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What to do About Moochers

Got moochers living with you?

Many families have adult children, parents or other relatives living with them. The Pew Research Center reports that from 1971–2021, the number of people living in multigenerational homes quadrupled. That number’s expected to rise. If someone’s taking advantage of your kindness, the sooner you talk, the better.  Clear, loving, written communication will prevent the build-up of resentment or bitterness and launch them in a positive way. If married, first seek unity with your spouse and a defined course of action. Approach the houseguest as the Apostle Paul directed in Colossians 3: Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” (Colossians 3:12-14)

Schedule a time to talk with your guest. Pray, fast, then present your conditions. Require them to take financial responsibility or relocate. Giving them a choice shifts the tone of your interactions so your guest does not feel surprised, rejected, or attacked. You might even ask their take on resolving the situation. Have a written financial plan that shows what you expect for rent and bills, as well as chores to accomplish. Show when bills are due and the consequences for being late. Holding a deposit of one month of expenses may be warranted.

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