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...to ask how you decide how much board to charge adult DC

(111 Posts)
5foot5 Fri 12-Jan-18 12:41:59

Not so much an AIBU as a query to other parents with adult DC about how you decided on a reasonable amount for them to contribute in "board".

DD (22) will soon be starting her first proper job. She has had various part-time and temporary things in the past but will soon be starting a real, full-time job with a decent salary. Although she hasn't restricted her search to the local area it just so happens that this job is quite close so she can live at home. That's great - we all get on well and it is lovely to have her here.

She has said (completely unprompted by us) that when she starts work she wants to start making a financial contribution for her keep. I think that is a good idea for all sorts of reasons, even though we don't exactly need the money, however I don't know how we decide on an amount.

I don't want to suggest something too small in case she feels patronised but, at the same time, we are her parents not her landlords so I don't want to be making money out of her. As a student she lived away in a different city so she is used to being independent and paying her way but I feel that living at home ought to be cheaper than being in your own place so she has the opportunity to save up for other things.

She does contribute to the household in other ways, i.e. she doesn't sit about expecting to be waited on but will muck in with housework, laundry, cooking etc.

So could I ask how some of you approached this issue with your own adult, working DC?

HopefulForToday Fri 12-Jan-18 12:45:57

Ask her how much she had in mind.

If you don't need the money, stick it in a savings account and gift it back to her when she moves out - this is what I intend doing with mine.

Bluelady Fri 12-Jan-18 12:48:28

As you don't need the money, maybe you could take a sensible amount, say 20% of her net salary, and put it into a savings account. She may want to get married, buy a house, move to another area for work at some point and you can then present her with some money to help with that.

Sparklesdontshine Fri 12-Jan-18 12:52:33

That’s a really good idea, if you don’t need the money it would be amazing to put it away for her to use once she moves out

5foot5 Fri 12-Jan-18 12:54:03

I like the idea of putting at least some of it away for her. Just wondering what a sensible amount is.

Blobby10 Fri 12-Jan-18 12:56:49

thirty years ago, my friends father took 30% of her take home pay as board as he said that's how much it would cost her to have a mortgage and bills. He did put it away in a savings account without her knowing and it helped her with the deposit for her first house!

I took £10 per week of my son when he wouldn't get a job apart from odd jobs for grandparents and saved it for when he got himself sorted and had a savings account.

I think 20% of take home pay would be fair.

TeenTimesTwo Fri 12-Jan-18 12:56:56

How about half of what it would cost in rent if she were to move to a shared house?

Or say you won't take anything provided you know she is saving £X per month?

DD1 is 18 and on apprenticeship wage and we don't need the money so we don't charge anything, but she is saving around 40% of her income.

Littlecaf Fri 12-Jan-18 12:57:34

Work out a percentage of the bills, minus any mortgage payment (you chose the house not her) and charge her that. If you’re happy with the arrangements re food, cleaning etc then leave the rest.

INeedToEat Fri 12-Jan-18 13:00:20

My adult DS pays £300 a month - He is on a low wages and this is a third of his take home pay. I save half of what he gives me and will give this back to hum when he (eventually) moves out.

BarbarianMum Fri 12-Jan-18 13:00:48

I would say it depends on what her plans are. If she's saving for a mortgage or further study or for driving lessons or something useful then 20% sounds about right, maybe a bit more for food and bills. If the plan is that anything left over gets spent on clothes/nights out/partying/holidays/upgrading her phone, then I'd charge closer to a commercial rate and maybe save for her if i didn't need the money.

Unless she's going to be a very high earner, having a couple of hundred a week to spend on yourself (after rent/food/bills) seems unrealistic and i don't think subsidising that expectation is good.

Trafficjammadness Fri 12-Jan-18 13:03:15

When I was younger, my dm charged 15% of monthly take home. Reasonable considering it included everything. Think it's good way to teach about responsibility and money management

LagunaBubbles Fri 12-Jan-18 13:03:34

My DS was on an apprenticeship and then finished that a few years ago. Think he was earning about £15K at the start. We take £100 a month off him and he pays his Sky bill. Not a fortune but it helped us and also helped him save up, hes just bought a house and moves out in 2 weeks.

SleepySheepy Fri 12-Jan-18 13:05:05

I would pick a fixed amount rather than a percentage - it feels quite controlling to take a % of her wage rather than a 'this is what it will cost you to live here' kind of agreement.
I don't think there is a universal answer, all people do different things and are in different circumstances - some need the money and some don't.
Maybe something like £200 a month? If you're able to save some for her, fab, but you're still doing her a massive favour to have cheap rent so don't feel too pressured if you could do with the help.

TeenTimesTwo Fri 12-Jan-18 13:05:48

May I ask something?

Normally on MN I am at the risk-averse, cautious, over-protective end of parenting. People generally seem much more willing than I am to let teens make their own mistakes etc etc.

So why do people take rent off their adult kids when they don't need the money just to save it for them and give it back? Isn't that implying you don't trust them to be fiscally sensible? Why not say 'I'm not taking rent but I expect you to save at least X towards moving out / future plans?'

Nunyabusiness Fri 12-Jan-18 13:13:16

My mother was a single parent and when I got a full time job we sat down and worked out how much it cost for me to live at home (a third of the council tax, water, gas, electricity and food shop). I was earning about £800 a month and paid £150, out of the rest I was expected to pay for everything myself (clothes, driving lessons, mobile phone, travel costs, social life). I never for a second resented paying that £150 as I could see how the figure had been reached and how much it actually cost to run a home.

Perhaps a similar approach might work in your case?

Nunyabusiness Fri 12-Jan-18 13:15:41

NB : the third came from there being three of us in the household, so if there were four, you'd charge a quarter, and so on...

Sarahh2014 Fri 12-Jan-18 13:15:57

I havent got adult dc but when i was at home back in the day I gave my mum and dad £90 per month out of £900 wage.I think I got off lightly!

peachypetite Fri 12-Jan-18 13:17:56

My parents never took money off us when we started working since they had paid their mortgage off and were comfortable. I saved as much as I could to put towards my now house deposit. Why not encourage her to do that instead?

LyraPotter Fri 12-Jan-18 13:19:36

She sounds lovely and responsible!

I would do a rough calculation of your monthly bills and ask her for a percentage of that which you feel is suitable - say she pays 30% of your bills, and if you're feeling generous you can put some of it in a savings account for her each month to help her save for a deposit or something.

Angelicinnocent Fri 12-Jan-18 13:19:40

Teen I do this so that DC don't waste all their wages, get used to having to pay rent etc for when they move out. Gifting it back is a nice surprise and a way of helping them when they leave home.

Murinae Fri 12-Jan-18 13:22:56

Mine pay £200 a month each and they are happy knowing they contribute to the household.

SaucyJack Fri 12-Jan-18 13:25:02

What Littlecaf said.

I don't think you should be saving up her money just to give it back to her at a later date. It doesn't sit right with me.

She's a grown adult with a job. There's no decent reason why any money she gives you shouldn't be actually be spent on covering her share of household bills.

BikeRunSki Fri 12-Jan-18 13:27:51

If you don’t need the money, save it, and give it back to her when she moves out.

My parents always told me not to spend more that a third of my income on rent/mortgage. So maybe 30% of her salary for reality?

lazyarse123 Fri 12-Jan-18 13:31:26

I have two adult children at home and they both pay £250 per month plus they both sometimes buy their own food. Unfortunately I do need their contributions and I don't know what will happen when they move out, but that's my problem not theirs. My daughter is happy to pay but I have had to explain to my son exactly what he pays for. It is no longer counted as board at his age it is a 1/4 share of some of the bills.

TeenTimesTwo Fri 12-Jan-18 13:32:36

Bike But why? Why not just say 'I'm not charging you but I want you to save X per month' and then the adult can be responsible for their own saving?

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