How Much Rent Would You Expect Your Adult Child to Pay While Living at Home?

Curious to hear what people would define an acceptable rent price is for their adult child (who works full time) living at home in 2022.

Rent would include utilities and all meals… although, in that sense, is this technically boarding?

It’s hard to find an answer online as other forums have threads that are not from Australia or they are just out of date (especially given inflation is tracking the way it is).

Thanks to all who have shared their ideas and opinions - this has been invaluable!

Edit: Child (me) is 25 years old, graduated university with a full time job with strong budgeting plan and has no plans to move out. Parents are reaching retirement age.


  • I'm 21 and working part time while studying, and my parents expect about 10% of my pay check, and I contribute fuel money and buy my own groceries occasionally. It's that or kick me out, but it's not financially viable for me to move out. However unlike many of the other comments they are not saving or keeping the money aside for me. They have expected both myself and my brother to move out at 18, which is just not feasible imo. Admittedly I have spent a bit too much money on stupid things but I'm also working on investing and saving so this is helping me budget I suppose. I am Asian so I guess it's a little out of the ordinary

  • +1

    I've been living at home for 37 years. Haven't paid rent once.

  • Depends what rent in the area is. I'd say market rent for a sharehouse setup in your area (check the area on flatemates or gumtree) and feed them for free.

  • it really depends on their financial situation. if they have a full time job and a lot of discretionary income i would charge market rent + more. its good to teach them to budget and getting them to take responsibility for their finances, and get into a habit of putting money away.
    if you are in good financial position and don't need the money then you can save up this money/invest and gift it back as a house deposit later

    if they are broke/ down in luck / between jobs, then contribute whatever they can. even if it's 50$ a week for food, some token amount is needed to make sure they don't get to comfortable and remind them bills exist

  • However much rent you expect to pay while they take care of you in your older years

    • Haha good luck with that, you will get stuck in a home faster than you can say “I’m retiring”

      No matter how “nice” you are to you kids

      You think your kid and their spouse will want you around like a bad smell?

      • Must be a caucasian thing

  • +1

    has no plans to move out

    Sounds like you're financially stable, so I'd expect so. My parents used to charge like 5-10% of my wage when I graduated high school. Not because they needed the money (not that it was much as a uni student) but because that's real life. I'd say living for free at home is pretty much an unrealistic situation. My sister in law doesn't pay board to her parents and she's almost 30 with no financial responsibility because it's too easy for her. If she falls mildly difficult times she knows she can just fall back on Mum and Dad. Paying board is always a lot cheaper than moving out and teaches financial responsibility.

    These people saying "I'd never think of charging my kids to live at home" are probably the ones with no issue in them living at home into their 30s and aren't doing them any favors to aclimatise to the real world.

    Obviously there are some scenarios where they're luck just sucks and they need help. But if they're earning enough to pay board they're probably going to spend it on crap they don't need anyway. If they want to save for a deposit they will.

    btw I'm in my mid 20s who did their fair share of useless spending and saving, paying board while living at home for two years through uni and recently bought my first home. The whole "they need us to pay for everything to get ahead" is such a load. They need to be taught responsibility.

  • +3

    Gees, get out of the house ya lazy buggers. I was 17 when I left home. The idea of sponging off my parents never occurred to me.
    If they're staying home, pay board. Rent = paying for use of the building, Board = paying for services you're receiving.

    If you really feel bad about it/ dont need the money, stash it away to give back to them when they've gotten their sh1t together and are saving for a deposit on a property.

    • +2

      But don't tell them you're stashing it for them. Otherwise there's no lesson to be learned, just forced savings no concept it costs money to live.

  • +5

    Im a little younger than you and have a very similar situation (live at home with parent approaching retirement). My parents instilled very strong budgeting and self-control in my formative years. They weren't ever cheapskates and and always made sure that money was spent on things worthwhile (travel experiences + quality products) but we'd always be price-conscious for expendable items which is a trait I carry to today.

    My parents never asked for money for rent (being Asian they never were going to anyways) and I never offered. I would cover for expenses that relate to myself (car+fuel+insurance+eating out+travel) but I didnt contribute to any of the expenses at home being groceries, utilities or appliances/furniture.
    They've always known that I was like them when it came to financial habits and I had been saving for a deposit since my first year of uni so didn't interfere. Over the next 4.5 years (finished uni and started a grad job) that's what I did, and was fortunately able to buy a house last year and am in the process of reno'ing (with their help (not financially ofc)) to get it rented out.

    Thanks to their guidance and my persistence I've achieved my goal much younger than I expected and have sufficient cashflow to cover the repayments + reno. I feel like now's the time to pay back and its something I can do without detracting from my future plans/prosperity.
    My way of doing that since I bought the place is by covering the bills at home (water+electricity+gas+internet) and most groceries if I'm doing it or otherwise I have them as additional cardholders on my CC's (so they can spend when I'm not there and earn me points in the process). They certainly don't need the financial help nor do they ask for it, but I feel like its an appropriate way to give back (given I use a quarter of it anyways) so maybe that's something that works for you when you get to that stage and I'm sure they'd be appreciative.

  • +1


  • +4

    I think a fixed percentage is better. Depends on circumstances but say anywhere between 25% to 33%.
    Back in the day my folks took 50% which I resented at the time as I wasn't on much.
    I now realise it still didn't cover anywhere near the cost of living in my own place and supporting myself so I guess there was a valuable lesson in there somewhere.

    • 50%? That’s nuts, unless you really weren’t earning much at all.

  • +1

    I got all the household bills, groceries etc over a 1 year period together and divided it by 4 (4 in the family) and paid my parents that amount /12 months, per month to cover any expenses myself.

  • -2

    Once the parents die, suddenly the kids have all these extra costs they are unprepared for.

    Better not die or your kids will cry and starve lol

  • +7

    I think it interesting that there is this underlying assumption that kids living at home rent free will be saving money for a better future.
    A lot of young people I know would be spending cash on drinks etc at the pub and an occasional baggie.

    And I think there is also an underlying driver on the part of young people choosing to move out, so their parents don’t have scrutiny of their less responsible habits. Presumably, if you are living at home rent free in your mid 20s, coming home at 5am several nights a week is frowned upon, so I am sure many young people happily choose to go pay a landlord some rent to avoid scrutiny/judgement.

    And I think the inverse is also true. If a kid asked to stay living at home rent free while they assiduously saved for home deposit, I am sure nearly all parents would be OK with that. And vice versa, I expect many of the “I would never expect my child to pay rent” might feel differently if they were watching their child piss their pay packet away week after week.

    • +1

      A lot of young people I know would be spending cash on drinks etc at the pub and an occasional baggie.

      As George Best wisely noted "I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered."

    • +1

      This pretty much perfectly reflects my experience (living home rent free while saving up & later purchasing a house) that I've detailed above.
      Good to hear this from a parent's perspective, and to know its hopefully a more common trait between parents & hopefully kids than I would've otherwise thought

  • $200 a month if they’re working part time and studying full time.

    Return the money once they graduate as a gift.

  • Look at for what rooms are going for in the area, apply a family discount if you want and rent paid weekly. This is good for getting in the habit of having a regular repayment which can be totally different to paying off a CC each time you get paid.

  • $100 a week.

  • +1

    Since you're the "Child", possibly do what I did ( also lived at home until I moved off to Aus), but cover one main bill (ie. back home I covered uncapped /unthrottled internet, which back home is expensive AF) and then also groceries. So instead of paying direct rent to my folks. I paid a bill, half of the groceries and I'd just put cash in my moms hand every month and tell her to spoil herself or pay one of her bills or do whatever she wanted to do with the money.

    This way my folks still felt independent but also like I was contributing to the household

  • I haven't paid anything. Purchased off the plan when I was 25 and im 31 waiting…. But saving every cent to build and should have enough by early 2023 to build with cash.

    When my Mum retires earlier then pension she expects all of us to pay her a weekly allowance. I'm fine with that.

  • -1

    $0. Or are parents expecting to invoice you for the first 18 years of your life as well

  • I would pay about 220pw for that if I were still living at home.

  • +4

    Holy smokes, the amount of bad takes here is unreal.

    Parents don't charge their kids rent to take advantage of them, they charge rent because they have to do this if they want to be good parents.

    Nothing good will come from giving your full time working children a long term free ride at home, and it creates a huge financial disincentive for them to ever move out.

    • 2nd.

      Spoiling the kids also creates a unrealistic image of what they expect from their future partners as well.

      Instead of learning to want to contribute equally they assume that the bread winner pays.

  • +2

    I would charge them rent and board, then pay back the rent component when they purchase their own property. This gives them the discipline of paying their full fare way in life, but also helps them later when they really need it. I did this with my two boys and the eldest now owns his own unit outright by age 30.

  • +2

    $25pw from my parents. thanks mum.. was able to save up $380k while living with parents which helped me buy own house. I make up for it these days caring for them living 1 suburb away from them now.

  • -1

    I don’t charge my full time working adult children boarding even thought they earned a lot more than I am at their age accounting for inflation.

    But what I encourage them is to save 80% or more of their
    earning to buy a home and put it toward shares market investment and buying more properties.

    I fund all their expenditures while living at home, car, restaurant outing and family holiday.

    All they do is save, read investment books I recommended for them and invest under my guidance until the day they move out into their own home.

    So far that arrangement works well they probably save 90% of their earning and the other 10% is more than enough for them to enjoy life and party with their friends.

  • Zero. My children. I hope they can save so they can eventually buy a house.

  • +1

    most people are suggesting a fixed amount?

    For me if I had Adult kids I would treat it like a share house i.e. 4 people live in the house so everyone pays 1/4 of the bills, rent, food, power, interest on the house mortgage (not principal imo), gardening body croup, ect ect maybe more or less based on room size or if one room uses aircon or something unbalanced.

    Kids who aren't adults I would have to say its about some kind of contribution based on their income or ability to do house chores.

    When I grew up i would get paid pocket money to do house chores like 2 bucks a week to make sure the bins went out for collection and were kept clean. 5 bucks to wash the family car. Plus a weekly allowance of 5 bucks a week to save up for big things nick named (super saver) to buy like playstation games.

    Once I got my first job at 15 I had to play 5% to my parents to help with bills called house tax/board at 18 I moved out of home and into a share house so it was easy to pick up the idea of contributing to living.

    Seemed fair to me.

  • Hypothetically, none until they've finished vocational training/uni and gained employment. The value of helping them get ahead with deposits and building up savings is immense. I'd enforce chores though, and start getting them to develop skills needed for independent living.

  • +3

    Give your parents what you think is fair they won’t be here on this planet too long, money isn’t everything you got your whole life to make more money.

  • It really depends on the situation, in this case it sounds like you are possibly doing better than your parents (could be wrong), just take into account how much money everyone has and how much things cost, there should be no reason you can't have a mature discussion between the family, could just pay a bit less than rent in the area.

    If they aren't paying a mortgage off and outright own the home, there's maybe no need for you to pay rent.

    I don't see a problem with contributing, you will probably get it back in some way anyway. Just talk about it, maybe your parents say no you don't have to pay any rent, maybe they want to charge you a bunch to get you to move out.

    Depends, If you are responsible and saving or spending it all (which i doubt being here).

    Honestly I think the decision ultimately lies with your parents.

  • I'm kind of in the same boat as you. My girlfriend and I live in my parents house without them as they are overseas. We pay for our bills and a small amount of rent each month ($1200 total between two of us) but of course we also maintain the house and all.

    I thought 1200 was a bit low to be honest as normal rent outside would be double that figure but like many mentioned my parents still want us to be able to save up for a deposit to eventually move out.

    • That's a great deal

  • 10% of his income (or another ammount) if you choose to put that asisde for a house deposit or similar for him but a teenager/young adult could be on $250 week part time studying or $2500 a week labouring at the mines and just is never home to justify a house.

  • Really depends on your circumstances. If your retirement is likely to be screwed (i.e. having split your super up after 50 due to a divorce, my condolences) then sure, get the kid to chip in. If not, letting them stay for free should help them to get ahead and less likely they will need to use your house's equity to grab a mortgage.

  • zero, nada, zilch.
    French proverb- " Father is a banker provided by nature".
    Although my son buys us gifts and showers us with love, we don't want anything from him.
    He is 19 at the moment, at the University, and as a co-op scholar, I don't even have to pay his University fees.

  • +3

    Well when I 1st started working dad took 50% of my wages I was 17, for board. Wasn't exactly happy but hey.

    Fast forward 7yrs house down road for sale , dad suggests I buy it . How ? I ask no deposit!

    Then he shows where my 50% wages going into an account for my 1st house deposit.

    Why didn't you say something? You'd spent that money on women booze n cars had I not taken it.

    He was 100% spot on.

    I bought my 1st house 4 weeks later with full deposit, every $ dad took he put same in my bank account over the years.

  • +1

    In my asian culture base I will charge my son $500 pw and save it for him. When he is about to buy a house then I will "offer" the savings for his bigger deposit for. Anyway everything belongs to him after I go into the earth.

  • This would be better as a poll , but $100 per week if working full time and $0 if not working or working part time,

  • +1

    $100 week to cover food and utilities.

    Then take $50 of that and save it in a Vanguard account and give it back when they leave to help for a home deposit.

  • +2

    Even after moving out of home, I've been paying my parents $150 a week as an allowance to give them more flexibility with their spending since they're retired. I think you should give what you feel is a generous amount to help cover the cost of having you in the home — e.g. $100 per week for food and maybe another $100 for rent + utilities.

  • $200 after my first job over 10years ago

  • I think you should look at paying some form of rent to help out, at least $50 a week.
    I used to pay my parents $150/week when I was living with them after I graduated uni and started my full time job (purchased my first house at 24 years old a few years later). That helps them cover water, electricity, internet as well as groceries and food.

  • Charge em $130 a week and then give it back to em when they get a morgage

  • +2

    Back in the 80's when I started my first job I used to earn $135 per week I insisted on giving my dad $50 a week for my expenses.

    Once my eldest daughter finished uni (which I paid for) I held off for about 2 years then started charging her $70.00 a week. Before I started charging her I watched her save and spend like crazy, overseas trips, boob job, luis Vitton bags etc. I thought to myself if she can throw her money away like that, there is no reason she cannot pay board. She ended up paying ever other week for about 6 months then left home.

    I think it's a good lesson especially for the ones that throw their money away on rubbish.

    • +1


      Maybe, or they start an OF page LOL

      • True lol

  • +1

    Paid $100 a week (everything included) but was also expected to clean up each night and clean parts of the house if I weren't working on that day.

    Ultimately I still felt like a child at my parents house so it helped me make the decision to leave.

  • Never found it to be appropriate that parents profit from their children's basic human right to shelter. Fair share of utilities sure, but otherwise no. Besides, are these parents declaring rent on their tax returns?

    • +3

      There's no basic right to shelter. Have you never seen a homeless person?

      Parents have done their job once the child is a fully functioning adult and can look after themselves. Parents should not have to subsidise their adult children's lifestyles - it is their turn now.

  • +1

    however much the room is worth, plus however much their share of the bills are

  • +1

    I'm 23 and I pay $400 a month plus waterbills (350 a quarter)
    House is all paid all

  • I think $500 is the sweet spot. Any spare money your parents can use it on themselves. Time to help and repay your folks!

  • I'm 27 now and have been 'paying rent/board' since I got a job, 5-6yrs ago or so. This was largely because I wanted to help out at home and repay my parents for my upbringing etc. My thinking was also that I could move out and rent… and 'pay someone else's mortgage/make money, or I can help the family out.

    I personally opted to just set a % of my income, worked out to be about $600/month but my parents did put a portion of that aside to help save and that's now come back as help with my deposit for an apartment.

  • +1

    My parents let me live at home rent free after I graduated (ages 20-24) and whilst I worked full time. I paid for Aldi groceries (probably about half the grocery bill of the household) and I paid for our cleaner fortnightly. I saved enough for a house deposit during these years and established myself in my career.

  • I have European friends who live at home in their 30s, and pay for nothing.

    To be honest, I think their parents should be harder on them because they don't even save. I think maybe their parent's don't want them to leave home, maybe they'll be lonely.

    Living at home isn't FREE. Most parents are strict, which means no visitors and no boys/girls over.
    It's great if you never get laid, but if you can get laid every week then living at home is like a prison.

    I would rather work an extra day to pay rent than live at home.

  • +2

    Funnily, my situation is the reverse of this. After being the breadwinner throughout my two children's lives, my son gradded uni and got a great job out the gate. Within 18 months, he'd saved a LOT of money and asked what I thought he should do with it. Stock market- no. Bank- no. He's not the gambling type, so I said, "buy a house", that way we can help pay HIS mortgage vs. renting and paying someone elses. At that point, I was still paying the bulk of the bills, but he and his sister (she gradded in 2019, same year he bought his house) would contribute monies towards everything.

    Long story longer (as mum would say ;) he bought this house for a great price in a great location just ahead of Covid and the ridiculous, greedy jump in house pricing/no rentals available. Now? He's the breadwinner and his sister and I are helping him pay his mortgage. We're used to living together and know how to maintain healthy boundaries. Win/win.

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