Should I ask my older child for help w/ bills?

Lisa - posted on 03/14/2011 ( 32 moms have responded )

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He is 20 years old, works part time, has finished graphic design classes and trying to get on his own feet. He is a great kid, no bad habits, does his own laundry and things, helps keep house, but just wondering if its ok, to ask for some help at this age, w/ say a water bill or something? thanks. :)

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Michele - posted on 03/21/2011

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Absolutely. It's another aspect of teaching them--when they were young we taught them how to be safe, when they were teenagers we taught them how to do the right thing when there were pressures to do the bad, and at 20 we teach them that being an adult requires paying the bills in a timely fashion. A nominal rent charge is fine, or contributions towards food, or the water bill, etc. Just consider it an extension of your parental teaching and you won't feel as weird about it.

Joanne - posted on 03/18/2011

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Hell yes! This will teach him that everything isn't handed to him. You have to pay your way in this world. Regardless, how good he is in the house. He still should offer to pay for something. Is he eating there too? If so he should pitch in for the cost of food.

Michele - posted on 03/17/2011

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I may be shot down for this comment but, Personally, After my having kids who lived at home, never picked up after themselves, didnt look for work ( maybe once a week), Wasnt trying to improve his situation....... hardly ever a thank you Mom for dinner...laundry etc. The way you are describing your son, he is deserving of a chance to set his foundation for a bit of independance. He sounds like he is grateful because he is helping around the house. As long as he isnt just TAKING he is worthy of a little help. At least until you see him taking advantage or becomes lazy and ungrateful. Of course if you NEED the help, that is a different story. If you are having promblems, like so many of us are right now, Then he should help a little.

Terri - posted on 03/15/2011

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When I turned 18, my parents told me that if I was going to continue to live at home, I was expected to pay rent. I think, at the time, it was something like $100/mth. I had a part-time job and was going to college just a few miles away. It was cheaper than having a roommate and definitely made me appreciate the value of a dollar!

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[deleted account]

helping out with the bills teaches a bit of responsibility I know by the sound of things you have been blessed with a responcible child but it dosnt hurt for then to know that you need there help although dont lay it on to thick my youngest was afraid to leave home incase we couldnt aford the bills he couldnt understand that these days three dont live as cheap as two and yes i did miss his contrubution for the first month but after that clean sailing so as I said ask for help

Dolly - posted on 07/15/2011

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Hello
God Blessed you with a wonderful child.
But its really o.k. to ask for a little money monthly.
If anything enough to cover his cost of food.
No big deal !!! maybe start with a 100.00 a month.
That is a reasonable amount.
But yes he should start contributing to the family money pot.

[deleted account]

If your son is living with you, there's no reason why he couldn't pitch in & help with the bills, even if it's half of the bill.

Shelli - posted on 03/28/2011

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At 19 living at home I had to pay the cable bill and make sure we always had milk in the house. My family had foster children of all ages so we had to have milk all the time. Hope this helps.

Shelli - posted on 03/28/2011

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At 19 living at home I had to pay the cable bill and make sure we always had milk in the house. My family had foster children of all ages so we had to have milk all the time. Hope this helps.

Faith - posted on 03/28/2011

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I think it's great your son is so good around the house, and showa such responsibility. But if he uses water and electricity, eats, ect. He should have already been contributing. And doing so voluntarally. But, a gentle reminder and making a date to show him the difference in your utilities and groceries is a good idea. I'm sure you have kept track of the differences. And if he blows his top or get fanatical then just calmly let him know how proud you are of him, but in the real world even the best tenents have to pay their utility bills.

Veronica - posted on 03/26/2011

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I think it dose not hurt to ask..he can only say no..you have nothing loose.he might surprise you...we hate to ask our children for help, but sometimes we have to do that..i hope it works out for you..i am in that boat also...stubin!!!

Esther - posted on 03/26/2011

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as a n 18 year old I was expected to help out. with the rent food utilities my son at 21 we had him start paying a small rent just enough for him to get used to the pratice and bugeting ect as a parent land lord they know they wont loose the roof over their heads so it is a "safe" learning experince but on they will apperciate later on when real world land lord expects the rent I would put it as "helping with" I would put it as you will be required to do this as an adult out on your own It will be much easer for you to save while at home. don't ask for 1/2 of every thing but if they say run up the phone bill make them responsible to pay for their charges. and definiatly set a $ amount for room and board that incompases every thing yet wont feel to them like they are being milked for the small income the now produce.

[deleted account]

most definatly ask you seem to have a very responsible young man you can put it to him and ask for some help financially as well as the help he gives phisicly you lucked out with this one but if he knows that finances are tight he may even offer to help but ask anyway it wont hurt and it may even give him a sence of pride to know he is helping

Mary-louise - posted on 03/24/2011

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yes it is ok to ask your your son/daughter for financial help if they stay with you and earn their keep. I have a 28yr old girl, who has a job and often asks us for help, so yes it is ok to ask for help from your child. They will be pleased to help out. My daughter helps us out any time she can/vice versa... we have a great bond with her and she dosen't mind, or though she has her own life with her partner and work friends....my daughter is a very loving understanding person and we love her to bits....so don't be shy to ask..

Pamelia - posted on 03/24/2011

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I am a single mother of two. My kids were always involved with our tight budget, grocery shopping and paying bills. My money, but they knew fully what we had and what we didn't have.

When they got their first job (one at 16 and the other at 18) I told them their job was to do well in school; however, because they knew the budget drill, they felt compelled to contribute. So, one took the water bill and the other took the gas bill. They weren't much, but now they are on their own and value the skill of budgeting and paying bills.

No, it is not out of line for you to request help from your adult child with any contribution to your household.

Trinda - posted on 03/24/2011

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Absolutely!! You don't want to overcharge but he needs to know that when he leaves he will have his own water bill to pay. I understand you want him to get on his own feet but you have to be able to stay on your own feet too!! Sounds like you raised a great young man, have an open and honest conversation and I am pretty sure you will be pleasantly surprised. Good luck!!

Tiffany - posted on 03/23/2011

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To me it depends entirely on his circumstances. It sounds as if he is working at getting on his feet in life and you don't want to interfere with that. On the other hand, learning financial responsibility is part of that. You know best whether your son can afford to pull a bit of his weight financially around the house and still maintain the focus he needs on building his future. If he can, by all means suggest that it's time that he contribute...but I wouldn't present it (or think of it) as "helping" but as a step toward becoming partially self-supporting.

Alba - posted on 03/22/2011

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There is nothing bad to ask for a portion of bills, Im sure if he is smart he will undestand that this is a normal process to help him grown up, there nothing wrong and im pretty sure is not about money but the way that you can start teaching him about cost of living everywhere that he goes. He is an smart boy and will undertand you way to be with him.

Karen - posted on 03/22/2011

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Yes you should. After all if it wasnt for you he wouldnt be able to do anything. He needed your support to get where he is today and if he is still living with you then its time he stood up and took on some of the responsibilities to help keep his own support. It isnt up to you to continue to support him now. It doesnt need to be a great deal, just 1 or2 small bills will help out immensely. Choose one that includes him like the phone bill or groceries or if he has access to a credit card let him make those payments or a partial payment on one or all of them. He will still have his own money to spend and it will help you greatly.

Wendy - posted on 03/21/2011

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I dont see why not. I am a single mom of a 20 yr old boy and a 15 yr old girl. My son pays for his own cell phone and his own portion of Lifetime Fitness and he only works part time...so I charge him $50/week rent.....they have to learn they have responsabilities.... Just my thoughts.

Michelle - posted on 03/21/2011

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yes. Give him a sense of responsibility. Give him the smallest bill in the house then ecalate to a larger one. This will show him a little independence and prepare him to be on his own. Congratulatios on him being a terrific child. That is a rarity in today's world. Keep up the good work.

Cheryl - posted on 03/18/2011

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absolutely, with the older kids when they have lived at home after the age of 18 they were expected to help with bills, the best case senerio was they were given the responsibility of a bill such as you suggested. It taught them responsibility and the knowledge that bills come and you have to go pay them, about late fees if due dates are missed etc.. It prepares them for life. Unfortunately we (as a blended family plus now adult kids of choice that had joined the family along the way) had some that we had to just get rent from cause I couldn't be sure they would pay the bill and wouldn't risk getting the utility cut off.

[deleted account]

yes I think you should mention it and of course depending on how much he is making....start with a small amount and explain to him that when he starts to make more then he can give you more and let him know its to help you out to make it easier on you.

Vicki - posted on 03/15/2011

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I definitely think you should ask for something. My kids lived at home too - one still does. They both work part time and I asked for room and board and a bit extra for internet which we put in for their benefit and they pay their share of the cell phone bill because they have a phone on my plan. They were glad too. If I didn't need the money I kept it and would be glad to give it to them if they really needed something but haven't so far.

Wanda - posted on 03/15/2011

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I started working at 12, my mom and dad were divorced and my mom and I lived in an apartment. My dads child support was enough to help with the bills however it didn't give us any extra. I was making $35 a week doing chores at the beauty salon that my mom worked in. I gave her $25 of that per week, it almost paid half of the rent so we got to go out to eat and have entertainment and extra nicesties. My mom did not ask me to do this. I feel if you are living in someones house parents excetera it doesn't give you the right for a free ride, you would not get that deal if you rented a place. My child is 10 and she uses her found parking lot change she finds to help buy her big WANTS and she likes to pay the tip at some resturants and buy her own lip balm and stuff. It is imparitive that we teach our children to respect us and to pay for what they need, if not we have done them a dis-serice and we teach them that being a leach is perfectly okay and we are just carpets to be walked upon.

Sandra - posted on 03/15/2011

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My daughter is 20 and she has been helping out with the bills since she started working at age 16. We had no choice in the matter but I actually do not regret it one bit because she is smart with her money, except when she gives it away, lol. If you don't need the help, then I think I would ask for a contribution for something they really enjoy having, such as internet access or cable. Certainly they should be paying for their own cellphones, car insurance and such things that are just for them. Or maybe they could just cook a great meal once a week or treat you all to dinner out sometimes. But if you want to keep them around, it might backfire on you, so be careful.

Sandra - posted on 03/14/2011

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I think it is a good idea, I should have done it a long time ago. I have a 25 year old son who hasn't left home yet and a 28 year old daughter who just moved back home 6 months ago. I told them last week they would have to start paying a portion of the bills and they freaked out. I was going to secretly stash what they would be paying into a savings for each of them and gift it back to them once they where ready to get their own places, but I might just keep it with the attitudes I received. : )

Sandra - posted on 03/14/2011

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I think it is a good idea, I should have done it a long time ago. I have a 25 year old son who hasn't left home yet and a 28 year old daughter who just moved back home 6 months ago. I told them last week they would have to start paying a portion of the bills and they freaked out. I was going to secretly stash what they would be paying into a savings for each of them and gift it back to them once they where ready to get their own places, but I might just keep it with the attitudes I received. : )

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