Charging rent for my 16 year old

My 16 year old is currently in reciept of EMA and has a Saturday job which means he has approx £240 per month disposable income. My partner thinks we should charge him rent, and put the rent into a savings account for when he goes to university. He has suggested £10, £15 or £20 a week. I am reluctant - probably because when I was living with foster parents at the age of 16 and 17, I worked full time, earning about £400 a month and despite them still recieving foster carers allowance for me, they took all but £50 off me as rent and seeing as my travel for the month to and from work was £49 I was left with nothing. What have other parents done? I just feel that its his home, and I feel a bit tight charging him rent! But I also see my partners point! Also, if anyone has any ideas of where and how to invest the money, some tips would be gratefully accepted!
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  • HappyMJ
    HappyMJ Posts: 21,115
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    You should ask for something. What you ask for is up to you. I would say £120 a month increasing if he does more hours at work and therefore earns more.
    :footie:
    :p Regular savers earn 6% interest (HSBC, First Direct, M&S) :p Loans cost 2.9% per year (Nationwide) = FREE money. :p
  • 19lottie82
    19lottie82 Posts: 6,027
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    HappyMJ wrote: »
    You should ask for something. What you ask for is up to you. I would say £120 a month increasing if he does more hours at work and therefore earns more.

    £120 a month?! Thats half of his income!

    OP, when you say disposible income, I take it he still has to cover all of his college expenses, inc lunch and travel? Then clothes, mobile phone and entertainment on top of that?

    Charge him something, but 50% of his income is far too much (even if you are giving it back to him :))

    I'd try £50 a month.
  • 19lottie82
    19lottie82 Posts: 6,027
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    ps prob best putting it in an ISA, then you can give him all the cash built up when he moves out / goes to uni / wants to buy a car
  • What does the £240 need to cover? Travel to/from college?, travel to/from work?, lunches? Any college related stuff? Books?......is there anything else that it needs to cover?

    Maybe work out what's left and take a portion of that so that he still has some money to enjoy doing things with friends, buy clothes, etc

    Or alternatively encourage them to start a savings account for Uni.

    D9
  • Wyre
    Wyre Posts: 463
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    If your 16 year gets EMA that means they are still in school right? So you get CB and tax credits as your income is low enough for the child to get the EMA. Not sure you should be charging in that situation as the money he gets is supposed to support his learning - books, printing, trips, stationery etc. When my eldest was in this situation there was no way that I felt I could charge her rent, I just encouraged her to save herself. She bought and topped up her own phone and we didn't give her pocket money. She is now in Uni and budgeting very well without an overdraft, credit cards or other forms of money lending available to students.

    I have no idea what sort of bank accounts are out there if you choose to go down that route, no doubt someone far more knowledgeable than myself will be alone soon.

    ETA: she also worked weekends.
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  • Murtle
    Murtle Posts: 4,154
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    Why not get him to do an SOA (as on the debt free boards) and encourage him to save some. Help him take responsibility for his own money and how to save.

    My Mom also took rent when I returned after Uni. I didn't know that she would return 50% of it when I moved out and bought my own place. She said it was to help me learn to save, but it didn't as I had, had no part in this saving exercise. What actually happened was that I paid more on my student debt rather than paying it back at the time. I know it was a kind thought, it was to me, just misguided though.

    I would suggest to help your son to take his own responsibility.
  • HappyMJ
    HappyMJ Posts: 21,115
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    19lottie82 wrote: »
    £120 a month?! Thats half of his income!

    OP, when you say disposible income, I take it he still has to cover all of his college expenses, inc lunch and travel? Then clothes, mobile phone and entertainment on top of that?

    Charge him something, but 50% of his income is far too much (even if you are giving it back to him :))

    I'd try £50 a month.
    That's one way of looking at it but I'd say it's none of his income at all and all of his benefits money. He can keep whatever he earns.
    :footie:
    :p Regular savers earn 6% interest (HSBC, First Direct, M&S) :p Loans cost 2.9% per year (Nationwide) = FREE money. :p
  • Wyre
    Wyre Posts: 463
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    HappyMJ wrote: »
    That's one way of looking at it but I'd say it's none of his income at all and all of his benefits money. He can keep whatever he earns.

    But if he is on EMA they are already receiving benefits for him, and this is money for his learning - I hadn't even taken into account travel to and from school/college and food while he was there.
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  • Meadows
    Meadows Posts: 4,530
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    If he is earning then you should ask for rent even if a token amount, they have to learn to handle money and realise the cost of things.

    Also the idea of taking the money but unbeknown to them saving it towards something that can benefit them in the future is a good idea.

    When our daughter moved back home after moving out at 18 for a while (moved back as job ended - closed down and we were due to leave the area) I charged her more rent than she had been paying prior to moving out as she had come back as an adult, but kept about half of this on one side, when she later decided to buy a car I gave her quite a lump sum of what I had saved from her rent (she hadn't missed the extra in rent but was shocked, surprised and delighted at the lump sum she suddenly had she knew nothing about).
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  • zzzLazyDaisy
    zzzLazyDaisy Posts: 12,497
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    Just to put a different viewpoint. Personally I wouldn't charge him anything. he is still a dependent child and you are presumably still getting CB and CTC for him? If you are on other means tested benefits (LHA/CT?) some of those benefits are due to the fact that you have a dependent child living at home. The state is contributing to his 'rent'.

    His EMA is for college expenses - travel, books, stationary, lunches etc. Assuming that he does in fact use that money for expenses, it is not 'disposable income'. If you are paying for course related expenses - why? That is what he gets this money for - it is not for paying 'rent' to you.

    As for charging a child 'rent' out of his earnings from a saturday job - that is pocket money! In my view he should be learning a work ethic and learning to manage his money. So I would sit him down and talk about opening a bank and saving for uni. Personally I think you will be doing him a better service if you help him to find a regular savings account and set up a standing order from his current account (I am assuming that he gets paid into a bank account), so he learns how to manage money.

    I think what I am saying is that by dressing this contribution up as 'rent' you are dis-empowering him and leaving yourself open to resentment and your motives being misunderstood (look at your own experience) - instead of helping him to use this period as a learning process, enabling him to understand money and manage at least some of his own expenses. To help prepare him for when he leaves and goes to uni and has to stand on his own two feet.

    Just my two-pennorth.
    I'm a retired employment solicitor. Hopefully some of my comments might be useful, but they are only my opinion and not intended as legal advice.
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