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Living Expenses Broken Down


Many commenters balked at the $250 I have decided to charge the twins in “rent” beginning next month OR when they have a full time job and are not full time students. Let me explain my logic a bit. And believe me, I did not just whimsically decide to do this or magically pick a number out of the air.

I consulted several seniors who are much more wise and experienced then me, including my own parents who have several of us children (there are 5 of us) move back in with them for periods over our adulthood. In addition, I spoke with people my age who have had to move back in with their parents at some point or another to see how it worked. I don’t know anyone who did not move out of their parents’ house right after college or as so as they had a full time job. That was everyone I knows first priority.

Excluding the whole pandemic situation which is so far from the norm that there is no way to predict or plan for it or around it, the consensus was that charging adult children to live at home was a standard practice as was having a move out goal. The feedback on saving and returning some of that money was split, some returned all when they moved out, some returned part and many did not. In all cases, this was not implemented in “hard” times for the adult child or as a punishment, but rather when they were gainfully employed and did not seem intent on making any forward moves on their own either in education or financially (savings.)

Monthly Living Expenses

First, let’s break down our monthly living expenses that I considered when coming up with this number.

Monthly Rent$650
includes Water, Electric, Gas, Sewage, Trash

Based on these numbers, asking the twins to contribute $250 per month towards living expenses is asking for approx. 15% of the living expenses.

Before you jump on me…

  1. The utilities number is an average from the last year. Depending on the season and temperature outside, the monthly cost varies. And I can tell you that in just the month since Sea Cadet and Gymnast have returned, our water bill has jumped an extra $20 per month.
  2. While I must keep the internet for work, I can tell you the twins would not live without high speed internet for their Xbox addictions. And they definitely make use of it.
  3. While my last budget showed a reduced budget for groceries, we have added two young men back into the house and we are all eating 3+ meals here a day. It’s taking every trick I know to stay at this number.

Other Adult Responsibilities

And just so everything is out there for full review.

  • The twins each pay their own cell phone bill and equipment fees. (Both have purchased phones on payment plans.)
  • The twins each pay their own car insurance. Since they are currently sharing Sea Cadet’s car, it is half what it will be once History Buff buys a car.
  • Sea Cadet has not been paying these bills since last August when he went with Americorp, I have been covering them for him. (His car insurance was not active while he was gone, but he was re-added when he moved back home.) He is now paying $25 every two weeks from his Americorp stipend until he gets a full time job and begins paying in full.
  • Both twins contribute to weekly chores around the house, as do the younger two children. These chores take no more than 1-2 hours per week. And none of the children are paid for this chores, it is expected as part of living here and maintaining the cleanliness of our home.
  • Each twin has their own bedroom, own closet and while we share the shower in their bathroom, they are the only ones who use the toilet, sink and storage in there. While, yes, Sea Cadet’s bedroom would traditionally be the living room, it has a door on it and I moved all of my office stuff out when he moved back, giving him his own room. (Gymnast and Princess are sharing the largest room in the house and they both use the bathroom in my room as their main bathroom.)

I think this will give the BAD readers a more complete picture of how we live. And more importantly, how I came up with the number to charge in “rent” for my grown kids who are no longer full time students, or even part time students when they have full time jobs.


  • Reply Anonymous |

    It sounds personally reasonable, and it’s a bargain. Young people really have to learn that living in the real world costs money.

  • Reply Sue |

    You are applying standards for normal times when these are about as far away as we can get from normal times. This is a terrible time to start charging them.

    • Reply Cwaltz |

      Where is everyone getting the $1500 a month budget idea from? Her car payments are something like $700 a month, her and the twins insurance something like $500 and Princess senior year was $500 a month with something like $350 of it being necessary to cover tuition. And I hope she is still covering her student loan even if they are willing to let her defer for the umpteenth time. *sigh*

  • Reply Elizabeth |

    I paid my mum rent while I lived at home and went to university full time. Granted, I was making a lot of money, more than enough to cover my expenses, and she was in school herself with a large mortgage. Everyone around me has their adult children who live at home paying rent. The blowback you received is so absurd. I can’t imagine this rent being a hardship for them, despite the pandemic. If they’re working, they have money and they need to pay to live somewhere.

    • Reply Kili |

      Hi Elizabeth,

      Are you talking about the bartending job?
      How have you been?
      How are things in Canada?
      Hope you are doing well under these circumstances.
      I am looking forward to your next post!

    • Reply Drmaddog |

      I was a little surprised as well. I wonder if its a sign of this age where so many young adults still expect to be supported by their parents well into their 20s, and the parents of those children don’t cut them off. I know more than one set of parent in my age that are 100% paying for their mid-20s children. I shake my head every time they talk about it.

      That said, because Hope’s situation keeps the details of her finances so murky, maybe some people were responding to where that money would actually be going. My own questions, that I didn’t bother to ask, were, is the boyfriend moving in/moved in – is he contributing? Also, one thought that made me cringe was this brand new car Hope just bought, with the plan that her daughter would get a job to pay for it starting this summer. Can’t see that happening with unemployment so high and businesses closed, so it would almost come across that she is taking money from her two sons to help pay for this car for her daughter. And third, hope said she had to have high-speed internet because her sons would refuse to live with less since they play xbox, while previously stating she wanted them to pay rent because she wasn’t going to work so that they could play xbox all day. Seemed to me a good solution would be to downgrade internet….save money and solve the x box problem all together.

      My own home would be open to any and all my siblings and their families, should they need it. But I also know we are all of the character that there would be no mooching or lazing about. Everyone would have to pitch in with what money they had or chores, and it wouldn’t even be a question to discuss since we all would be mortified to have to depend on each other like that. And that is the very reason we would all be willing to help each other if asked – because we all know if it came to that point, the person asking must be desperate.

      • Reply Ellen |

        At first she said the new car was for princess but now she’s stated several times that her ex is buying princess a car. Even said that she has no control over what he does. Smh. We all knew that the car was not really for Princess. It was just her way of trying not to get roasted for another financial mishap.

      • Reply Anonymous |

        It is also ridiculous to pin the need for high speed internet on the twins and wanting it for gaming. Her business depends on it

  • Reply Anonymous |

    so they’re paying $250 together? Or $250 each? $250 each would make up 30% of your budget ($500)

  • Reply shanna |

    I forgot to add to the college comment, she should be working on her essays big time when this semester ends! She can find examples of essay prompts online and create one or two well crafted essays based on the most common questions and she can adapt those to the actual questions. My kids all did this between their junior and senior years and it was a lifesaver to have it done and ready when it was time to apply. And with the possibility of standardized tests not being used, it could be even more heavily weighted. Another early thing to do is get a resume/get to know me sheet together and request her letters of recommendation from those she wants to use. Probably 3-5 total; teacher, school counselor, coach, employer should be among them. You also want to pick people that know her well and that are good writers. This way, they have time to write something meaningful rather than when inundated with requests in the fall. You will be a big asset for her for this, you are a clear and concise writer.

  • Reply Christopher |

    If they cannot pay due to financial hardship, will they have to move in with another relative or a shelter? I like the idea of you charging them, but I worry that the economy will continue to deteriorate and they will be unable to pay. Many areas already have huge unemployment and industries are having hiring freezes.

    • Reply Anonymous |

      we haven’t seen any real numbers in so long that I suspect Hope is in a pickle and NEEDS the twins to help pay the bills. Let’s call it what it is – she isn’t making even near what she claims and needs her kids to help sustain the household.

  • Reply Kili |

    Hope, I think with those explanations already in the original post it might have painted a fuller picture about the situation.
    Thanks for explaining.

    The following are more ideas in the special time of the pandemic, not for regular times:
    Apart from the existing job offers: could the twins do side hustles on platforms like Fivver or the platform you used in the past to get clients?
    Could they be your “apprentices” and learn from your work/ support your work?

    You don’t have to answer since it is rather personal: but what was the reason behind him not telling you he dropped out?
    And as far as I understood Gymnast partly came to your house since you could support him with the online learning. Did your older son not think you could support him with the online learning as well?

  • Reply Ro |

    Multiple times Hope has said WHEN THEY GET A FULL TIME JOB. It’s right in the first sentence of this post.

  • Reply vicky |

    Don’t know why so many people are hating on Hope for this. It’s good for them to learn financial responsibility before moving out so they have an idea of what to expect and will be able to function when living on their own. Since they’re paying rent and together are contributing about a total 30% (my math might be a bit off) of monthly expenses they are learning how to help run a household in a more serious way. Before this they were just adult kids living at home and on the same level as Princess and Gymnast but now they’re on a more equal footing with Hope, sort of like junior heads of the house. This is going to teach them how to make better decisions because they now have more of a say in how things are done. They have to use critical thinking skills and learn to run a household in a way that doesn’t usurp Hope as the main head of household while also adjusting to their new roles and making sure that Princess and Gymnast are comfortable with this change in hierarchy. Kids need to grow up some time and pandemic or not this is a positive step. A bit of maturing and responsibility never hurt anyone and if either of them have trouble adjusting to moving into adult life at least they’re still living at home and can deal with it better than they would if they were trying to make these changes while living alone or with roommates. A support system during a change in life is critical and Hope is giving them that.

  • Reply SMS |

    I don’t think it’s so terrible to charge them something, but $500 is about a third of total expenses, which sounds very steep to me. Also, they are likely to not earn very much, no matter what they do, so asking them to pay and also save up enough to move out is not reasonable. And one of them also needs a car. How is he supposed to come up with so much money?
    Your boys must have come from a difficult original home environment or they would not have been put up for adoption…it’s kind of understandable that they are not in a hurry to leave home.

  • Reply Anonymous |

    One of the twins just returned home from Americorps after needing emergency surgery. I’m sure this was very hard work – its odd that you are painting them to be lazy

  • Reply Cwaltz |

    You say that water and food has increased because of the boys but in another post you have mentioned you are sharing water and food with your neighbors. That would also account for an increase.

So, what do you think ?