May 18, 2023
We’re in the high season for graduations. Whether it’s high school or college, or grad school, increasingly those educated kids are either not moving out, or moving back in with you. There are more adult children living at a parent’s home today than thirty or forty years ago. If that’s happening in your home, I sure hope you won’t let your adult kid freeload. That’s not generous to you or to them.
Adults Don’t Freeload
Your kid will always be your kid. But they are also now an adult. And you can help them make that transition by finding appropriate ways for them to start paying some of their way, assuming they are working.
You can keep them on the family cell plan, but they can pay their share.
How much did your auto insurance go up when you first insured your kid? Might they now be able to cover all or part of that cost in monthly installments to you?
And I really want you to have an open mind about charging some form of rent. Doesn’t have to be a lot. But it should be something. And it should be direct deposited to you every month on the same date. That’s a huge financial skill you’re teaching right there. If you want, you can tuck that money away and when the time is right you can return it to your kid to be used for the security deposit on a rental, or to help boost their growing emergency fund.
This Is a Form of Love, Not Punishment
I know many of you are uncomfortable with everything I have just recommended. I get it. But you are missing the big win that’s yours (and theirs): It opens a discussion into all the costs of running a household. That’s important learning to master before your kid moves out and is responsible for managing their own household finances.
And it naturally encourages kids to right-size their spending from an early adult age. When you are held accountable for certain expenses when you are living at home, it forces you to be more careful about your spending, so you have the money each month to cover your expected costs.
How is that not a loving lesson? You can teach your adult kid the lessons right now that will help them avoid financial trouble when they launch into their own households.