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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 6
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 14th Sep 17, 12:06 PM
    • 28,524 Posts
    • 72,658 Thanks
    Mojisola
    That really isn't "fair" as she is paying for your housing choices.
    Originally posted by silvercar
    It's her choice to live there - she moved back after living elsewhere.
    • badmemory
    • By badmemory 14th Sep 17, 12:18 PM
    • 950 Posts
    • 983 Thanks
    badmemory
    That really isn't "fair" as she is paying for your housing choices. If we downsized to a small well insulated flat, our heating costs would be far lower than it is in our older larger house.
    Originally posted by silvercar
    But is it fair that YOU should pay for an adult child's housing choices.

    My son still lives at home, he now pays household bills 50/50. He didn't at first, but once his income became larger than mine AND it became obvious that he showed no interest in moving out, his share gradually increased until we reached 50/50. He knows exactly where every penny goes. He doesn't pay towards the new double glazing etc, but he does pay towards the gardener. He could choose to mow the lawn himself but doesn't!

    It is all down to circumstances really. 10/15 years ago it was half the food bills, and now if for some reason he isn't working then we go back to that, if he will let me. He doesn't like not paying his way. And this is it really isn't it? He is an adult and as such does not like not paying his way.

    So is your daughter a child or an adult? Has she found the outside world so overwhelming that she wants to come back to live as a child. Perhaps remind her that a child has rules like curfew, bed times, chores etc. An adult can make their own choices within normal politeness. This comes from one who at 21 lectured her parents on the rudeness of saying that they were due home at midnight & didn't turn up until 4am! So this does work both ways.
    • svain
    • By svain 14th Sep 17, 1:55 PM
    • 196 Posts
    • 348 Thanks
    svain
    On the assumption that you are not being sarcastic, I agree with you wholeheartedly. My first reaction to this problem was what a selfish, unfeeling daughter but then wondered how the parents had managed to raise one who was on the face of it so mean. How good was the relationship before she left home? Personally I would be ashamed if my daughter behaved as she has.
    We are by no standard wealthy, but I would never have even considered charging my daughter to continue to live in her home which she did until she left to get married. The daily expenses were exactly the same as they had always been - one fewer person in a house does not mean an automatic reduction in gas, electricity, water etc usage, and has absolutely no bearing on Council Tax. I did not run the washing machine or dishwasher exclusively to deal with her usage and as she got older she actually ate less frequently at home and more frequently with friends.In any case, who measures out the amount of food used per head? There was and always has been plenty and often left-overs to make the next meal or go into the freezer!
    The result - while living at home and once she was earning she voluntarily said thank you with a weekly bunch of flowers, bottle of wine or chocolates, and taking us out for meals or a day out.
    Perhaps instead of spending time with a calculator the parents in this case should examine their own record in child-rearing.
    Originally posted by Fujiko

    I was far from being sarcastic ..... It seems more and more common to milk children for as much as possible and try and justify as they are doing them a favour in later life!! ... It's a laughable logic!.

    People will charge what they like, but at least have the "balls" to be honest with themselves ... and admit its an income stream for themselves and not a "life lesson" they are trying to teach ... and be upfront with the kids about it.

    IMO ... its partly jealousy that their children have more disposable income (god forbid that happens!!), its partly jealousy because their kids dont have the same responsibilities (why should they?? ... there will be plenty of time for that in the future .. let them have some fun first) and its partly because some people just begrudge others doing less than them.

    I have no issue with a token gesture to cover a few expenses and sign of respect, but i would NEVER consider my children as an income, nor would i EVER penalise my children for having a good income or a good time. .... The exception being, if i genuinely couldnt afford where i live and a temporary agreement was made that makes it a win-win for both or we all clubbed together in house purchase
    Last edited by svain; 14-09-2017 at 2:00 PM.
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 14th Sep 17, 2:23 PM
    • 28,524 Posts
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    Mojisola
    I have no issue with a token gesture to cover a few expenses and sign of respect, but i would NEVER consider my children as an income, nor would i EVER penalise my children for having a good income or a good time. ....
    Originally posted by svain
    So would you expect to be able to live with your parents and not pay your way?
    • svain
    • By svain 14th Sep 17, 2:37 PM
    • 196 Posts
    • 348 Thanks
    svain
    So would you expect to be able to live with your parents and not pay your way?
    Originally posted by Mojisola
    Im not saying that at all. Its the same if my parents came to live with me, i wouldnt charge them a set fee, i would never be comfortable with that ... How and if they wished to contribute would be their own choice but never an expectation
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 14th Sep 17, 2:48 PM
    • 28,524 Posts
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    Mojisola
    So would you expect to be able to live with your parents and not pay your way?
    Originally posted by Mojisola
    Im not saying that at all.
    Originally posted by svain
    That seems like strange double standards.

    You wouldn't expect to live for free in your parents' home but you would be happy if your children refused to pay their way in yours.
    • svain
    • By svain 14th Sep 17, 5:40 PM
    • 196 Posts
    • 348 Thanks
    svain
    That seems like strange double standards.

    You wouldn't expect to live for free in your parents' home but you would be happy if your children refused to pay their way in yours.
    Originally posted by Mojisola

    Very easy to quote part of the sentence/paragraph to try and win a debate. Now look at the complete paragraph and you will there is no double standard at all.
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 14th Sep 17, 7:21 PM
    • 28,524 Posts
    • 72,658 Thanks
    Mojisola
    Very easy to quote part of the sentence/paragraph to try and win a debate. Now look at the complete paragraph and you will there is no double standard at all.
    Originally posted by svain
    There is - you wouldn't expect your children or your parents to contribute towards their living costs if they lived with you but you would pay if you lived with them.
    • svain
    • By svain 14th Sep 17, 7:33 PM
    • 196 Posts
    • 348 Thanks
    svain
    There is - you wouldn't expect your children or your parents to contribute towards their living costs if they lived with you but you would pay if you lived with them.
    Originally posted by Mojisola

    Your still not grasping it ... read it again .... Ill help you a little ... the little word you are missing is "choice".

    I might "choose" to contribute if i live under their roof, as they may "choose" to contribute if they lived with me. The difference is, we wouldnt demand payment as a condition of living in each others home.
    Last edited by svain; 14-09-2017 at 8:05 PM.
    • sunnyflower
    • By sunnyflower 14th Sep 17, 8:19 PM
    • 273 Posts
    • 128 Thanks
    sunnyflower
    We never charged our children when they lived at home (granted they weren't big earners) but they paid for their own cars / phones etc.
    However, they all saved and had a nice sum for their individual circumstances when they left.
    We were more than happy with this. They are all hard workers and sensible with their money, so this approach worked for our family.
    • silvercar
    • By silvercar 14th Sep 17, 8:29 PM
    • 36,049 Posts
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    silvercar
    So would you expect to be able to live with your parents and not pay your way?
    Originally posted by Mojisola
    If I needed to live with my parents, they would never have dreamt of charging me.

    So the next question is if an elderly parent moved in with you, would you charge them?
    • happyinflorida
    • By happyinflorida 14th Sep 17, 8:36 PM
    • 659 Posts
    • 553 Thanks
    happyinflorida
    As you say you are struggling with finances now since your daughter has returned home, then I'm taking it that your own incomes are quite small?

    If yes, and you're not putting away thousands in savings each month or paying enormous debts which you've incurred? then you should discuss this with your daughter at a quiet time, sitting down to have a discussion and pointing out exactly why you are struggling with the extra expense since she's returned.

    If the extra costs are food - for her, then ask her to pay for this and anything else that has increased and say what exactly has gone up and point out to her that she found it too expensive to live away but she cannot expect you to financially struggle because she has returned at her own choice.

    Ask her why she's unwilling to pay you anything and see if you can get to the bottom of what her problem/s are.

    Good luck!
    • Robisere
    • By Robisere 14th Sep 17, 8:53 PM
    • 1,850 Posts
    • 2,640 Thanks
    Robisere
    I cba to read all of this pseudo-Thread, but on the slight possibility that it is based upon real events: -

    Ask the daughter what she paid in rent at her previous place. Then tell her to set up a monthly Standing Order to your account, for a sum based upon a percentage of that amount. I suggest 25% of that, or £200 a month, whichever is greatest.

    I never lived free at my parents' home when I was earning a good wage, my kids did not and their kids do not. Once they are earning a fair amount, it's time to teach them that everything has to be paid for, otherwise they will never learn how to stand on their own feet.

    By all means save a monthly sum out of that if you wish, to help them leave and acquire independence.
    There may be more than one way to skin a cat.
    But the result is always inedible.

    • coffee18
    • By coffee18 14th Sep 17, 9:29 PM
    • 37 Posts
    • 24 Thanks
    coffee18
    Surely they will only be those who have over stretched themselves and not looked at what has happened and what could potentially happen again? It doesn't have to be either or, common sense can be applied.

    All my kids are homeowners (on single incomes) but before they bought they were sure they could afford the mortgage if interest rates went higher. As it happens they have owned for between 3 and 5 years respectively and rates have been relatively unchanged for that time, house value has increased and they also took out fixed rate loans to further protect them against rate changes. They are now in the fortunate position of having a decent amount of equity in their properties.
    Originally posted by happyandcontented
    We did all of the above but when interest rates went to 16% in the nineties and the crash happened then equity disappeared and that was quite sudden.
    Every fiat currency since the romans first began the practice in the first century has ended in devaluation or eventual collapse of not only the currency but the economy as well.
    • cjc178
    • By cjc178 14th Sep 17, 9:39 PM
    • 16 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    cjc178
    When I first started working full time I was asked by my parents to pay a third of my wages towards the bills and food. My Dad's idea was that I should pay them a third save a third and spend the other third on whatever I liked. It was a good grounding for when I got my first flat and it meant that I had a fair bit saved up when I needed it. I know kids today seem to have everything handed to them on a plate so learning to save from an early age wouldn't be a bad thing. If you really wanted to be altruistic then you could do like one of the others wrote and save what you receive from the kids for bills and meals and put it into some type of saving account to give back to them when they are trying to make that first deposit for a mortgage.
    cjc178
    • summerof0763
    • By summerof0763 15th Sep 17, 1:04 AM
    • 802 Posts
    • 815 Thanks
    summerof0763
    Wow can't belive your daughter has moved home because renting and paying bills is too much... ....which is fine but she can't expect you to keep her either.
    As there are 3 of you in the house all bills and food etc should be split 3 ways and no I would not be saving it for her either.
    So pay up or move out xx
    i came into the world with nothing,and guess what? i still have it!!!
    • Clueless969
    • By Clueless969 15th Sep 17, 10:12 AM
    • 40 Posts
    • 44 Thanks
    Clueless969
    So, a question for all of the folk on this thread that think parents should not expect their children to pay their way whilst living at home.

    Are you really saying that it is perfectly correct and normal for a child or children to expect to be able to live at home from their birth until the death of their parents without making any sort of regular contribution to the parents?
    • tgroom57
    • By tgroom57 15th Sep 17, 10:42 AM
    • 1,276 Posts
    • 12,588 Thanks
    tgroom57
    £200 per month, and she gets her own food.
    This is what I do and although it seems 'hard' it works for us. I would be able to claim massive reduction on Council Tax if my daughter was not living at home, earning -and that would be a third of it. Extra costs because she is here include laundry, heating her room and electric for phones, extra tv and lighting. She tends to fall asleep leaving everything switched on, and it is easier and more sensible to charge her what this costs, rather than keep moaning at her to change her ways.
    A room in a shared house locally would cost double this.

    The difference in lifestyle causes the most friction- her having so much disposable income and not having the first inclination to budget responsibly.
    Last edited by tgroom57; 15-09-2017 at 10:48 AM.

    • silvercar
    • By silvercar 15th Sep 17, 11:05 AM
    • 36,049 Posts
    • 152,267 Thanks
    silvercar
    So, a question for all of the folk on this thread that think parents should not expect their children to pay their way whilst living at home.

    Are you really saying that it is perfectly correct and normal for a child or children to expect to be able to live at home from their birth until the death of their parents without making any sort of regular contribution to the parents?
    Originally posted by Clueless969
    Obviously it isn't normal to live at home all your life, as most people seek to live independently at some point in their lives. We are talking her mainly about young adults returning to the nest when they are in their first or second jobs. Finances often mean that it would be a struggle to live outside the home at this point.

    Those advocating charging the most are those that either seek to fund their own lifestyle choices by profiting out of their children or those that don't have the budget to be independent themselves without the income from their children.

    Those making comparisons with rent costs elsewhere, remember that however liberal and relaxed living with your parents is, it won't give you the freedom that living elsewhere does.
    • svain
    • By svain 15th Sep 17, 1:08 PM
    • 196 Posts
    • 348 Thanks
    svain
    Obviously it isn't normal to live at home all your life, as most people seek to live independently at some point in their lives. We are talking her mainly about young adults returning to the nest when they are in their first or second jobs. Finances often mean that it would be a struggle to live outside the home at this point.

    Those advocating charging the most are those that either seek to fund their own lifestyle choices by profiting out of their children or those that don't have the budget to be independent themselves without the income from their children.

    Those making comparisons with rent costs elsewhere, remember that however liberal and relaxed living with your parents is, it won't give you the freedom that living elsewhere does.
    Originally posted by silvercar
    Agreed
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