I’m 19 years old and living at home while I go to school and work part-time. I make about $400 a month. My parents have started your plan, and I feel like I should do something to help out with expenses. I could do this by paying my expenses, or paying them rent each month. What do you think?
—Ruth in Waco, Texas
Dave Says: I love your attitude! If you’re in college, getting a good education is your first responsibility. You’re not making a lot of money, so you wouldn’t be able to contribute much. I think $100 a month would be fair, but sit down with your parents and talk this over. You’ll need money to live on, and they’ll need to feel good about this. A plan that does both is a winner. What you give them at this point really isn’t going to change their lives. But it’s a symbol of your character and your respect for your parents. A willingness to contribute and help out is a great thing, Ruth. There are lots of people out there twice your age who still can’t seem to grasp these concepts. Way to go!