Food & board dilemma with 19yrs old son

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  • silvercar
    silvercar Posts: 46,923 Ambassador
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    thorsoak wrote: »
    Do you actually have any children, silvercar? How old are they?

    Yes, 2. They are 21 and 25.

    Younger is at university term time and lives at home in the long holidays.

    Elder is currently renting with friends. He came home after university and lived rent free with us. For his first year at home post university he was in a variety of paid and unpaid internships. He wouldn't have been able to afford to do the unpaid internships had we charged him rent. The paid internships were not on high salaries and the cost of commuting from where we live is high. I doubt he would have secured the first proper graduate job had he not had the work experience that the internships gave him. He couldn't have taken the internships had he had rent to pay.

    I hope my younger son will live at home after university, it is a (free) option if he wants it.
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  • HappyMJ
    HappyMJ Posts: 21,115 Forumite
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    silvercar wrote: »
    Yes, 2. They are 21 and 25.

    Younger is at university term time and lives at home in the long holidays.

    Elder is currently renting with friends. He came home after university and lived rent free with us. For his first year at home post university he was in a variety of paid and unpaid internships. He wouldn't have been able to afford to do the unpaid internships had we charged him rent. The paid internships were not on high salaries and the cost of commuting from where we live is high. I doubt he would have secured the first proper graduate job had he not had the work experience that the internships gave him. He couldn't have taken the internships had he had rent to pay.

    I hope my younger son will live at home after university, it is a (free) option if he wants it.
    In that case it's fair enough as negotiation is involved with every case and your son has proved he needs the money to undertake an unpaid internship which will lead to a job offer later but the OP's son has three cars buys alcohol and has up to 2 takeaways each week. He clearly has the money to pay some board to his parents.
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  • Mojisola
    Mojisola Posts: 35,557 Forumite
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    HappyMJ wrote: »
    In that case it's fair enough as negotiation is involved with every case and your son has proved he needs the money to undertake an unpaid internship which will lead to a job offer later but the OP's son has three cars buys alcohol and has up to 2 takeaways each week. He clearly has the money to pay some board to his parents.

    I lived with my parents for free for a few months but I was at home while Mum and Dad were working so did all the housework in lieu of keep and they knew that I was saving the little money I had coming in, not spending it on luxuries.
  • TBagpuss
    TBagpuss Posts: 11,199 Forumite
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    I think that having adult, working children contribute towards their living expenses is almost always appropriate, particularly when they are first starting out - it helps them to learn about the cost of living, and can help them avoid making serious and expensive mistakes, andgetting into debt, when they first start to live independently.

    Of course there will be cases (such as Silvercar's son and his internships, or a situation where the child has moved back in due to separation, ill health or other circumstances resulting in them having significant debt or other financial committments which they need to pay) where it is not possible because the young adult hs no funds after paying to get to wok, but in most cases I think it is entirely reasonbale for the child to be contributing.

    One way I've seen of working it out is to sit down and work out what proportion of their income the main earner is spending on mortgage/rent and food, and apply a simialr percentage to the 'child's earning, then adjust as appropriate.

    So if you earn £2,500 a month and spend £1,000 on mortgage and food, you are using 40% of your income. Suppose son earns £1,000 month , the same proportin would mean he paid £400 a month. You might then consider whether that was reasonable once you take into account his other expenses, and yours, and could decide to increase or decrease it as appropriate.

    Once he is paying, what you do with the money is up to you - if you can afford to do so, by allmeans put some of it aside with a view to being able to help him out when he finally moves out.

    I also think it would be helpful to look at the cost of living elsewhere - look at what the going rate is for a single room in a shared house, including bills, and add on the weekly costs of food for one person.

    You can then decide to discount that a bit as he is your son.

    I know when I last rented out a room, I researched in that way. The going rate in my area was around £65 week , andthat was 5 years ago and not in an expensive area.

    So to me, £40 - £50 week would seem extremely reasonable.

    Your son doesn't sound to have any simialr committments and he doesn't have any experience in living independently and managing his money, so from that perspective he would benefit from being made to contribute.
    All posts are my personal opinion, not formal advice Always get proper, professional advice (particularly about anything legal!)
  • celticcurl wrote: »
    You should make a list of the household costs - council tax, gas electric food etc. Then sit your son down and show how much it actually costs to live. Explain you won't expect him to pay half but he does need to contribute.

    This is what we did with our two sons. The elder of the two didn't think he could afford to pay at all, the younger one (with his first job) wanted to pay, but didn't know how much.

    Once they had seen how much it cost to actually keep them (we didn't include mortgage or council tax, as we would be paying those with or without them living at home), they both agreed straight away to pay the £50 per week that we asked.

    I think you are doing your son no favours at all by not taking a firm stand and letting him dictate to you what he will or won't pay, or what he can or can't afford. When the time comes that he does choose to move on, he will have the shock of his life, and could well end up in some serious debt, due to not having a clue how much he actually needs to live on.

    If, once you have shown him the cost of actually keeping him at your home, he refuses to pay a realistic sum towards his keep, invite him to find somewhere else that he can enjoy all the same benefits of living at home, but at a very low cost - and tell him that you will also be moving in there!!
  • getmore4less
    getmore4less Posts: 46,882 Forumite
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    Don't forget he needs to take the cars with him.

    Where does he park them now?
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