This Mum Charges Her 5-Year-Old 'Rent'

This Mum Charges Her 5-Year-Old 'Rent'
23 January 2018

You can't have missed the bonkers story doing the rounds on social media about the mother in the USA who charges her five-year-old rent.

The Independent reports:

A mother has sparked a debate among parents by revealing that she charges her five-year-old daughter rent out of her weekly allowance. Essence Evans, a mother from Georgia, has received widespread attention after writing a post on Facebook about how she parents her daughter.

She wrote:

I MAKE MY 5 YEAR OLD PAY RENT. Every week she gets $7 dollars in allowance. But I explained to her that in the real world most people spend most of their paycheck on bills with little to spend on themselves. So I make her give me $5 dollars back. $1 for rent, $1 for water, $1 for electricity, $1 for cable and $1 for food. The other $2 she gets to save or do what she wants with.

The enterprising mum went on to explain that she actually deposits her daughter's $5 'rent' payment into her savings account which she'll have access to once she is 18 years old. In other words, she's really ensuring her daughter saves $3,380 – whilst giving her a $2 allowance every week.

It's a creative idea and I'm not one to judge anyone else's parenting approach but this isn't a strategy I'll be adopting. Evans wrote that along with preparing her child for the real world, her tactic will ensure kids will be appreciative of the 'huge discount' once they see how much real bills are.

For starters, I don't want my child to have to wrap her head round the real world at the age of five. My youngest recently turned four and I like the fact that 20p still seems like riches to her. She has little to no concept of the difference between 50p and a pound coin and nor do I want her to. At this age the only money she should be thinking about is the cash in her toy till or the wad of notes she watches her brother amass during a game of Monopoly.

As I see it, she'll learn all about the big, bad world soon enough. Bills and budgeting will be part of her reality all too soon and until then I don't want her giving a thought to paying her way.

I'm also uncomfortable with this not being what it seems – it's not actually teaching her about the cost of living because she's going to get handed a pile of unexpected cash when she reaches 18 anyway. Why not just give her the $2 allowance and call the rest of it what it is – money being put away in her savings account for her by her mother.

That's my view but what's yours? We'd love to hear what you think about this story. Leave us a comment here or come and join the conversation over on our Facebook page.


  • Sabrina W.

    Let your child be a child for goodness sake?

    • Laura A.

      Never too early to teach kids the value of money.

  • Sarah L.

    Umm it's a bit weird. However good the intentions might be I think 5 is definately too young. But she isn't hurting her child, she is trying to teach her so just let them be.

  • Sara H.

    I charged (didn’t really take it) the children 20p each for not having their tuck at school. I told them it was as if I threw that money in the bin, so now you have to pay me for wasting food and my money. Lol now they make sure they have their tuck.

    • Rachel S.

      Love this :joy: I'm always banging on about waste. Might as well talk to the wall x

    • Christopher B.

      You mean now they throw it away before leaving school. Your lesson of deceit will no doubt do them well in their future.

    • Sara H.

      Christopher Beaney they can’t throw it away... they have to eat their tuck at school. Teachers call their names out to go to the dinner hall, so they can’t avoid it. It’s not deceiving anyone, it’s important to teach children about wastage and nothing comes for free in this life. :thumbsup_tone2:

    • Kelly C.

      I did this just last week myself worked a treat took 20p out three money I do the same when there none stop losing water bottles at sch

  • Gail S.

    ,, quick get on this, them little freeloaders owe us all a fortune !!

  • Sarah D.

    They're only children for such a short amount of time just let them enjoy it and BE children. I know they need to know the value of money but there's got to be better ways, help you load the washing machine, lay the table for some pocket money but not charging them rent :see_no_evil:each to their own though :rolling_eyes::thinking:

  • Laura H.

    I love a good life lesson :joy::clap_tone1::clap_tone1:

  • Lynsy H.

    Totally so no problem With this at all . It will help her child appreciate things better and teach her the value of coins and how balance spend and save .. too many young adults in debt and freeloading on society

  • Amber R.

    She's putting the 'rent' money in the child's own savings account...

  • Jade P.

    :joy::joy: we’re doing it all wrong!!

  • Carly D.

    I think it is a great idea. Shows the child the meaning of money and in the meantime the child's bank account is growing. Can't see any negatives in this!

  • Sharon T.

    Oh my goodness no! Let them be children and enjoy it. I agree the value of money should be taught at some point but not at 5 years of age!!

  • Ann K.

    Way ahead of you

  • Vicki B.

    I don’t take money off my children but this person is teaching her child a life skill. Age is irrelevant and there’s no such thing as a perfect parent. We all parent how we feel appropriate and in different ways to others. I won’t be doing this with my children but well done to this parent :clap: at the end of the day the child has savings for when their older so personally can’t see no harm. X

  • Hayley M.

    we can get our jobs done and mortgage paid :joy::joy::joy:

  • Sarah W.

    I do it goes in their saving

  • Dena P.

    Oh ffs :see_no_evil::joy: Mine have to put their own money in the swear jar now!! Thought that was bad enough :speak_no_evil::speak_no_evil: xx

  • Kylie T.

    You have 2 5 year olds you would make a fortune :joy::joy::joy: Or is there swearing worth more then rent :joy:

  • Kasia K.

    Kerry, it is easy to be jugmental, and easy online because you are not face to face with this mum. Exclamations are not necessary, unles this is what you what to teach your child, be aggressive to others. They are other ways to express your point of view. We should have cyber police with tracking people with that kind of comments. And then we hear in news about bullied children in school. Not surprise, if they have examples like that at home.

  • Caroline S.

    I read it, and although it’s not for me, fair play to that mum! It’s her way of teaching her child the value of money and saving it for her future. We’re all entitled to our own way of bringing up our own children :thumbsup_tone2:

  • Sara H.

    To the mothers that are saying “oh let kids be kids” clearly you guys haven’t played ‘shop shop’ with your kids!!! Kids love this kind of thing. Makes them feel as if they’re doing a very important thing.

  • Laura A.

    we should get on this... we'd make a fortune* out of our little freeloaders, I mean, darlings

    • Sophie P.

      Ha ha anything for more cake mmmm

  • Kasia K.

    My mum was teaching me about bills and income. It didn' teach me how to be smart with money. The best lessen was travel to USA, working there and learning how to SAVE money. You can earn fortune, but without savings you will not have things for too long.

  • Janet H.

    No way she's a child for God sake

  • Kate W.

    Can I back date my kids rent... they must owe me thousands :joy:

  • Kayleigh D.

    - Reading the title it sounds awful but really this is a good idea, maybe not for us, but with so much self entitlement out there it seems like a good way to do things. Personally would do it when the child was 10 or so, but as long as it went into a savings account it would be great, it could be a car or something xx

  • Nat W.

    ... Are you thinking what I'm thinking... :thinking: x

  • Rochelle P.

    So basically she keeps the money 4 herself lol

  • Suzie E.

    Hahahaha George didn’t even have pocket money at 5 and neither will the other 2

  • Paula G.

    My child is only two but once she starts to know what money is around 4-5 I'm going to start making her bank half of whatever she gets. Birthday pocket money tooth fairy whatever. Half in the bank. I truly wish someone had taught me the value of money and the habit of saving life would be a lot better. I also opened an isa for her when she was born I put in what I can and my dad puts in £100 per year.

  • CJ C.

    I paid my mum rent when I got my first job. I think 5 is too young though!

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