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For millennials and young professionals looking to save money for their first home, checking into the Hotel of Mum & Dad used to be the last resort. It's now more popular than ever with 3.5 million occupants across the UK - making it the world’s biggest hotel chain.

But how much does it actually cost parents when children move back in? And how long do children actually end up staying for? Check in below to find out…

Hotel Check in

Check-in to the Hotel of Mum & Dad

Whether you’re a parent considering opening up your home to your son or daughter or a young adult thinking about whether to move back in with the folks, there are lots of factors to consider and it’s not always the easiest decision to make.

But don’t fear because MoneySuperMarket is here to help via its Hotel of Mum & Dad calculator, guidance and a first-hand view from someone that’s done it before.

Are you ready to check it out? Come on then….

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We've taken the main fixed accommodation costs into account and worked out how much they will increase, on average, when a child returns to the nest. If you're a parent, tell us how much rent - if any - you charge for a stay at your hotel. If you're a guest, tell us how much you're paying.

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The final bill

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Value of services at the Hotel £0
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Here are the results of your Hotel of Mum & Dad calculation, showing the true cost of a stay. You can click below for more details and share the results on social media using the buttons provided.

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Total: £0

How we worked this out

Official service costs (additional cost per person per month):

Mortgage / rent:
N/A, will not increase
Council tax:
We have not included any increase for Council tax in this calculator based on the property being occupied by 2 parents – if however you are a mum and a dad, or a dad and a mum (you superheroes), and you receive a single occupancy discount – you need to notify the council that you are no longer eligible for this. If you don’t – you could be hit with a bill for the difference. Don’t worry – once your kidult leaves again, you can claim back your 25% single occupancy discount!
Gas & Electricity:
£12.24 / person / month

Source: Gov

  • Based on average cost per additional person as set out by the National Energy Efficiency Data-Framework (NEED).
  • £12.24 figure based on an average of the increase in cost when adding a second, third, fourth or fifth+ person to a household.
Water Usage (inc sewerage)
£10.88 / per additional (third person) / per month

Source: CC Water

  • Two people living together consuming the average of:
    • 2.5 uses of dishwasher a week (per person)
    • 1 bath per week (per household)
    • 7 showers a week (per Person)
    • 5 toilet flushes a day (per person)
    • 2.5 loads of washing a week (per person)
  • Average usage of 54 cubic metres of water per year for one person, 101 cubic metres for two and 134 for third person.
  • Third person adding extra 30 cubic metres per year, or 91 litres per day.
  • Would consume an average of 105 cubic meters of water, and have an estimated bill of £457.24.
  • This works out an average of £4.35 per cubic meter. So an additional 30 cubic meters would cost £130.64.

If you don’t have a water meter – there will be no increase in your monthly bill – but you could benefit from having a water meter fitted. Check if you could be saving money with a water meter using this handy tool.

Unfortunately Water Suppliers aren’t switchable, however there are still tricks to help you save money - head over to MoneySavingExpert for some handy hints.

Home insurance
£4.00/ person /month

Source: MSM data

  • Average cost for two adults living in a property without cover for items over £1,000 is £169.54. Average cost for three adults with the additional cover for items over £1,000 takes the average policy to £217.57.
  • Price difference = £48.03 / 12 = £4.00
  • Based on building and contents cover with policy holder age between 40-64

Why not see if you could be saving money on your home insurance

Unofficial service costs (additional cost per person per month):

Upgraded entertainment package e.g. Spotify, Netflix, Amazon, Sky etc
£32.66 / household /month

Source: Netflix, Spotify, Sky

Cost of upgrading existing packages:

  • Netflix standard to premium £3 (Netflix, standard £8.99 premium £11.99)
  • Spotify Premium to Spotify Family £5 (Spotify premium £9.99 Family £14.99)
  • Upgrade Sky TV to include Sky Sports £24.66 (£25 + £23 = £48, plus a setup fee of £20 – which we have included in the overall monthly cost)
Car insurance
£26.22 / person /month

Source: MSM data

  • Analysis was completed on the Car Insurance enquiry data based on searches from Jan – June 2020 looking at the average cost of a main driver between the ages of 40 – 64 adding an additional driver to their policy, on top of an existing extra person. Taking the policy up from covering two people to three. Average cost for two people on one vehicle = £394.25, with a third person, £708.95. An increase of £314.70 or £26.22 per month.
  • Based on figures for third driver having no offences.
  • Remember – if they have their own insurance, they need to update their address details and where their car is stored, or they could be uninsured.
Petrol allowance
£80.84 / person /month

Source: DFT , MSE and MSM data

  • Analysis was completed on the average mileage completed by 20-30 year olds on Car Insurance Enquiries, and the average cost of petrol/diesel (134.4p - MSE), and average miles to the gallon (46.7m) (DFT)
  • The fuel cost of driving 7,000 miles is calculated using the combined fuel consumption figure and the respective average fuel figures. The fuel costs are calculated using the formula as specified by the Vehicle Certification Agency, as follows: (12,000 𝑥 𝐴 𝑥 4.546) / 𝐵
  • A = The current cost per litre of Petrol, Diesel or LPG (as applies to the car), e.g. £1.344
  • B = The Imperial combined Fuel Consumption figure (MPG) e.g. 46.7
  • 4.546 = The figure for conversion of litres to imperial gallons
  • Yearly cost = 7000 * £1.067 *4.546 / 35 = £970.12
  • Monthly cost = Yearly cost / 12 = £80.84
Parking permit
£5.34 / person /month

Source: Thisismoney.co.uk. Average UK Cost £64 / year so divided by 12

Mobile phone bill
£16.52/ person /month

Source: ONS data

  • Average weekly expenditure for UK Households on Telephone and telefax equipment & Services £12.90 (average persons in household = 2.4) = £4.13 p/w = £16.52 a month per person
  • If you’re paying more than this – why not see if you can find a better deal
Extra food / grocery shopping
£118.34 / person /month

Source: ONS data

  • Average weekly expenditure for UK Households on Toilet Paper, Toiletries and Soap £3.40 (average persons in household = 2.4) = £1.42 p/w = £5.68 a month per person
Toiletries
£5.68/ person /month

Source: ONS data

  • Average weekly expenditure for UK Households on Toilet Paper, Toiletries and Soap £3.40 (average persons in household = 2.4) = £1.42 p/w = £5.68 a month per person
Family activity e.g. restaurant meal, cinema, day out
£68.16 / person /month

Source: ONS data

Average weekly expenditure for UK Households on:

  • Sports admissions, subscriptions, leisure class fees
  • Cinema, theatre and museums etc.
  • Miscellaneous entertainments
  • Restaurant and café meals
  • Alcoholic drinks (away from home)
  • Contract catering (food) and canteens

£40.90 (average persons in household = 2.4) = £17.04 p/w = £68.16 a month per person

Family take away once a month
£18.32 / person /month

Source: ONS data

  • Average weekly expenditure for UK Households on Take away meals eaten at home and Other take-away and snack food £11.00 (average persons in household = 2.4) = £4.58 p/w = £18.32 a month per person
Dishwasher use / Dry cleaning / Laundry (excluding Energy & water use)
£4.16 / person /month

Source: ONS data

  • Average weekly expenditure for UK Households on Dry cleaners, laundry and dyeing and Cleaning Materials £2.50 (average persons in household = 2.4) = £1.04 p/w = £4.16 a month per person
Michael Muthukrishma

The psychology behind The Hotel of Mum & Dad

Dr Michael Muthukrishna

As parents, we might summarise our role as the three Ps: To Protect, to Provide, and to Prepare. But when our children face an ever-changing, more complex and more challenging world than we faced, how do we prepare our children so that they can provide for and protect themselves? And what happens when life happens, and they need to return home?

There is a clear trend of adult children moving back in with their parents to save money, at the expense of their privacy and independence.

At an individual level, these decisions are often made with changing life circumstances - health, divorce, losing a job, increases in rent, conflict with flatmates and so on. But there are often broader societal trends underlying these decisions.

The first is a long term trend that has affected humans since the beginning of our species - what scientists call our 'extended juvenile period'.

Every profession now has to deal with new technologies and more complex systems. This has resulted in us spending more time in education, particularly on-the-job education (e.g. internships, junior roles and lower paid apprenticeships), meaning it now takes more time before we're earning enough to support a family, buy a house and become self-sufficient.

It used to be that a high school diploma was enough to make a good living. Then it took a university degree or a short apprenticeship. Now it requires post-graduate degrees, internships and volunteer work - which can be unpaid - as well as on-the-job training.

This has meant that the age of first birth, the age of owning a home and the age of financial independence have been steadily rising. As a result, when the last two generations did finally leave home, they often found themselves needing to return, especially if they were unable to share costs with a partner or group of friends.

The second trend is more recent. Economic growth has slowed, yet wealth and income inequality has risen. In combination, this means there's less to go around per person and of what is there, a greater share has gone to the top end of society.

This means it's becoming more difficult for people to purchase a home and become self-sufficient than it was for their parents, or even those born a couple of decades earlier.

These are real problems with not-so-simple solutions.

However, it can be hard to see an adult child return home in less than ideal circumstances, especially after two decades of interrupted sleep, changing nappies helping with homework, giving them lifts from event to event, dealing with the ups and downs of friendships and first romantic relationships, and celebrating the joys, achievements, graduations and first jobs.

For children too, this is often not a preferred situation. They are trading their independence and privacy for financial savings and perhaps some home cooking and laundry.

There are no one-size-fits-all solutions on how to handle the new situation, but it may be worth noting a few things in moving toward a more open discussion:

  1. Emotions such as pride and sense of self-worth are affected on both sides - A child in their ability to handle the world as their parents did, and a parent in whether they properly prepared their children for the world. These may lead to important discussions, but it's important to remember that the world is more competitive for young adults than ever before.
  2. Different societies and different cultures have different expectations for independence - In many so-called WEIRD (Western Educated Industrialised Rich Democratic) societies, young adults are expected to live alone or apart from their parents. However, in many other societies, unmarried children live with their respective parents until marriage and then married couples live with or near their husband (patrilocal) or wife's (matrilocal) parents. It may be that our society is moving toward these other norms.
  3. There are pros and cons for both parents and children that vary from family to family, and circumstances outside of the family also affect emotions and mental health - In discussing how long the arrangement will last and how to keep both parties happy, it's worth remembering the costs and benefits to both parties. On both sides, this can come in the form of increased support at home, the joy of being closer to loved ones and perhaps access to grandchildren, versus the loss of privacy, increased workload, reduced living space and financial costs. An honest conversation can help prevent problems from surfacing in less ideal ways.

Thankfully, many parents have been willing to help their children reduce their expenses by moving back home - even though research has shown the tensions over how much children should be contributing in rent and expenses, and the mismatch in expectations between parents and children.

Hopefully, even if the returns to parents aren't immediately monetary, they find that their children do eventually become financially self-sufficient and perhaps return the favour as they grow older.

Dr Michael Muthukrishna

Dr Michael Muthukrishna is an Assistant Professor of Economic Psychology at the London School of Economics. Other affiliations include Research Associate of the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University, Affiliate of the Yale Applied Cooperation Team, Affiliate of the Developmental Economics Group at STICERD, and Technical Director of The Database of Religious History.

His research focuses on answering three broad questions: Why are humans so different to other animals? What are the psychological and evolutionary processes that underlie culture and how is culture transmitted, maintained, and modified? How can the answers to these questions be used to tackle some of the challenges we face as a species?

He uses the "Theory of Human Behaviour" to tackle a variety of related topics, including innovation, corruption, the rise of large-scale cooperation, and the navigation of cross-cultural differences. More information on his research can be found here.

Case Study - Rob and Lianne, Romford

Rob:

"My partner Lianne and I moved back into her parents' house in Romford in our late twenties. We were fed up with shelling out for the expensive rent in our West London property, while trying to get a deposit together for our first home. We found ourselves struggling to save money even though we were sharing the two bed flat with another roommate. Renting put a huge strain on our finances, particularly as Lianne was still at medical school with only loans and savings from when she'd previously been working.

"House prices were spiralling at the time and, even though both of our parents were incredibly supportive, they weren't in a position to take care of the deposit situation - the bulk had to come from our own savings. So, Lianne's parents were very open to the idea of us moving in. They understood it wouldn't be forever and they wanted to be as helpful as possible in order for us to save.

"We discussed contributing to rent when we first moved in, but Lianne's parents decided not to charge us any, which was extremely generous of them. As a way to show our appreciation, we would take them out for nice dinners and help around the house with cleaning etc., while still managing to save a substantial amount. We took care of our own food, but Lianne's parents did cook the occasional dinner every now and then. They also did our laundry for us, which was not only really useful, but also helped to keep costs down.

"Our commutes were longer and as a result cost more money, but this was a sacrifice we were willing to make. Even though we didn't have much control over the TV (Lianne's dad is a massive football fan!), getting to come home to a warm, proper family home each night made it worth it. And, after nine months, we had managed to save enough for a deposit on our own place, just down the road."

Rob and Lianne
“We found ourselves struggling to save money even though we were sharing the two bed flat with another roommate.”

Lianne's parents:

Lianne's parents
“It's just so difficult to get on the property ladder any other way and we have actually done the same for our other two children.”

"We always knew that we wanted to help out where we could. We had the space and were keen to help our daughter and her husband to save for a deposit. It never impacted on our lifestyle because they were both so easy to get on with and we all understood when to give each other space.

"Although there was some financial cost to us, such as heating facilities and additional laundry loads, we fully understood the help that was needed for them to save. It's just so difficult to get on the property ladder any other way and we have actually done the same for our other two children, who also came back home to live with their respective partners. We have always felt close to our children and would do it all again if we had to. Lianne and Rob now have a nice house, which we like to think we helped them secure!

"We never felt they were overstaying their welcome, as we discussed parameters at the beginning and knew more or less when they would move out. Privacy was also never really an issue for us as we had space in our rooms if needed.

"In this financial climate, particularly in and around London and being unable to help financially with a lump sum for a deposit, this was our present - and it seems to have worked!"

Hotel Services

Psychology

The Psychology

Expert analysis by Dr Michael Muthukrishna of the LSE

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Case Study

Case Study

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