@Spartan_warrior: Here's that response. :-)
You said a lot, so I'll address pieces at a time. My decision, at the moment, does remain to not pay the rent fee, so please humour my attempts at justifying that decision.
Relationship dynamics are very hard to communicate unless you're a part of it, in my opinion. My mom makes bad decisions, my dad tends to have ideas for better decisions but he seemingly blindly listens to my moms decisions. She always gets her way. My mom is very unhealthy and does little beyond sleeping excessively, and waste hours upon hours on those "MAKE $12,323 A DAY ONLINE AT HOME". I have attempted on many numerous occasions, and using different approaches to stop her from doing this as I can see that these are all the spammy scam stuff. This included offering alternatives, and educating her about how she could actually make (and save) money, and why these are not going to make her money. Ie: Her latest attempt needed my credit card, and she wanted to buy a domain. She claimed that if she bought the domain, someone else would do everything else and make her lots of money (thats what the program claimed, said she). I could not get it through her head that everything else is the hard part. If they can do all that to make her money, they can buy a domain themselves. My dad doesn't do anything to make money, though he is perfectly capable. It seems they want easy handouts: from me, the government, or bingo. My dad doesn't show an interest in collecting the $150, it is my moms request. She handles ALL of the money in the relationship (which is just a bad decision, again). He doesn't always agree with her decisions (and I KNOW we'd be better off if we went with his decisions at least some of the time), but again, he does nothing about it..
"(Okay, I'm going to come down harder than anyone else in this thread, but this is a personal issue to me and I just can't keep this to myself.)"
-Warning duely noted, and future apology for tone accepted (but not needed) :-)
"Let me get this straight. Your parents are letting you--a fully employed adult--live in their house, doing all your laundry and housework, probably paying for food and cooking for you as well... you're the ONLY one employed in the household, with an outrageously high salary for your age... spending hundreds of dollars a month on "entertainment"... and you balk at paying a measley $150 for rent?"
-This is close. My parents are letting me--a fully employed adult--live in their house, doing my laundry for a fee ($5-$10, since the machine needs coins) about once every two weeks. They do not pay for my food, and they rarely cook for me. When they do, I can usually eat what my dad makes, but I never eat what my mom makes as it is generally cooked poorly, and always meat (boiled chicken anybody?), potatoes, and/or spaghetti, and she pours the salt on. She does not eat ANY green veggies (not an exxageration, doctors orders due to warfarin, but thats another story). I do spend hundreds a month on "entertainment" (recreational + entertainment). I'm the only one employed because I'm the only one who seems to have the motivation and desire. They are not trying to get jobs. Also, being the only one employed is a good reason to pay, but I'm 90% sure she would not be okay with payments stopping when I leave my job, and return for my last year of university.
"Jesus H. Christ."
"And to think I just posted in a thread defending ERE as NOT being stingy. This kind of crap is distorting the values of ERE completely."
-My reasoning for withholding the money isn't because I am stingy.
stingy: Unwilling to give or spend; ungenerous:
Counter point: Her birthday is in a few days and I bought her a $100 gift. I have been told I'm being too generous and she doesn't deserve that. I wouldn't have a problem forking out $150 if I felt I needed to. I am willing to give and spend.
"Seriously, either move out or pay the full rent asked, WHATEVER it is. Is this honestly a foreign concept?? It's not up to you what your parents do with their spending. Sure, it's sad to see loved ones make stupid financial decisions, but bottom line is your relationships to them are as "child" and "boarder/tenant" and neither of these gives you say in how the household spends its money. The money owed for rent is in exchange for your residency, not as a "reward" to be doled out on condition of spending behavior you find acceptable! Would you refuse to pay a landlord rent because you disagree with how he spends his income or because you believe he can cover the costs associated with you via other income? That's basically what you're saying here except, even worse, it's your own freaking parents you're screwing over!"
--Right. I've said this to myself to. Ignoring every dynamic, this is what should happen. Bottom line: I'm living here and should pay rent if asked. This makes me feel guilty (as previously mentioned) for not paying. However, if pushed in a corner, I'd look into moving out. I haven't been pushed in a corner, and lately she has not asked for the money. She says it would help, but doesn't threaten to kick me out anymore. I feel guilty not 'helping'. I also want to imagine the hypothetical situation of my parents posting such a journal, and then getting railed for asking their kids for rent. Then you come in with your rant, and ask:
"Would you refuse to let your child live with you for not giving you $150/month that you never earned or deserved in the first place? He's worked hard to be where he is and now you're simply attempting to mooch off of him because the government has decided to give you less taxpayer money"
"Sorry if I come across as nasty. It's personal for me because my younger sister, same age as you, has moved back in with our parents again"
-I never left: I feel like this makes my situation different, but in a way I'm having a hard time communicating. Maybe it doesn't.
"She spends ridiculous amounts on entertainment, cigarettes, and booze, but then "can't afford" to pay anything toward rent, car insurance, or student loans. To add insult to injury, she brought home two highly obnoxious cats (this coming from someone who loves cats) and since she's rarely around, my parents get to be unpaid pet babysitters too. It makes me sad to see them taken advantage of. It's also frustrating seeing my generation living up to (or rather living down to) all the stereotypes of self-entitlement and egocentrism."
-My parents don't do much for me. My mom makes my life more difficult by being against many things I try to do (bearded dragon, gardening, etc). It sounds as if you have parents who really want to take care of your sister and she is taking advantage of that. I have not brought home cats, I pay my bills, and I don't claim to not be able to afford the rent. It sounds as if she just doesn't have her priorities straight.
"But her story pisses me off even less than yours, since I KNOW she really does make jack shit for income... while yours must be close to six figures?"
-Not sure what you used to estimate 6 figures, but at my estimation (which is an overestimation if anything - looks like I've learned nothing about the awesomeness of safety margins from MMM...Or maybe this comment means I have) of $3800 per month = $45,600 per year. I believe my parents are given about $30,000 per year. When you compare the amount of work I do (I work hard), and the amount of work they do (none), is it fair for me to give them $150?
"It's incredibly freaking generous for your parents to let you stay with them at all, even WITH rent!"
-I must disagree. It is nice, but not "incredibly freaking generous". Isn't that kind of expected when two people decide to have kids? You provide for them. Kids around the world are given this luxury, plus much much more (eg my girlfriend has it amazing. Her mom is an amazing cook, they do so much around the house for her, they catered to her change in diet (when she went vegetarian), and they pay for all her school. They have two kids, and one is like me (employed full time, graduated university) and lives there rent-free. I would classify THAT as incredibly freaking generous.)
"From the way you describe it, it's time to move out anyway IMO."
-Agreed. But I plan to move out after University with my girlfriend. I'm bearing with it for cash savings, mostly. That becomes a bit more moot if I'm paying $150/month to live there (and $200/month for gas, which I'd save since if I moved out I'd almost definitely live within bike distance of work). I'm kind of just riding the tide till I graduate on this one.
"I hit the same point of frustration myself when I lived at home the first couple years out of college. The benefits of the housing cost subsidy become outweighed by the negatives of the living situation (albeit my subsidy was less since I paid the couple hundred bucks of rent being asked of me). I love my parents and it's not worth introducing friction into the relationship just to save money."
-My mom has driven my brother away because of the way she is. He has almost 0 contact with us. I've told her many times that this will be me (Everytime I'm around her I have a negative experience, why would I put myself around her?) if she keeps pushing me away. She says she doesn't care (too stubborn?). She also always reminds me where the door to leave is after saying this. She also wants to die. She's bitter. I'm not too worried about "introducing friction". It's been introduced already, and there is no getting rid of it. Now, if we had an otherwise perfect relationship, that's a different story..
"(The wasted time and frustration from a long commute also contributed to my decision to move out, and it sounds like you'd benefit in that regard too.)"
-Agreed. The commute is life threatening, and boring. It would be nice to remove it from my life.
"You're doing fantastic in terms of income, and okay on spending. Tighten up the frivolous expenses, find someplace cheap and close to work, and you seem set for FI well before 30--not sure if you mentioned your goal timeframe. There's no need to throw loved ones under the bus over what amounts to tiny fractions of your total earnings. That is not the spirit of ERE or even basic ethics."
-Thanks for the advice! I'm going to tighten expenses. I'm going to try restricting my recreational spending more, and find free ways to be entertained (sex anyone?). Maybe I've changed your mind a bit. I'm interested to see what you think now that you have a better glimpse of life here, but I'd like to steer this conversation in a direction away from rants about family life, so keeping this to a minimum would be nice. I am on the fence about this decision, and I am erring on the side of saving the extra money - due to my ERE goals - so it's funny that you say it goes against the spirit of ERE. Maybe I've got it wrong.
</third rant today, better stop before a torch-bearing mob drives me off the forum>
-Torches? It's the 21st century man. Lasers!