Lessons in living with adult children

By Will Keall
Anyone who has raised or is currently raising children knows that kids are a lifetime commitment - despite this, you do still expect around 18 years after bringing your baby into the world, they will become and independent adult and move out.

But with today’s incredibly expensive rental and housing market, the reality looks more like you, your partner and your adult children all trying to continue to live together well after this point.

While your adult children are still camping out at your place, why not take the opportunity and give them some useful pointers for their financial future? 

Here are some suggestions for lessons in saving, mortgage management and avoiding debt that you have probably already learnt and wish to pass onto the next generation:

Being disciplined with saving is key
One of the most valuable skills you can pass onto your children is being able to save. 

Creating a solid savings account doesn’t happen by accident – although we would like to think we can just go out for dinner a bit less or resist the temptation to buy little luxuries like chocolates or takeaway coffees, serious savings require a fraction more consideration. 

With your kids, go through the process of putting together a budget - this is a really solid step towards identifying unnecessary spending and knowing where their hard earned dollars are really going. 

Setting weekly or monthly savings goals based on what they expect to save using your budget also gives them a fixed amount to aim for, and also motivates them to stick to the budget. 

A mortgage is no small commitment 
In a modern world where almost everyone has a mortgage they are working to repay, it may seem to your kids that having huge amounts of debt is completely normal. 

A mortgage is a serious commitment, and could take around 20-30 years to pay off. You can use yourself and your peers as examples for your children – perhaps you worked two jobs to save for that first deposit, and then have not taken an overseas holiday in many years to keep up the repayments. 

Large loans like a mortgage are not to be entered into lightly, especially if your adult child is looking at applying for a mortgage with a friend or partner, as this obviously means maintaining that relationship.

Living within your means 
A big part of managing mortgage repayments and still managing to put aside some savings is implementing living within your means – a concept that can sometimes get a bit lost when we have such easy access to credit cards and loans.

Your adult kids may already be in debt in the way of personal loans, HECS or other student loan, or maybe they just owe you a little money for helping them out here and there. But it is a good idea to encourage them out of the habit of being constantly in debt as soon as you can, because it is much harder to break these habits after many years have elapsed.  

A fun little experiment could be to suggest to your kids to pay for everything in cash for one week so they can actually see what they are paying – this has a deeper impact than just handing over a piece of plastic. 

Of course, kids don’t always listen (especially adult ones that ‘know better’), but you can only try and pass on these valuable lessons and hope they listen. 

Will Keall, iMortgage’s general manager, has a wealth of marketing and business development experience gained in Australia and the United Kingdom. These include high level roles in a range of sectors such as financial services, insurance, travel and tourism, motoring and professional services.

Will played a pivotal role in the successful establishment of iMortgage. His dedication and passion for the mortgage industry have won Will the utmost respect as an integral part of the iMortgage brand.

A self confessed “numbers and brand geek”, Will calls himself a conservative investor with a long-term philosophy. He also believes it’s important to “love where you live.”

Will is a cricket and football tragic, who also enjoys running.