Real Life MMD: Should the cash go to my kids or pay off debt?

Former_MSE_LeeFormer_MSE_Lee Former Editorial AssistantFormer MSE
343 Posts
Money Moral Dilemma: Should the cash go to my kids or pay off debt?

For the first time I'm getting money for the kids from their dad. When he wasn't giving me any money I spent the majority of mine on the children's shoes, glasses, food etc, and have racked up a bit of a credit card debt. I feel very guilty, but is it okay to put the cash towards the monthly direct debit of that debt, or should it go on the kids?
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  • If you've incurred debt paying for the kids whilst you weren't receiving money from their father then it only seems sensible to use the money you are now receiving to pay down that debt.

    More to the point. Credit card debt is bad. You don't want to be paying interest on credit card debt. If you pay off your credit card debt using the money from their father then you will no longer be paying interest to the banks and in future will have more money to spent on the kids.

    Look at it as a sensible short term option (paying off cards) to give your kids a long term benefit from the money from their father
  • jamespirjamespir Forumite
    21.5K Posts
    no it should be spent on the kids thats what its there for its child support not credit card support
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  • TigsteroonieTigsteroonie Forumite
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    You spend his money on the kids.

    Your money that you don't now spend (because you are spending his money instead), that goes towards paying off your credit card.
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  • pretzelnutpretzelnut Forumite
    4.3K Posts
    It doesnt matter whether you spend ''your'' money paying off your credit card or ''his'' money paying it off.

    As long as it gets paid off, the sooner the better, you have single handedly supported those children without the fathers financial support. If he had taken his responsibilities seriously then you wouldnt have the debt in the 1st place. Then in the long run you will be a lot better of financially.

    His money, your money is irrelevant.
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  • On the credit card. I understand your feelings of guilt, but if what you say is true then you have in effect already used that money for things that the kids used. It was just late arriving so your ex has an I.O.U.
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  • I put all the money in the pot, so maintenance, my money, Child benefit etc is in the same account. Some months I spend less than the child support, other months I spend more so it evens out.

    Aslong as the kids are getting everything they need, then throw as much as you can at the CC debt, because you are paying through the nose in interest for that.

    If you want to be pedantic (as some posters apparantly do) then ring fence the maintenance and put the money you are saving yourself on the debt. The children will ultimately benefit because you will be doubly better off when you are no longer servicing debt so it is in their interest to to get rid of it asap.
  • bodsbods Forumite
    23 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    Of course its fine to pay off the debts. If you've racked up debts paying things for the kids then his money can be put towards getting rid of them. Just think of it as having given him a short term loan that now he's paying off.
  • scotsbobscotsbob Forumite
    4.6K Posts
    The money is for the children, not to pay your creditors.
  • If you'd built up your credit card debt on holidays and fancy living that would be one thing, but you ran up the debt to pay for your children's needs. So the credit card company has effectively loaned money to help you and your children. It's perfectly acceptable for you to repay that "loan" to your credit card company, without any guilt at all.
  • bogwartbogwart Forumite
    117 Posts
    If the credit card debt has been incurred due to you spending the money on your children of course that's where the money should go. The kids get the benefit either way, and the more you can reduce that credit card interest the better it will for them as well as you.
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