Parents of Young Adults Still Living at Home

Updated on August 01, 2011
K.C. asks from Carrollton, TX
25 answers

I am wondering if other parents of young adults feel used sometimes ? I have a daughter who is still living at home while going to college and she comes and goes like a hotel ? She does not help financially with the household. Should she? and how much? I'm thinking $100 a month to help pay the gas bill would be nice. I come from a generation that helped their parents financially without being asked. You know, contribute to a bill here or there. Buy some groceries occasionally etc. I know today's generation is very selfish. Then I see that she has all the money in the world to spend on stupid gifts for her boyfriend such as chocolate covered strawberries (not cheap to deliver too) fruit baskets, edible arrangements.... Basically I see her for only seconds during the day and sometimes not at all as she gets home from work after I am in bed. She won't get up to join the family at church. Am I maybe a bit jealous ? She puts her boyfriend and his parents before our family. If they have an event going on she runs to spend time with them and I feel like I'm just the hotel maid/clerk sometimes. If she has a problem like her car breaking down then she is quick to call me for help or when she needs something. Would love to hear what others moms feel on the subject or your system for dealing with at home young adults. Thanks

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answers from Houston on

My dad had a rule when i was growing up. As long as we were in school we could live at home. If we weren't in college we had to work and help pay the bills.

thats what im gonna do to

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

We paid rent while we were living at home. $100/month sounds very reasonable--you can barely stay at a nice hotel for that for a night!

Does she do her own cleaning & laundry?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

Oh, honey! Do I ever understand! (Read my post from yesterday!) I don't know the right answer, but I got a mixed bag of them. I may be more confused than ever on what to expect! I just wanted you to know I am right there with you and I do understand how you feel!

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Albany on

Ditto Amanda G, I have a 19 yr old sophomore at an engineering school largely on Merit Scholarships. When he's home, he works part time at CVS. He will be paying for the majority of his own education. As long as he has good grades (he finished his freshman year with a 3.5) I am not asking him for any financial contribution to the household.

However, he's a quiet kid, doesn't go out much, doesn't ask for anything, and is good natured and pleasant to be around at home.

So to me, his JOB is still to be an excellent student, I'll take care of the rest and cheer him on.

Of course if he were screwing up at school, or any other part of life, that might change. I don't know how I'd deal since I've never had that problem with any of them. I have a 17 yo looking at schools now, sigh.

I enjoy them. It's over too soon.


5 moms found this helpful


answers from Dover on

I am in the same boat too but my son is also a full time student and is working as many hours as his employer will give him this summer so although he is an adult, he is still a student and my dependent so I don't expect him to pitch in w/ household bills. I do expect him to cover his extra expenses and meals out (I have groceries at home so if he choses to go out to eat w/ friends, that is on him...we do cover his costs when he is out w/ us). I would like to see him pitch in more with household chores though.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I think it's fine to live at home rent free while working and going to school. But I would not pay for any of her extras, like her phone, internet, haircuts, clothing gas money (though I would pay the insurance if she was driving a family car.)
When you say you feel like a maid...I hope you are NOT doing her laundry, cleaning her room and cooking for her? She's old enough to do that stuff for herself, especially if she is not even there for meals or pitching in around the house. My kids started doing their own laundry when they started high school, and they all know how to cook, even my twelve year old.
Remember, you are only a maid if you allow yourself to be. As far as her car breaking down, I think you should suggest to her that she pay for a AAA membership. That's what grownups do!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

my parents supported me during college. as long as I kept my grades up (I graduated with a 4.0) and worked in the off season (I played college soccer in the fall), they paid my rent, car, and books. my tuition was paid for with scholarships and student loans that I took out in my own name.

Since I tithe at church and donate time and money to various causes, I wouldn't call myself selfish. at the same time, i wasn't expected to buy groceries or pay any bills when I went home to visit. in fact, they would send me home with groceries. i was very fortunate, but I feel like I made my parents proud with how I conducted myself then and now. :)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Biloxi on

Someone asked something similar yesterday - check out those responses.

I think you need to sit her down and lay out some house rules. I lived at home until I was 23 (my sister until 25) - it was cheaper and easier - but my Dad had basic rules that we had to follow. Not really curfews, but courtesy calls about our whereabouts, letting him know if we were going to be eating dinner at home, etc. He did not ask for money, but both my sister and I would make grocery runs and replenish basics before he could - we also left money in random places for him to find. We also paid our own car insurance, car notes, repairs and expenses, entertainment, clothing, etc.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Stationed Overseas on

My kids are still babies, but I lived with my grandfather from age 16 til I graduated from high school. Although while I was going to high my grandpa never made me pay a bill because I only worked part time. I was also quick to go with my bf, it's just how young adults are. they think they are "So in love" It will taper off. But once I graduated from high school and started working full time my grandfather made me pay him $200 a month to help with car insurance since I drove his car and other bills around the house. I thought this was fair seeing as I was living under his roof. Since your daughter thinks she's living the high life and not having to pay bills I would burst that bubble and tell her she's got to start pulling her weight. Also while living with my grandfather I would buy my own food, like snacks and stuff. But you should really put your foot down about her paying some bills. If she doesn't like that and complains you can tell her she can go find somewhere else to live or go live on campus and that's more expensive then paying you 100-200 a month. And as for the church thing, there comes a time when the kids get old enough to make their own choices on if they want to attend church or not. I used to go when i was kid but once I got older I stopped going. It's just not something you can force.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Redding on

Young adults need to learn to live within THEIR means, not ours. It's important to have them pay a room and board fee and to follow some sort of house rules if they continue to live under your roof. You cripple them if you don't make them learn how to budget and how to save for things they want.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I think it depends on the situation. My brother and I both moved out to go college at age 18 and although our parents helped us out financially, there was never really a question of our staying at home.I moved out and have always had my own apartment since,- but I am STILL paying off student loans from a decade ago.

Later when my brother was getting married and buying his first house, he moved back in with my mom and dad for a few months before he could get into the house, and I know he paid them 'rent' - not a lot, but a couple hundred bucks for food and utilities while he was there.

On the other hand, my husband lived at home all through college and as far as I know did not pay any rent or utilities. As far as his family was concerned his 'job' was going to school. It was the same for his two brothers. Now, my husband got a job as soon as he graduated and lived at home for 2 more years- but he paid off ALL of his student loans and had a great nest egg socked away in the bank when we went to buy a house.

His older brother got a job out of college and moved out right away into his own place. His younger brother ran up debt and still lives at home. So I suppose (since all 3 brothers were treated basically the same) a lot also just depends on their personalities and what paths they choose to take in life.

But in all these cases, the students were contributing to the household with chores, money or whatever. Sounds like your daughter is freeloading.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My duaghter lives with her dad while going to college. She is helpful and sweet and pays her own bills. She pays her own car payment, insurance, cell phone, gas in the car, oil changes, and car repairs. Buys her own clothes and pays for her toiletries. She does not help with financing her daddys house. The whole point of her living at home was to make things easier on her while she is in school. She needs to have fun. She needs to be a kid and enjoy herself. At 19, I really don't need for her to pay a bill. I need her to get a lot out of life, get good grades, and support her own direct expenditures. Her daddy doesnt need the money, so it would be just to make a point. Well, that point would make a bigger dent in her budget than his, by far! We don't support our 19 yr old, but she doesn't have to contribute to our budget. I think that's fair.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Did you set up the rules of the house when you all decided she would be living at home while she attends college?

Whatever you decide you want or need, sit down and give your daughter the heads up. How is she to know you are seething with anger or frustration?

And No "today's generation is very selfish." I totally do not agree with this. I think like every generation, kids are the product of their environments. I have to admit, I do not know one child in our circle of friends or acquaintances that are in any way selfish. They are remarkable, self reliant, and very hard working young people, who if not volunteering are working jobs or attending school. They know they are blessed and they behave that way.

Communication is always the answer.. Letting her know your expectaions is only fair to all of you.

Let her know you all will no longer pay for gas. If she wants to eat meals with all of you she needs to be there at meal times. Also let her know that electricity and food and cell phone costs have gone up and now each month on the 1st (or whatever date) she need s to give you $125. to help with the costs.. Or whatever you feel is fair.

What she spends of her own money is her choice.. It just means she will have to deal with any shortfall she comes across..

Let her know that at 11:00 during the week and 12:00 on weekends (or whatever times you feel YOU need) the house will be totally locked and if she is not there, she needs to find somewhere else to stay.. Or she needs to make prior arrangements with to be out later.

Our daughter lives away at college, but during the summers is here at home.. We discussed her financial responsibilities when at school and also here at home in the summer.

She also ALWAYS lets us know where she will be and what time to expect her and guess what, WE do the same with her.. Even at college she and her house mates keep each other informed on their where abouts, it is a safety issue. Sometimes that girls study all night at the library, but they let each other know and call each other if anyone does not call. They let each other know if they are going away for the weekend.. Thank goodness for cell phones and laptops.. they keep in touch.

You set the tone in your home.. Give her the heads up..

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Unfortunately you are not alone in this boat. Our son turned 21 yesterday. He lives less than 20 mins away, goes to school 10 mins up the road, and drives past my house everyday to and from work. He picks up UPS packages from my house every week (never stops to ring the doorbell or say hello). I have not seen or spoken to him in THREE MONTHS! Every since he got engaged to this girl he has no time for his family. It is ALL about HER family and HER friends. Heck they are not even including me in the wedding plans. My son is getting married and I have absolutely NO CLUE about anything in the wedding except the date (unless that has changed). Sadly I am a baker.... I had to find out through FaceBook that they are looking at other bakers....they didn't give me the courtesy of asking if I wanted to make the Wedding Cake or my sons Grooms Cake.

To say the heart is extremely broken.

Sorry, this hit a nerve with me and I went off on a tangent. Yes, she needs to pay rent. Yes she needs to join the family for church. Yes, she needs to join the family for at least ONE sit down meal a week. Yes, she needs to help out around the house.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

You should tell her that she needs to help out with paying a bill or 2. I didnt make it to college but i lived with my mom for a while and she told me that if want to live there that I would have to give her some money for some bills because no-one lives free anywhere. If I was to go get my own apartment I would be paying bills and more that what my mom was charging me.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tyler on

My daughter lived with us for nine years (until she was 29) after her divorce. She brought home 2 small babies, too. Yes, I felt very used, but I never gave her any cash. She had to work and pay her own personal bills. We didn't charge her rent, but she helped (to a fault) with the housecleaning, cooked meals, etc. Finally, on her 29th birthday, when I handed her a gift, I told her I was also giving her another gift. I said she had 3 months to find another place to live. Within 3 weeks, she moved out, eventually met a wonderful man and they were married after only a few months. The frustration of having another adult in your home, and your child at that, is indescribable. We conflicted in more ways than I can count. Today we are very close, but we live 3 1/2 hours' drive apart. That suits me just fine!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Your daughter can't know what you expect unless you tell her. I wouldn't expect my child/young adult to give me money unless we talked and agreed on that. Sit down and talk with her.

I would also suggest you drop the jealousy and instead be glad that she is in college (and doing well?) and working (yay!). I wouldn't expect to see a college student, I would worry if she was home all the time. Invite her and her boyfriend to dinner at your house once in a while if you'd like to see more of them.

And I got to decide if I was joining my parents at church starting at age 15.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

Your daughter is not an adult. She may be over 18, but an adult is a person who pays her own bills. I have several friends who have kids who are just like your daughter. These young adults are self-centered because they were overindulged growing up. Their parents took care of everything, promising and delivering the moon to these kids. These kids don't know any different. They have learned to contribute nothing to the household, but demand the ritz treatment and they know they will get it. Unless you stand up and set some boundaries like making her pay for groceries and contributing toward household expenses, you are doing her a big disservice because one day when you're gone, she'll have to take care of herself. If she refuses to contribute or follow rules, time to kick her out. Time for some tough love here.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I started working at 14. I started paying my mother rent at 14. How much I paid depended on what I made. I worked at a restaurant, and received tips, so my rent was 15% of my take home pay. I also bought my own clothes, school supplies and whatever else I needed. And I had chores and was expected to do them. When I moved out I was 17, but had I stayed I would have continued to pay rent and follow the "house rules", because mom would have insisted on it. Incidentally not wanting to explain my every move and follow a curfew was one of the reasons that I left when I did. But even after I was gone I still sent money home if I could. My daughter is currently 14, but doesn't work. She is expected to do a specific amount of chores and no she doesn't get an allowance. No one pays me to clean so I don't pay her. When she does start working, she will pay 15% of her take home to help with bills and she is already aware of it. If your daughter is working, and living at home, paying rent and even pitching in for other bills will teach her the responsibility that she is going to need when she does finally move out. IMO giving a child a 'free ride" is doing them a financial disservice.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Does she pay her own bills? Gas in the car, insurance, registration? Does she do chores around the house? If not then start expecting her and tell her you expect her to. If you would like her to contribute talk to her. I offered my father to pay the electric bill before but he refused to accept it. Maybe she could be asked to contribute for a portion of the food and have some input on what is being bought so she'll be home more. Talk to her about spending more time with the family. On that aspect, she is no longer obligated to go to church with y'all or spend dinners with you. Pushing a young adult to obey like a teen will only strain the parent/adult child relationship. You should push the expectations of doing chores, financially contributing for groceries or the gas bill, etc. Is she saving money? My dad used to think I was just blowing money too. We got in a big fight one day and I showed him the multiple thousands I had saved. It is perfectly understandable to have her contribute, be careful. I'm not sure how much you expect, but my friend was trying to be at home while she was in college, her parents started wanting a good portion of her money so it became cheaper to just move into the dorms so she did. All in all, money-wise and chore contribution perfectly understandable, but on the other hand she is grown and she should be able to come and go, that's what adults do (even young adults).

I agree with Theresa, if she is going to school that is her job. I am a full time engineering major right now and it is a very demanding major. I am not a young adult, but full time college can be stressful with loads of homework and studying, or cramming for procrastinators lol. And I really disagree with todays generation is selfish. Have you looked at other generations? I have 5 sets of aunts/uncles that are horribly selfish and I won't get started on my best friend's family, most selfish people I've met. People are products of their upbringing and every single generation will have selfish people.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

So, I may be answering from your daughter's point of view a bit, but this is what I think....

She should be responsible for all her needs/wants. She should pay for her school, as well as car insurance/gas/maintenance, toiletries and clothes, and any entertainment expenses. She is also responsible for cleaning her bathroom, washing her own clothes/bed linens, keeping her room clean. You should not be doing any of this for her (just close her bedroom door), and you should not cook enough for her dinner either. Since you say she is never home and just uses your place to sleep, she will feel very resentful if she is required to pay rent. You don't really want to force her out of the house, because her alternative may be moving in with boyfriend.
As far as the spending time with family, it may be time for you to think about how you are going to get your family together when they all move out because you are setting the tone for that now. For example, we have Family Friday. My familiy and my siblings families all go over to mom's house and eat, play card games, watch movies, let the kids play and visit with each other. I have friends that get together with their family on Sunday nights for a big meal. So you may want to start something like that, just invite her and her boyfriend. You could invite them to church and then do a family lunch after church. But the key here is that you are going to have to invite them! The other thing I would suggest is that you try to make the effort to talk to her. If she isn't home before you go to bed, send her a quick text telling her goodnight. Pop into her room to ask her how her day was. Just make the effort to be available, you will appreciate this kind of friendship when she moves out and starts having kids of her own. Also, when she calls you with a problem such as a car repair, help her learn how she can fix this problem. Give her the name and number to the mechanic you use, basically teach her how to take care of problems for herself.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I lived with my mom until I was 28. She was widowed so it benefited both of us. I paid rent for ANY month that I did not go to school. I paid $200/month and that was over 15 years ago. I paid all my expenses, insurance,gas, etc, and bought groceries about once a month. If there was a special food I wanted I bought that also. I did my own laundry and other chores that pertained directly to me.

My mom never MADE me, but I always let my mom know if I was going to be home late or early. That way she didn't worry about me. It was more about being considerate than"answering" to her.

All that being said, I think $100/month is more than fair. For one thing, it gives some value to the service you are providing her. Make it clear what she is responsible for and stick to it. As far as her preferring her boyfriend and his family, that is just immaturity, she will outgrow that(I'm assuming she is still pretty young). Don't make an issue of it, still be there for her, and she will come around eventually. If she is older, be tougher,expect more.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

You should sit down and talk to your daughter about what is expected. If she is working, there is no reason why she shouldn't help with the bills. She should also help with chores. My son is 17 and he's working and going to school. We're not sure what we'll do later on but I know we'll charge a little bit of rent depending on whether he's in college full time or not. Good luck!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

I think perhaps suggesting she move to the campus dorms or an apartment close to campus might be the best thing for her. A food/meal plan would make sure she has enough food too.

I know the expense could get crazy but she is going to school full time and I feel that that is a full time job in itself. If she is a good student and doing well getting this education then she needs support in that.

As for coming and going...she's an adult. She gets to make these choices for herself. If she is not living at home she would be making the same choices.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Yes, yes, yes, on all points. I think our daughters sound like twins. My daughter started to get it in the last year and reimbursed me here and there for some things. But then she quit her job with no notice and without finding another. Then she found one making squat. Then she got fired. The kicker is that she has a son and I care for him while she's out and about, school, work, playing around. BUT...and I can't express ENOUGH that he is the light in it all. Sometimes I struggle with this selfish desire for her to sign him over to me and run off. What a terrible, horrible, rotten thing for me to think. Right now she's out with her son and a couple days per week she'll spend hours about town or at our other daughters with him. She loves her son and is a good good as any 20 year old can be. She's almost 21. She's got a LOT to learn.

TRUTH.. My daughter would not be living at home if it was not for her son. I talked her into coming home so that she would not be driving him around town every single day to get him to and from me. If she lived outside of the house when she only has sometimes a few hours between classes and work and sometimes not even an hour, she'd be constantly making tracks to our house to kiss on her son and back out to work or school and over the weekend she'd just have to leave him the whole weekend. It makes no sense for her to have her own place right now. It feels like she resents me sometimes because I want her to treat me like an equal. That means I do want her to pick up some of the bills. Kind of hard to do that when you are conveniently broke. NOW she keeps saying as she leaves the community college phase and moves into the 4 year phase she needs to work even less.

If it wasn't for my grandson I'd never put up with her sleeping until 2pm and then running off and doing as she pleases.

Seems like for those of you that don't have innocent grandchildren involved, it's time for some tough love. Tell them to treat you like a roommate or they can sleep on the couch while you move a paying roommate in.

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