Q: My wife wants to charge our children rent because they are finished with school and moving back home. I’m not comfortable with that. I always want my children to feel welcome, no matter how old they are. What do we do?
A: It’s a difficult question, and it’s something many parents of adult children struggle with today. If you don’t charge them anything, you risk enabling a lifestyle. That lifestyle could include doing nothing, playing video games, and watching television all day. As a result, your child feels no motivation to get a job or to get ahead in life. If you do charge them rent or expenses, however, you risk feelings of resentment.
Engage in some tough love with your children.
This could involve charging your adult children rent. By doing this, they know there are costs involved in living with you and they don’t take you for granted. At the same time, take those payments they make each month, or part of those payments, and deposit them into a savings account at United Texas CU. This may seem to defeat the purpose, but you don’t have to tell them what you’re doing. Instead, it’ll be a nice surprise when they eventually move out and you can hand them the account statement you’ve been building for them. Even if you want to let them know about it, explain that it’s important to you that they learn to budget while you’re holding the money (or part of it) for them in their own account that you’ll turn over to them once they are on their own.
Contact us for more information or to open a United Texas savings account.
Of course, you may just decide to charge your adult children rent. Many people do. Just be sure it’s an amount they can comfortably pay, and keep the lines of communication open.