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To ask DS to contribute 'rent'?

(120 Posts)
herladyship Tue 08-Jan-13 18:03:59

DS is 18.

He works 28 hours a week at a gym, and is a retained firefighter.

He pays his own phonebill & car insurance/petrol, but this still leaves him with around £600 disposable income every month. We've talked about him contributing to household, and he agreed (we didn't specify a figure!) but I've been talking to friends with teens & popular opinion seems to be against me! Most people have commented it is 'old fashioned' or that it's mean if we don't 'need' the money..

DH has suggested we set an amount & then put it away for DS to have in future, but if we are doing that, maybe it would it be better to just encourage him to manage his own saving?

What does the MN jury think?
(ps: would prefer not to be flamed, as this is first ever AIBU grin)

glenthebattleostrich Tue 08-Jan-13 18:06:02

YANBU, I paid rent from 18 even though I was at college. It was only about £10 but still made me realise that I had to pay my way.

AnneNonimous Tue 08-Jan-13 18:07:38

YANBU I think it's a great idea even if its a small amount it will teach him about responsibilities and prepare him more for when he moves out on his own. If you don't 'need' it you could set it aside for when he does want to move out to help with a deposit?

whois Tue 08-Jan-13 18:08:47

Depends what he is doing with the money, and if you have any need of it. Also depends if he's in college at all or just working?

I think it's normal and healthy to charge and adult DC some rent. Of you choose to save it for him or spend it that's up to you.

I wouldn't take a putative amount off him tho, £200 if he's working full time with no further education and probably £100 if he's going to uni.

StuntGirl Tue 08-Jan-13 18:09:40

In my social circle you pay, even if it's just a token amount towards rent, as soon as you have left full time education and are working. In your son's position my family would probably ask for about £100-£200 towards rent, bills and food. It's about teaching responsibility.

AndABigBirdInaPearTree Tue 08-Jan-13 18:09:43

We've already told the DSs that we support people in full-time education, everyone else pays their way. I think it encourages them to be more adult and independent and makes it easier for them to transition to their own homes.

littleladyindoors Tue 08-Jan-13 18:10:58

YANBU I paid rent to my parents when I started working, showed them I had a bit of responsibility. A friends son gives them rent and moans about it but they are saving it for him without him knowing as he would spend it rather than save. When he needs to put a deposit down somewhere, it's there. I think it's a good idea.

herladyship Tue 08-Jan-13 18:11:18

He is hoping to go full time fire service after 2 year training/probation.

He spends his money on clothes, subway sandwiches & milkshakes!

N0tinmylife Tue 08-Jan-13 18:11:31

YANBU. I used to pay £100 a month at about that age. If he is earning, it seems fair that he pays something towards your shared living costs.

FredFredGeorge Tue 08-Jan-13 18:12:34

I'm really surprised any of your friends are against it - even if you don't need the money it's normal to collect it and save it to potentially help them out later.

MrsMelons Tue 08-Jan-13 18:13:10

I would get my DCs to pay some rent (£600 is loads of disposable income at 18 TBH so he can afford it) then save it for them probably. I don't think I could charge rent as such especially at just 18.

I was pretty good with money so my mum charged me a tiny amount to cover some bills and I saved the rest for a house deposit.

GregBishopsBottomBitch Tue 08-Jan-13 18:13:37

My friend is 28 and shes being pay rent to her mum for 10 years, and pays alot, her and her brother practically paid the mortgage.

dequoisagitil Tue 08-Jan-13 18:14:18

I think it's fair for him to contribute, and a good life lesson.

AndWhenYouGetThere Tue 08-Jan-13 18:14:40

When I lived at home it was 1/3 of your income. I think that's a good rule.
It's not necessarily a choice of taking rent or encouraging saving - you can (and probably should, IMHO) do both.

GregBishopsBottomBitch Tue 08-Jan-13 18:15:22

And i agree with the savings idea, be a good thing to do, so he cant rent when hes ready to leave.

Mynewmoniker Tue 08-Jan-13 18:15:23

Without a doubt he should conribute. As a previous poster said it teaches responsibiy. Why should you invest it for him? It costs you to heat and light the house he lives in.

TweedSlacks Tue 08-Jan-13 18:19:38

My friends are in a similar sort of situation . They dont need the income but dont want the house treated like a hotel . To encourage financial responsibilty ( not imbibe 100% of disposible income ) they came up with the rental escalator.
From 18 YO up the rent goes up by £10 / week per year. So at 19 it will be £20 a week , at 20 = £30 a week etc . They put some the money away so its stealth saving for the DC's ( they dont know they are getting some back )
Makes the jump from teenager /adolesant to young adult inclined to leave smoother , and seems fair enough

StuntGirl Tue 08-Jan-13 18:20:45

I wouldn't invest it for him, he's old enough and wise enough to know to save if he wants. And on his income he can easily pay rent, spend some and save some. It doesn't matter what he spends his money on either, it's his money to spend as he pleases. After he's fulfilled his financial obligations such as rent and bills.

He sounds like he has a good head on his shoulders and a good long term plan for work, encouraging this responsibility is no bad thing!

futuresandpasts Tue 08-Jan-13 18:21:30


larry5 Tue 08-Jan-13 18:22:59

When my two dss were living at home they had to contribute 1/4 of their take home pay which meant that when ds2 was unemployed he had to contribute £10 of his JSA (long time ago now).

Dd is at university at the moment so we support her when she is at home by not taking any of her money but next year when she is hoping to do a PGCE she will be living at home and paying us a 1/4 of her loan and grant to help cover the cost of food etc. She is well aware of the cost of living as she has had to manage her money very carefully for the last 2 1/2 years.

sarahtigh Tue 08-Jan-13 18:23:39

at the very least he should be paying share of food and electric/water bills council tax is up to you as the bill will not increase if he works however if him working means you lost a single person/ or either you or Dh were exempt discount then he should pay that 25%

I think he should pay small amount of rent on top whether you have mortgage or not as he would not live rent free anywhere, though I think charging full market rent for room with shared kitchen and bathroom is mean unless you are on breadline

whether if you can afford it you invest it as house deposit is entirely upto you anything from 0-100% if fine

HappyMummyOfOne Tue 08-Jan-13 18:23:43

I'd take a nominal amount and save it for him unknown.

Most of my friend have older children and the majority dont charge as they believe its no extra cost to them and its the childs home.

pingu2209 Tue 08-Jan-13 18:26:02

i do not believe a mobile phone or a car are essentials. Rent comes first, then utilities, THEN phone and car (not necessarily in order).

Your original post read like he should be congratulated for paying his own phone and car - but not pay rent. I don't think you are helping him with understanding the realities of life.

Cherriesarelovely Tue 08-Jan-13 18:26:21

My friends ask their daughters to pay them £10 for every £50 they earn. I think it is a very good idea and, to my knowledge the girls comply without complaint. I think it is a good way to make young people responsible and appreciative. I don't agree with secretly investing it for them.

HildaOgden Tue 08-Jan-13 18:27:37

Put him in charge of paying a particular bill eg heating,electricity,landline,whatever.It will teach him budgeting...if he is a demon for leaving the immersion on,for example,he'll soon cop on that the better he manages it ,the more money he has in his pocket.It also saves you actually physically taking cash from him (if that feels uncomfortable to you),you just hand him the bill when it arrives.

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