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Hello!  I told my oldest (almost 23) that when he graduates from college in June that we would give him until September and then start charging him rent.  I assumed it would take about 3 months to get a good job.  How much do you think we should charge him for room, utilities, and meals when he's here.  He does some chores around the house, but not nearly enough for a free ride at his age.  

Thanks!

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I have a friend who really wanted her daughter to have a realistic idea of what it costs to live on one's own, but also wanted to show a little grace. 

She researched on Craigslist to find what typical rents were for a room in someone's house. She came up with $550 (which is very typical here). 

I asked if she was going to hold on to it and give it back later, and she surprised me by saying, laughing, "NO WAY!"  She used it gleefully to pay for a conference and other things. 

Her daughter stayed 3 months then found a great place. She could actually afford an apartment with roommates. It worked very well for all of them. 

For my son, we allowed him to stay...and stay...and stay. He paid $200 and we kept it. But I don't think it was enough. He has some special circumstances, but I wish we'd given him the gift of living on his own and then allowed him to come for dinner or something. He did leave and then came back. 

You will find many here saying they'd never charge their kids, that it's their home, too, but I disagree. Charge what it costs. Keep the $. It is a good dose of struggle that builds character and teaches how to manage money. Look at the thread on the Tightwad Gazette where someone posted about the interviews with Amy's kids--read the youngest daughter's and see how money management gave her a happy adulthood. ITA. 

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My oldest is actually currently living with my parents.  This is due to the fact that her internship is in that area and not ours.  

In that area, Indy, she can find a 1br apartment for $450, in a safe area (in fact in the apartment complex we lived in back when she was in kindy.  So if we lived there and she was living with us and she wasn’t finding a job, we would probably charge her like $200 rent.  Depending on her actions, that may or may not progress upwards.  

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I would charge $150 for the first month, then add $100 per month until he moves out, with a cap of maybe $550 or $650, in case some special situation comes up and he's not out after 6 months.

When we've had international students live with us, the going rate was $750 per month for room and board (private room, shared bathroom, family meals, not including extra snacks and junk food. minimal chore expectations: they did their laundry, cleaned their room and bathroom, and helped clean up after meals)

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2 hours ago, happysmileylady said:

My oldest is actually currently living with my parents.  This is due to the fact that her internship is in that area and not ours.  

In that area, Indy, she can find a 1br apartment for $450, in a safe area (in fact in the apartment complex we lived in back when she was in kindy.  So if we lived there and she was living with us and she wasn’t finding a job, we would probably charge her like $200 rent.  Depending on her actions, that may or may not progress upwards.  

1 br apartments around here are closer to 1200!

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34 minutes ago, Tiberia said:

I would charge $150 for the first month, then add $100 per month until he moves out, with a cap of maybe $550 or $650, in case some special situation comes up and he's not out after 6 months.

When we've had international students live with us, the going rate was $750 per month for room and board (private room, shared bathroom, family meals, not including extra snacks and junk food. minimal chore expectations: they did their laundry, cleaned their room and bathroom, and helped clean up after meals)

I never thought about upping the rent each month as an incentive to move out.  I have mixed feelings about him moving - I know he needs to take on that responsibility, but I sure hate to see him spending the kind of money it would take for even a 1 br apartment if he didn't have a good job.  And who would mow the lawn? ha!

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I think without knowing what type of job he would have, I couldn't answer this question. I have an adult son who will be with us for the foreseeable future for a variety of reasons. There is no way that he could afford to live on his own with his current job. We have prioritized what he needs to pay for: gas to get to/from work, clothing, medication co-pays, medical insurance premiums, etc. Rent to us doesn't even make the cut. He cannot go without medication, medical insurance or MD appointments, so him living on his own isn't in the picture. He can either pay rent to us or someone else and we pay for medical expenses, or he can pay medical expenses and live here at no additional cost to either us or to him. Even then, we will have to chip in for medical expenses from time to time. It is not possible at this time for him to increase his earning potential, so this is where we are. We are all at peace with it and he is actually a good "roommate." It's much different than having a teenager in the house. Of course, each situation is different, but I think that whether or not to charge rent, how much and for how long is a very individual situation. While it's good to think ahead, do keep an open mind and realize that the situation may turn out vastly different than you think it will. It could be everything from ds getting a job and supporting himself in a distant city to him needing to stay home for financial reasons. Encouraging financial independence really does look different for everyone.

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If you don't need the extra money and just want to charge to help him inch his way to living independently, I would suggest charging a percentage of his income.  Maybe around 20% for room and board if he does some helpful chores regularly and uses water/electric somewhat sparingingly.  

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Hmmm.....I don't know, but I would be inclined to find out what a 2 bedroom apt would cost (shared with a roommate, so half of that would be his cost if he were to move out) and charge half of that.

Does he have any student loans?  My oldest will have student loans and we hope to live in an area where he could work and live with us while he pays those off.  

I personally have told my kids they can live with us as long as they want as long as they are abiding by our rules, being respectful, and saving money for a downpayment.  I don't plan to police that to the extent of charging rent to give back (I actually don't like that parenting method but YMMV), but we have instilled the concept saving with our kids.  

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5 hours ago, Evergreen State Sue said:

Hello!  I told my oldest (almost 23) that when he graduates from college in June that we would give him until September and then start charging him rent.  I assumed it would take about 3 months to get a good job.  How much do you think we should charge him for room, utilities, and meals when he's here.  He does some chores around the house, but not nearly enough for a free ride at his age.  

Thanks!

what's the going rate for a shared apartment/room in your area?  you could probably find that on craigslist.   depending upon your area, it could be quite a bit.     then I would drop it from there.  

because they do take room, they eat, they use the kitchen, and utilities - it adds up.

 

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5 hours ago, Evergreen State Sue said:

Thanks for sharing your ideas, Chris.  I'm not sure if we would keep it for ourselves or save it to gift for a down payment on a condo or house for his future.  I guess it will depend what our financial needs are at the time.  I'll check out that thread. 

I expect both of my son's to stick around for awhile after graduation, just to save money for a down payment.  (unless 1ds takes a job in another state - possible with his major)  I'm happy to do that, and only charge them what it costs me to have them - which is much less than going rent.

5 years ago, we were charging 1dd $500.   which still enabled her to save a decent down payment for her house.

2 hours ago, Evergreen State Sue said:

1 br apartments around here are closer to 1200!

I think you're in my area - and what people outside of it might not realized - in the seattle area - that's a cheap apartment. a decent single  room in someone's "decent" house can easily go for $900.

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I've actually been looking for a cheap apartment or room for my oldest.  In my county, a one bedroom apartment or even just a room will run $800 to $1500 a month.  If she goes to the more urban areas, she MIGHT be able to get something (200 square foot room) for $600 a month.  I'm in an extremely HCOL.  Right now she lives with my mother while she goes to grad school.  She works full time as a retail manager so isn't making that much money, but the flexibility is more important for right now.

I know quite a few people doing multi-generational housing right now.  Things are extremely expensive and the only jobs that are plentiful are retail and food service.

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For food—do you know how much you spent at the grocery store before he lived with you?  If you use a credit card to pay, you can probably go on the credit card website and see what you’ve been paying at grocery stores for the past year. Charge him whatever is above what you normally spend.  You’d include things like TP and papertowels in the fee, because he’d be using those things.  He’d have to buy all his own items that aren’t shared (shampoo, razors, etc.)

Same thing for utilities.  See what the bills were in the past and charge him the difference.  Maybe compare this from the previous year’s month, as charges in December might be entirely different from charges in July.  So, compare what you spent in Sept 2017 without him against what you spent in 2018 with him.

For rent.  That’s a little trickier.  He’s renting just a room from you and not an entire apartment.  Is his goal in living at home to pay down his college loans fast?  If that’s the case, then I would have him apply any rent toward his loans.  Once the loans are paid off, then I’d charge him rent for living there.  

If he doesn’t have loans to pay off and he’s just living at home for some other reason, then I’d find out the cheapest rent for living in a single room with shared amenities in your area and charge him that.  

I’m not sure yet whether I’d save up that money to give back to him, or if I’d use it to fix up the current home you’re living in.  There are some repairs my home needs, but I can’t afford them because I’ve raised kids and had their expenses all these years.  Part of me wants to say, “if they are adults and paying rent, then the rent goes toward fixing up the house we’re all living in.”  But another part of me wants to help launch the next generation, so I might give it all back when he needs a downpayment for a house or something huge like that.

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14 hours ago, TechWife said:

I think without knowing what type of job he would have, I couldn't answer this question. I have an adult son who will be with us for the foreseeable future for a variety of reasons. There is no way that he could afford to live on his own with his current job. We have prioritized what he needs to pay for: gas to get to/from work, clothing, medication co-pays, medical insurance premiums, etc. Rent to us doesn't even make the cut. He cannot go without medication, medical insurance or MD appointments, so him living on his own isn't in the picture. He can either pay rent to us or someone else and we pay for medical expenses, or he can pay medical expenses and live here at no additional cost to either us or to him. Even then, we will have to chip in for medical expenses from time to time. It is not possible at this time for him to increase his earning potential, so this is where we are. We are all at peace with it and he is actually a good "roommate." It's much different than having a teenager in the house. Of course, each situation is different, but I think that whether or not to charge rent, how much and for how long is a very individual situation. While it's good to think ahead, do keep an open mind and realize that the situation may turn out vastly different than you think it will. It could be everything from ds getting a job and supporting himself in a distant city to him needing to stay home for financial reasons. Encouraging financial independence really does look different for everyone.

You sound like a great mom!  I love how you've thought it through for your son and have given me things to think about for mine.  Thanks!

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14 hours ago, TX Native said:

If you don't need the extra money and just want to charge to help him inch his way to living independently, I would suggest charging a percentage of his income.  Maybe around 20% for room and board if he does some helpful chores regularly and uses water/electric somewhat sparingingly.  

 

Great idea to base it on a percentage of his income.  I think some  financial experts talk about using a percentage of your income to figure out how much house you can afford to buy.  Thanks!

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13 hours ago, DawnM said:

Hmmm.....I don't know, but I would be inclined to find out what a 2 bedroom apt would cost (shared with a roommate, so half of that would be his cost if he were to move out) and charge half of that.

Does he have any student loans?  My oldest will have student loans and we hope to live in an area where he could work and live with us while he pays those off.  

I personally have told my kids they can live with us as long as they want as long as they are abiding by our rules, being respectful, and saving money for a downpayment.  I don't plan to police that to the extent of charging rent to give back (I actually don't like that parenting method but YMMV), but we have instilled the concept saving with our kids.  

Good idea to half the cost of a 2 bedroom apt.  No student loans, but I would support a child paying those off first before charging rent as we plan to do that with another child.

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12 hours ago, gardenmom5 said:

I expect both of my son's to stick around for awhile after graduation, just to save money for a down payment.  (unless 1ds takes a job in another state - possible with his major)  I'm happy to do that, and only charge them what it costs me to have them - which is much less than going rent.

5 years ago, we were charging 1dd $500.   which still enabled her to save a decent down payment for her house.

I think you're in my area - and what people outside of it might not realized - in the seattle area - that's a cheap apartment. a decent single  room in someone's "decent" house can easily go for $900.

Yep, I'm in your area.  When I was on my own (granted many, many years ago) my large 1 br apt. cost $250/month.  Now the same apt. is up over $1,000 from there!

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3 hours ago, Where's Toto? said:

I've actually been looking for a cheap apartment or room for my oldest.  In my county, a one bedroom apartment or even just a room will run $800 to $1500 a month.  If she goes to the more urban areas, she MIGHT be able to get something (200 square foot room) for $600 a month.  I'm in an extremely HCOL.  Right now she lives with my mother while she goes to grad school.  She works full time as a retail manager so isn't making that much money, but the flexibility is more important for right now.

I know quite a few people doing multi-generational housing right now.  Things are extremely expensive and the only jobs that are plentiful are retail and food service.

I love the idea of multi-generational housing.  Our parents are with the Lord, so it will only be two generations here.  I love having my children with us, but I don't have personal experience with it since I had been out of my parent's house since age 19.  Prices are high here too.

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3 hours ago, Garga said:

For food—do you know how much you spent at the grocery store before he lived with you?  If you use a credit card to pay, you can probably go on the credit card website and see what you’ve been paying at grocery stores for the past year. Charge him whatever is above what you normally spend.  You’d include things like TP and papertowels in the fee, because he’d be using those things.  He’d have to buy all his own items that aren’t shared (shampoo, razors, etc.)

Same thing for utilities.  See what the bills were in the past and charge him the difference.  Maybe compare this from the previous year’s month, as charges in December might be entirely different from charges in July.  So, compare what you spent in Sept 2017 without him against what you spent in 2018 with him.

For rent.  That’s a little trickier.  He’s renting just a room from you and not an entire apartment.  Is his goal in living at home to pay down his college loans fast?  If that’s the case, then I would have him apply any rent toward his loans.  Once the loans are paid off, then I’d charge him rent for living there.  

If he doesn’t have loans to pay off and he’s just living at home for some other reason, then I’d find out the cheapest rent for living in a single room with shared amenities in your area and charge him that.  

I’m not sure yet whether I’d save up that money to give back to him, or if I’d use it to fix up the current home you’re living in.  There are some repairs my home needs, but I can’t afford them because I’ve raised kids and had their expenses all these years.  Part of me wants to say, “if they are adults and paying rent, then the rent goes toward fixing up the house we’re all living in.”  But another part of me wants to help launch the next generation, so I might give it all back when he needs a downpayment for a house or something huge like that.

Our son lived at home while attending a local college so there has never been a time without him to price with and without his use of food or utilities.  No college loans either.  I do think that having multiple people living in a house takes its toll on the house so using rent money to help with fixing up the house makes sense. 

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We don’t charge our 23 year old rent. He has been out of college working in a great career fulltime job for a year. He paid off his student loans. He pays for his own car. He is saving money. That is what works for our family. Everyone’s family is different. 

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Mortgage + utilities + groceries divided by the number of people in the household. He continues to do the chores. If you can afford it, stash this money away for him to use towards his first home. If not, he carries his own weight . . . like a grown-up. 

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We charge our disabled dd $600 per month which fits the going rate in our college town area. Her SSI is based on her paying rent/board, so it's not because we're cruel and heartless. This year I'm saving her payments to re-carpet the house. I think spending it on the house is appropriate.

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3 hours ago, Evergreen State Sue said:

Our son lived at home while attending a local college so there has never been a time without him to price with and without his use of food or utilities.  No college loans either.  I do think that having multiple people living in a house takes its toll on the house so using rent money to help with fixing up the house makes sense. 

 

3 hours ago, KungFuPanda said:

Mortgage + utilities + groceries divided by the number of people in the household. He continues to do the chores. If you can afford it, stash this money away for him to use towards his first home. If not, he carries his own weight . . . like a grown-up. 

 

With the information you provided about how he has no college loans, then I totally agree with KungFuPanda, with a caveat:

If you divide your household expenses, will it be cheaper for him to live with you or cheaper for him to move out? (IE: Maybe your mortgage and utilities are astronomical, and getting a tiny efficiency would be cheaper.) 

If you want him to move out, then charging him the high amount might prompt him to move into the tiny efficiency to save money.

If you want him to stay for whatever reasons, then charge a little less than what it would cost to leave as an incentive to stay.

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Either 25% of the child's gross income, or else take the rent/mortgage + utilities and divide the total by the number of bedrooms (if the child has their own) or # of people in the home (if they share), whichever is less. 

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We charge ds $600/mo. plus he pays us for his car insurance. You might think that high but he has been looking and NOT finding a place with a budget of $800/month. He says if he had $1K/mo. he might be able to find an apt. to share. Meanwhile he uses our utilities and we feed him and he does minimal if any chores, so I think we're being fair. It's a high COLA area. And the $$ are going toward home repairs and upkeep we couldn't otherwise afford without my going back to work. He has the biggest bedroom too.

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Our 25 year old lives with us and we don't charge him rent. He owns his own house (rents it out) and has a good job.

We don't need the money and we want him to bank absolutely everything he can for retirement--he has a 401K and is maxing that out.

However, he is a mechanic and we do expect him to help us out on some of our aging vehicles when they need to be fixed!

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11 hours ago, scholastica said:

This article  has the median rent for every state in the union. Might give you an idea of what his portion would be.

 

I've always found those articles annoying.   I'm in the same area as ess - and some parts of this state - average rent is $500.   where I am, average rent is $1700+ - for the same size and amenities.

the col calculators are much more useful.

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Our initial thinking was children move out after college.  That changed with oldest's health (at first) and then collapse of economy.  He did go out on his own but he was not in a good apartment and didn't want to renew lease because of crime, bad neighbors, and gross overcharges on utilities (he was being charged in his one bedroom with one occupant who didn't have a laundry machine for water at more than double our rate with a large house and large yard part of which was irrigated three people, laundry machine and pool.).  We let him move back but he was supposed to be getting a room mate and move out.  It lasted for 2 years and we were charging 400 for him but that did include food, utilities (he did use a lot of electricity with all his computers and devices that were on a lot) and being part of the family so tv, our Netflix, pool use, etc.  We decided on the price as being what he payed in straight rent  at the apartment.  He decided he would need a roommate to share a nicer 2 bedroom.  It took 2 years for him to get one because he only wanted a friend.  We did not give the money back but we have helped him a lot in other financial ways both during and since that time so it really wasn't any help to our actual expenses overall- more like an incentive for him to move out and on with his adult life.He moved out and we had almost two years without permanent non college residents here and then older dd  got the job she wanted here and first she and two cats and a dog moved in and the next month her husband joined her and we didn't charge them anything.  They were still paying on a house in last location and did do things like buy us dinners some time, plus paid for cat and dog necessities.  They moved out this March into a new home having sold theirs in January.

So we only have to deal with what we will do with youngest.  She stayed at her school this summer, both taking classes and working.  She is in a high demand field (at least in our area) but is hoping to get an internship during this school year and she would really rather not live with us which we are fine with but we won't be subsidizing her to live anywhere except in our house.

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We don't charge our adult children rent, although they've generally only been with us for about 6 months at a time (as working-age adults), and more during transitions.  That would probably change if it became a more permanent situation, and it would definitely change if they were just being lazy and not doing anything at all.  If they were living with us for a year or two right after college, while working, we'd probably let them have a free ride to help get them started in life.  But, we'd expect them to be an active and helpful member of the household.  So far when our kids have lived at home they've been a big help -- with chores, running errands for me, doing big home projects that need to be done, and helping to pay for groceries.  We all get along very well as roommates so we enjoy having them around.

 

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My parents let DH and me (we were basically married during high school) stay with them during the summers while I was in college and then afterward when we needed the help - after moving back from overseas, before the move to overseas, etc.  We lived with my mom for a year after my dad died, during which we paid the utilities and she covered the mortgage - this worked well at the time as we were quite (quite!) poor but she did need the extra help temporarily as she lost my dad's SS income.  Then the next year, she moved out and we stayed in the house and paid the mortgage while we looked for a larger place.

At any rate, what I'm saying is that my parents never charged rent, but we did help pay what we could when we could as functioning adult members of the household.  I might put it to him like that  - once you have a job (not before, as where would the money come from?) - please help us out by paying part of the mortgage and the utilities.  

His desire to get his own apartment won't be because you are charging him $x a month; it will be because he wants to start living his own life in his own space.  Historically, it wasn't uncommon for young men and women to live with their parents until they were married.  It doesn't make a ton of economic sense for people to live alone.

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I guess I'd also say, is your son particularly lazy or otherwise disinclined to get a job and work?  I think most people want to work, support themselves, having spending money, save for the future, do something meaningful - any combination of the above.  I don't think charging rent is necessary to incentivize this behavior; I think it's natural, especially among the young.  

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17 hours ago, Evergreen State Sue said:

Good idea to half the cost of a 2 bedroom apt.  No student loans, but I would support a child paying those off first before charging rent as we plan to do that with another child.

 

I was suggesting half of that amount.   So if his half of a 2 bedroom would be $800, I would charge $400.  But again, YMMV.

 

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