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Board (part vent, part WDYT, part twin, part single parent question)

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#1 SkeptiHandsOnMum

Posted 19 December 2019 - 02:45 PM

I have 18 year old twins who have just finished school. DD will be going to uni (locally) and has a part time job. DS has a full time job.

So it is time to start thinking about board. What did you pay? What was your arrangement with your kids?

Here are my random thoughts/concerns:

* I had thought that I would not charge board for my kids when they were at uni - but to do that now sends a message that uni is more important that full time work (or is more supported in this house) - I do not really feel right charging one child board and not the other
* a set dollar amount will be tight for DD, but is more realistic around the cost of living
* a percentage of earnings would be somewhat "fairer" - I am leaning toward this.
* For the 18-21 board, I would consider banking it to return for a 21st gift to put toward travel or similar (not telling them that). So would I be better not to charge at all - but then I think that budgeting the board and contributing is important.

Oh, BUT, they live randomly between their fathers' house and mine, bringing the following issues:
* If I charge per night, based on their nights here for the fortnight, it makes it seem a bit clinical and like a hotel
* Their father has told them that he will never charge them board
* But he is making them pay for shopping at random times

What do you think? Do you have any suggestions?

#2 Expelliarmus

Posted 19 December 2019 - 02:52 PM

As a kid we paid 25% of our earnings for board. I like the percentage amount. Seems fairer. The between houses but makes it trickier but you could go for a lower percentage?

DH refuses to charge our kids board. At some point it will be necessary. A free ride can’t happen! He doesn’t see this yet. Yes, we have money to support them but they need to pay their way at some point in life. When we get there, I will be going with a percentage. Probably 20% here.

#3 seayork2002

Posted 19 December 2019 - 02:55 PM

I will only say what we will do when ds12 is a older and we are in the same circumstances we are in now (as in we would not need the money)

We will not charge him for living with us ie no rent amount we will suggest we can hold some money if he wants to use for when he wants to move out of him (my mum and her partner did this as a surprise for my much younger sister), we will pay his food for normal meals.

We will not charge for bills unless they are direct for him and normal use of electricity etc.

If he causes money to be spent he will have to pay.

knowing my dad, he will cover DS's car costs (that is between DS and him if he does this)

If DS turns into an entitled little brat who thinks the world owes him just for existing the above will vanish instantly!

so far he is a good sensible kid who drives is bonkers but I can see the above happening, at this stage...

#4 Silverstreak

Posted 19 December 2019 - 02:55 PM

I haven't charged board yet, as DS is seven, lol, but when I was in my early 20s and working full time, my parents charged me $100 per week. This included food and all utilities, but I paid off my car loan and bought my own clothes, movie tickets, petrol etc. This was a good 20 years ago and I didn't have a mobile phone.

This is tricky, as one twin is full time and will have more income, I'm guessing, but I would be inclined to charge them the same amount per week. After all, if they were privately renting, the landlord isn't going to give students a cheaper deal.

I wouldn't charge them per night specifically, but work out a percentage based on their nights with you and charge accordingly. If you can afford it, I would bank a percentage for them to use later and keep the rest, as you still have expenses.

As for your ex, in his house, he can charge what he pleases, but I personally would prefer to pay an agreed amount per week, rather than suddenly have to pay a large grocery bill. Regardless, I think it's important for young adults to learn about budgeting.

I would also make it clear if housework and cooking contributions are still expected e.g. just because they're paying board doesn't mean that you're the maid.

Ooh, I sound quite strict, lol.

#5 got my tinsel on

Posted 19 December 2019 - 02:56 PM

When I turned 18 and started full-time work I paid a percentage of my pay.

I think it is a good thing to be taking some responsibility for their costs of living, so believe that paying board is fair on everyone, even if parents can afford to keep them.

Personally, I would rather know the amount I needed to pay and how frequently I needed to pay it than randomly have to pay for groceries whose total fluctuates and the frequency of purchasing vary.

#6 lizzzard

Posted 19 December 2019 - 02:57 PM

I think a percentage of income is fair.

#7 Silverstreak

Posted 19 December 2019 - 02:57 PM

By the way, ask me again in 11 years, I am a complete softie where DS is concerned!

#8 NannyPlumPudding

Posted 19 December 2019 - 02:58 PM

I would work it out in an average.  Sit down with them and go through it (this is what my parents did, take from it what you will).

We sat down, my Dad had copies of all recent utilities and my phone bill.   He worked out the amount that I "should" pay then we negotiated a fair amount.  It was $50 a week..that I *cough* paid once...

What I would work out is on average how many days they stay at your house (say, 70% of the time).  Then based on their pay - so if it works out they owe 30% of the bills, what's 30% of their take home pay? If that is too much, negotiate a different ways they can "make it up"  - 5% but they will cook and pay for dinner once a week or will be in charge of making sure the gardens or washing is done.  

So they might not be contributing financially as such but they are still learning the art of negotiating their worth and contributions to the house hold.

My Dad even drew up a contract LOL

(also my maths is wrong I just used random numbers)

#9 seayork2002

Posted 19 December 2019 - 03:00 PM

View PostSilverstreak, on 19 December 2019 - 02:57 PM, said:

By the way, ask me again in 11 years, I am a complete softie where DS is concerned!

same! but also ds is one of this kids that can go into an empty room with $5 and come out with $10, he has been earning adhoc money since he was about 10/11

#10 laridae

Posted 19 December 2019 - 03:02 PM

I think if you charge them board you should be prepared for them to stay permanently at their dad's seeing as he won't.
I also don't see a lot of point in charging them board and returning it all to them after a few years. If you need it, then sure. But if you don't and you are just going to save it for them, wouldn't they be better off learning how to save it themselves?
I would be inclined to give them a choice. Pay x amount in board (regardless if they stay every night or not) or contribute in other ways such as cooking or cleaning.

I didnt pay board. Not while at uni. I had to buy anything I wanted out if my own money though.
Once I finished, I had to start paying board once I got a job. But it was a low amount. And I saved, and I bought my own house. But I've never been a big spender. I think if I'd been spending lots on nothing then I probably would have been charged more board!

#11 melanieb530

Posted 19 December 2019 - 03:10 PM

Percentage of earnings

#12 Ellie bean

Posted 19 December 2019 - 03:12 PM

If you don’t need the money I wouldn’t charge (not yet anyway)
If you do need the money, then pps have great suggestions.

#13 AllyK81

Posted 19 December 2019 - 03:23 PM

I think you have too many variables to come to something that will work.

I would have them contribute to house work and cook a few meals on the basis you explain to them that you expect them to try to build up some savings on the basis you are not charging them board.

#14 PrincessPeach

Posted 19 December 2019 - 03:28 PM

Mine are only little, but once my brother & I finished studying we were expected to pay board. Doing an apprenticeship was still classed as study.

I think we were paying $100 a week.

DH on the otherhand wasnt charged board, but they were expected to help out either at home or in their family business.

#15 SkeptiHandsOnMum

Posted 19 December 2019 - 03:58 PM

View Postlaridae, on 19 December 2019 - 03:02 PM, said:

I also don't see a lot of point in charging them board and returning it all to them after a few years. If you need it, then sure. But if you don't and you are just going to save it for them, wouldn't they be better off learning how to save it themselves?
I think it would be more about them contributing toward living expenses and getting used to the fact that life is not cheap. They would not know that they are being given the money (or some of) it back. In a way it is almost a savings plan for ME for their 21st.

This idea of a percentage of wage and possibly save all/some to regift later would work well if exDH and I were on the same page. We could just get them to pay into a bank account and say that he and I would figure out the dividing it between us (but never do so as it would be savings.

It is so complicated - the ex part and the one working full time and one studying full time/working part time. Almost makes it too hard.

#16 gracie1978

Posted 19 December 2019 - 04:11 PM

I wouldn't charge it in this situation, unless you really need the money, 18 is still quite young
The uni student won't be able to afford much if anything

Have you asked them what they think?

#17 ImperatorFuriosa

Posted 19 December 2019 - 04:17 PM

I can't fathom asking my DS17 to pay for rent when he finishes high school. (He will be 18 when he graduates.)

Maybe when he is a bit older and if he is still living with us then sure, he can contribute to the household. But that's to far in to the future to even worry about.

#18 JBH

Posted 19 December 2019 - 04:17 PM

I would generally say not to charge board to a full time student, but yes to a full time worker, but I can see how having twins complicates that. Is his wage a training wage (like an apprenticeship)? In that case, I think it is like being a student really.

I was very fortunate as a student, as my parent paid me an allowance - they worked out what Centrelink would give me if it wasn’t for their income (based on me working 15 hours/week at the retail award and reporting that income) and decided the Government thought that was what students should have and paid that to me. What would happen if you did that calculation and called it notional income to your daughter, but then charged both the same board (like giving her money and taking it away again, but perhaps more demonstrative of fairness for the sake of your son)? Not saying I think that is perfect.

#19 Feral-as-Meggs

Posted 19 December 2019 - 04:44 PM

Complicated.  Do they communicate well with each other?  

If so I’d sit them down with all the bills (don’t leave any out), tot it up and give them the daily cost of running the house and filling the fridge.   Say you have no intention of charging them that but you do want them to make a contribution.  

Given them a few days to come back with a proposal.  

See if they come up with anything - they may come up  with an amount or a percentage between them, or offer to take a bill each. If they don’t offer anything then come down hard they need it.

#20 MsLaurie

Posted 19 December 2019 - 05:00 PM

I think they should both pay a nominal amount, perhaps $40-$50ish a week. And you shouldn’t save it, it’s to help very marginally defray the costs of them living with you- the extra lights on, water used, food eaten. One kid will have less disposable income than the other, but that will be true regardless.

#21 Murderino

Posted 19 December 2019 - 05:39 PM

I’m not sure what I’ll do about the ex part - I don’t imagine my XH will ask the kids to pay.

But my sister and I were only a year apart so we had uni and full time job at the same time.

My parents always said we’d not pay board while we were studying so during uni neither of us paid anything and as we couldn’t get Austudy (as it was back then) we got an allowance but also had part time jobs.

I finished first and had a job pretty immediately so started paying board. My board was the same amount as my sister’s allowance so after a while we cut out the middle man and I gave my board to my sister. When she felt she needed a raise in her allowance my board went up.

Neither of us thought it unfair, it didn’t make us think study was prioritised or resent each other.

I would have done the same for my kids but now XH and I have separated I think I just won’t charge them board but instead will insist they save a %age of their income.

They’ll always be welcome to live with me but will have to contribute to household work in the same way as flatmates, I not be their maid.

#22 No Drama Please

Posted 19 December 2019 - 05:52 PM

If you want to get them used to the fact that things are expensive maybe get them to be in charge of one of the bills, electricity or something?

Then they’d need to shop around for the cheapest rate, so that’s a good skill to have, and also to learn how to pay it on time and all the rest of it. But I’d put it in their names though, not yours, so they’ve got the whole responsibility for it!

I was living on my own at 18 and paid bond from 14 but I think having the whole responsibility for bills was more valuable than just paying bond (just my perspective).

#23 Mooples

Posted 19 December 2019 - 06:00 PM

If you are going to give it back to them I think it should be the same amount for both of them. Imagine on their 21st birthday giving your ds $5000 but your dd only $2000. Even though it’s their own income anyway I just think it seems unfair. I would work out what seems affordable for your dd then charge them both that amount. However I was never charged board and hope I’m not in a position I need to charge my kids too.

#24 SkeptiHandsOnMum

Posted 19 December 2019 - 06:50 PM

I find it really interesting the judgements coming through on paying board at all! I expected judgement for considering NOT charging it - I sort of thought it was the norm?

For those who are in camp "I would never charge my child board", at what age would this become them living off you. Would you still be okay with your 28 yr old living at home and not contributing?

I really don't know what I will do. So much to factor in to it. They already have some concept of paying bills - paying for mobile phones, rego, insurance and their car expenses. Maybe I just talk to them around it and say that we will re-discuss at 21, but talk about expectations of saving (which they are both pretty good at, particularly if it is for a specific cause such as travel, or to buy their cars).

#25 Sweet.Pea

Posted 19 December 2019 - 06:53 PM

I'd charge $80 a week, with your daughter paying 60% of that, because her earning capacity is reduced. It's not that many hours work a week and covers their expenses.

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