefore needs to make adult choices and detatch from the apron strings, ready to fly the nest.
    They will always be your child but you have to allow them to grow up and become responsible.
    • Silverbird
    • By Silverbird 13th Sep 17, 8:51 AM
    • 759 Posts
    • 1,204 Thanks
    Silverbird
    Yes, she should pay. Without question.

    There is always a minority of people who answer this sort of question with shock and horror and even disgust that a parent could 'charge' their child, but I'm afraid I think it teaches a valuable lesson and is one I'm pleased I learned when my parents 'charged' me as soon as I was earning.

    The jump from paying keep to my parents to independent living wasn't as much of a shock to me and it also made me appreciate my money much more, as I could see where a lot of it was going to have to go (food, bills etc). It also made me appreciate my parents more in that they still managed to take us on a holiday every year, despite all the bills and costs of living.

    It's really not a big deal and at the end of the day if the child doesn't like it they can go back out and rent somewhere. I can guarantee it won't be as 'cheap' as what they'll be getting at home with parents.

    At the end of the day you are bringing up a little child knowing that one day they will fly the nest and have their own, independent life and perhaps their own family. Nobody expects that child to still be living with them into their 30's and I worry that's exactly what could happen if they're not charged keep or else they'll have a heck of a shock when they do eventually move out.

    Earning above £20,000 a year and paying a small amount for keep will leave more than enough to put some aside for a house deposit.
    Thrilled to be DEBT-FREE as of 26.03.10
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    • gerbiljo
    • By gerbiljo 13th Sep 17, 8:54 AM
    • 830 Posts
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    gerbiljo
    My children are young so for us that is a theoretical answer. I would hope when they are thinking of buying their own property we are no longer owing money on our house. I can't see why I would be charging my kids gas/ electric as it's not going to cost that much more. If my daughters had a decent job I would charge them a fair whack, hard to say what right now and encourage them to save also for a deposit. It's not like I'd sublet their rooms! Any money I took from them would be going in the bank and when they wanted to move out again I would give them the lump sum as a deposit. There's no way I'd charge my kids who didn't ask to be born to live with me but I also need them to know they pay their way and that saving up is rewarding. However if I genuinely had not a penny to my name and was struggling I would also hope that they would have the values that they would every so often get a shop or help with jobs in the house, if that was the case then I might reduce the 'rent' so they still had their own money, although ultimately it would come out of their own fund in the long run
    Mortgage November 2003 was £135k, but thanks to this website on 28/08/12 we became MORTGAGE FREE!
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    • sherri01
    • By sherri01 13th Sep 17, 8:57 AM
    • 26 Posts
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    sherri01
    When my children came back home it was always calculated by total household costs divided by number of people living in house. This was for any not in education so it encouraged my son to find a job and not stay in bed all day. All 3 of them thought this was fair as they could see where the money went. It also gave them the ability to respect and manage money
    • pollypenny
    • By pollypenny 13th Sep 17, 9:06 AM
    • 22,918 Posts
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    pollypenny
    A mature adult should want to pay her way, not be treated like a child by her parents, living off them. She wouldn't accept them telling her what to wear, what time to come in at night.

    £20,000 after tax is a fair salary - far too much to blow! She needs to grow up.
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    Words, words, they're all we have to go by!.

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    • silvercar
    • By silvercar 13th Sep 17, 9:20 AM
    • 36,046 Posts
    • 152,258 Thanks
    silvercar
    Don't charge anything. Welcome your children into the family home. They will move out all too quickly.
    • hello_smiley90
    • By hello_smiley90 13th Sep 17, 9:25 AM
    • 4 Posts
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    hello_smiley90
    A third of all bills including food if you buy the weekly shop! My brother moved back home after university and had a similar job. He paid my parents £350pm and still managed to go on holiday, nights out and in 2 years saved a £12000 deposit for a house. Not charging 'rent' doesn't prepare her for the real world. If you felt kind you could maybe save £100 of that money for her and give it to her if she decides to buy or rent in the future.
    • theatregirl4
    • By theatregirl4 13th Sep 17, 9:52 AM
    • 1,108 Posts
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    theatregirl4
    As someone who makes about 8k-10k a year in London (and I have remained at home.to.look after my elderly mother since we have no other family to help us) I would say your daughter has it good!

    I wouldn't dream of living in my parents house at my age (mid thirties) without paying my way! I take care of all my mother's finances as well as my own, including paying about £50 a month towards bills and then about £200 a month towards shopping and things for the house. On top of which I spend money on.petrol because having a elderly parent I need to drive on order to.get her places otherwise she'd be stuck indoors! I would go on with what I actually do on a day to day basis other than my paid work but I don't want to.bore you

    You don't say how old your daughter is and where you live, and you also don't say what your living circumstances are. Believe me if I was your daughter on 20k I'd give you rent money as it's far less than what landlords and renting agents ask for, even the % advance they ask for is unbelievable .

    I'm unfortunately on the side of that if she won't pull her weight and give you something back that a little tough love might be for the best.



    • onlyroz
    • By onlyroz 13th Sep 17, 9:53 AM
    • 13,582 Posts
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    onlyroz
    Use Spareroom and Gumtree etc to figure out how much you could rent out her room for. Then you could either charge her about 2/3 of this amount, or perhaps charge her 1/2 the amount if she agrees to save at least the other half each month towards a future house deposit.
    • julie777
    • By julie777 13th Sep 17, 10:11 AM
    • 266 Posts
    • 212 Thanks
    julie777
    So Sad
    It must be heartbreaking to find your beloved child has grown into such a self-centred adult. I do feel so sorry for you. I really hope she grows up soon and starts to appreciate you!
    • TheFaqqer
    • By TheFaqqer 13th Sep 17, 10:19 AM
    • 89 Posts
    • 46 Thanks
    TheFaqqer
    What are her plans for the money that she's now saving since she moved home?

    If the plan is to save for a deposit so she can buy somewhere, then charge her market rate and save that money for her in a bank account that she can't have access to. Get a decent savings rate or a regular saver account and put the money in there every month so that it builds up for her. Or invest it in a LISA so that the savings are tax free and she can get the government bonus when she comes to buy somewhere. If things are tight for her, then give a 10-15% discount on the rent or make it so that she's not just saving and can have a life as well - on £20k I'd charge around £90 a week.

    If the plan is that she has no plan, no idea what to do with the money, isn't saving for anything then charge her market rate or close to it. Put the money into your bank account and save for yourself. If she can't afford market rate (which would be surprising - she has to pay to live somewhere) then charge her £105 a week.

    Someone has to pay for her living expenses, and I don't see why it should be the parent when the child earns £20k
    Last edited by TheFaqqer; 13-09-2017 at 10:21 AM.
    • yorkie cook
    • By yorkie cook 13th Sep 17, 10:21 AM
    • 78 Posts
    • 265 Thanks
    yorkie cook
    when I got my first job as a student, I paid 1/3 of whatever my take home pay was, I was encouraged by my parents to save 1/3 which I generally did & 1/3 as my mum called it silly money to do with what I wanted, this stood me in good stead & meant I had a good deposit when I came to buy a house 4 years after i left university.
    • SandraScarlett
    • By SandraScarlett 13th Sep 17, 10:23 AM
    • 3,897 Posts
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    SandraScarlett
    When my children started work, over 30 years ago, we negotiated that whatever they earned, gross per year, we should divide by 100, and that was the amount they should pay each month.


    So when my children earned, say, £3000 a year, they paid £30 a month. As the salary equated to about £60 a week, and they had to pay tax, NI and fares, we felt that about £7.50 a week was more than fair. This amount covered meals, packed lunches, laundry etc, plus providing meals, and accommodation, for their frequent friends!


    When they had an increase, the amount they paid increased accordingly. So if someone is earning today £20000 a year, then £200 a month would be the amount they paid.


    Incidentally, once my children had their own homes they realised what a bargain they'd had, but the idea of charging them for their keep was not to make a profit (some chance!), but to teach responsibility.
    • bods
    • By bods 13th Sep 17, 10:25 AM
    • 20 Posts
    • 17 Thanks
    bods
    You need to look at your bills - utilities, phone, food etc - and split them. Yes, even a contribution in the form of "rent". Simple as that. If she doesn't like it, she can move out.

    It's a tough message but an important one. When I left university and signed on, my mum raised the conversation of rent straight away. I was aggrieved given I had no money and the dole was minuscule. But I understand why she did it. You're an adult. You have to budget, and pay your way. That's just life. You may be their parent, but she's a grown up now. No parent can keep their children forever.
    • cherryduck
    • By cherryduck 13th Sep 17, 10:28 AM
    • 5 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    cherryduck
    When I moved back with my mum after Uni, once I was earning we figured out our total household income, and then what percentage of that income came from me. I paid that percentage of the shared costs. I don't remember exactly how much it was, but now I'm living with my girlfriend we do the same, her income is 25% of our total income, so she pays 25% on every shared cost.

    Works out for me as it's a nice sliding scale based on who's earning what. If I earn more, I pay more, she pays less. When she's fully qualified and earning, we'll be paying almost 50/50. In future if she gets promoted and earns more than me, she'll be paying more.

    Also, all the people being all "how can you act like a landlord to your child!". Eurgh. It's only fair now she's earning that she pays towards the costs of keeping her fed and warm. If you try and protect your child from everything out of "love" (including bills) they won't become very independent. Living on her own paying her own way will be a massive shock and she'll probably end up in debt at first, not knowing how to handle her money.
    • Leftyness
    • By Leftyness 13th Sep 17, 10:34 AM
    • 9 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Leftyness
    I am living at home at the moment and trying to save for a house. I paid for the food, utilities and groceries cost for the household.
    • tallgirld
    • By tallgirld 13th Sep 17, 10:51 AM
    • 469 Posts
    • 306 Thanks
    tallgirld
    Of course she's not keen! I wouldn't be keen either


    I used to pay £40 a month then made a massive fuss and it was reduced to £25. (this was years ago though).


    When I think about it now I was taking the mick!!!


    My mum was the best!!!!
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 13th Sep 17, 11:00 AM
    • 18,319 Posts
    • 46,888 Thanks
    Pollycat
    Also, all the people being all "how can you act like a landlord to your child!". Eurgh. It's only fair now she's earning that she pays towards the costs of keeping her fed and warm. If you try and protect your child from everything out of "love" (including bills) they won't become very independent. Living on her own paying her own way will be a massive shock and she'll probably end up in debt at first, not knowing how to handle her money.
    Originally posted by cherryduck
    She's already tried living independently and didn't like it:
    Our daughter has returned home after flying the nest as she found the cost of independent living too expensive. She earns over £20,000 a year after tax and has plenty of money left over each month for clothes and social events. We want to be reasonable parents but would appreciate a small contribution regularly to help us with the extra costs and she is not keen on this suggestion. This is causing a bit of an atmosphere at home as we are not wealthy and are economising every day. What would be a reasonable amount to charge?
    Originally posted by MSE Sarah
    I'd hazard a guess that she didn't have money left over for clothes and social events when she was living on her own so thinks it's a good idea (from her perspective) for her parents to fund the lifestyle she wants.
    • mikael
    • By mikael 13th Sep 17, 11:09 AM
    • 312 Posts
    • 140 Thanks
    mikael
    I don't think a percentage of her income is reasonable. You don't pay rent, utilities or other bills as a percentage of income. The fairest way is to work out the extra costs incurred and to charge a fair rate for the room(s) she uses for herself.
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