There’s a lot of reasons you may have moved back home. And sure it’s great to have a free place to live if you’re having trouble making ends meet. That doesn’t mean you should take advantage of your parents. Paying rent is the right thing to do but how much rent should you pay your parents? Let’s find out what makes sense and what doesn’t.
How Much Rent Should You Pay Your Parents
How much you pay is going to depend on your personal situation.
And your situation may change over time so what you pay may change over time as well.
If you’ve lost your job or you’ve had some sort of accident or medical issue you may not be able to pay anything right away.
This may also be true if you just got a divorce or lost your home.
Once you start making an income again you’ll have to start paying rent.
Sure lots of parents start off not wanting you to pay because they want to help you out. That’s what parents do.
But over time if you’re not paying rent and covering other costs resentments can grow.
Your parents were living their life and probably enjoying it and enjoying being on their own and now you’ve moved back in.
That completely changes the dynamic for them and for you.
You can’t expect to go back to the days that you were a child and your parents did everything for you and took care of everything.
You’re an adult so you’re going to have to act like one.
Not to mention if they’re spending money taking care of you, that’s money they don’t have for their own retirement.
This can seriously hurt their future plans.
Nobody wants that…
Why Do People Pay Rent to Their Parents
Unless someone’s a complete freeloader and wants to live in their parent’s basement for their whole life playing video games chances are they feel a need to pay their parents some rent.
As I mentioned, if your life has become a complete mess and you simply have no money you may not be able to pay right away but you should certainly do what you can to start paying rent as soon as possible.
This doesn’t mean that you’re going to be paying the same kind of rent you would if you were renting an apartment but you should be paying enough that your parents are happy and you’re not creating a financial burden.
Most adult children want to take care of themselves and have only returned home if there are some serious circumstances that are causing them to be able to pay their own way.
Your monthly rent with your parents is not going to be nearly as high as you would be paying in rental properties and there are no security deposits to pay so you’re still going to be saving quite a bit of money.
Your actual household costs won’t be as high either and you won’t have the extra cost of paying utilities and insurance and that sort of thing.
You need to come up with an amount that makes both you and your parents comfortable and satisfied.
If you’ve been in a bad financial situation you want to be making enough money so you can set a good deal of it aside for savings so you have the money to move in your own apartment or buy a home.
So you don’t want to pay such high rent to your folks that you don’t have any extra income to save.
How Much Rent Should You Pay
When you start thinking about paying rent to your parents don’t forget you also need to include other costs.
These costs can include household bills such as utilities and groceries.
If you’re eating their food and you’re not buying any then you need to add some of that into your calculation.
While living there doesn’t increase utility bills much, they can’t go up a little bit.
It might mean more lights on in the house and you might be using their washer and dryer so which can increase electricity and water costs.
So, you want to take these living expenses into consideration as well.
Finally, when it comes to rent you want to think about fair market prices.
For example, what does a one-bedroom apartment cost in your area?
Let’s say for example you can rent a one-bedroom apartment or a studio apartment for $700 a month.
You’re not going to want to pay that much to your parents but maybe consider half of that $350 a month.
Then if you’re not buying your own food you might want to add another $100 to $150 to that to come up with a reasonable amount.
So, you’re looking at $500 a month.
This might be high and this might be low depending on your personal situation and your parent’s situation.
Honestly, if they’re cooking the food and doing your laundry you should probably pay a bit more.
If you’re buying food and doing some cooking and your own laundry then maybe pay a little bit less.
You also want to take into consideration any financial strain you may be putting on your parents by moving in with them.
If they’re living on social security or a limited income then having an extra person in the house can make a real difference in their budget.
And if you have children and they’re moving in as well it can be even more difficult for your parents to cover the cost.
Another option you have is sharing expenses.
For example, my mother lives with me.
Now, I know this is backward from kids living with parents, but it is similar.
While she doesn’t pay rent, she does pay some of the expenses.
She pays the electric bill, the water bill, the security bill, and the garbage bill.
I pay the mortgage, the cable bill, the pest control bill, and insurance.
We both buy our own groceries and pay our own cell phone bills.
It works for us.
When Should You Start Paying Your Parents Rent
When you start paying is going to depend on your situation.
If you’re moving home due to medical reasons you may have a lot of medical expenses that you’re going to have to deal with.
If you’ve lost your job and don’t have an income you may not be able to pay right away.
But your goal should be to get on your feet as soon as possible.
You don’t want to move in and take advantage of your parents’ kindness.
As soon as you are able to get a job, even if it’s not the job you really want, or even if it’s a part-time job you need to do so.
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You don’t want to wait months or goodness years to find work.
As an adult kid, you need to keep in mind that the important word is adult.
If you’re moving in because you’ve lost a job or gotten a divorce or some other situation has put you in a financial bind you need to be looking for a job immediately from day one.
You want to find that job even if it’s a minimum wage job.
You should begin to pay your parents at least something every month if it is only $50 or $100.
They will really appreciate the effort and it will make you feel better about yourself.
Deep down no one really likes to have to depend on others to survive on a daily basis.
So the sooner you get a job the sooner you can start sticking most of your money into savings so you can find a way to move out of your parents’ place.
And even if you’ve got a temporary job you can still continue to look for a better job that will give you a better quality of life.
The bottom line is living with your parents is not a get-out-of-jail-free card for being an adult.
You’re still responsible for yourself and any children if you have them.
Can My Mom Charge Me Rent
Yes, your mom or your dad can charge you rent.
If you’re in high school going to school full-time they shouldn’t.
And really if you’re in college going to school full-time they shouldn’t as well.
If you’re not going to school and you’re just sitting around then most certainly they can charge you rent.
In the end, even though you may not like it at the time, it’ll really help you.
It’ll show you how to live independently and give you the skills you need to move out to your own place sooner rather than later.
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To Sum it All Up:
While it may seem weird to pay your parents rent it really shouldn’t. They have their own expenses and their own goals and their own saving needs. If you’re living with them you are using their resources financially and otherwise. Take into consideration how much you are costing them and what their financial situation is and then talk to them to come up with an amount that you can both live with. You’ll be glad you did.