Living at home and paying rent

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by mkats, Jun 23, 2010.

  1. Allskate

    Allskate Well-Known Member

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    Not necessarily. I wouldn't suggest that others have the same experience that I had. I never had an allowance and had to start buying my own clothes in junior high school. I started babysitting at 13, working in retail and McDonalds at 16, and paid my own way through a demanding college with a combinations of scholarships, loans, and jobs. My parents made it clear they never were going to help me financially. (They actually made a profit off of me when I was in college because they claimed me as a dependent.)

    I certainly learned to be responsible and independent. But, because I had no safety net, I often took the safest route financially and not necessarily the route that would make me the happiest or help me find and follow the best career for me. Sometimes a volunteer job really is the best in the short term. Sometimes taking a particular job that isn't that secure would have been the best choice if I didn't have to worry that I'd have no backup plan for paying the rent or my student loan payments if I lost the job.

    I have friends who make decisions all the time secure in the knowledge that, if something goes wrong, their parents will help them. It affects their job choices, their spending decisions, etc. They are willing to make riskier investments knowing that, if they lose their savings, their parents will come through with the downpayment for the house. They don't live with their parents or get financial support from their parents (currently), so they think that their parents aren't helping them, but the parents certainly are helping them in some ways.

    But, I do see an increasing number of young people who are not responsible or independent and do not have a good work ethic, and I do think that their parents have played a role in that. A friend's cousin just graduated from college and turned down a job because she felt she wasn't ready for a job. She just moved back home with her parents, who had just paid for an expensive college education and a very nice lifestyle. My friend wanted to smack her cousin silly. But, then again, my friend is very hard-working, worked her way through college, and has never had her family's financial support since leaving home at 18.

    I agree with those who say that expectations and examples play a big role in determining what kids end up doing.
     
  2. uyeahu

    uyeahu Agitator. Sharpie lover (figuratively speaking).

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    Your friend's cousin probably talked to her mom about getting a job and her mom said there was no rush and she should take her time, yada yada. Give a scared "kid" an easy escape route and they'll often take it. I'm curious if she's ever had a job before or if she's only been a student to this point. I had a friend who did something similar and left the town she loved living in to move back to the small town she grew up in just to avoid getting that first J.O.B. a little longer. She lived off her parents for another year saying she couldn't find a good job in their small town until one day her dad sat her down and told her she had to work if she wanted to continue living with them, even if it meant working for minimum wage. It only took her a few weeks to find a good paying job once the ultimatum was presented and she actually enjoys working and is now making plans to move back to the big city and get her own place. Some folks really need a good firm push (or kick) to step out into the world of time clocks and pay checks and unfamiliar expectations.
     
  3. Allskate

    Allskate Well-Known Member

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    Actually, she didn't tell her parents about the job until after she turned it down and they were ticked off! :lol: My friend says her aunt and uncle should be blaming themselves in part because they had spoiled her so much. And, nope, I don't think she's ever had a job and her parents always gave her plenty of spending money. But, even though they're not happy about this, I don't get the sense that the parents plan to issue an ultimatum.

    In general, though, I wonder if there are really that many parents who spend a small fortune on a private college and then don't care if their kids get a job afterwards.
     
  4. JasperBoy

    JasperBoy Heading for Helsinki

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    So, why don't parents teach their children how to look after themselves? I thought the main task of a parent was to prepare the child to live independently upon reaching adulthood. From some posts it sounds as if some parents continue to provide every service for their children long past the time when the child should be able, and willing to do things for him/herself.

    Does it serve some need of the parent to keep their child dependent far into adulthood? Most women work outside the home. How do they manage to do this as well as cater to their offspring?

    Once again, I recognize that economics might dictate that adults live with their parents, but I am amazed to read about so many young people who have no survival skills.

    Even birds teach their young to survive on their own. If they don't, the fledgling will die.
     
  5. Prancer

    Prancer Jawwalking Staff Member

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    :mad: I have students whose parents do this even though their children are living on their own, thus denying them any chance at all of financial aid.

    There are a lot of things I understand, but that's not one of them.

    I think there are a variety of reasons--we are talking about people, after all--and I am quite sure that you are about to get a dozen replies about how parents want to be their children's friends. But I can tell you one that I think is underestimated, and that is that parents are often so busy and so stressed that it's easier to do everything themselves than to take the time and effort to teach children how to do things. And it does take more time and effort, at least initially. Every parent I know has this problem at least occasionally; every parent is also aware that this is not a good thing, but is also too tired or too stressed to care right at that moment.

    I also think the fact that parents have fewer children than they had in the past, that many have children later in life, and that many more of those children were choices rather than accidents tends to make a lot of parents mroe inclined to keep their children young--because they are more precious and because parents perceive them as always being children.

    Both of these things are problems that I am dealing with right now; my husband and I have a hard time seeing our children as competent beings, even though they really are. We've been making more of an effort to make them deal with harder and more complex tasks around the house in the last year, but it's taken actual thought and planning to do so. Neither my husband nor I had parents who made us do much of anything around the house, so we know the drawbacks there, but still--it's something we have to work at.
     
  6. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    That really can be a huge advantage. Even though the parents are not providing the financial support, the child feels safe taking risks. Risks that will hopefully work out and will not require parental assistance. But knowing that they have a safety net, can make all of the difference.

    Very insightful post. Even though we want our kids to be independent and accomplished, it's hard to let go of our children. And no matter how old they get, they are our children. I am very proud of my daughter moving into an apartment and being aware of what things cost and paying her bills on time. But, I'd be lying if I said I don't miss seeing her face each day and knowing she's safely tucked into her bed under my roof at night. She knows that if she needs to come home, she will always be welcome. She knows I love having her home, but she also knows that I'm proud of her new independence.

    I'm also not minding that the bathroom stays much cleaner :D
     
  7. Simone411

    Simone411 Just Flip-Flopping Around

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    cruisin ... :respec:
     
  8. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Get off my lawn

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    My sister-in-law used to tell her kids something like this when they did anything risky or got too clingy... "My job is to keep you alive until you're 18. Your job is to learn as much as you can so that you can survive after that." Both of her kids launched well. Her youngest took a little kick, but she launched and she's flying pretty high.
     
  9. JasperBoy

    JasperBoy Heading for Helsinki

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    High fives to your sil. Well put.

    And good comments, Prancer.

    I will add another viewpoint. Teaching children to be independent benefits the parents, too. At some point the parents will not be able to do everything for their children, and may be in need themselves. If their children are helpless, the parents will get no help.

    No one is immortal, or invincible. At some point the older generation has to give way to the younger. It is in the parents' best interest to ensue that their children are up to the task.
     
  10. altai_rose

    altai_rose Well-Known Member

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    I think I'm pretty independent--I went out of state to college (though I was very lucky that my parents paid for it), got a job during college, and now I pay everything myself (thanks US taxpayers for funding my tuition and stipend!). I go back home for a week during Christmas and a week during the summer and call my parents maybe once every 2 weeks. But seriously, sometimes I think what would happen if I decided to just drop out of med school and go live at home. I think I'd be a much happier person, and I wouldn't be constantly sleep deprived and constantly stressed to the max. I'd help my parents out in the house, get some type of job of my own, and help pay the bills. On July 4th, I'd probably be helping them barbeque something and swim in the pool--instead of studying for 16 hours. Isn't life "the pursuit of happiness?"

    I'd never do that, but I can sympathize with your students and see why they might want to live at home and have a good time. Having ambition is great and admirable but it also comes at a cost.
     
  11. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

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    Our culture values independence and parents are to a large degree expected to help their children acquire the skills they need to live independently.

    But as one who moved away from home at age 16 and has always lived in a different city from my siblings and their families, I have come to see the value of the extended family. There is something to be said for grandparents helping to raise their grandchildren.

    I know this is not the way of things in this society, however, and also, the extended family concept is based on the principle of children pulling their weight as adults.

    My brother is 59, retired and single and his son, aged 28, still lives with him. Due to a set of challenging circumstances the son has not yet set forth on a secure and satisfying career path. He hates the idea of living at home in his 30s and feels like a loser as he watches his friends get married, have kids and establish their lives independently of their parents.

    Money is no issue as my brother has a good pension - my nephew works at odd jobs and makes enough for spending money. I've wondered if my brother should have been harder on his son with regard to getting a job because it would have forced him to gain the necessary skills to live independently.

    At the same time, I think it is comforting for my brother to have his son at home because of the company. I have a hunch that my nephew will continue to live at home for many years because he feels obligated to be with his dad and this obligation may increase should his dad's health fail.

    I wonder if many other adult children with single parents find themselves feeling likewise obligated.
     
  12. uyeahu

    uyeahu Agitator. Sharpie lover (figuratively speaking).

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    I don't see the problem being kids continuing to live with their parents long after they reach adulthood, but with kids allowing their parents to financially support them after they've completed their education and are fully capable of contributing. Having a single household with extended family is not an unusual concept. Until recent history it was quite common, wasn't it? Even after children were grown and married they often lived with or very near their parents to share resources. Parents helping to care for grandchildren while adult children worked to support the youngest and oldest who were incapable of earning. I would think it's still quite common in many cultures to live that way.

    My problem is with adult children who live with their parents and refuse to work or contribute to the family coffers in some way. If they've got an arrangement with their parents in which they are basically working as caretakers that's one thing - room and board could be considered payment for services rendered in the home (they should make sure that's the arrangement and not just assume). But if you are an adult living at home, not contributing financially to your daily cost of living, you need to engage in some self-reflection. And if you are the parent of those children, you should probably ask yourself if you are really doing your children a favor by allowing it. What is keeping them from working and contributing? I know the economy is bad, but jobs are available. That's an excuse, not a reason. You might be contributing to a situation that will cripple your child's future job prospects. Employers are always concerned by long periods of unemployment. Most would rather see that you worked in food service than see that you sat at home. They would see that as a lack of initiative, and a lack of desire to work. Neither a desirable trait.

    I also take issue with this idea that parents should feel guilty insisting their adult children contribute financially to the family coffers if the parents are financially able to continue supporting them. That's beside the point. Financial independence is an important part of maturing. I believe being a full contributor to the family home improves an adult child's relationship with their parents and gives them confidence that carries over into their other relationships as well.
     
  13. Twilight1

    Twilight1 Well-Known Member

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    A friend of mine's brother lives at home and he is so abusive to their mother. My friend doesn't know what to do, it is like he has her mom bullied to a point where she won't kick him out. She tries to talk to her mom to no avail.

    He doesn't work, and she pays his insurance for his car. He is 41? Or around there
     
  14. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

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    These kids are going to college. They are just staying at home to do so and going to the local college or commuting to a school in the city nearby and they have zero career aspirations. They see college as an extension of high school--a chance to party and make friends, not as a means to an end in terms of jobs and a future. These are parents who will tell you that their teens are "just kids" and "should be having fun" when they explain why they didn't even attempt to write their senior research paper.

    I taught for 16 years. Early on, I taught kids who wanted to go to college, find a career, had dreams and ideas about their futures and couldn't wait to move out. In the latter half of that time, I had kids who saw their future as whatever their parents could afford for it to be and never saw themselves leaving their parents' house.
     
  15. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    I know it was like that in my family. When my parents were first married, they could not afford to buy a house. Rather than find an apartment, they lived in the upstairs apartment in my grandmother's house. That way the rent they paid went to her, not a stranger. I was 7 and my brother was 4 when they had the money for a down payment on a house of their own. My Dad's family did that too. My father's mother and my Dad and aunt, lived with her father, and her sister, BIL and two nieces lived upstairs. they all contributed to the household and cared for each other. But that was another time. I think that a lot of the reason why families are so spread out is obviously moving for a job. But also because so many of us go away to college. Many of us go to other states and like it there, so we stay. Plus there is the idea that living at home is uncool and looserish. Which it is, if the kid behaves like Twilight1's friend's brother.
     
  16. mmscfdcsu

    mmscfdcsu Skating Pairs with Drew

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    I went 1000 miles away to college. I was doing just what you describe above. I had no career goals or ambitions. I was there to party, have a good time and kill time until I grew up. Plus, back then, if you grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio, it seemed as if you had to go to college. Everyone did.
    I spent most of my time Freshman year drinking, playing cards, playing pinball etc. Still, I graduated after 3 and a half years and went on to graduate school. I have a good career and am a very productive citizen. Some of us are going to end up okay. It is just going to take us a bit longer to get there. :shuffle:
     
  17. Prancer

    Prancer Jawwalking Staff Member

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    I dropped out of high school, then got my diploma and commuted to the local college--and your description pretty much fits me to a tee. I had no idea what I was doing there, came within a hair of academic probation, and blew off a lot of tuition money by withdrawing from classes before I failed them. I had a really good time while I was doing it--and a lot of the people I was having a good time with were just like me. My 30th high school reunion is next weekend.

    I understand the rudderless boats I get in my classes pretty well, having been there and done that. They worry me only if they don't accept the consequences of their actions; I always knew that if I didn't do the work, I would get a zero and I accepted that as the just outcome of my behavior. The ones who whine at me for the zeroes annoy me and I see them as people who will still be growing up at 30--and I've had some of those in my classes, too. Otherwise, though, I figure that the floaters will eventually find their way. Why not? I did. All of the other floaters I knew back in the day did. It just took us a while.

    The more complex the world becomes, the longer it takes the young to mature. That's not a modern thing; it's always been that way, which is why the age of adulthood has been creeping up over the centuries. I was a workshop not too long ago where we were told that the age of young adulthood now is somewhere around 23-25. That's not all due to parental enablement. Much of it has to do with the rather overwhelming nature of modern Western society.
     
  18. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

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    This is the class that in tenth grade informed me that they could not be required to read literature and write a paper. And their parents backed them up. This is the class that had a posse of parents go to the principal their junior year to protest that the teachers were too harsh about "so called cheating" and if they all copied homework from one person, that was just their "preferred study method" and who were we to judge them. This is the class in which three boys regularly came to school drunk or high in the mornings their last semester and their parents told the counselor that they were "just being boys". This is the class that protested a rule that they could not lay their heads on their desks for the entire block to the principal on the grounds that "when you have a job you can take a nap if you're tired". In this class, 14 kids out of 21 had not completed a JUNIOR project required for graduation as of May 1; their graduation was May 17. Their parents felt that this problem was entirely the fault of myself and the other English teacher.

    I could keep going. They by all means have no understanding of consequences and they definitely have overindulgent parents who enable them. They were my nightmare for three years and they, their parents and an incompetent principal who indulged all of them drove me and three other teachers out of the profession.
     
  19. mmscfdcsu

    mmscfdcsu Skating Pairs with Drew

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    That was us in Jr. High and High School. We brought alcohol into the school on a daily basis, from 7th grade on. We threw speakers off the stage at assembly and tore up the speaker's speech. We cut class constantly, poured perfume on radiators to clear the classroom, defied the dress code, turned in assignments which included pictures of recreational drug use, used the school's small auditorium for sex, used the bleachers for drug sales and use, and on and on. No, I did not engage in every one of those activities, but that was the way it was in the '70's. I got in trouble for going out on the roof while serving a detention and throwing snowballs into the teacher's parking lot. most of my class managed to turn out just fine. I would have hated having us as students though.

    ETA. I think that the reason that we turned out okay is that the teachers never gave up on us. They treated us with respect and tried to hold us accountable. They saw the dignity and had respect for each person and the person's potential.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2010
  20. Prancer

    Prancer Jawwalking Staff Member

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    I was also a student in the 70s. I am always :rofl: when people of my generation complain about "the youth of today." Education standards were at their lowest in the modern US history, drug and alcohol use was higher among teens, teen pregnancy was more common, etc. And that was nationwide. Locally, oh, the stories I could tell about people I knew as teenagers.

    I was pretty well behaved myself (except for that one vandalism incident, ahem) but I refused to do homework in high school if I wasn't interested in the subject or it seemed like too much work, and I would roll my eyes at the teachers who lectured me about it. My parents didn't back me on this; they really didn't know anything about it, as the school never contacted them about it and I just shrugged off those report cards. All I wanted to do was get out; escaping high school was the entire focus of my being and I had no intention whatsoever of subjecting myself to even more school once I got out; I didn't know what else I would do, but no more school for me, nosirree. One of my teachers told me that I was a total loser and in 10 years, she expected to see me facedown in the gutter somewhere. Poor Mrs. Francis, how disappointed she would be if she knew how wrong she was about that one. It was so obvious that she was looking forward to being right about my total failure.

    But I grew up and so did everyone else. It happens to the worst of us, too.
     
  21. mmscfdcsu

    mmscfdcsu Skating Pairs with Drew

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    I never took books home and never did homework. The teachers would send out progress reports every term, but I always got to the mail first. My parents never saw the progress reports or report cards after elementary school. I even lied when a teacher called to talk to my mom. I hadn't gone to chemistry all semester. Done no assignments or labs. I told him she was out. He was calling because he was going to pass me because I had managed to pass the Final Exam with a C+, after having read the text book the night before the exam. He needed me to supply him with a note from my mother. :shuffle: He got his note. :lol:
    I got to college and loved it. I did well because I wanted to stay there. I didn't study much until grad school, but managed to keep at least a B average at all times.
     
  22. Prancer

    Prancer Jawwalking Staff Member

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    I skated through everything in school by doing well on tests. You could do that back then. Now, homework carries a lot more weight and projects (which weren't assigned but I wouldn't have done them if they had been) are important. I am :eek: at the amount of homework my kids have. My daughter had more homework in a typical week in third grade than I had in all my years of elementary school combined.

    College was a million times better than high school, but I didn't know that then and it took me a while to figure it out once I got there.:lol:
     
  23. mmscfdcsu

    mmscfdcsu Skating Pairs with Drew

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    Nowdays you can track homework and communicate with your kid's teacher online. :eek: I still think my parents would be interested. I don't ever remember being asked why I never had any homework. They pretty much fell for anything though. I would say I was sleeping over at a friend's house and she would claim to be sleeping at mine. We never got caught at anything.
     
  24. snoopy

    snoopy Team St. Petersburg

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    I know dozens of guys who did similar things, never studied because they just thought it was boring but eventually found something they liked (or discovered they could get paid $$$) and are doing great. By nature, it doesn't seem to be so much that you guys or those guys were lazy, just bored. For a few people though, they never get interested and never want to take on responsibility. As I get older, it seems to me a nature over nurture thing so it just may be the way it is.
     
  25. Prancer

    Prancer Jawwalking Staff Member

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    Yup, do that some, but I have a hard time getting as exercised over grades as a lot of my fellow parents. The teachers probably talk about how horrible it is that my children have so much potential and the parents just don't care :drama:. In fact, I know at least a couple of them have.

    Yes, and from this experience, I have come to the conclusion that learning how to deal with boredom is an important and overlooked life skill.
     
  26. WindSpirit

    WindSpirit OmnipresentAdmeanistrator

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    I wouldn't make any generalizations based on that. As a kid I shared a small bathroom with both my parents and my sister. It's not the same as sharing a bathroom with strangers. First year at college I lived in a dorm that had two bathrooms for the whole floor, I hated it. From the second year on I lived in a dorm that had one bathroom for two rooms (four people) only, and I didn't like it either. Now cleaning after yourself is something you learn at home, or should, and some people didn't. But even if they did, I still didn't like sharing a bathroom with strangers. But it wasn't a factor of me wanting to go back home. No matter how hard things got I never ever wanted to go back to my hometown.

    I loved going to college and living in a big city. My friends and I dreamed about it in high school, we lived for the day we left for college. And going to college was different than here in the US where I saw entire families sending people off, with bunch of stuff in several cars, etc. I left alone in the middle of the night on a train, a friend gave me a ride to the train station. I had so much stuff I couldn't even carry it myself to the dorm. But it didn't matter at all, all I thought about was finally living my dream. A friendly 3-year sociology student gave me a hand with my bags when I got there, let me wait in his room and fed me before I could get my own room. I loved doing things on my own, even if it wasn't easy sometimes.

    I think what kind of bathroom you had as a kid has little to do with your desire to leave home and stay out. If someone says they'd rather stay at home because of the bathroom, I just think there's a lot more going on than that.

    And every situation is different and multi-dimensional. It's hard to pick one thing that made someone behave a certain way. I saw overbearing parents in the dorm, riding with their grown up children on a train for 5 hours just to make sure they got to the dorm safely and then making the 5-hour trip back home (accidentally, or not, it was the same mother who hand washed her daughter's panties). My friend in the city chose to stay home with her parents, in their huge (you could ride a bicycle there and not stop for a while) 5-room apartment (and I don't count the kitchen and 2 bathrooms), while they rented out their second apartment (very profitable in a big city) and the money went to her account.
     
  27. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Get off my lawn

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    Speaking just for me, 4 people in a 1200 sq ft house with one bathroom, one TV, and one phone in the kitchen were motivators. Many of my friends felt the same. "Get me outta here" started about 6th grade and just grew from there.
     
  28. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    I am a product of the 70's, my experience was very different from mmscfdcsu's and Prancer's. I never did anything really wrong. Never would have drank liquor in school, didn't smoke, didn't cut class, would not have dreamed of turning an assignment in late. My parents would not have stood for it, and they would have found out. They did wonder why it seemed like I never had much homework, but since I had B's and higher, they didn't worry. I was a bit bored and school was very easy for me, but I never acted out. I was too afraid of getting that "disappointed look" from my father.

    Basically, I was a goody two shoes :lol:.

    Life changed in college, the first time we smuggled vodka into the dining hall. But, compared to most, I was very "well behaved". :lol:
     
  29. mkats

    mkats New Member

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    Sorry to drag this thread back on topic :lol: but I just wanted to update y'all:

    I brought up the topic of rent-paying to my parents yesterday. Dad's response was "nah, you don't need to pay rent", whereas Mom's response was "OF COURSE you do!!" When I brought up my proposed sum, Dad said it was way too much, and Mom shrugged and said "you can pay whatever you think is appropriate." I think my proposal is a decent amount to cover rent, car insurance, and my cell phone bill, so I'm going to go with that amount.

    I start work tomorrow :)
     
  30. uyeahu

    uyeahu Agitator. Sharpie lover (figuratively speaking).

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    Best of luck mkats!