Connie: Your update is further evidence that you are living rent free. If you were renting, you would still have to pay for heat and utilities in addition to actual rent to the owner of the property. If it were a smallish apartment, you’d pay about $1000/mo. around here, double that if you were renting a house. You would still have to pay your own expenses and, if you were wise, renter’s insurance on top of that. I did not mean to imply that your mother covers all of your living expenses, but rent, heat, and utilities are expenses which you don’t mention paying. Your mother may own the house outright, but if she rented to a third party she would be able to charge the sort of rent I cited. You don’t mention paying a share of taxes on the home. I don’t know how much maintenance you pay for, but around here the rent on half a house is about $12K/year, so if you are spending less than that, then your mother is giving you a great deal.