Why Charging Your Teen Rent May Be A Good Thing

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By Susan Heckler

Would you charge your own child rent? Mine did. When I graduated college, and was still living home, my father decided that I should contribute to the household. He charged me $250/month! I was an adult working full time. At first, I was furious and couldn’t believe he was doing this to me. 

Would you charge a teenager rent? What is your motivation? Do you need the money to make ends meet? Are you trying to teach your child about the value of money? Are you encouraging them to leave your nest?

Those in favor bring up these thoughts:

  • Teaching nancial independence and budgeting is an important life skill
  • Independent living encourages facing fears and leaving your comfort zone
  • Having that extra person in your home adds to your personal expenses
  • Knowing rent is expected will change your teen’s spending patternsMany ‘millennials’ end up back at Mom & Dad’s after graduation or never leave at all. The job market has been sketchy, and the cost of living is high. Many kids get out of school overburdened with school loans. It is not easy to afford to be on your own.




    Additionally, once your child is no longer a student, do you make them take responsibility for car payments, gas, insurance, and everything else you have been carrying for them?

    There are negatives and positives on both sides of the argument. You know what works for you and your family as there is no one answer that encompasses every situation.

    Oh…by the way. At my wedding my father handed me a check for every penny I paid him plus interest to go toward a down payment on our first home. He didn’t need the money. He was teaching his baby girl how to save for the future and a lesson I will never forget.