Dear Parents Of Adult Children – Start Charging Your Kids Rent!

I am always amazed at how many grown men & women are still living with their parents and not paying a dime in rent. This is one of those subjects that I feel so passionately about, that I will argue with you for hours about how I’m right and you’re wrong.

If adult children are not out on their own, they should be paying rent (at a minimum!). Are your adult children giving you rent money every month? If you’re an adult living at home, are you coughing up any cash for mom and dad? If not – it’s time to give your head a good shake, because you’re doing it all wrong (sorry, I told you I’m passionate about this!).

Charging Kids Rent

Why should adult children living at home pay rent?

In the majority of cases, parents are the ones to blame in this situation. I know you think that allowing your child to live at home rent-free is helping them, but what you’re really doing is hindering them. And you’re hindering them quite a bit.

By the time your child does move out on their own, they are going to be punched in the face with reality. Not only are they going to have to pay rent, but they will have to find the cash to pay for heat, electricity, groceries – and a multitude of other things.

When you make sure your child pays rent each month, you are teaching them to be responsible with their money. When they live at home, working, and you don’t force them to give them any cash, they are learning to live on a disposable income that they will never, ever have once they leave the nest.

And that’s not what you want your kids to be learning, right?

I can’t take money from my kids!

Oh, but you can, and you should. Remember, by taking rent money from your children, you are teaching them financial responsibility. You are showing them that they can’t just indulge in themselves until they first take care of their responsibilities. That’s life. That’s what the real world is all about.

Kids Living at Home

They won’t like it. They will hate it, actually. But one day down the road, they will thank you for it. I promise you that.

“We may not be able to prepare the future for our children, but we can at least prepare our children for the future.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt (Click to Tweet)

When should I start charging rent?

As soon as your kids have a full time job, it’s time for you to get paid for allowing them to live in your home. If they’re still in school and struggling financially, and you’re secure enough to help them out, then go for it.

Otherwise, they need to fork over the cash.

But they’re living at home to save money!

I hate this excuse. I really do. Of course they’re living at home to save money – what other reason could there be?

The fact of the matter is that everyone should be saving money anyway, whether you live at home or not. Saving money should be a part of your life, just as much as paying your other bills is.

Paying Rent to Parents

As a parent, it’s your responsibility to teach your kids about life. How they should behave, what they should expect, and everything in between. By not charging your kids rent, you’re creating a false sense of reality for them. The real world requires rent – so start making your child pay!

Would you ever charge your kids rent? Why or why not?

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  1. Sara says:

    Agreed. I paid rent as soon as I was out of school. It wasn’t much ($50/week) but I knew it was a good deal compared to having my own appartment.

  2. Barb says:

    We found an added benefit to making your kid pay rent. My son decided if he was going to have to pay us rent he may as well have his own place…..he now owns his own condo and is getting along just fine. At first we heard grumbling about the cost of utilities, etc. but we just reminded him that’s what we had been paying all along and that was life. So the added benefit…..your adult kid moves out 🙂 We love them but it’s nicer when they just come to visit.

  3. John says:

    I’m actually going to go against what Cassie has to say, I personally have never paid rent to my parents but then again I am very business minded and have good financial management skills and i have personally made my parents more money than they would have through having me paying rent to them given my background in investments. To this day i still manage their investments and make them money even though i do not live at home.

    I think it all depends on the situation, if your kids are going nowhere and are spending all their money on partying and going out, I can see why you should be charging them rent. But you shouldnt label all young adults the same way.

  4. Janelle says:

    I haven’t read all the comments but I’m going to argue against this for one reason.. Not all situations are the same. I’m a 22 year old student living at home with my single mom. I worked a year out of high school because I know my family wouldn’t be able to help me pay for school and I couldn’t afford it yet on my own. I’ve been paying for my own car and purchased all my own groceries and health and beauty supplies for over a year now (with the help of Cassie Howard) and in fact my mom and sister often wear my clothes, use my appliances and cleaning products and eat my food. I pay for everything I need except my cell phone, which I would pay for if my mom asked, but to be honest with other expenses I’ve been thankful she hasn’t. I am still learning to manage my finances on my own, working 30 hours a week is not ideal with school, but a girl’s gotta do why a girl’s gotta do! If my mom asked me for rent I’d move out because I’d also get my own space and keep everything I’ve worked to pay for.

    • Olivia says:

      Janelle, you seem to be a generous, considered and responsible young woman. Bravo! You will do very well in life with all your hard work and life skills.
      This pay- rent -while -living -at- home refers to adult children working FULL-TIME only.
      Best of luck to you.

  5. Hazel says:

    I would be a terrible mother if I did that! I would ask them to contribute to utility bills if they used things (heat, hydro, water), but never rent. They can save the rent money and put a down payment on a house with it! The sooner they save that money the sooner they are out of my house and into their own.

  6. Lumeena says:

    My in-laws did something that I think is great. They did charge their grown kids rent once they where old enough to be out of the house. What they actually did with the rent is bank it for them and decided to give it back to them years later once they felt they could use it for something of value. My in-laws are also up in age at this time and they also felt that liquidating their money asset and giving it back to their kids while they are still alive would help with taxes and such…they didn’t want to wait until after they passed and leave it all in their will, since gawd knows the taxman always takes their share.

  7. CandyK says:

    YES!! Charge your kids rent! This is about life and responsibility. A man/woman should be worthy of their keep.

    One exception: if your children are in debt and are responsible enough to pay off their debt while working and living at home rent-free in order to pay off debt, then I say, yes make an exception and help them. We need to show them mercy in a case like this when the only other option might be bankruptcy. It’s not bad to help your kids in extreme circumstances.

  8. Nicole says:

    We were lucky to have my parents let us move in for 1.5 years after our first daughter was born. Their own mortgage is paid off (thanks to a previous house sale and inheritance) so we offered to pay for their cable, internet and phone bills (the entertainment bills) plus half the grocery bill. That along with learning to coupon, RRSPs and Having a good credit helped us buy our first home within that year and a half.

    I like the idea of charging kids rent but saving the money for them for their own down payments/etc.

  9. Ray says:

    My parents charged me rent when I was around 17-18. They called it ‘board’. When I was in school and working weekends, they charged me less; In the winters when I wasn’t working, they didn’t charge me; when I worked full-time for the summer breaks they charged me more. It eventually got up to $200/month(I moved out approx 7 years ago). I had to drop out of my 3rd year of college 10 years ago because I was SO terribly broke(even though I had contributed approx $3000 to my parents for board).

    So, I started working for an alarm installation company(2006), which paid me $9/hr. I hated it(the wage). My ‘board’ went up to $200 and so I went back to my first job; landscaping/stone work which paid me $12/hr.

    Sure, I had spent too much of my hard earned money on things that I didn’t require. But, this is my ‘life’ we’re talking about here. Now, I am 30. I have no way of living my dream, no option to do what I want to do. I am now working landscaping for $20/hr seasonal. I recently had to give up an electrician apprentice opportunity offered by one of my family members, because I can’t afford a $6/hr pay cut(with 12grand in debt currently to pay off).

    Sure, I had a DUI. Sure, I lost my last vehicle. But, I can assure you that my parents are to blame for most of my frustrations. It was their job from the beginning to ensure that I live a good life. They are very old and very stupid. They don’t know ANYTHING about life(literally)! Not one thing at all.

    Now, does that have anything to do with them charging me rent?? Not entirely. [They we’re morons from the beginning. I have no idea why I am 400x’s smarter than they are. There is no way that I came from their genes! But no, my frustrations are not ‘just’ because of them charging me rent. I resent them from day 1(and I have many reasons to)].

    Them charging me rent did not benefit me at all, as I am an A+ advanced calculus student with a lot of potential. They don’t even know what calculus means!! They think that it’s ‘adding and subtracting with a calculator’. YES, they are that stupid!

    If you want to charge them rent, fine. But, as yourself what they are benefiting out of the situation. Consider ‘all’ the angles. Not just because you want to ‘save money’….

  10. RJReynolds says:

    I disagree. I can only imagine an adult child moves back home with mom or dad because they are struggling and suffering financial or career setbacks in life. To charge my adult children rent after the fact pretty much defeats the purpose of why they’re coming back home to live.

  11. Jamie says:

    my daughter will be 21 in 2 months and I have asked her to pay rent (she is not in school and works 2 part time jobs). She has refused to pay the amount I asked for (350/mo) citing she buys her own groceries, toiletries and clothes. She is standing firm that the amount is not reasonable. I don’t want to threaten to throw her out, I just want her to contribute to the expenses of the house. What should I do as talking to her is not helping?

  12. DD says:

    You know what, Ray? You are the one who is stupid, not your parents! From all that you went on and on about, you’re a brat that has many things to learn in life. Just because you are book smart, does not mean that you are smart in all areas of life. Please, give your parents some credit and don’t look down your nose at them as if they never, ever did you any favours in life. Please, for your own good, take a good hard look at yourself before you spout off like that again.

  13. Jane says:

    DD, I know this thread goes a few months back at least but thank God for what you said to Ray. I was hoping please let there be someone whom addresses this before I get to the bottom. I felt angry just reading his post. Poor parents.

  14. Sarah says:

    I agree with charging them my daughter and her son love with me and are not paying a cent she leaves messes for me everywhere, and I have had it. I have told her on many occasions she needs to last rent, but she refused. I know I should kick her out but I worry about my grandson. Any advice

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