Should Adult Children Living With Parents Pay Rent?

I moved out of my parents house when I was 18 and have been on my own ever since, but I do have a friend from college who ended up moving back in with her parents. So, while I haven’t personally experienced this scenario, I have seen one side of it.

In fact, my friend is now 37 years old and moved back in with her parents about 12 years ago. Obviously, she never moved back out.

My friend, supposedly, pays her parents a couple hundred bucks each month for rent, but that’s it. Pretty much the entire time that she’s lived with them since college, she has worked a job paying at least 40K and she has no student loan debt. She does have some credit card debt, but only because she has so much money with no place to go that she buys herself lots of things each month. She also dines out a lot and goes to bars a lot.

Personally, I think she wastes so much money on herself because her parents charge her so little for her rent. And since she’ll never find an apartment for that cheap, I suspect that she will likely never move out unless she gets in a serious relationship and move in with someone else who has their own place.

However, if her parents charged her closer to market rent, then I think that she would’ve moved out long ago and been much better off financially now. I say this based on my own experience of my parents making me pay for my own car once I got my license versus giving me one or charging me just a little each month. The lack of a free ride taught me the responsibility of having to sacrifice spending on non-necessities so that I could cover the necessity of the car payment so that I had a ride to work.

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