This question sparked some passionate feedback on our Facebook page. I definitely understand that this can be a touchy subject. Where do the Debt Free Divas weigh in? As with most things, we have our own view points.
I like the idea of cutting living expenses by exercising your option to “live communally.” An option that is not so common in our society, but should be considered more often. I’ve done it myself and surprisingly, everyone adjusted. Now it does work best when all parties are respectful and productive. Four “families” lived with my grandmother for two years and we are all still speaking to this day. Grant it – Grandma had enough rooms to accommodate everyone and she’s used to large groups being the mother of 8.
The process breaks down when adult children are allowed to be unproductive. Whether these adult children have never left home or are part of the boomerang generation, paying rent or assuming responsibility over a household expense contributes to their financial maturity. Household expenses do not include personal automobiles. Adult children should be required to contribute to the maintenance of the environment in which they live. After all, no one can live anywhere for free.
I like the idea of charging adult children rent. It requires children to budget their income. They learn to limit what they spend on luxuries. Most importantly, maintaining household expenses will be second nature when they eventually leave home. Maybe they won’t need to return. You can even save their contribution, as one of our Facebook friends suggested, and bless them with a lump sum at a future date if you’re financially able.
As parents, we have a responsibility to mold our offspring into mature members of this society. Allowing children to live responsibility-free is a recipe for future, financial hardships.