Should I charge my college graduate rent?


Q. My husband and I disagree: Our son is graduating a semester early, saving us tuition bills, and he’s going to move home until he gets settled. I think he should not have to pay us rent, but my husband wants him to pay. With all the tuition we saved, that doesn’t seem fair. What do you think?
— Mom

A. This could be a good opportunity for you to teach your son about money management.

“I think he should pay,” said Jerry Lynch, a certified financial planner with JFL Total Wealth Management in Boonton. “He has to get used to paying bills and having expenses that most college students have never had to deal with.”

One idea, Lynch said, is that you could have the money go into a separate account so when he does move out, you can support him with his own money, noting your son will probably underestimate the cost of moving out and this can help with his transition.

“Also, just because he graduated early does not mean you saved money,” Lynch said. “You just spent less. Big difference!”

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This story was originally published on Jan. 1, 2020. presents certain general financial planning principles and advice, but should never be viewed as a substitute for obtaining advice from a personal professional advisor who understands your unique individual circumstances.