Help - How do I get young adult to pay board?

Sharon - posted on 09/14/2013 ( 3 moms have responded )

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I have an awkward situation with a stepson aged 21 soon to be 22. He is living at home in his 3rd year at Uni and works casually. The issue is that no matter how many times I speak to my hubby about him not paying for anything or not paying board, nothing is happening. He does not contribute to any household chores either. He is very opinionated and argumentative which makes it difficult to bring this up as it always turns ugly and I more often than not end up being the bad guy. We also have just recently been thru a very traumatic financial crisis and almost lost our home only being saved by getting $20k released from my superannuation. My hubby was very ill and in hospital for almost 3 months then went back to work only to loose his job 2 weeks later. He was unemployed for 12 months which started the ball rolling with our situation. Our situation is far from over and I feel that the stepson knowing about all of this should either start paying or move out and learn about the real costs of life, which is not what I want because I know that he could not afford it. We had asked him to pay $30 / week last year and he got his back up and decided to move into the grandparents home. He lasted for 2 months there as he was paying $100/week and had no Internet. Since coming back home not a cent has been paid. We cover the full cost of Internet, Foxtel with his own unit in his room at an extra cost to us of $15 /month. Enough is enough and I want something done but no matter if I say something to my hubby or the stepson it will get out of hand and very aggressive on everyone's behalf. I don't want to start arguments with my hubby but I don't know how to convince him to lay the law down NOW! If anyone has suggestions please post them, I would really appreciate it. I have just had enough and over this whole situation.

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Jodi - posted on 09/14/2013

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OK, firstly, why are you covering the cost of his internet and Foxtel in his room? I'd have cut that off long ago.

What you and hubby need to do is sit down and write up a rental/board agreement with him. It needs to be a proper contract between the two of you and your stepson and should include his responsibilities as well as his rights. Make sure you also have consequences in there as well. In that, make it clear that if he doesn't abide by his end of the agreement, then he must leave.

Unfortunately, it won't be possible without your husband's support, so make sure you have him on board with it as well.

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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 11/18/2013

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Actually, speaking from experience, the ONLY bill that doesn't go down when one kid moves out is the mortgage.

The heating (gas) bill goes down, the electric goes down, the water use goes down. All of my bills decreased but 1/4 when my son moved out. Not that I'm arguing, by any means, but yes, the bills DO go down, incrementally.

Heck, my kid (19) is working full time, schooling part time, on his own, fully paying his way, and he gets PISSED at me for not 'treating him as an adult' and allowing him to 'pay his own way'! (I purchase beef through my job, so generally order some for him as well, and don't charge him for it, and he's pissed off at me)

So, yes, this kid should be contributing to the house hold. 1/4 of the household expenses (or whatever's fair as divided by number of occupants in the home). Either that, or he's rent free, but he has no extras. No internet in his room, no phone, etc...

Mother - posted on 11/14/2013

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I'm kinda sitting on the fence here. You already admitted your step son couldn't afford to live on his own and he only works casually. So perhaps he isn't being bullheaded but can't afford to pay at the moment. I wouldn't give him extras like the internet in his room but if he wasn't there you would still incur these costs. If he runs a phone bill....he should pay. IF he wants special food....he should buy that. If he wants a car...he should pay for that. However thats where it ends for me. If my child is in University and only working sometimes I wouldn't make them pay anything except extras they incur. The heat and mortgage and etc aren't more because he is there.....so is there a bigger issue?? I hate to say it but maybe because its a step child.....you feel more strongly?

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