Your children have become adults, and although you are not ready to remove them from the family nest, are you a little fed up because they do not contribute to the family budget? This article will give you some ideas on what to do to make your household's budget cycle a little fairer for everyone, as well as get your kids to do their part more at home.
Step 1. Gather the family together to discuss financial matters
The time has definitely come for you to stop treating your children like babies. They are adults, and they can handle the tough stuff too. Explain the costs involved in maintaining them, from food, electricity, gas, house maintenance, clothing, kitchen services, cleaning, to giving them a room. If you've been giving them all of this without them paying anything, it stands to reason that they don't see the harsh reality of costs.
Step 2. Ask them to contribute the rent
You must make a family agreement in which it is stipulated that everyone who lives in the house is responsible for its maintenance and that includes financial as well as the regular tasks of cleaning and maintenance of the house. Set a weekly income that covers approximately 30% of their pay, to make them understand what it costs and how it feels to allocate an amount of money periodically "just to have a roof over your head." Write down all of this that is agreed upon and prepare a budget if necessary. If they are full-time students, they are getting good grades, and they are well on their way to achieving their goal: having a college degree (not just wasting their time enrolling in college) reconsiders charging them rent. They are trying to do something with their lives and there is no need to make it more difficult for them.
Step 3. Ask everyone to do the chores around the house
No one person alone should take care of all the chores around the house. Everyone in the house must lift their weight to help keep the house in good repair. Cleaning, gardening, shopping, feeding the pet, patching and repairs in addition to general tasks that all family members can perform. It may be a good idea to assign home who the responsibility for at least two meals a week as part of the deal. Remember, it is advised that you write everything in a kind of weekly schedule and post it where everyone can see it. It must be made clear that to free yourself from a task, you have to negotiate with another member of the family, not simply stop doing it.
Step 4. Expect some resistance and respond with clear and specific facts
If your children have been living with few obligations, they might complain about this change. Be prepared for this, armed with visual evidence of the costs of living away from home. This takes step 1 a little further, more than just explaining the expenses you have at home, show them where those costs come from. Show them how much a rent costs in the area where they live, grocery bills from a common grocery store, the electricity costs for an average house, and the costs of things like gas, mortgage, etc. Their awareness of all this will increase, and even if they feel a little resentful, they will realize that the situation you are explaining to them is real and that they must help.
Step 5. Get over guilt
If one or more of your adult children live with you, it's probably because you want to help them, maybe they've been through a bump, and more likely because you enjoy having them around. You may feel guilty when you ask them to contribute, especially if you see that your "child" is in a difficult situation. When this happens, don't forget to keep the following in mind:
- Protecting your adult children from the harsh reality of life is not helping them. Your job as a parent is to teach them how to become independent adults who can survive and thrive on their own. Having them carry their own weight at home will teach them that there are no such things as free lunches. It is better for them to learn responsibility, and it is better for them to learn it from you as a parent than from a boss when you fire them, or from a wife when they get divorced.
- You are not the only one struggling with these issues. Children who return home as adults are called "mammoni", or "mother's children" in Italy; "parasaito shinguru", or "parasite singles" in Japan; "boomerangs" or "twixters" in the United States; "KIPPERS" (acronym in English for "kids in parents' pockets eroding retirement savings" which means something like children in the pockets of the parents taking money from their retirement) in the United Kingdom; and "Hotel Mama" in Germany. There are parents all over the world who will relate to your struggle to show your love the hard way.
Step 6. Be grateful
When your adult children start contributing more, let them know how much you appreciate their contribution to support and the family, and thank them. And sometimes, when you have some money you can spend it on them, giving them as extra money or paying for a trip, etc.
- Avoid the situation by kicking them out the day after graduation.
- Put the money from the rent in a separate savings account. It could be used sometime when they are lean, for a vacation, or even to help them further their education or when they have a rough patch in their lives.
- Share transportation when possible and encourage the use of public transportation and bicycles by all family members. If you can lower the level of cars / cars needed, everyone will benefit by lowering fuel costs, maintenance costs, as well as getting a little exercise by walking or biking.
- If you are lucky to have a child who lives away from home (in other words, at least one sibling of the child who is still at home). Ask him to come home and explain to his brother who is bleeding you. The independent brother will have no problem telling his other brother how the real world works.