The soaring cost of rent has played heavily on the minds of many, with numerous young Australians forced to move back home with their parents just to save some money
While it is not completely unheard of, a couple has sparked a heated debate about how they approached a similar scenario, revealing they charge their 19-old daughter US$200 (A$300) a month for her to live at home with them.
Erika and Cody Archie, who live in Texas, revealed their daughter Kylee Deason graduated from high school in May last year, but told her she would have to start paying rent from June 1.
"US$200 is plenty cheap to live like a grub in your parents' house," Cody said in a video on TikTok where the couple asked followers if they agree with their rule. Erika says the figure would be more it was to cover food, prompting her husband to respond that the rent would increase to US$300 a month if "she's eating out of the fridge".
"We think it teaches them a good lesson in paying bills," Erika adds.
Young adults living at home for longer — should they pay rent?
In Australia, young people are staying at home for longer, with 24 being the average age they move out. In 2016, 43 per cent of 20–24-year-olds were still living with their parents compared to 36 per cent 1981, according to the Institute of Family Studies — though this number surged during Covid and with cost of living pressures, the Australian Financial Review reported this year.
Data shows that males were more likely to remain at home for longer. Among 25–29-year-olds, 21 per cent of young men were still living with their parents, compared to 14 per cent of young women.
Bessie Hassan from Finder.com.au said it's reasonable to expect 19-year-olds to pay up and start contributing to the family home. In most cases, they've likely finished high school and have started earning full-time.
"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, according to Realesate.com.au.
"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."
Social media remains divided over charging kids rent
However, the idea of charging "kidults" — the name given to young adults still living at home — rent has proved divisive on social media with dozens of parents sharing their thoughts on Erika and Cody's video.
"For me it's a no. My bills were here before them and will be there after them. Now they can pick up some [toilet paper] or supplies from time to time but no for me," one person commented. Another agreed it was a "definite no for me". "I know it’s rare, but I will forever help my kids… no matter the age," they added.
Others agreed that paying board at home can teach valuable lessons about adulthood and saving money.
"Yes. It's a great lesson. I told my 17-year-old I cannot wait till she has to buy her own groceries. She picks everything apart and wastes so much food," one mum said. "I had to do this and so did most of my family good way of teaching then what real life is about," someone else wrote.
Many additional viewers remained divided, saying "it's hard out here".
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