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Rent debate

The discussion of whether adult children living at home should pay rent is one more and more families may have to confront.

Data seems to suggest that parents overwhelmingly do not support the idea of charging their adult kids monthly for the privilege of living with them. About 85% of parents who responded to a survey conducted by LendingTree said they would welcome their kids to move back in with them, and most (73%) wouldn’t charge rent. However, more than half said their kids would need to get a job and help pay some of the bills.

Adults continuing to live in their childhood home doesn’t appear to be all that rare, either. In 2022, around 31% of Americans aged 18-34 were living with their parents, according to Census Bureau data.

Pew Research Center found that 36% of Americans view adult children living with their parents as “bad for society,” while 16% said it was good and 47% said it didn’t make a difference.

Either way, the rising cost of living, especially for housing, may be a factor that keeps adults from seeking shelter away from their parents and delays them from moving out for longer. That means more young adults may have to contribute to their household given the economic trends.

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Financial lessons

Wherever you stand on the debate about charging your adult children rent to live with you, it’s ultimately the goal of many parents to teach their children how to be financially independent.

Many practical lessons can easily be learned while your children are still living at home, where parents can show them real-world examples. It’s never too early — or too late — to offer your children lessons about finance.

Teaching them how to create a budget will give them one of the most effective tools against going into debt. The Archies say they taught Kylee the envelope system — or what kids these days are calling “cash stuffing” — to keep her spending under control.

Combine budgeting with lessons on how to save money, and suddenly your children are capable of developing long-term financial goals or building themselves a cushion to fall back on in case of an emergency.

Eventually, you may also want to introduce them to investing, which nowadays can be done using as little as the spare change in one’s pocket.

Children may grow into adults, but parents never stop being parents. Any financial lessons you teach your children can not only help set them up for success, but also be passed on to the next generation, and so on.

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Vishesh Raisinghani Freelance Writer

Vishesh Raisinghani is a freelance contributor at MoneyWise. He has been writing about financial markets and economics since 2014 - having covered family offices, private equity, real estate, cryptocurrencies, and tech stocks over that period. His work has appeared in Seeking Alpha, Motley Fool Canada, Motley Fool UK, Mergers & Acquisitions, National Post, Financial Post, and Yahoo Canada.

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