I’ve been asked by a couple of people recently: “How much board should I charge my adult children?”
So I thought I would share how we worked out how much board to charge in our household, and the various factors we took into consideration.
Percentage or Set Rate?
Once our children finished high school, and started in the workforce, we asked for 10% of their take home pay each week.
The main reason we chose a percentage rather than a set amount, was because they were both in casual employment – meaning that one week, they might earn a lot, and the next week, only a small amount.
However, I Must Confess: there have been times when we have waived charging our children board, reduced the amount, or helped them pay their rent. We’re not totally heartless! For example, when Miss 19 couldn’t work for three months after her ice-skating accident last year, or now that Mr 21 is studying.
We wanted to encourage our son to pursue tertiary studies, and felt that not charging board was the best way to do it.
It’s not like he is getting a free ride however. Mr 21 is paying his own way through uni, with a job as a kitchen hand at a fast food store. This allows him to pay for living expenses such as his mobile phone, petrol and maintenance on his car (which he owns outright); parking fees; text books (which aren’t cheap!); snacks; clothes; entertainment; oh, and his soft drink habit (as we refused to pay for it anymore).
He has to work hard even without worrying about board, in order to afford things he likes as well as pay expenses – going to uni 4 days and doing all the study required at home, and working. If he is lucky he gets one “official” day off a week – but let’s face it, he usually studies then as well.
Deciding How Much Board to Charge
When deciding how much board to charge, you might like to take the following things into consideration:
- their employment status, and size of your adult child’s pay packet;
- your own financial situation – in some households, a bit of board can make all the difference;
- how much they assist with household chores (the lazier they are, the more you can charge – and it doesn’t hurt to let them know this!);
- how much of a drain they place on household resources (long hot showers? leaving the air conditioning on all the time?);
- how much would it cost them to live in a share house with the same benefits they receive at home;
- how often do they have friends over (meaning extra mouths to feed!);
- and if they are long overdue to leave the nest, you can always encourage them by charging more and making sure they don’t have it too good at home!
If you have adult kids, how did you work out how much board to charge? And if it is still in the future for you, what are your thoughts?!
Linking up with My Home Truths.