Should you charge your children rent?

April 4, 2018

After over hearing a conversation a few weeks ago about whether or not parents should charge their children rent when they enter employment, I was curious to hear what other people thought about this.

I spoke to my husband, Nigel, who blogs at DIY Daddy, who thinks that parents should definitely start charging their children rent as soon as they enter employment. He says that it’s a good way for our children to learn that they need to pay their way in the world, and contribute toward food and bills etc. It will help to teach them the value of money and prepare them for life away from the home so that when they eventually move out they’ll know that they have to pay their way.

I have to admit that I agree with this. As soon as I started to earn money, my parents started to charge me rent. Although at the time, I wasn’t very happy about this, I can now understand why they chose to do this, and I for one will definitely be following in their footsteps.

However, not all parents feel the same way. Here’s what some had to say…

Parents who wouldn’t charge their children rent

Georgine from Gee Gardner says: No. My OH was charged most of his pay packet to live at his Mums and he was left unable to save. He was paying more than the rent of the place it was pure extortion. He ended up having to take voluntary redundancy in order to afford to find a place of his own. The only way I would charge my kids rent is if I were to put the money in a separate account for them to use as a deposit. The way I see it is that I chose to have my children and it’s my job to ensure they have the best start in life whether that be as babies or young adults flying the nest. I wouldn’t want to put my kids in the position their dad was in when he left home just so I could buy luxuries.

Hayley from Devon Mama says: It would depend. I was never charged rent by my parents but I was expected to help out around the house and contribute towards food, cooking, looking after my younger siblings. I lived there for six months after I finished university and my parents said they would rather I was actively saving for a deposit to rent or buy somewhere than pay them as they didn’t need the money. Had I not been saving for that, I would have given them rent. I think I would treat my children the same, we’re in a fortunate position to be able to currently afford our bills each month so, if they were living here and working I’d rather they put their earnings towards an end goal of finding their own accommodation. If they decided they weren’t ready for that yet or were intending on staying for years then I’d probably charge a minimal rent. More to ensure they’re money aware rather than to help us. I’d like to think I’d save that money and use it to help them when they WERE ready to move out!!

Catherine from Rock and Roll Pussycat says: I wasn’t charged and wouldn’t charge my son. They’re only young and care free for a short time. Let them enjoy it while they can. We save each month so he will have a deposit for his first home too.

Lisa from That British Betty says: My daughter now earns £800+ per month as an apprentice. She’s 17 and I don’t charge her rent. My friends and family think I must be mad as she has more disposable than me and my husband combined. I’m a soft touch. I think I want to give her the opportunities that I never had, to save up and enjoy her life for a while (I left home at 16 due to dire family circumstances and spent my early adult life moving from bedsits to hostels etc).

Fozia from Muslim Mummies says: I wouldn’t charge rent. I was never charged rent by my parents but I would do the shopping every now and then and buy things that were needed but my parents always used to say I didn’t have to buy it. So long as I can afford it I won’t charge them for living with me. My parents let me save so I could get my first car and I hope to do the same for my kids. However if I felt like they weren’t being responsible and throwing their money around with no thought to the future then I might consider charging them but I would keep it aside for when they needed it.

Alice from Living with a Jude says:  I wouldn’t. Personally, if I could afford to help them out like that then I’d rather my child saves up some money for their future. My parents didn’t charge me rent. I was lucky enough that my parents could afford to continue paying for us all. It meant I was able to save a bit and move into my own home sooner.

Katie from Living Life our Way says: I wouldn’t charge my daughter rent if she had a job but I would try to teach her good financial habits like putting aside x per month to save for a home. And if I really felt she was being irresponsible with her money, given she does have SEND and mental health issues, then I would consider charging rent just so I can put it aside in an account for her, to help her.

Eva from Captain Bobcat says: No, I could not. I know it would be probably better if I did, getting them ready for the real life. But they are my children and honestly I just could not. My parents never did that, in fact they have always helped me financially: like putting the deposit down for my flat and then I paid the mortgage from there on. I have never been irresponsible with money and we always talked about our family’s finances so me and my brother understood things. My dad explained how budgeting and paying bills work, saving for pension etc. I think that if anything is more important than anything.

Parents who would charge their children rent

Lyndsey from Me, Him, the Dog and the Baby says: When I was 17 I had to pay 10% of my wages. It wasn’t necessarily rent but more towards food and bills. I thought it was really fair and I would happily do the same thing if my daughter works at that age.

Katie from Mummy’s Diary says: Absolutely yes. It teaches them responsibility and gets them used to paying bills and prepares them for when they move on. I’d go with 10% of what they’re earning as well or sit down and work out what they could pay towards what they use the most tv internet etc.

Terri from The Strawberry Fountain says: Yes, I think I would once they left school, either this or I would insist they open an isa or savings account and put a set amount in there each month as it teaches them the value of money and how to budget. Id like to think we would agree an amount together like 15% of their wages maybe.

Kayleigh from Candyfloss Dreams say: es I would if they were living at home and on an apprenticeship/working full time. And I would make it proportionate to what they take home each month. I would probably follow the ‘thirds’ rule that my parents used with me. A third for bills, a third to save and a third to spend. I think it’s important to learn that everyone needs to contribute to the running of a home and I think it helps make them aware of just how much we need to pay out for to afford luxuries.I would not save it and then give it to them when they move out either, it would be a case of them paying bills and learning to save and budget what they are left with.

Sophie from Soph-obsessed says: Yes – so they learn the value of money but I would put it into a savings account without them knowing and then when they move out I would give it to them to help them out. My uncle did this with their children and it really helped them out.

Kelly-Anne from Mimi Rose and Me says: Personally, I think it’s a good idea to prepare them for the real world. My nan charged my mum rent when she started her first job, however when my sister and I started earning my mum didn’t charge us rent. I believe that this made it so much harder for me to adjust to the real world when I moved out on my own. I guess you also have to think that more and more children are staying at home for a lot longer than they used to making it harder to get into their own property. So paying a small amount of rent will help them get on the property ladder quicker.

What do you think? Would you charge your children rent?

27 Comments

  • Dad

    April 6, 2018 at 4:02 am

    We are a long way away from that decision, but I would consider it. #ThatFridayLinky

  • Tash

    April 6, 2018 at 8:12 am

    As soon as I started to earn money at the age of 13yrs old my parents started to charge me rent. I am not sure if I would or not. This post has me intrigued, I am going to ask hubby his thoughts when he get home from work tonight. #ThatFridayLinky

  • Maria | passion fruit, paws and peonies

    April 6, 2018 at 8:34 am

    I was charged rent when I was in 6th form and had a part time job. I was also told I had to buy all my own clothes and products from that point on. I felt it was pretty rough at the time but my mum and dad had 5 children. I made it much harder for me and my partner to get a good start and I remember having to borrow a bikini and shorts for my honeymoon. I’ve swung the other way and never charged my children for rent and have helped them in every way we can. We are certainly poorer for it, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I know my kids appreciate it all and we are a very tight little unit, all looking out for each other. I must say tho’, I wonder if we have just been very lucky that our kids are such good people and unspoilt. Perhaps our kids will compromise with theirs – and I think thats probably the best way.

  • Nat – Awaybies

    April 6, 2018 at 9:34 am

    Such an interesting question! I’m really not sure but I would towards not charging them rent. Unless they were squandering money! I would probably get them to contribute in other ways. Especially if living at home were quite short-term. But there’s no right or wrong answer I think! #thatfridaylinky

  • Martina

    April 6, 2018 at 9:41 am

    Oh this is such a tricky one! I was charged 25% by my tight-arse parents from all my babysitting money. (My older sister and I had a veritable babysitting empire from the age of 13). AND we had to buy our own clothes and toiletries. I felt I had a very unfair life compared to my friends who didn’t have jobs and were showered with cash! That said, I will be keen to start charging the kids once they work, or make them pay towards things at the very least. …not sure what my husband will think though as he was one of the showered with money kids! #thatfridaylinky

  • Jamie Beags

    April 6, 2018 at 9:44 am

    Our boys are only 8 and 9 so we’re not going to start worrying about rent just yet! When the time comes, if they can afford it then I think we’ll probably come up with some incentive for them to move out!!

  • David Pearson

    April 6, 2018 at 9:58 am

    I am the youngest of four children. I am 8 years younger than my next sister so that give you the idea that I was a late arrival but also adds some context to what I am about to say. I left school at 16 and went to work at a chemical company. I was paid weekly but I was also sent to college for 1 day a week to to continue my education, all paid for by the company. As soon as I started bringing home a wage I had to pay what we called “Board” to my mum. She charged my £20 per week. I knew to expect this as I know all my sisters had done the same. But by the time I was working all my sister had moved out. It remains, to this day, a source of annoyance to my next sister up that I paid the same as she did despite me earning more than she did when she left school! I started work in 1996 and £20 per week was just over 20% of my take home pay. It never bothered me to pay it and I think it something parent’s should do. I certainly got value for money. I also paid for all the dial-up internet calls on the phone bill as the sole internet user. If our girls end up living at home whilst earning a wage then it’s something we will have to look at carefully – but yes they will pay in some way.
    #ThatLinkyFriday

  • Morgan Prince

    April 6, 2018 at 10:05 am

    I have to say I’d definitely charge my children if they were still living at home and in full-time work. As long as they stay in education then we won’t charge them rent but I do think it’s an important lesson once they start earning money.
    Great post.
    #ThatFridayLinky

  • relentlesslypurple

    April 6, 2018 at 10:10 am

    We’ve agreed we won’t charge rent unless our girls are earning quite a bit, then we will charge them a small amount which we will deposit into their savings accounts for their first deposit/driving lessons. #ThatFridayLinky

  • Daddy Poppins

    April 6, 2018 at 10:32 am

    What an interesting question. I must say I’m firmly sitting on the fence 🤣. I found myself agreeing with yourself and Nige. Then agreeing with some of the others as I read on further.

    I moved away from home to college at age 17 and never returned so the issue never really came up for me. (My parents did pay for my accommodation while at college but I had to work part time for any spending money). I suspect if I was at home and working full time then I’d have had to pay them a nominal sum towards rent/housekeeping. They liked to teach the value of money.

    My wife also never returned home to live since she was 17 but was funded through college I suspect her folks would be in the ‘no rent camp’.

    It’s not something I’ve ever discussed with my wife but I’m sure she’d sit in the ‘not charging rent’ camp and I’d be most inclined to charge something. It’s really dependant on both yours and their circumstances and upbringing though isn’t it?

  • Warren

    April 6, 2018 at 10:37 am

    Wouldn’t charge rent as such, but they should definitely contribute to the house hold finances

  • Jaki

    April 6, 2018 at 11:26 am

    Whilst I’m a long way from needing to do this, I think when the time comes, I will be charging something. It wouldn’t be full on rent but certainly a contribution. I used to give a little something to my parents and I see no harm in it at all. It goes some way to preparing kids for life outside of a home with Mum and Dad. #ThatFridayLinky

  • Kirsty

    April 6, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    I was charged rent once I had completed my degree and was working full time. It was a nominal amount though and the idea was to give it back to me once I moved out as a deposit. I didn’t know that whilst I was paying it though. I think it is a good idea, but I would only do it from a full time job. #thatfridaylinky

  • Sophie

    April 6, 2018 at 2:24 pm

    I like Sophie’s comment (sophie’s Stick together!) about charging them rent but putting it aside for them as a way of saving. I would charge them so they get used to paying out for rent and bills but I realise that it is so tricky for young people to get their own place these days and that worries me. Hopefully, this way, I could help them. My daughter is not sure she wants to go to university due to the debt she’ll have so I may be in this position sooner than I thought! Great post. #thatfridaylinky

  • Kate

    April 6, 2018 at 2:29 pm

    I think it depends on so many factors. I am soft and am so pleased to have them around that I doubt I would end up charging rent or would and they buy them treats with it. #ThatFridayLinky

  • Gavin

    April 6, 2018 at 2:49 pm

    My Parents Charged my Brother rent the minute he got a job… choose not to go to further education. They didn’t charge me rent… I went to Uni. When I moved back from China they didn’t charge me… Brother still hates me for it! hahaha But yeah I think it teaches them about the real life… but would you tax their pocket money? A Friend of mine takes it that far!

  • Chloe

    April 6, 2018 at 3:16 pm

    Hi, it’s interesting to read the differing opinions. I personally think if even if it’s a small amount it’s a good way to learn about how to budget #thatfridaylinky

  • Tracy Albiero

    April 6, 2018 at 4:37 pm

    I heard one family call is commission. They work and help in the house and at the end of the week, they get commission. Sounds interesting. #thatfridaylinky

  • Enda Sheppard

    April 6, 2018 at 5:17 pm

    We’re not quite there yet, but we definitely will charge something: kids just don’t seem to value things until they have a little skin in the game. For example if our kids want something, like a new top, or football boots, they have to pay something towards it, depending. They value it more, and learn things cost! #ThatFridayLinky

  • Stuart

    April 6, 2018 at 7:51 pm

    It’s a long way off but I wouldn’t want to charge rent. They’re my kids, not tenants, but I’d want them to contribute in other ways #thatfridaylinky

  • Out Of Depth Dad

    April 7, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    Great post. My son’s 20 months so I’m not planning on charging him rent for at least a year! If not rent chores around the house are essential to creating a sense of responsibility. Thanks for sharing. #ThatFridayLinky

  • Mrs Mummy Harris

    April 7, 2018 at 6:31 pm

    I do think once fulltime employment starts, the child should pay rent. Whether its a small amount or more, its really up to the parent. I paid £250 to my parents just for rent whereas Hubby only paid £150ish and that covered sky in his room, food, toiletries etc. We’ve discussed what we’d do in the future and we’ve even considered putting it into a separate account and give it to them at their wedding or for uni rather than actually putting it towards bills – taking into account our finances of course! #thatfridaylinky

  • jeremy@thirstydaddy

    April 7, 2018 at 11:55 pm

    I think it depends a lot on what else they are doing with their life. Our teen moved to Arizona to live with her aunt but if she was still here and not attending school, then I think I would really consider it. As long as she was taking classes I probably wouldn’t #thatfridaylinky

  • Jo – Pickle and Poppet

    April 9, 2018 at 9:47 pm

    I think it is important that you teach your children that bills need to be paid. That they aren’t just given everything in life. I paid rent and it taught me the value of money in a positive way. At the same time, however I didn’t really save, I went on lots of holidays. Again I want my children to enjoy life, see the world but I want them to have a deposit for a house. So whilst I plan to take ‘rent’ from the children I do plan to save it away for them so they are ready to start the next stage of their lives. #ThatFridayLinky

  • Musings of a tired mummy…zzz…

    April 10, 2018 at 1:15 pm

    Whatever the decision, it has to be fair to all children. I paid rent when I lived at home and worked but my parents didn’t take money from my sister who was also working 🙁 I can imagine that we will charge a nominal amount but we want to make sure they are able to save up for their own home! #thatfridaylinky

  • MomOfTwoLittleGirls

    April 12, 2018 at 7:01 pm

    I recently heard about couples who share the financial responsibility according to the % they earn so if one earns 40% and the other 60% then that is their financial responsibility to the family. Maybe this could be applied to income earning kids too?
    #thatfridaylinky

  • Lisa Pomerantz

    April 16, 2018 at 8:52 pm

    I don;t think I could do it… but we have a few years ahead of us before that time. A woman I work with has her son living at home (in his 30’s), I’ll ask what she does. Provocative! #thatfridaylinky xo

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