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It is Time for My Adult Children to Adult

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History Buff has now been working his full time job for a month now. But his “adult” obligations have not increased at all. He continues to pay his cell phone and auto insurance bill through me as he’s on my accounts. But otherwise, he manages his own monies and does not contribute to the household.

Sea Cadet was sent home early from his “year with Americorp” due to the virus and has been seeking employment of any kind. But he is hoping to stay in his trained profession of EMS or emergency management. Meanwhile, he has resumed his duties as volunteer firefighter is now taking the Fire I course to become a firefighter. I have been covering his cell phone and car insurance bill while he has been serving with Americorp after his savings ran out and am continuing to do so while he finds work. He gets a bi-weekly stipend from Americorp and he uses it for his living – gas for his car, oil changes, etc for now.

Twins 13th Birthday – two weeks after they were placed with me as foster kids. I cannot believe how far we have come!

The Next Phase Towards Adulthood

After much research and speaking with trusted advisors, I have decided it is time for the twins to take the next step into adulthood. And frankly, this has probably caused me more sleepless nights and questioning of my parenting than most decisions I have made…so I am certainly not sure I am right. But this is what we are doing.

  • The twins will now pay $250 per month in rent. This will help cover the household bills, the groceries and such. All of which they contribute to. They will still be expected to do weekly chores as we all do to maintain our living environment. And they will continue to pay their own cell phone and auto insurance bills through me.
  • When their phone contracts end, they are to evaluate moving onto their own plan. It will be their decision if they want to stay under my account or move out onto their own. But either way, they will begin paying the service provider rather than me. And if they do remain under me, they understand that it is a 2 year commitment.
  • They must both begin preparing and researching moving out. At this time, the goal for that is next Spring. This time period was chosen to 1) give them plenty of time and 2) free me to make a move of my own after Princess graduates and heads off to college (assuming Gymnast chooses to remain with his dad.)

One more caveat, if either of them decides to return to school full time, they are always welcome to live at home, wherever that may be, I will do my best to help support them. But at this point, neither of them is planning to pursue additional schooling at this time.

These changes kick in for History Buff beginning in May. And for Sea Cadet in June. (If Sea Cadet does go to Virginia to work at the summer camp, he will not have to pay rent while he is away, but he will resume paying his other bills as soon as he has a full time job which we anticipate will be any day now.)

What do you think? Have you had to “phase” your adult children into adulthood and out of the house and your financial care? It’s a foreign concept for me and my siblings as we were all anxious to move out. And when we did live with our parents in adulthood, there was a specific purpose and time period already in place. Again, I don’t know if this is the right move, but it’s what I’ve come up with.

 

 


65 Comments

  • Reply Cynthia |

    I’m sure others with older kids can advise to the quality of the plan. Just my .02 NO WAY would I add any sort of change, disruption, stress or pressure to my kids lives during a pandemic. We will likely be living with restrictions through 2022 so some of these expectations may not be realistic right now.

  • Reply Anonymous |

    The twins should not be expected to cover 75% of your rent. You also just said History Buff is a full time student. Why this decision now when the economy is at the lowest point possible?

    • Reply Hope |

      Actually, History Buff has dropped out of school since it went completely online. He had dropped his online classes prior to the pandemic and then the remaining ones when everything went online. And at this point, has decided not to return to school for the time being.
      While we may be labeling this rent, it was explained as living expenses including: rent, utilities, groceries. When that is considered, the nominal amount they are paying is not even a fifth of the costs. But enough to help them begin to budget better for when they are on their own, which is the goal of this exercise.

      • Reply Annie |

        Some people don’t do well with online learning. It’s good that he came to that realization and quit before he got put on academic probation. He made a wise financial decision to not enroll in classes when he knew the learning style did not suit him. Perhaps he has come to the realization that college is not for him. It’s a wise financial decision to not continue if that is the case. He works full time at Home Depot. You are punishing him for making good financial decisions regarding school.

        He is working full time and enrolled in the company’s health insurance. It sounds like he is adulting just fine.

        • Reply Hope |

          I am not punishing him…

          But my thought, as I imagine ingrained from my own parents, is that if you are not in school or pursuing something to better yourself as an adult, then it is time to be working to be independent. And paying a small amount toward your cost of living is not punishment, it’s a baby step to real life.

          I don’t imagine I would have been upset about the school situation as much if he had been honest with me, but for weeks he told me he was doing all he needed to do for school…and then got caught when the professor called me to make sure he was ok after being AWOL after the transition. I have no problem with him not going to school. But if that’s not the next step…then another baby step toward adulting is.

  • Reply Ashley |

    I would absolutely never charge my children rent or ask them to move out. This home will always be their home.

    • Reply Hope |

      This used to be my perspective as well. But I believe this is a key learning component to help them be more competent and financially responsible.

  • Reply Emily N. |

    This all seems a little excessive, especially with all the uncertainty resulting from the pandemic. I don’t have kids myself, but I don’t think this is the time to push such big changes on them. I don’t think there’s anything wrong in charging a nominal fee for rent, but $250 seems kind of steep, especially since they don’t even each have their own room if I recall. Moving out also seems pretty difficult right now. My husband and i were wanting to move, but all plans are on hold until restrictions are lifted and the public health risk is substantially reduced. I’m also unclear why they’d need to commit to being on your phone plan for two years. Again, I think it’s okay to ask for some kind of commitment, but that seems like a pretty long time. Even the Post Office only makes me commit to my PO box for 6 months at a time.

    I fully support you wanting to give your legally adult kids more adult responsibilities, but I think you’re going a bit too hard on them, especially in the middle of a pandemic that will in all likelihood result in an economic recession.

    • Reply Hope |

      It’s a business plan, my phone, so a two year commitment is normal. When I drop below 5 lines, the costs will change.
      I guess I should caveat, the 2 years commitment only comes into play if they take advantage of the business features, like a reduced rate upgrade on their phone.

      • Reply Cwaltz |

        I have had 4 adult children. The oldest two are adults who live outside my home somewhat successfully(which does not mean there have not been bumps). The way I handled them transitioning was to charge them “rent” that was put into a savings account for them. My kids paid\ pay $250 every 2 weeks\ $500 a month. They did not have any other bills though( we did not charge them for basic phone use.) They could not touch this money without discussion. That means this money was not used for takeout or video games, the money was savings for transition to adulthood. The money saved was used to buy a first car in cash with them responsible for insurance. When the first 2 left home (at 22) they each had over $5000 in savings. I have since fine tuned the plan since my younger 2 do not have 401ks. My younger 2 each have $2500 money market accounts (the youngest is adding $50 a month to this) and the older of those 2 did not buy a car so he has $12,000 in liquid savings and he added an Apple phone to bills. The older one will hopefully be looking to move out in the next year(he turned 23 during pandemic). The younger is only 20 so technically he should be formulating a plan in next 2 years. When he does it will be with sufficient savings to succeed should he encounter a setback or two.

  • Reply Mary |

    Hope,
    I have been reading this blog for several years, and I just want to say thank you for sharing your story. I think it is reasonable to ask for them to contribute, if they have the income coming in. If they don’t, then maybe they have to contribute more “time” to the upkeep of the place (chores, etc.). I think it is truly a gift you are giving them, to learn to stand on their own two feet. Many adults never learn these skills. I would do so with them fully involved in the process, but I think it is great to start coming up with a plan. Pandemic or not, life happens, and this is a safe way for them to experience that without losing their foundation. Thank you again!

  • Reply Canan Onat |

    Ditto what everybody said. This definitely is not a good time. It is extra stress for them. I have also been thinking if Princess were in their shoes, would you have done the same? I know you will say “yes, absolutely” but, I doubt that. Let them save money for themselves instead of getting their money to cover the household expenses. I know some families do charge a small rent and accumulate that money only to give their kids back, when they are ready to move out as additional funds. I cannot imagine my parents doing this to me.

    • Reply Hope |

      IF they were saving their monies to move out, buy a car (History Buff) etc. then I would totally agree.
      But as I told both of them, I am not a maid or here to support grown men working full time. This is a compromise that will help them become more responsible.
      I love my boys, but it is my job to teach them how to adult. I will not always be here.
      And as for “if this was Princess” – I don’t know. But I know this won’t be the case with her, she is itching to leave the nest, just as I and my siblings were in our high school years. There’s just a significant difference in their formative years and level of independence.

  • Reply Margann34 |

    I think it is perfectly reasonable to ask adult children to contribute to living expenses. It is a way of teaching them adult responsibilities and money management skills before they have to shoulder the full weight of those responsibilities themselves. I also think that right now, with so much economic uncertainty, it is not the greatest time to set hard deadlines such as move out dates. Use this as a teaching experience, be flexible on end results and make sure to emphasize that they are learning skills that they will need when they eventually do move out on their own. And of course, show them some grace in the process if they cannot pay the set amount due to circumstances beyond their control. My parenting philosophy : It is not my job to do everything for my kids. It IS my job to teach them to do for themselves. Also, make sure that you have the same set of expectations for all of your children.

    • Reply Hope |

      Completely agree.
      I sat the twins down to have the conversation together so History Buff in particular did not feel singled out.
      Expectation are different for each, but terms are the same. If the world were to open back up, Sea Cadet will leave in June to work at the summer camp where he has a full time job as camp nurse for the summer.
      If not, he has several full time job offers as well as part time FEMA commitments.

  • Reply Laura |

    Unemployment is high, businesses are closing, and you expect a kid who can’t find a full time job to start paying rent? It’s not his fault he’s not working. Ease up until the pandemic is over unless you want to alienate them.

    • Reply Hope |

      Actually, no I don’t expect anyone not working to pay rent. But I do expect them to be motivated to find work to be able to contribute.
      Playing Xbox all night and sleeping all day is not something I am willing to support, even if there is a pandemic, especially where there is work to be had.

      • Reply Laura |

        I mean you do though, you said he doesn’t have a job and is seeking employment of any kind. You also said he will start paying rent. In case you haven’t noticed the economy is in the toilet, find a job is a lot easier said then done right now.

        • Reply Hope |

          He has several offers on the table. All related to his medical training, which is an essential job now and will most likely continue to be. He is also working towards completing his Fire 1 certification and will then be eligible to work as a firefighter.
          He also has a full time offer for the summer if the camp re-opens.

  • Reply SMS |

    I find this disturbing. From the figures you provided, your rent is $650. Why do the boys have to pay most of it (I am assuming you want to charge each one $250)? Plus their expenses….in the middle of a pandemic. You make it sound as if they were irresponsible, but one is working full-time and the other already has training as an EMT and is becoming a firefighter. That doesn’t sound irresponsible to me.
    Also, it is dangerous to do any work nowadays that involves contact with people. I hope HB wears a mask at work! If Sea Cadet begins to work as an EMT he will be in terrible danger. Please don’t put additional stress on them by setting a move-out date.

  • Reply Anonymous |

    your harsh stance on not assisting “adult children” is ironic considering the immense assistance you’ve needed in the past few years yourself (aka help from your father with your home, help from a friend with the trailer, help from a family member with your car loan…I could go on and on)

    • Reply Hope |

      I think helping people who are helping themselves or have fallen is different then failing to teach your adult children to be responsible adults. Asking them to contribute to their living expenses is not a punishment, it’s part of the real world.

  • Reply Melissa |

    The way you change your mind and plans at a whim is disturbing. I think you thought people would be on your side on this. Guess what you are a shitty parent.

  • Reply Meghan1227 |

    Perhaps if we saw a post that was a summation of monthly expenses, instead of a forecast of what you are budgeting for the month, it would be easier to understand how this decision makes sense at $250 per month.

    I also only recall that your rent is $650 per month so I am sure you can understand where this number could sound unfair.

    I would also be curious to hear what your plans are for this extra money? As a reader posted above, I also have heard of parents collecting rent from their adult children who are not in school but with the intention of returning it as a safety cushion when they move out; effectively launching them from the nest with a safety net.

  • Reply Mindy Emerson |

    Wait…you said on April 16th in a reply to your stimulus monies post that History Buff was in school full time and working full time? What happened in the last 5 days? Now he’s not in school at all?

    I don’t disagree with your young adult children needing to assume more responsibility (whether that be financial or in the form of more chores), but the timing seems off in terms of imposing strict requirements given the current state of the economy. Yes, there are potential jobs/offers on the horizon for them, but if anyone should know about the perils of best-laid plans, it should be you given the challenges you’ve had over the last 4 or 5 years. I don’t know…it just seems more self-serving to me and less about empowering them.

    • Reply Hope |

      He evidently decided to not do the work. I didn’t know, as he was telling me he had started when they went online. It was only after his teachers contacted me to make sure he was okay that I found out he was not doing school.

      Perhaps it is a little selfish to not want to support two grown men while they laze around and play xbox all day. But I also want them to realize that a minimum wage job, even full time, with no growth potential or skillset will make life very hard. This is definitely more about a learning lesson vs self serving…but may still be a little selfish.

      • Reply B. Small |

        The disdain and venom you have for your SONS is shining through in your responses. I hope they don’t read this blog to see how you truly feel about them. Anyone who has seen the way you treat them vs your other children know you would never do this to Princess. Given how much your family continues to help you, I’m shocked you don’t see how you are setting them up for failure.

        • Reply Hope |

          My family continues to help me??? Interesting perspective.
          And disdain and venom, not at all, desire for them to grow up and be responsible, independent adults…yes!
          And Princess is 6 years younger than they are and a completely different person. I treat all my kids with love but different because they are different and have different needs, goals and so on.

          • Laura |

            Yes, your family continues to help you. They loaned you money for a car, interest free, and didn’t expect payments for several months. They paid the first half of Princess’ tuition. You can make whatever rules you want in your house but don’t act like you are standing on your own two feet yourself.

            You ARE speaking very disparaging of your older sons in these comments. You just called them lazy a couple comments up.

          • Hope |

            Those “gifts” were just that. But believe me, I am standing on my own two feet. Those were neither sought or asked for, they were gifts.

            And as for the twins, they would tell you that I have let them know my thoughts on their habits and path right now…lazy is accurate. I would imagine many parents have seen their children go through similar phases, but it doesn’t mean I love them less. It just means, well, that they are being lazy. Not that they can’t change or that I am not going to “help” them make some different decisions.

          • Lily |

            I’m just going to come right out and say it, Hope- it is very, VERY obvious that you treat your adopted children worse than you treat your biological children, and very obvious that Princess is your favorite. It’s as if you think the twins should be grateful for being adopted- as if they could help the circumstances they were born into! As if it’s somehow their fault that the pandemic has made it hard to find work! And for what it’s worth, the twins sound like really good kids who turned out well despite spending time in foster care and despite the contemptible way you treat them.

          • Hope |

            Worse, no. Differently, yes.
            Any parent knows that each of their children are different, with different needs, different goals and thus need to be treated differently in some respects.
            And yes, there is a 6 year age gap between the twins and the younger kids so there are differences.
            Princess and Gymnast would say I am, and always have been more lenient with the twins, which is true.
            They were drinking energy drinks and soda when they moved in, I certainly wasn’t letting the younger two do that.
            The twins were allowed to walk around our neighborhood unsupervised, they were almost 5’8″ and 13 years old, the younger kids were not allowed to do that.
            In VA, we lived within walking distance to the twins’ public school and they did not participate in any after school activities (their choice.) While Princess has a 20 minute commute to her school and it’s up in the mountains so quite isolated if she breaks down. In addition, she is in 6 clubs that require a significant time commitment.
            I am no less proud of the twins or excited to see what their future holds, but they are on different paths and have very different needs and motivations…and all I can do as a parent is push and encourage and teach them the best I know how.
            The adoption/biology of my kids makes not the slightest impact on that and all of my kids would tell you that…some with chagrin.

          • Laura |

            You can try to spin it anyway you want Hope, but “gifts” mean family and friends were helping you.

  • Reply Nan |

    Actually, I think you’re doing the right thing. I’ve raised 3 kids and pretty much had your philosophy. If they are a full time college student, I would never charge room/board but since they aren’t, IMO they should be paying expenses. For one thing it teaches them how to budget and also, that living on a minimum wage salary won’t cut it without roommates. If they don’t like your ‘rules,’ they are free to move out. Is HB getting full time work at Home Depot? I know a couple of folks who worked there and never got over 30 hours so that is something he needs to think about- sometimes another job is necessary to bay the bills as we all know!

  • Reply Kari Echols |

    I think you should save the rent/living expenses they pay you and give it to them as a gift when they move out.
    If i was in your situation I would not be pushing anyone to get a job right now. I just think it’s too soon to be out.

  • Reply C |

    Charging rent makes them tenants, and tenants have rights. Do you really think $250 is a fair price to not even have their own rooms? You also mentioned that it’s also for utilities and groceries. Do the twins get a say in the groceries you buy? If I’m funding something, then I should get a say.

    • Reply Hope |

      They actually both have their own rooms…Princess and Gymnast are sharing a room.
      And yes, everyone in the house contributes to “what will we eat” – it’s a weekly ask.

        • Reply Hope |

          No, History Buff still has his own bedroom. Gymnast moved into Princess room.
          We converted the living room/ my office back into Sea Cadet’s bedroom. It has a door and everything. He uses the hall closet for his clothes which is right outside their bathroom.

  • Reply DM |

    Going against the grain here: I’m 100% in support of this. $250 each for a roof/groceries/utilities is not a lot. They should be taking up more responsibility at this point. I know the economy is tough right now but they seem to be employable and you’re providing some support while getting their toes in the water of adulthood!

  • Reply Ellen |

    I agree with this to a point. I agree that they should be contributing if they are working and not in school. However, I do not agree with the amount you are charging them. Your rent is $650. You have stated that there’s not enough rooms in the house for everyone; So they don’t have their own rooms. You have said that you don’t have cable of any sorts or any other extra expenses. So that would make it light, gas, and maybe water depending on your lease. I would figure that total (if even) those come to about $250. That’s $800 in home expenses. Then groceries. You do a lot of no spend months and eating out of the pantry. I take it that means you tend to over buy/spend at the store regularly. It’s not fair to those boys to have to cover more than half of your living expenses.
    Here is what I did with my kids. All of them paid their cell phone bills the moment they got jobs; even part time. Those that lived at home while in college had jobs along with their schooling. I gave them each a bill to pay. My oldest paid the light bill. My second oldest paid the cable. They would also buy their own food aside from what I bought or they would contribute to the groceries $25/each/wk. My next two decided that they were going away for school. When they are/were home on breaks, they have their temporary jobs. They contribute to food and pay a $50 rent for their room. My youngest is still in high school. She works part time when she doesn’t have her sports or clubs. She uses her money to pay for her gas and phone. Anything extra, she saves.
    Like you, I gave them all a time to be out of my house. But that was not needed.
    While their dad and I were charging them “rent” we were also showing them how to be smart with their money. How each new paycheck was a new start. We would have them take any left over money from their last check and put it into a savings that they would not touch. When they got to $1000 in savings, they would open a CD and earn more interest on their money. They loved to watch that amount grow. When my oldest left my house, it was to move into his own 6 unit apartment building. Not only did he not have to pay rent, but he had tenants paying his mortgage.

    All I’m saying is that you have seen and lived with the financial errors you have made. I would like to say you have learned from them but I can’t say that 100% as you keep doing things that make people want to shake some sense into you. Teach them to not do the same. Teach them how to not get into debt. Teach them to save. Teach them to invest. Teach them the true value of a dollar and how to be successful at making more. Their age says they are adults, but some of their actions have shown otherwise. There’s still a lot of immaturity there. Think of yourself at their age, you were quick to want to be out of your parents’ home but we’re you truly financially prepared to do so? Would you be in the financial web you are in now if you had been prepared to move out when you did? There’s only so long that you can blame others for your shortcomings. I wish you luck in this.

  • Reply Klm |

    I’m generally ok with this plan. If the kids are working, they should contribute some amount. If they’re in school, I think it’s fine to support them since going to school should be their job.
    A thought: maybe you could charge them $100 and require them to save $150. This would help them build up a nest egg for potentially moving out in a year, as well as helping them learn some good financial habits.

  • Reply Jazz |

    I have some thoughts on this as I’m actually in a similar situation. We’ve supported my family for several years and have tried to cut ties several times with no success. Earlier this year (actually late last year), before the pandemic fully set in, we set a target move-out date of Nov. 1 for my brother who has lived with us for several years. He works in retail, has lived paycheck to paycheck, and has no real desire to pursue anything further as he works to maintain his lifestyle and nothing more. With everything that is happening, I would absolutely not put these restrictions in place now, but since they were already agreed upon prior to COVID-19, we are sticking with the deadline.

    My husband and I are also both aware that something may happen that may change the plans, but since my brother is fortunate enough to still be working at this time, and I’m expecting in the fall, we are all committed to ensuring he is out by the target date.

    Someone else suggested putting aside the money paid for ‘rent’ to be given back as a startup EF or whatever, and that is what we had done with half of what he had paid (half did go into our budget as we were feeding him and paying his cell phone bill). I think setting aside some, or all of their ‘rent’ money, would be a more generous plan for introducing your boys to adulthood than just adding the money to your budget. I also wouldn’t tell them, so that they’re not reliant on it and still save an EF on their own. Rather, it would be a surprise gift, and hopefully, one that they will not waste.

  • Reply Laura |

    I think it’s disturbing how quickly you’ve gone from saying is was great to have all your kids home, and all the projects they were helping you with, to calling them lazy grown men who need to pay rent and move out.

    • Reply Hope |

      I love having them home and I appreciate their help with projects.
      But yes, they still need to contribute and begin to “adult” I don’t think the two are mutually exclusive.

  • Reply Beks |

    I’ve got your back in this Hope. I bounced back home after college for a while and my parents asked for money to contribute to food/rent/etc. I was an adult. Adults pay bills. It was only $200/month (15 years ago) but it was a good lesson.

  • Reply Anonymous |

    how will your son pay you expenses, save for himself to eventually move out and pay his medical bills for his emergency surgery? You are just setting them up for financial failure

  • Reply Sheila Abbott |

    I am totally in this with you Hope! The reason is a very similar experience. I am gathering this from your statement that “Grown Adults can’t sit around and play Xbox all day.” Both of my older girls moved out over $50 a week rent. One has since moved back in and out again. I will help and love my children all the time but I am not working and letting you sit here. You are totally right in this decision. I do think that a little more information like the fact that he stopped online classes would make it a little less harsh!

  • Reply Shanna |

    I think this is a smart idea. Timing is a little nutty, but I agree that grown men capable of working should be and not be sitting around all day. Im not sure about your small town, but in my larger suburban area there are a lot of places hiring for grocery stores, delivery, etc. What about putting them in one room to share and give the younger kids their own space. Opposite gender teen sharing a room is awkward Im sure. Another thought is that they “pay” a percentage of their income up to $250 as long as they are working the max hours available to them. Hope clearly adores her children and having them start to take on more adult roles doesn’t mean they aren’t welcome back in the house. I have seen first hand what allowing an adult to languish in a home for years with no responsibility does with relatives. It isn’t pretty.

    • Reply Hope |

      There are reasons we are rooming the way we are; a big reason is that Gymnast plans to return to his dad’s at the end of the summer, so he doesn’t need a permanent space.
      In addition, I have to consider daily living, sleeping habits, cleanliness and personalities.
      When all this first came up, Gymnast was to be staying with my Grandmother. Then everyone would have some semblance of privacy. But she was moved into the nursing home we had to make some decisions.
      If/when travel is allowed, Gymnast will most likely go to Texas to my parents for part of the summer, again, returning us to a semblance of normal. But again, waiting to see what happens.

  • Reply Alice |

    I only support this plan if you follow through in a few years and do the same for your ‘real’ kids. It seems to me that you are way more lenient on the younger two, and much harsher on the two you adopted. They’ve driven beater cars, paid their own insurance… and then you bought an almost brand new car to share with daughter. It doesn’t make sense.

    • Reply Hope |

      Ha, that’s so funny, as all the kids would tell you the complete opposite.
      And they are all my ‘real’ kids…and they would tell you that too. There is absolutely no doubt in any of their minds that I consider them all equal in that sense and love them all tremendously.
      And I will certainly hold the younger two to the same standards…and they all know it.

  • Reply Margann34 |

    I disagree. I think providing all financial means to young adults is actually setting them up for financial failure in the future. They need a financial reality check. Housing, food, utilities, and yes even medical bill are all a fact of adult life. They are at the point in life where they need to learn to budget and manage their money to pay those expenses. I think it is even more important for the twins as Hope is their only support system. If something were to happen to Hope (God Forbid) or if she lost her job again, the twins would be thrust into the real world with no preparation. The other kids have their dad/extended family for support. Launching young adults into the real world without the proper skills is what is cruel/bad parenting. Having them pay living expenses is an important step in gaining those skills. Also I think it is important for young adults to have a goal or sense of purpose/direction. It is important for their mental well being.

    • Reply Hope |

      Yes!

      Although after our discussion about this, a couple of days later, History Buff came up with this (and I laughed because I know he is serious. I’ve called them and they now call themselves the “hovercraft” when it comes to me. They are constantly checking in on where I am, just come to stand over me, etc. It’s part of their connection to me and we all enjoy it…but it is part of my concern.)

      Anyways, History Buff told me that when I move and buy my forever place, he knows I want a little land, that he’s going to buy a storage shed and make himself a tiny house in my yard and live there…and I would not put it past him at all. At all.

      • Reply Debtor |

        Hope I don’t thinjf you should respond anymore to the comments on which kids you “love” more. These people don’t know you and for anyone to make such bold statements when u post at most 5 paragraphs a couple of months is absurd.

        I think u have ur head in the clouds about finances a lot of times and u are not the most self aware but I could never presume to tell you about how you feel. Nobody even remotely knows anything about your relationship with ur kids so they r not qualified to speak

  • Reply Anonymous |

    The way you speak about the twins and treat them so differently than Princess and Gymnast, I certainly hope they DO move out immediately. If you are paying only $650 for a 3 bedroom home, they should be able to find a small apartment for the $500 you plan to charge them. I’ve been following since you started blogging here and its been clear since day one that you treat them differently. Asking them to contribute is not unreasonable, but the way you’ve spoken about them in the comment section confirms that you do view them differently.

    • Reply Hope |

      Of course I view them differently…they are grown men, have completed high school, etc.
      It does not mean I love them less.
      But yes, their needs are different, their long term goals are different and their talents are different. So they are treated differently, but not less then.
      Don’t be confused by that.

  • Reply Cwaltz |

    I don’t think your number is unreasonable since $250 for rent, utilities and food is way more reasonable than many are recognizing. If I split rent 4 ways with Hope accounting for 1\2 since she has 2 minor children(2 of them equal to one adult) it works out to $162 per person. Splitting her $300 monthly utility bill for a month works out to $75. Splitting her $433 food bill works out to $108. 162+108+75=$345 so essentially she is charging them less than many are considering it they were to go outside the home if sharing with someone other than mom. Even counting Gymnast and Princess and dividing by 5 people you come up with $270. My larger concern is that if this is utilized to help them understand adulthood that perhaps not breaking things down in the way I just did and saying you are giving them a discount with the understanding they start saving for their deposit that this experiment may not work out the way you intend it with them still not understanding that things like groceries don’t appear magically and you have some control over things like utilities so for Gosh sake turn off the lights! Additionally if you are not preparing them in terms of creditworthiness they may have problems renting without a cosigner. The reality is most places require you make 3 times their rent. For example, if HB makes 480 ($12 x 40 hours)a week or $1920 a month. His rental would be required to be no more than $640 without a cosigner. In addition to that he would need a deposit. My question is somewhat personal and you do not have to answer it online but you should ask yourself…….History Buff left home and then came back because it was really hard. What has changed or what are you doing to make him feel differently or prepare him for “really hard?” Does he understand how to budget in different buckets with his income? Does he have an envelope to save for medical and understand that being sick is a double whammy because often you lose income while sick and incurring bills? Is he budgeting for things like car maintenance or is he going to have to rob Peter to pay Paul if the car needs new tires?
    Does he know how to manage variable expenses like groceries or utilities which can often provide savings into a tight budget when expenses crop up? What was it about independence he found very hard? I suspect based on what you have said that he did not come home simply because he wants to play x box but because he a) only had a job with minimal income and b) he found paying bills with that and without an adequate safety net challenging(budget issues). How can you change that so the next time he heads out he feels confident he can weather challenging and others also feel that way(creditworthiness denoting responsible bill payer)?

    • Reply Anonymous |

      You’re asking a person who is unable to budget and dig herself out of debt after many many years to teach her children to be financially smart. Not gonna happen. Also, I can appreciate your math and that would be totally reasonable in a roommate type of situation – not in a family of 5 sharing a small 3 bedroom rental. One of the twins is using the living room as a bedroom.

      • Reply Cwaltz |

        Your first line is why I think it’s okay. She is trying to teach her children to become financially smart. Additionally while her living room isn’t ideal it is how I pointed out less expensive than any alternative he would have at this moment. Something financially savvy people know and learn is the quicker your learning curve for understanding financial soundness, the better your options become. The creditworthiness part of the equation is something that concerns me a bit because they generally need a year of financial data and something to base it on. The year before our older two left the nest, we prepped them and worked on their budgets and credit. My oldest is 27 and actually has the same credit score as dad(810, which is way better than mine was at his age) but it took time and practice and even *gasp* mistakes. Part of this process should include finding out from HB why he asked to move back home and ensuring mistakes he made aren’t repeated. Mistakes are okay. You do however need to know that they are mistakes and get out of a pattern of repeating them.

  • Reply Nancy |

    Hope, you are doing the right thing. Ignore readers that don’t seem to understand that every child needs to be treated according to their personalities and actions, not exactly like their siblings. My son is 20 and getting ready to buy a house because since he was 12 he has chosen to work every type of money making job he could dream up and is highly motivated. He has $100,000 saved for his down payment made entirely by his hands and brain. I have not charged him rent but he has to do plenty of household chores. If he was not motivated, I would so the same as you are doing. He also has chosen to not go to college at this time. Your children are your children, adoption has nothing to do with how you are treating them. Thank you for adopting the twins.

    • Reply Cwaltz |

      If he saved $100,000 in 8 years it doesn’t sound like he needs college. It sounds like he is a natural when it comes to learnin’ and earnin’. Tell him congratulations on his home.?

  • Reply Lee |

    It’s not rent per se- it’s room/board so $250 is actually quite reasonable.

  • Reply Lily |

    If you can afford it, I would urge you to give the twins a break and wait until after things get back to a more normal place before charging rent. Or perhaps let them know a few months ahead of time. I wouldn’t be surprised if depression or anxiety are at play and contributing to the “laziness”. This is a really hard time for everyone.

So, what do you think ?