Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

    • MSE Sarah
    • By MSE Sarah 6th Jul 17, 10:41 AM
    • 118Posts
    • 63Thanks
    MSE Sarah
    Money Moral Dilemma: Should I agree to pay my mum more rent?
    • #1
    • 6th Jul 17, 10:41 AM
    Money Moral Dilemma: Should I agree to pay my mum more rent? 6th Jul 17 at 10:41 AM
    This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks...

    Since I started working, my mum has charged me 100/month in rent to keep living at her house, to help out with bills. Now after around a year she suddenly wants to increase it to 200/month, but I!!!8217;ve stayed on the same salary. Is she being unreasonable for bumping up the rent money or am I being tight?

    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.

    If you haven!!!8217;t already, join the forum to reply!

    This Forum tip was included in's weekly email!
    Last edited by MSE Luke; 07-07-2017 at 10:28 AM.
    Grab the latest MSE Deals
    Follow the Deals Team on Twitter: @MSE_Deals
    Get Martin's Money Tips
    Join the MSE Forum
Page 3
    • ButterflyLC
    • By ButterflyLC 12th Jul 17, 10:52 AM
    • 47 Posts
    • 47 Thanks
    There's not enough information here to advise properly. Dig money is usually to help cover with the household bills, so if your mum still buys all of your food, toiletries, does your washing, cleaning and ironing, cooks every day for you among other things, it's not unreasonable to ask for extra. I paid probably 100 a month that rose to 200 but my mum did everything for me. I just bought my own toiletries, but she agreed to me giving her a shopping list when going to the shops so I got what I wanted. My uniform needed washed as I was working full time, meaning the washing machine was on more often. I would go out a lot more meaning friends were round getting ready or I would constantly have straighteners on. Even when I was at uni, I used more electricity with my laptop and printer being on.

    When you move out you will pay a lot more than that, I'd take it. And rents/mortgages can go up while your income stays the same. If you're really not happy, ask your mum to show you the bills and learn how they work. An all adult household is not cheap.
    • TheFaqqer
    • By TheFaqqer 12th Jul 17, 10:55 AM
    • 91 Posts
    • 46 Thanks
    Is she being unreasonable for bumping up the rent money or am I being tight?
    Originally posted by MSE Sarah
    Have a look at what it will cost to rent somewhere else - if the 200 is above market rent then you should explain that to her to show why it's too much.

    Though even if she is charging market rate, how does that encourage you to be able to save to finally get out of the house?

    I would have a look at what it will cost to live elsewhere and aim to spend that - if it's cheaper to move out, move out. If it's not then pay your mum what she's asking and save the difference in a dedicated account so that you can start building a deposit.

    Maybe this is her way of saying "time to move on, little one"
    • Tallulah Kitten
    • By Tallulah Kitten 12th Jul 17, 10:56 AM
    • 4 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Tallulah Kitten
    Yes, you should. Sit down and talk to her to understand her point of view. I always paid my Mum a third of my take home pay. There was no way I could have afforded to live on my own on that amount as it included all meals, cleaning, laundry, etc. It also included my delightful Mum's company and her help in doing my hair when I was going out. She's not trying to make money out of you, but it's only morally right that you help out with the expenses of running a house.
    • stmartinsdiver
    • By stmartinsdiver 12th Jul 17, 10:56 AM
    • 110 Posts
    • 115 Thanks
    Perhaps your mum is dropping you a gentle hint that you've been taking advantage at 100 a month. Even at 200 it sounds like a bargain. Have you even thought about what it would it's actually been costing your mum? Whichever way you look at it she's been subsidising you and might be feeling there's little evidence of gratitude.
    Smile, pay up and say 'thankyou.'
    • Pmarmalade
    • By Pmarmalade 12th Jul 17, 11:04 AM
    • 155 Posts
    • 130 Thanks
    It's a purely personal thing, depending on the circumstances of both sides and your relationship.

    It's really difficult to comment without stats on the location and how much you earn. If you're on over, say, 20k and living outside of London, then yes, I'd say you absolutely should be paying more. I'd think you should have offered more before now, frankly, out of fairness and wanting to be independent and pay your own way in life.

    If you're on minimum wage or a student working P/T and your Mum is in a very comfortable position, then it's maybe something to discuss. The fact you used the word 'salary', though, would suggest that's not the case.
    • Technosaurus
    • By Technosaurus 12th Jul 17, 11:07 AM
    • 25 Posts
    • 21 Thanks
    200 a month is a fair price. If you can get better or cheaper elsewhere, the other option is to move out...

    I'm enjoying the various offshoots here so will chip mine in. My brother and I both went to private schools so were not exactly on the breadline, but we weren't by any stretch wealthy. When I turned 16, my Mum said "you're old enough to earn for yourself now, you need to get to the JobCentre and pay your way"

    After the usual teenage strop, I did exactly that and ended up with an evening job that worked around my A-levels. She never took a penny off me in rent but said she wanted me to learn about earning money. I moved out to university at 17 and always worked to pay my way, then got a graduate job in another city so never had to live at home when earning 'proper' money.

    My younger brother never got the same chat from my Mum for some reason and (Mum and Dad have now passed away) he still struggles with the concepts of the value of money. When they died he had never so much as paid a council tax bill and didn't realise a) how much it cost and b) that there was no hiding from it.

    Even if you take the 'keep' and put it in a savings account - which I think is a lovely idea that I would hope to do if I ever have kids - it's the basic concept that simply existing costs money which is important.
    • gaving7095
    • By gaving7095 12th Jul 17, 11:09 AM
    • 144 Posts
    • 115 Thanks
    LOL what are you going to do if everybody here tells you you're in the right? "Hey Mum all these people on the internet say you're wrong" XD
    Another question: are you going to find somewhere else to live for 100 a month?
    Pay the 200 & be thankful it's that cheap. Welcome to life, buddy :-D
    • silvercar
    • By silvercar 12th Jul 17, 11:13 AM
    • 37,218 Posts
    • 156,808 Thanks
    Why is it shocking that parents of grown-up children want to spend their money indulging themselves? Having worked all their lives, provided for their families, raised their children and now with the end not that far off, this is definitely the time for a little self-indulgence before the grandchildren come along and a whole new set of responsibilities begin! Being a parent doesn't stop you from being a person in your own right, and as long as your children are earning and staying in the parental home, they should pay their fair share, and whatever the parents choose to spend it on is surely their own business.
    Originally posted by gloriouslyhappy
    Some families just don't want to profit out of their children.

    To those saying it is to prepare the offspring for adult life, maybe the parents need to prepare for when they won't have income from their children living at home.

    I think knowing that there is always room for my adult children to come home actually makes them more likely to spread their wings, knowing they have that security.
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 12th Jul 17, 11:25 AM
    • 29,237 Posts
    • 74,695 Thanks
    Some families just don't want to profit out of their children.
    Originally posted by silvercar
    And adult working children shouldn't want to live off their parents' income.

    They should be expecting to pay at least all the extra costs caused by them being at home and to do an equal share of the household chores.
    • sherri01
    • By sherri01 12th Jul 17, 11:34 AM
    • 26 Posts
    • 25 Thanks
    Adult kids
    Since all 3 of my children left home 2 of them have returned at different times (1 with her 2 children). I have always applied the same formula for calculating board. Basically regardless of earnings I total all of the expenses for the year, divide it by the number of adults and then calculate the monthly cost. I have never included my mortgage payments because if I decide to sell it is up to me how I will spend any profit. This encouraged my youngest to return to college and he is now at university. All of my children think its fair and it has taught them how to manage money
    • Sarahlillysv
    • By Sarahlillysv 12th Jul 17, 11:41 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    I pay my mum 400 per month for all bills, food and etc. I am very happy to do this as she has paid my way for a long time and my dad is no longer at work. If you think of gas, electric, internet etc it all adds up. It depends what you earn - I used to pay less but now I earn about 1200 per month. I'd pay more in bills if I lived alone.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 12th Jul 17, 11:46 AM
    • 20,017 Posts
    • 53,727 Thanks
    I'm quite glad it's not 80 or 50 years ago now then. Things are, quite thankfully, different.
    Originally posted by heartbreak_star
    It was actually the making of me.

    I made my own clothes - in the attic on an old singer treadle sewing machine.
    I learned how to make the money I did have go further - I learned how to budget.

    I left home to get married quite young - under 20 - so managed my own household buying food, paying bills.

    I've never ever borrowed money from anyone (other than banks/building societies).

    Younger siblings - treated much less strictly - have not fared so well.
    • takethemon
    • By takethemon 12th Jul 17, 11:48 AM
    • 110 Posts
    • 63 Thanks
    Move out and fend for yourself.
    You will soon be running back home to mum and pay her exorbitant fees.
    50 a week? That amount is laughable, as is the view of that parents should continue to subsidise their adult working children.
    If the adult child hit hard times then my stance would soften considerably.
    I wouldn't even embarrass your mother by asking her to justify her figures.
    The term " Something for nothing " comes to mind.
    • alggomas
    • By alggomas 12th Jul 17, 11:55 AM
    • 142 Posts
    • 49 Thanks
    Paying for staying at home.
    Well costs do go up. Heating, laundry, food etc.
    Think of it: You were paying 25 a week!
    Did you not save?
    Your mother would not have asked for 50 a week if she thought you could not afford it. Suggest 150 a month for 6 months then 200 if you must. Perhaps she wants you to stand on your own two feet?
    Tell you what, pen and paper out. How much to rent a room in your area. Then add laundry,heating,electric bills, food, comfort etc. How much do you have left to spend now?
    • StevePre
    • By StevePre 12th Jul 17, 11:58 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Without knowing all the circumstances it's impossible to say what is fair, but I think it's very likely that your mum has been heavily subsidising your living costs. If she's been helping you out for a year like that she's probably decided that, for your own sake as much as anything else, you need to contribute to the running of the house. I expect she'll still be making a loss at 200.

    The suggestion of going through the monthly costs is a good one, not for her to justify it to you, but to help you realise how good you have it. Bare in mind as well as electricity, heating, water and food costs, if it's just you and her she's also not able to get the single occupancy reduction on her council tax by having you there. Maybe also look on gumtree to see what rooms in house shares in your area are to get a good comparison.

    Btw when I lived with my parents I gave them 300/month all in. I probably ate at least half of that in meat alone!
    • gettingtheresometime
    • By gettingtheresometime 12th Jul 17, 12:03 PM
    • 3,597 Posts
    • 8,936 Thanks
    I charge my son 100 a week and where I live that is a bargain. The cheapest one bed flat to buy is 200,000 and they come with very large service charges and ground rent. Rental flats could easily be twice what I charge him.

    Unbeknownst to him I have not spent a penny of his rent but have saved it for a flat or house deposit. I did the same for his sister who has now bought a house with her partner. I sympathise with any parents who need to charge their adult children rent because they need the money for essentials but I find it shocking that parents would charge 'keep' to downsize their own jobs or to spend the money on holidays or selfish indulgences.

    It is not good for young adults to live for free for several reasons:-

    -They need to learn to pay their way and to be financially responsible
    -They need to know their wages are not just pocket money for splurging
    -Without paying 'keep' the difference between price of living at home free and moving out and being totally independent is too much like a cliff edge. It might even prove prohibitive and keep the young adult at home
    -Only children are kept by their parents. Not to encourage a young adult to pay his or her way is to keep them in a state of prolonged infancy

    That said, with the housing and mortgage market the way they are I can see little chance for my son to move out without finding a partner to share a mortgage with.
    Originally posted by Teacher2

    Our son pays us 250 per month & for that he gets everything provided although if he wants anything special in the way of toiletries, food etc he pays.

    On top of this he's able to save 450 per month - something he won't be able to do when he has his own home

    The money goes into our fun fund & tbh I don't see the difference between him paying it directly into there or pay into our everyday account and then us transferring it

    At the end of the day what suits one family won't necessarily suit another
    Lloyds OD / Natwest OD / PO CC / Wescott / Argos Card cleared thanks to the 1 debt v 100 day challenge

    Next on the list - JD Williams
    • cheerful
    • By cheerful 12th Jul 17, 12:03 PM
    • 26 Posts
    • 25 Thanks
    The question:
    Is she being unreasonable for bumping up the rent money or am I being tight?
    is the wrong one to ask as it only allows for two opposite extremes. You will probably find that it's a bit more complicated than that.

    Ask your mum why she has increased the amount - perhaps 100 pcm did not cover the costs, or she now has a reduced income, or her outgoings have increased, or she simply thinks your contribution should be more, or some other factor. Nobody on this forum knows the answer to that question so talk to your mum!

    Make an effort to fully understand her situation and reasoning and clearly explain yours. Neither her situation when she was your age, nor what your friend's parents do are relevant here. If you are both reasonable and realistic you will work it out between you.
    • takman
    • By takman 12th Jul 17, 12:08 PM
    • 3,316 Posts
    • 2,904 Thanks
    The people who are comparing the amount to how much it would cost to rent a room in the area are completely missing the point!.

    When you rent a room from someone they are making a good profit from it. I don't think a parent should aim to make a good profit from their children paying lodge.

    If you want your children to pay their way then you should sit down with them and work out how much of each bill they should be responsible for. For example them living there won't cause the mortgage/rent to increase. But there will be a small increase in electricity for example; but not by much. If they don't buy there own food then a proportion of the food bill should be included etc.
    Once you calculated this then a fair amount can be paid to the parents and it will help them understand the cost of living.

    Simply saying they should pay 200 a month doesn't help them understand anything about the cost of living and it could be way to much for someone who buys all their own toiletries and food. It could also be way to little for someone who doesn't buy anything and their parents still even buy their clothes, takeaways and entertainment.

    Another theme that seems popular is secretly saving the money for them and giving it to them as a house deposit. This in my view is pointless and you should be working with your children to encourage them to save and get the best interest rates.
    Secretly saving money for them is something you do for a very young child who you don't trust to not blow all their money.
    • alggomas
    • By alggomas 12th Jul 17, 12:35 PM
    • 142 Posts
    • 49 Thanks
    Attitudes to paying your way when working.
    If you are wealthy and charge 100 a week . Fair enough, it will teach young adults some housekeeping sense. However not using this money and giving it back to them does not teach saving. If they saved for a deposit and you matched it. Fine.
    I was brought up in a mining community and it was/is a tradition to pay some of your wages to your mother. No question. Eventually you moved out.
    Personally our generation is too soft with our children and hence they expect more from you. The media also contribute to this " our poor children".
    • halesjim
    • By halesjim 12th Jul 17, 12:57 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    200 a month sounds like a good deal to me especially if all bills (council tax, tv license, internet, gas, electric, water, food, maintenance) are included. However i can see why this would be an issue if saving for a deposit to move out, baring in mind how expensive house prices are in relation to take home pay.
    My 2 pence worth would be to speak to your mother and explain that you need to save for a deposit and ask if you can reduce the amount slightly. HOWEVER if this was agreed i would expect a moral response by the OP to not spend frivolously and automatically bank the difference into a savings account to be used for the sole purpose of a house deposit
    If you have no intention of saving for a house, pay up!!! you'll never live so comfortably for less
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

413Posts Today

4,354Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • It's the start of mini MSE's half term. In order to be the best daddy possible, Im stopping work and going off line?

  • RT @shellsince1982: @MartinSLewis thanx to your email I have just saved myself £222 by taking a SIM only deal for £7.50 a month and keeping?

  • Today's Friday twitter poll: An important question, building on yesterday's important discussions: Which is the best bit of the pizza...

  • Follow Martin