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Living at home and paying rent

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

  1. mkats

    mkats Well-Known Member

    I graduated from college in May and moved back home while continuing the job hunt - fortunately, I found one and am due to start working in a few weeks. I'd always assumed that I would start paying rent whenever I found a job and now that that's finally happened, thank goodness (can't say that enough!!), I plan on holding up to that, since I'll be continuing to live at home for now.

    My question is - how much seems reasonable? I think it'll be up to me to bring up a number, but I don't want it to be too much or too little. None of the other college grads I know that moved home are paying rent at all, so I haven't been able to compare with them.

    Would appreciate hearing how others handled this situation. TIA :)
    kwanfan1818 and (deleted member) like this.
  2. Allen

    Allen Glad to be back!

    My parents refused to let me pay rent during the six months I lived with them, so I started grabbing the utility bills when they came and would pay them. I think that was about 250 dollars or so. I also would bring home essentials like toilet paper, paper towels, etc. My parents would keep hiding money in different parts of my house when I moved out, so I think they probably ended up paying me back.
    mmscfdcsu and (deleted member) like this.
  3. Allskate

    Allskate Well-Known Member

    Congrats on the job and kudos to you for paying rent.

    Maybe you can check something like craigslist to see what the going rate is for renting a room in your area?
  4. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Hates both vegemite and peanut butter

    Congrats on the job. Well done.

    I would say it is up to your parents to decide. They probably wouldn't charge you market rates because you are their child. And depending on their financial situation they may not be fussed if you did or not.

    However if your parents said not to worry about it, buy food and pay your share of bills.

    But another thing if I was living with my parents and didn't have to pay a lot in the way of rent and bills is to take advantage of the saving opportunity. I have known quite a few people who live with their parents who just go out and spend whatever money they have. At your age it is worth thinking about the future and start putting any extra money aside towards a future house or something that will give you financial security in long run.
  5. numbers123

    numbers123 Well-Known Member

    I would consider 10% of my income a good starting point. So let's say that your monthly income is $1,000.00 post taxes. $100 seems reasonable to start with. I would also consider fixing at least one meal a week with food that you purchase. All receipes.com can give you some ideas and you can develop a shopping list based upon the ingredients. If you share internet and cable, ask to pay a portion of that too.

    Learning how to pay rent that comes out first, then menu planning/food shopping is a great way to begin your adult world. If you are paying for what some people consider a luxury like cable, you begin to understand need vs. want.

    If your parents don't want to take rent, still give it to them (tell them that they can put it in a savings account if they wish).
  6. StonewshMullet

    StonewshMullet Well-Known Member

    If they don't want the money then save it and eventually buy a place.
  7. Kasey

    Kasey Correcting President Trump's grammar on Twitter :)

    My parents had each of us find a job when we were 16, and start paying "rent". (Of course, they weren't going to kick us out, but it was part of learning adult financial responsibility, etc). Each of us had to pay 10% of our take home salary to them, as well as start buying all our school supplies, most school clothes, and paying for whatever other teenage things we wanted at the time. The cool thing is, our parents put our "rent" into a savings account for each of us that we got when we graduated high school, so we learned the beauty of saving as well :)
  8. Prancer

    Prancer Slave to none, master to all Staff Member

    My parents did the same thing, except I got the money when I moved out--and I had no idea I was getting it, so it was a fantastic surprise.
  9. uyeahu

    uyeahu Agitator. Sharpie lover (figuratively speaking).

    I'm glad none of you freeloaders are my child. ;) 10%??!! I'd say at least 25-35%.

    I charge my son $400 a month which is much less than he'd have to pay to live comparably elsewhere. That $400 covers room, board, utilities, and his cell phone. Think about what it would cost you to live comparably on your own or with a roommate, not just rent but also the perks of living with the 'rents. (Does Mom cook your meals and do your laundry? Do they provide you with cable tv and internet access? Are you on their car insurance/cell phone plans?) Then deduct a significant amount for the lack of privacy and having to deal with your parents rules and if the amount hurts just a little bit but not enough to make you want to move out, it's probably the right and fair amount.

    If your parents don't want to take rent from you then put that amount in a savings account and save it for a future down payment on a home of your own or a nice vacation for yourself and your parents - YOUR TREAT.
    mmscfdcsu and (deleted member) like this.
  10. Kasey

    Kasey Correcting President Trump's grammar on Twitter :)

    Yeah, I didn't know it either, although I am sure my younger sister and brother had it figured out when it was their turns! :)
  11. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Hit ball, find ball, hit it again.

    Financial pros recommend that people spend no more than 25% of their gross salary on housing. Since your housing probably includes food and other perks, why not offer 25% and let them talk you down?

    Everyone's financial situation is different, but most of my 50 something friends are fresh out of dough. After paying for their kids college (incidentals all the way up to full tuition, room and board) and trying to put money in their 401Ks, many aren't as financially healthy as they would like others to believe.
  12. Allskate

    Allskate Well-Known Member

    Regardless of whether your parents need the money or would take it, I think it's a great idea to offer. When my friend's father had a stroke and became disabled, she rented a larger house and took in her parents and younger sister. She planned to move into a smaller house once her sister graduated and moved out. Well, the sister has graduated, isn't even looking hard for a job, and gets all of her incidental expenses paid for by my friend, who is not happy about it. (She's not willing to kick the sister out, though, and just renewed the lease.) They aren't desperate for the money, but it is going to delay their ability to buy their own home and it's important to them that they be able to buy a home in a good school district before their toddler is old enough for school. It's really interfering with the sister's relationship, and I think if the younger sister just offered to help out a little bit financially it would improve the whole family dynamic a lot. It's more about the sentiment than the actual money.
  13. JasperBoy

    JasperBoy Aging in a great place

    Just wanting to pay rent is a big point in your favor, IMHO. So many family members (and not just kids) never consider the possibility that their presence involves extra work or expenses.

    I agree that it is definitely a good idea to show yourself as an adult member of the family. To me, that means doing a fair share of the domestic duties, even the unpleasant ones. Paying rent, utilities, etc. is good discipline for when you live on your own.

    Your parents are more likely to set up adult rules and expectations for you if you show that you are willing to take on adult responsibilities.

    Good luck with your new career. Your parents did a great job raising you!
  14. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

    I'm paying my parents about $300 or so less per month than I might pay for an apartment around here. (That's still a fairly hefty sum -- this is a pricey area, which is a large part of the reason that I'm still living with them!) I also help out with grocery bills, buy everybody takeout once in a while, and so forth.
  15. Gazpacho

    Gazpacho Well-Known Member

    Since you don't have a job, paying rent would be an unnecessary strain--where would you get the money? And that's the reason you're living there to begin with, right? If I were your parents, and I say this as a non-parent, I would feel guilty about it.

    How about earning your rent by performing extra errands and chores? Maybe you could agree on a set of weekly chores and tasks, plus an additional X hours for miscellaneous tasks that come up, and that would constitute your rent.
  16. Norlite

    Norlite Well-Known Member


    She has found a job and starts soon. That's why she wants to start contributing.
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2010
  17. Gazpacho

    Gazpacho Well-Known Member

    Whoops, I read the original post wrong.

    Congratulations on starting the job!

    I asked my mom about rent, and she said that she'd rather have me do chores than pay rent. So why not ask your parents if they feel that way?
  18. uyeahu

    uyeahu Agitator. Sharpie lover (figuratively speaking).

    Why not do both? Just because my son pays rent doesn't mean he's relieved of his share of responsibilities for maintaining the household. He's still on garbage duty and we have a pretty even split on cooking and cleaning. His rent payment to me does not include a budget for maid service and I'm sure as hell not the maid.
    WindSpirit and (deleted member) like this.
  19. Norlite

    Norlite Well-Known Member


    Amen to that!

    I tell the couple of my adult kids who come and go every once in a while, depending on their jobs (and love lives. :shuffle: ) I might be your mother, but I'm no longer mommy.
  20. KatieC

    KatieC So peaceful

    I feel a bit like ducking - but I lived at home and didn't pay rent. I did pay for groceries/some utilities, contributed to new appliances, did the gardening, the cooking, outside repairs and looked after both my parents. If I hadn't stayed home my mum would have had to go to a nursing home 5 or 6 years before she did, and my Dad would not have been able to live on his own either. I still live in the same house, and miss them both.
    PeterG and (deleted member) like this.
  21. essence_of_soy

    essence_of_soy Well-Known Member

    This is definitely a period of transition, which is why I like living on my own terms and paying my own way. Therefore, my circumstances would have to be extreme to move back with my parents. I would miss the independence.

    On the one hand I like that it teaches kids how to budget and to structure domestic duties. So, of course they should help around the house, and not clear the fridge like locusts.

    But does living under a parent's roof, mean having to comply to their rules. Other than respecting each other's space and privacy, does this mean abandoning curfews that were in place as a teenager, and bringing friends over whenever (which you can living by yourself or in a share situation)?

    They would have to be up for discussion otherwise I could see WW3 happening pretty quickly.
  22. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

    This may be one of the few chances you have to really save money, so do that if possible. Offer to pay something but if they turn you down then please use the chance to SAVE. In the mean time you could make sure to buy groceries often, bring home toiletries, etc.
  23. Freespirit

    Freespirit Active Member

    Congrats on your new job. My 26 year old son got a job with the Federal government two years ago after graduating from college. He needed a new car, so we suggested he live at home, buy a car, and save money for a home in a few years. He pays his car payment, insurance, all his bills, cooks, does laundry and helps take care of our dogs when we are out of town. I wouldn't think of taking his money for rent and I don't understand a parent insisting on charging their children rent unless they themselves were strapped. Would I rent out his room if he didn't live at home? Of course not, so why charge him money. The perks is I get to enjoy his company a few years more, something that is worth much more to me than a few hundred dollars a month. He is a great kid, kind, considerate, a big help to me, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
    millyskate and (deleted member) like this.
  24. essence_of_soy

    essence_of_soy Well-Known Member

    That's great you have such a solid relationship with your son.

    The flipside reminds me of a joke Roseanne Barr set up in an episode of her show. She and her sister were attending a birthing class, and when one of the other women asked Roseanne how long it took to push the baby out, she answered, "Oh, about 18 years.)
  25. manhn

    manhn Well-Known Member

    If your parents don't want your rent, don't push it. However, I think your parents will be more agreeable to you paying bills, particularly cable, internet and the phone.

    I second using this opportunity to save money. Consider what the average rent would be in your area and stash that same amount in your savings for a downpayment or other major expense. Over time, it will add up. Also, when you start working full time, you have less time to go out and spend time with friends and family, which cuts down on costs.
  26. Freespirit

    Freespirit Active Member

    Touche.......The upside to that is that when they do leave, hopefully they are ready and prepared and don't boomarang back!
  27. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Hates both vegemite and peanut butter

    I don't think going by the original poster these are the issues in this situation.
  28. genevieve

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

    It sounds like you were providing pretty significant care fro your parents rather than just living there. You probably were saving them money (they didn't have to hire someone else to do the things they couldn't do), and I'm sure gave them a lot of comfort as well. I would consider that different from a young adult child who needs or chooses to return home to live for some amount of time.

    mkats, I think the fact that you are wanting to pay rent shows your parents have raised a thoughtful, conscientious person. It also indicates that you see this as a stepping stone to living on your own. I think you should bring it up with your parents, and perhaps come up together with an amount that you both are comfortable with. Maybe they will save it for you for when you are ready to move as others have experienced. If not, you will certainly be paying less than if you were renting.

    They may refuse any rent and that's ok too. If that's the case, I'd suggest making sure you are paying for your own cell phone/driver's insurance, contributing to groceries (or at least preparing meals sometimes) and contributing to household chores. ok, maybe I'd suggest that anyway, but if they really don't want the money, maybe go a little farther in ways to say thanks to them.

    Congrats on the new job :)
  29. Cupid

    Cupid Well-Known Member

    I lived at home until I got married at 25. Never paid room and board but did pay for my car, insurance, clothing, most of my food. I cleaned the house basically. I paid for my own wedding.

    Looking back, I probably should have either a) moved my butt out of there; b) lived there for just a few years and paid some money.
  30. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Hit ball, find ball, hit it again.

    It's great that you feel you can handle this financially and emotionally. Most of my friends don't have that much wiggle room in the budget, or that much patience for giving up their privacy at this stage in their lives. In addition to the challenge of re-establishing their relationships sans kids, they're struggling to squirrel enough away to retire. Some have refinanced their homes to assist with tuition, so they have higher mortgages and longer to pay. Since many aren't that upfront with their kids about finances, it's hard for them to be honest with their boomerangs so they suffer in silence. I think many of them are quite stressed about the whole situation.

    I still say offer 25% of gross and let them talk you down. Although they may not say so, your contribution may be providing a much needed path to retirement for them.