Living Under The Same Roof


Are the kids showing no sign of leaving home?

Maybe they flew the nest only to find that the cost of rent, food, study fees and maybe a broken romance gave them the excuse to return to the fold.

I have been there. I love my children very much but their return to home was not as enjoyable as it seemed to them. My privacy went out the door and peace and quiet. I did though put down some rules which I stuck to. It made my life a lot less confrontational and they knew that the rules were written in stone never to be broken.

The rules were:-

  • Rent/Board « They had to pay rent of a set amount each week. There was no cash handouts to accommodate their lifestyle. No money « no play.
  • Money tip « Use their rent/board to put towards your mortgage or superannuation.
  • Food and Bills « The extra needed to pay electricity, food and water can add up and hit the hip pocket, when your costs should be reduced. You need to calculate what the extra cost is going to be and your lodger child should contribute to the kitty as he would if he lived with a flatmate.
  • Money tip« Insist on a set amount they pay each week towards all the costs of running the house.
  • Using the car « It is a money pit to be running your children everywhere or allowing them to use your car without putting in fuel or pay any of the running costs. Don’t even start this habit, be very consistent about them paying for fuel and costs.
  • Tempting but don’t give in.
  • Money Tip « Set a limit on the kilometres they can drive each week. Once that has been reached they can use public transport or use a friend. Insist they pay for the fuel they use, part of the insurance and maintenance.
  • Downsizing « Moving to smaller house, duplex or semi can be a way of reducing your cost of living. Keeping a larger house so that the adult children can be accommodated may result in you paying a lot more living expenses than necessary.
  • Money Tip « Consider selling your family house and moving to a smaller place.
  • Move out time « If you allow your adult children to sponge off you and not pay their share of expenses then it is likely to delay your retirement plans. If you keep propping up your children’s lifestyle it will lead them to poor money handling habits. It could lead them to a habit of living in debt as they are used to a standard of living with you that they could not afford on their own.
  • Money Tip « Give your children a deadline to move out. 6 – 12 months is a good time. Empower your children.

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