teens

A mum asks the world whether her teen should pay board and everyone argues.

It’s an age old debate – should you charge your children board once they turn 18 or should you let them spend all their money on clothes, alcohol and phone bills save for a home or a new car once they get that first job?

Many of us were charged board ourselves when we first started bringing in a pay packet. But would you do it to your own kids? The debate has heated up on the parenting forum Mumsnet after a mother posed the question: ”Is housekeeping money frowned upon?”

She asked: “My ds1 is finally going to work, he’s 19, hopefully he’ll stick with it. My dh wants to charge him housekeeping money. I was chatting to someone at work and he said that he wouldn’t charge his children to live at home. It should always be their home and he’d never charge his children to live there … What’s the general consensus?”

As with all things parenting the reaction was deeply divided with some saying it was important to charge teenagers rent while others said it was something they would never do.

“Plenty of other ways to teach responsibility with money and for me it just wouldn’t feel right,” said one user called cheekyfunkymonkey.

Another said she was charged board as a teenager and vowed she would never do that to her children.

From Mumsnet.

Tatterdemali0n said, “If my kids are in education or apprenticeships then no way will I make them give me money. But once they are working properly and still living here then yes they will have to contribute something.”

Hellsbelsmelon said that "of course" you should charge your child rent.

“I was charged as a youngster. He's 19 now and an adult. Welcome to the adult world! You have to pay to live. It's that simple.”

She said she pays her daughter’s phone contract and her “very high car insurance!” So the rent her daughter pays “only just covers that.”

One user, Meddie said it depended on whether the teenager was working or studying.

“If they are still in education no. But if they are working they as an adult they should contribute to the cost of utilities and food that they use. I know my utilities halved when they were at Uni and my food bill was a third of what it used to be. I don't see why its OK for me to use my wages to subsidise another adult, who then gets to keep all of their wages to use for fun stuff like going out, holidays and clothes.”

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From Mumsnet.

Some parents said the solution they came up with was to charge their teenager rent, but to keep the money and when they finally moved out they gave it to them to go towards the deposit for a home, but there was some disagreement about this.

BertrandRussell wrote:”There's something very mixed about the message you are sending if you say "time to start paying board - you're a grown up now" and then secretly saving it to give back to them later!”

The reaction was divided. Via I-Stock.

Others said that parents shouldn’t charge rent but should expect contributions such as housework and meals.

A user called Somerville said they had thought about it a lot.

“I won't charge mine as long as they're saving for their own place in the future. And they'd be expected to continue to make a full contribution to laundry/cleaning/cooking. They moment they expect hotel services they can pay hotel prices.”

There are benefits to charging a bit of board, it can help teach responsibility, money management, independence, it can help get teenagers ready for “the real world.”

Some teenagers find it confronting, with the feeling that the family home, previously always available and open to them is suddenly shut off the moment they turn 18, but others actually say paying rent is liberating. They feel that now they are contributing, rather than just ‘depending’ they are equal and more justified in living under their rules, not necessarily yours.

Whether or not you decide to make your teenager pay board differs according to each family's circumstances.

If you’ve got a budding internet whizz kid making millions from the depths of their grubby bedroom, then you can probably feel okay about asking for a couple of bucks to help pay the cleaners. But if your child is a university student with a part-time gig stacking supermarket shelves, then unless your finances are really stretched it might be worth considering whether teaching responsibility is more important than allowing your teenager to gather a few savings.

If your “teenager” is really a 28-year-old still living at home and not contributing then give them an eviction notice. Via I-Stock.

But what you don’t want is to become some kind of enabler. If your “teenager” is really a 28-year-old still living at home, not paying rent and still expecting you to pick their undies up off the bathroom floor then don’t just charge 'em rent give them an eviction notice.