Q. My 26 year old daughter is in a half decent job – enough to have a car and go out every weekend. She never helps with the housework – her room is a mess but she also never gives me any money to help with the running costs of the home. She is my only child and while separated I have full time employment too. What do you advise me to do ? Love your new column Marie – Wexford

A. More adult children are living with their families than at any time in the past 60 years, so you do Marie need to lay down some financial expectations for those boomerang children – they went away to sow their oats and live their life away from the home but through lack of money are forced back – or those children will live comfortably in their cost-free homes for many further years. All these “children” need a reality check. While I am sure you do not want to see your daughter leave, it may be the best for you both. Tell her the truth about the house finances – her food alone is a weekly cost. Laundry, telecoms and all the usual utility costs all add up especially electricity and heat. You could compare budgets. If she was in “digs” or living with a bunch of girls, she could expect to pay at least € 750 per month just for the basics before food…this includes TV license, water charges, electricity etc. with food, the bill would be well over € 1,000. So I would think the minimum contribution to her hard-working mum should be € 500 per month and a really nice present at Christmas and her birthday too ! You know what the alternative is if she baulks …stick to your ground. The phrase “cruel to be kind” comes to mind …causing pain for her own good !

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