Why ‘free ride’ should stop at 19
NEW research has revealed Aussie parents should start charging their kids rent once their 19th birthday rolls around.
According to a survey of 2085 Australians aged 16 or older conducted by comparison site finder.com.au, 22 per cent of those aged 25-29 are still living in the family home.
The survey asked respondents at what age adult children should start paying board.
Not surprisingly, young Australians aged between 18 and 23 argued they shouldn't be charged rent until they reached their twenties.
One in five Australian parents said they wouldn't charge their offspring any rent regardless of their child's age or financial circumstances, while around 18 per cent said they would start charging board only once their child found a job.
Finder.com.au's money expert Bessie Hassan said it was reasonable to expect 19-year-olds to pay up and start contributing to the family.
She said by that age, "kidults" had already finished high school and most had started to earn a wage.
"Once they start earning a steady income, charging your children board helps prepare them for the real world and make that step towards independent adulthood," Ms Hassan said.
"Some parents might charge board for financial reasons if they need to help subsidise the cost of living, while others might be more interested in teaching their offspring good financial habits.
"If mum and dad are giving free accommodation indefinitely, their kids may miss out on some important life lessons."
Ms Hassan said while it might seem harsh, charging your adult children would actually help them in the long run.
"It's better that they learn to manage their money sooner than later and becoming responsible for themselves is something they need to learn eventually," she said.
"It's a good lesson to teach them to contribute to the home and to ensure they pay on time.
"If you don't feel comfortable charging board, come up with other ways they can contribute financially - like buying the weekly groceries or filling up the car with petrol."
Ms Hassan said most "kidults" who were charged rent by their parents still had a fairly easy way of life.
"If you were to put a price on what it actually costs to afford the lifestyle they have at home, most young people would not be complaining about the cost of board," Ms Hassan said.
"The board many parents choose to charge their children in many cases would not even cover one day's worth of meals, washing, and Wi-Fi.
"In our cash-free world it could also be a great chance to help them set up their first direct debit and learn about seeing that money get taken each week."