Board Money

ocarinaFebruary 6, 2011

Hello All,

My Husbands reads a forum of cars and etc but there's a section on it which is called ''non car related'' and it contains post of all kinds and yesterday there was one called ''board money''. It started a whole discussion between us and I would like to know what you ladies think of this. Basically the post was about getting your adults children to pay board money once they reach financial maturity.

My mom was a mono parental mom of 2 and worked real hard to keep us afloat and me and my brother both started working when we were 14 and at that point we started paying board and were responsible to buy the things we wanted (such as cellphones, computer, video games, etc). We were both working part time (we were still at school) and would make an average of about 130$ per week. And she would claim 30 $ off of us per week for food, electricity and especially petrol for drop in/drop off to work ha ha. And the rest would be ours to spend as we wished. During the summer we would obviously work full time and she would get the charge up slightly. I think this was a very valuable lesson as obviously it taught me what life was all about. That nothing came free that I had to work for it. And when I moved out since I was already ''used'' to paying an amount of my salary each week, and that I was already ''used'' to do things for myself (such as laundry, pay my cellphone bill, etc) I didn't have that much trouble adjusting. Obviously instead of steak I was eating cans of tuna but overall I was fine.

Obviously now this sparked a debate between me and my husband as he thinks slightly different. Of course he thinks adult children should help financially but he thinks the amount is not important. As long as it teaches them to hand out money when asked. Well I agree partially, yes this is important for them to learn. But if you charge them board for 5$ a week, it doesn't prepare them for the real world.

Last year when his adult daughter and his boyfriend were living with us, we would pay everything and we would struggle with the bills at the end of the month and I asked him to ask them to help financially. He set the charge at 10$ a week per person. So 20$ for both of them. I thought this was ridiculous especially with the amount of food and energy they were consuming. But my husband was adamant he would not charge them more. ( Btw for those of you who remember my post about ''am I the wicked step mom here'' well they moved out and now have their house and our familly relationship has improved as now the oldest even told me she ''understood'' why I was mad at them all the time for not cleaning as she faces the same problem at her house). His excuse for not charging more was that they needed to save to move out and to pay stuff for their baby. True enough but they were making about the same as me in salary and only paying 10 $ each I thought it was pushing a bit but I went with it hoping that they would save up. And obviously they didn't. Each weekend we would see them blow everything up on clothes and new stuff and not saving a penny and in the end when they finally moved out (because of an ultimatum from my husband), we were left with hundreds in dept (and we still are) as we could never catch up with the bills. I just think this is not the right way but I wanted to know what you all think.

Board money yes or no? At what age? and how much? Let me know what you think!


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First of all, would you do the same if the SD were your BIO daughter? (be truthful to yourself about this).
You were raised by your mother with a set of different circumstances and so perhaps your SD had been raised differently.

Having said that, I think you and your H must agree on (when they move in AGAIN) :

1. Ask them upfront to justify why they need to move in.
2. WHen will they plan to move out
3. What do they plan to do to overcome the conditions that force them to move back in, (if money is an issue, then how much do they need to save in order to move out ...)
4. Help them establish a financial plan and goal (how much to save as % of income until they can move out, how much they need to help with your household expenses...)
5. Establish a household rules for them - laundry, cleanliness, etc - it is still your HOUSE.

PUt that in writing and have them sign it. That will help to clarify issues later, and if you have to kick them out, then you & Your H would have no guilt.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2011 at 10:42AM
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Yes I would do the exact same if it was my own daughter. I believe raising children to know what the real world cost is really important. I don't understand the point of ''when they move in again''... There's no plan in them moving back in...? I was just asking as an opinion question if people do charge board to their adult kids and if so, how much, if not, why not?

    Bookmark   February 6, 2011 at 11:27AM
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Yes, 100% justified, good idea all around.

At what age? Depends on the situation, depends on the kid. How much? Same. I think no more than 50% of what they are bringing in, and they should only work if it's not affecting their grades.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2011 at 11:45AM
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Well I personally cannot relate in regards to board money and adult kids because DD moved out as soon as she was out of high school, and during college years did not ven come home for school breaks because she was renting apartment and had to maintain it (keep a job plus take care of the place), she only went to visit me and dad for short holidays, the rest of the time we visit her.

So as adult she did not live with neither one of us even for one day (except holiday visits).

But if she attended college locally and would live with me, then I guess she would be expected to work and contribute, depends on her college schedule, depends on how many hours she could work. $10 a week is a funny sum, i'd rather charge nothing i guess.

It also depends why adult kid moved home, are they ill or recovering from illness? Then I would charge nothing. Are they in school? Then see above, it depends. Are they just moving in because it is easy? then hmmm And i am not sure if I woudl allow BF in. Why? Maybe I wouldn't charge my kid, but sure charge some BFs, maybe charge them double. LOL Just kidding

I guess it depends why they moved in the the first place.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2011 at 2:52PM
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When I was younger it was a given that young adults living at home would contribute board when they started working and that it would reflect the cost of food, electricity, water etc. Still we managed to save up security deposits and move out so it can't have been that onerous. Of course we weren't all driving expensive to run cars or going out clubbing all the time or conducting other expensive pursuits (just like real adults :-) ).
$10 a week each is pathetic, it won't teach them anything about living in the real world or realistically assist with their expenses on your budget.
I believe some parents nowadays charge board but save the contributions and give them to the young person when they leave to assist with their moving-in expenses.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2011 at 2:00AM
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I think board money is an excellent idea, but it depends. I worked with a woman whose kids were not to work, at all, during high school and (undergrad) university. Their agreement was that the kids were to concentrate solely on their education; that the parents would completely fund any amount of tuition or living expenses owed above scholarships, until they had obtained their bachelor's degrees - and the kids' responsibilities, in return, were to do their absolute best. Once the kids had gotten degrees, grad degrees and/or living expenses were their own responsibility.

At the time I knew her, her youngest child was working on her doctorate from an Ivy League school - the older kids already had received their doctorates and were employed. So obviously it was working for them. For many people I know, however, that would have been a recipe for kids to spend six years as undergrads getting drunk every night.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2011 at 11:14AM
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I see how such arrangment would work as well, mattie (kids don't work while at school and are entirelly funded by their parents). NONE of DD's former highschoolmates/friends work while in college. None. Well most attend Ivy League and simply have no time. They all come from wealthy families and do not have to work. We are middle class, not wealthy, we cannot afford fully funding anyone. DD had no option, plus she did not live at home or in dorms.

But i have to tell you that my SO fully funded older SD, she did nto work a day and she grew up very entitled and she is spoiled, she constantly expects material things and expects dad, Bm and in-laws to pay for most of her stuff. SO regrets spoiling her like that. Younger SD worked always, and worked many hours while in undegrad, and works now while in gard. and she is not materialistic, does not have expensive tastes and does not demand money.

i am not sure there is 100% correlation (they also have different personalities) but it is entirelly possible there is a connection.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2011 at 12:19PM
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