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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 19 (nearly 20) year old son has just asked me if he can move back home. He moved out about 2 years ago in a huff after we had an argument about him getting a job. He had graduated high school early, but was just laying around the house being a jerk to me and his brother and sister. It wasn't a huge argument and I certainly didn't kick him out or anything. He just blew it out of all proportion.

Here's the thing, I've already given his old room to his little brother, and redecorated it to HIS liking, and I'm certainly not going to take the bedroom back so I'm willing to give up my office/scrapbooking space for him to move in to. (Which I also redecorated and built custom organization spaces in). The room is a converted porch & is TINY. 6'x9'

He has a good job ($12/hour) - heck he makes more than I do. He has basically no expenses but his car payment (less than mine) and I'm sure if I put him on my insurance, he can save some money there. I want to charge him at least some rent, but feel pretty bad about charging him rent when I'm making him take over that tiny room. We're probably going to have to put most of his furniture in storage.

So I need advice, how much should I charge him for rent (if anything) I know he's my son and is still quite young, but he certainly needs to learn about the real world eventually. (When he moved out, he went to gramma's house and moved into my sister's old room.) Since gramma charged him nothing, he has all the latest electronic gadgets that he's been spending his money on. 36" LCD HDTV, Playstation 3, X-box360, expensive cell phone, you name it, he's got it. He just bought himself another new laptop as his christmas gift to himself. He bought the rest of the family nothing.

Help me. I don't mind him coming back at all, I just don't want my younger kids to think it's OK to spend all your money on junk like that or to feel jealous that he can buy all that stuff and they can't have anything similar.

Sorry to ramble, I just really never imagined I'd be in this situation and am totally at a loss as to what to do.
 

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I would charge him rent, wouldnt put him on your insurance and if he wants to live in your house he has to help with the chores and go by your rules. If hes making $12 an hour I would charge him at least $300 a month.
 

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I agree he should pay room and board. With another person living there I am sure your utilities will be higher....he will be using hot water and washing clothes, and you will have another mouth to feed. Has for how much to charge I would look in your local paper and see how much a room to rent is. Here they run $100 a week and that doesn't include food.
 

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I would charge him rent if he is not even saving money. He is getting a free ride otherwise and will never learn about the real world. I knew of someone that was in a similar situation. They let their son live there free the first month, second month they charges $100, third $200, and so forth until they got to the peak of whatever they had decided to charge him.
I also know of someone who charged their children rent and kept half and banked the other half. When the child was responsible and decided to move out, they gave them the "banked" half to help with security deposits and such.
 

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I would charge him rent, utilities, and groceries as well. It sucks to be a grown up, but he's not going to learn how to be one unless you help him. If you feel guilty about the size of the space then come up with a formula, then divide it by half... say 30% of his income (isn't that what they say one should spend no more than for a mortgage/rent?) 12$ per hour x 40 hours a week x 4 weeks a month = $1920.00
$1920 x 30% = $576 / 2 = $288.00 per month.

So I'd charge my son $288.00 per month plus utilities (1/4th of the bill) and groceries (per week or make him buy the groceries for a full week out of the month)

That's how I'd do it anyways. :)
 

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Don't you wish kids came with instructions books??

I didn't do this, but a good friend did--she charged a set amount for rent. She put this money in a savings account and let it build. When her DS moved out again, she deposited it into his saving to be used for an emergency fund only. (Hoping DS wouldn't have to move home again.)

Another friend gave DD a utility bill to pay each month. Her feelings were if you lived at home and worked full time but weren't going to school, you get to help with the household living expenses. No free rides.

Maybe you could just straight out ask DS what he thinks is a fair amount to contribute to the household expenses. He may really surprise you!!!

Good Luck!
 

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I would charge him rent, possibly $250-$275 a month that would include his utilities AND he would have to purchase his own food. As far as putting him on my insurance, NO! I would not. He has to learn the real world and this will totally prepare him for sure.

My oldest son who's 17 now already knows that if he plans to live here during college that he will have to pay rent of $250 a month and we will not be putting him on our car insurance, he totally understands, though he doesnt like it he has to learn responsibility and I would rather him learn it the right way. We struggle every month but we make it and I want him to learn that no matter how hard times are HE CAN make it too!
 

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I'm with Nemeweh... but I was always taught though housing expense was 25% of monthly gross... that equals $480 a mo or $120 a week. Quite frankly, that doesn't even cover a hotel room here by the week!!!

If you want to throw in food and household (like laundry supplies, shampoo, soap, toothpaste) that's up to you. Of course if he doesn't like what you cook or buy, he cooks or buys his own!!!

He's in charge of doing his own laundry, including bedding, and should be assigned chores (after all, he doesn't get the privalege of playing PS3 all day while his siblings -- and YOU do chores everyday). He should be in charge of paying any storage fees for his furniture, etc. rather than cluttering up the house and/or garage with his toys. A small 5x8 unit will run about $40-50 a month. A small price for him to pay to keep your space decluttered.

As far as the insurance, let him pay his own insurance on his own policy. This way it protects you a little bit on liability if heaven forbid something happens.

As for grandma, if she 'gave him a free ride' that's her business. If he thinks you're being unfair, he can move back in with her or find something cheaper. I guarantee, he won't find anything cheaper. But that is YOUR home and YOU make the rules in YOUR home.

I know this might sound harsh, but when I lived with my mother after I graduated college and got my first job. Everyone thought it was horrible of her, but I never questioned it. It helped her with the household expenses at the same time it taught me responsibility. Boy, did I miss only paying $100 when I moved into my own place when I paid 8 times that when I lived on my own!! UGH!!

Good Luck!!
 

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I think it would be unresponsable for you not to charge him rent. 300 a month min, and do not put him on your insurance. If he was in an accident you would be liable and could be sued for everything you have. He is a grown up now and should be treated as such. Doing him favors is no favor in the long run!kwim.
 

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I agree with the others that $300 a month is reasonable. He needs to learn responsibility. Too bad Grandma gave him a free ride.
 

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I tend to agree with foxxyroxie.

Make him pay his own bills (cell/internet etc) gas and his own insurance plus storage fees for the stuff that cant fit into his 'area'. He has to do chores and help around the house be it cleaning, babysitting etc and he has to abide by your rules with respect to noise levels and curfews etc

As for what to charge him - I agree with looking to see what a shared apt would cost with someone in the paper and go by that. Have him pay some monies towards groceries too - provide him with 3 square meals a day but if he wants more wether he eats the meals or not or wants snacks - he must pay for them or give you the money and ask you to pick up when you do groceries.

Dont feel to bad, hes old enough now to have to learn. Be it via you or a stranger. It just pulls at your heartstrings b/c he's your son. Wouldn't you like to have the satisfaction of knowing you taught him how to survive on his own vs the hardships of life? (some people need the hardships of life to learn)

Just my thoughts.
 

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I have a 21 year old daughter living at home. I charge her nothing. She is paying back student loans, saving money for a new car and is being very responsible. She would also like to get married and is saving money to do so. I do not believe in making a profit off of my children and will not. She likes to do laundry and will do every stitch in the house. If she notices we are out of milk and bread she will pick some up, if there is something in particular she would like for groceries she buys enough for the entire household. She is striving for independence and I am helping her.

I suppose if we needed the money I would not charge her more than $50 a week. This is enough to cover any added expenses she incurs. It sounds like your son is trying to get ahead buy moving home, so you might want to ask yourself a couple of questions. Do you think he will be there forever, blowing his money for his personal pleasure? Will he help around the house taking some of the load off you and your DH? Will he eat you out of house and home? etc.
 

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Ummm, I'm just wondering why he is leaving grandma's? Seems like he has it made in the shade living there.

I would charge him at least $50 a week. The room at your place may be small, but it's cleaner than a hotel room. Since he has all of those electronic gagets, I would ask him to pay something on the electric bill as well. I would also tell him that he is responsible for doing his own laundry (and buying his detergent, fabric softener), and I would ask him to contribute to the grocery bill if he plans on eating at home. I think it's only fair and if he balks, just tell him to either continue living with grandma, or find somewhere else. If he says he simply can't afford to pay you, then you may suggest that he find a better paying job or a part-time job for extra $$ to help pay for his expenses. In other words, It's grow-up time. Welcome to the real world!

Oh, and I would not, under any circumstance, add him onto my auto policy. A friend of ours did that for her 20 yr. old son 7 years ago and she is still paying for it today. It's a long, ugly story. Just take my advice and don't do it!
 

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Can I ask a question? If he makes 12 an hour with just his car payment, why doesn't he just rent a studio or Jr. one bedroom apt?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well, he already does his own laundry/chores around the house. My mother doesn't have a washer/dryer, so he AND my mom do the laundry at my house. I was renting a washer and dryer when my old ones died, and they both kept offering to help pay the rent, but I refused, as I would have had to pay the payments on it regardless of whether they were using it. I merely asked if they could buy laundry soap now and again. And they have. He also will do some of my laundry when his load runs small.

We have already talked about him getting a small fridge for his room to keep stuff he buys that he wants to keep the little ones out of. (I have one in my room also.)

As far as storage, I have a two car garage attached to the house that is virtually empty. I have the washer/dryer and one shelf unit in it that holds my tools and christmas decorations, so storing his things is NOT a problem.

He is a responsible boy, a very good driver and has no problem with helping out with yardwork, etc. (which I HATE).

My sister suggested perhaps a small fee to help with the grocery bill/electricity etc. plus a fee for each "favor" I do for him. i.e. tossing his wash in with mine, picking up hair gel/cologne or whatever while I shop. Plus a small fee for the room itself. Apartments are very cheap here, so charging him $300 is too much, as he could get a whole apartment here for about 325, not just a room. And he wouldn't have to share the bathroom with anybody (we only have one for the four of us).

I guess I just feel odd about it because my mother let me and DS#1 move back in with her for free after my break up with his dad (DS#1 was just an infant). I lived there four years (until I saved enough money for my house and car). If he had never moved out to begin with, he'd still be at home free of charge. I guess I just don't want to give him a free ride. I know when I first moved out (in high school when I was preggers with DS1) I was totally unprepared for real life. My parents had never made us do chores, other than clean our own bedroom, never taught me to cook, do laundry, how to budget, shop, NOTHING. I just don't want things to be that hard for him, but I don't exactly want to make a profit off of him.
 

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I would definitely go with your gut and not give him a free ride. Personally, once my children are 18, if they're not in college or the military they won't be living in my home, regardless of how much rent they are willing to pay.
 

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Sounds like he's making enough money to get his own place. I'd just say no. JMHO
 

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If he can get an entire apartment for only 325 I dont understand why he would want to move home. Maybe he just wants to waist his money on other things.
 

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I agree with pkellyc, my mom and dad let me live with them free of charge while I went to college. I worked very part time in order to pay for my own entertainment and personal toiletries. I probably wouldn't have been able to focus on my courses if I had had to focus on making rent payments and where the money for food would come from. I know your son is making his own money and working, so it's a little different situation. If rent is so inexpensive in that area, it sounds like he wants to come home to be with his family. He might have been lonely away from you and his brother and sister. It's really hard to transition from being at home with your family to being on your own as an adult. It sounds like he is going through that phase, where he needs to be close to you for now. I think in his own time as he matures, he will see the benefits to having his own place and then will enjoy coming to visit you, instead of needing to live with you. You are a good mom for letting him come home, since he's working full time and making a good wage, I could see maybe asking for money for food and or part of the utilities. I think your son is old enough to talk it over with him, and see what he thinks would be reasonable. I love my parents and I know that my mom would welcome me home, even now at 28 yrs. old if I needed a place to stay. I can't tell you how good that makes me feel inside, even if I hope I never have to make that move.
 

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What if he just has a few of the smaller utilities to pay instead? This would teach the responsibility of paying the bills, etc... ((also, I would suggest that you let him have a small utility in his name such as the water bill, so that when he does move out on his own, he will have CREDIT!)) JMHO. :D
 
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