Should I Charge My Teenager Rent?

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Published April 19, 2011

| FOXBusiness

Dear Dave,

We have two teenage daughters, ages 17 and 16, who are both in high school and work in the family business. We’ve done our best to teach them how to handle their money properly, including how to spend, save, and give. Also, they’ve both been saving for college. My husband thinks it would be a good idea to start charging them rent to prepare them for life once they leave home. What do you think?

-Frances

Dear Frances,

I think you’re way ahead of most parents. Teaching them to handle money properly when they’re young is a great thing. It sounds like they’re both bright, hardworking young ladies, too.

I appreciate your husband’s heart and the fact that he’s looking for teachable moments, but teenagers paying rent while they’re living at home is a little over the top. Now, if either of them were 26 or 27 it would be a different story. I’d have no problem charging them rent of about $10,000 a month! But seriously, at their ages it’s still your job as parents to provide housing for your children. That’s just the way it is.

These girls already know how to work and have grasped the basic concepts of managing money. I meet 50-year-olds on a regular basis who still can’t do that. With this kind of start, I think these young women will be fine and stand a great chance of becoming wealthy one day. So, while I understand your husband’s idea, let’s tell the drill sergeant to back off a notch on this one.

-Dave 

Dear Dave,

I’m in the process of building an eBay store. How likely is it that this will turn into a full-time business for me?

Anonymous

Dear Anonymous,

I think the likelihood of this becoming a full-time gig has more to with you and your business model than it does with eBay (EBAY). If you’ve developed something really unique and coupled that with great pricing and service, then eBay’s a great distribution and marketing system to reach people you wouldn’t otherwise reach.

Still, you have to remember that eBay’s not magic. The real magic is your brain, hard work, and whether or not your business model is a good one. If it is, then eBay becomes a cool methodology through which your idea gets to market.

Regardless of how you’re executing on the Internet, you still have to be executing the business properly. You still have to use basic marketing and have good margins, prices and service. The big thing is you still have to love on your customers a lot.

Plenty of people think the Internet is an easy path to fame and fortune, and they forget about the basics of building and handling an operation well on a day-to-day basis. Those are the ones who don’t last long in the business world, whether it’s online or brick-and-mortar!

-Dave

* For more financial help please visit daveramsey.com.

 

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