Even If Your Adult Children Need to Save, You Can’t Always Control Their Spending
If you’re financially stable and your adult children are saving for a big purchase like a home, then letting them live rent-free so they can save faster might be a good idea. However, this requires a lot of either control or trust from you. If you control their finances and force them to save, then they’re not learning how to spend wisely and could run into trouble later. If you trust them, then you’re accepting the risk that they might take advantage of your kindness or make decisions you don’t agree with.
One way to get around this is to still charge them rent, save that money yourself, and then give it back to them as a gift when they’re ready to make the big purchase (and move out). Even if money will go back to them in the end, be strict about collecting rent so that they take it seriously too. A rental contract, just as you’d do with a stranger, will make your expectations clear. You may also not want to tell them your plans to gift any rent money back to them. Keep in mind that as adults, your children might bring partners or spouses into the picture who may influence their financial choices or even put an additional burden on you with poor spending habits. Be clear with your boundaries so that they don’t accidentally overstep them.