MONEY MORAL DILEMMA: Should Elizabeth tell Charles he can't go on the trip?

Here's this week's hypothetical situation for you to cogitate on:
Should Elizabeth tell Charles he can't go on the trip?

"Elizabeth's 13 year old son Charles attends a local youth club. It has invited the kids away on a forest adventure long-weekend costing around £80. Whilst Charles is very keen, unfortunately Elizabeth simply cannot afford it. The youth club's policy is that in genuine cases of hardship, which Elizabeth qualifies for, the other parents will all pay more to subsidise it, when the final price is announced. While she'll be anonymous, Elizabeth feels uneasy about this. Should she still let Charles go?"


Click reply to enter the money moral maze (please remember, be polite to other MoneySavers, even if you disagree with them).

Past MMDs:


  • At 13 I think Charles is old enough to understand the situation and I would talk it through with him. Once he is aware of the facts perhaps he can help make the decision. Whatever the decision he will know that you care about not just him but others too.
  • Elizabeth should explain to Charles how money is tight. If he really wants to go, maybe he could get a paper round or babysit.

    Meanwhile, Elizabeth should be doing her d__mndest (ebaying, babysitting, ironing etc), to raise the money too.

    If it's a team effort and they get the money, he should go, but if they don't then he is old enough to understand if the explanation is done sensitively and maybe he and a friend could have a treat with the money he and Elizabeth HAVE raised.
    (AKA HRH_MUngo)
    Member #10 of £2 savers club
    Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology: Terry Eagleton
  • Lurleene
    Lurleene Posts: 1,108 Forumite
    Whilst I know this is a hypothetical situation, I work for a local youth centre and it is our policy that in cases of genuine hardship we will find ways of covering things if a yp would benefit from an activity. Not to generalise, but often those in poorest financial situations will achieve more than those whose families can afford to offer them certain experiences.

    Rather than looking upon the holiday as a charity exercise, maybe it could be seen as a golden opportunity. I think Mum should let him go , but point out to him that it is a priveledge and he should treat it as such. Hopefully he will come home with some great memories, new relationships, and maybe even some new skills!
  • mogoot
    mogoot Posts: 44 Forumite
    Elizabeth has a responsibility to do the best for her child. The trip will undoubtedly be beneficial to Charles, so why shouldn't he have the opportunity? Perhaps if Elizabeth feels uncomfortable taking money from others to pay for it, perhaps she could offer a contribution to meet part of the costs.
  • Bossyboots
    Bossyboots Posts: 6,747
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I agree with the others, he should be allowed to go but it should be explained to him about the financial situation so that he understands the privilege he is getting now and also that this doesn't mean he will be able to do or have anything he wants later on if they can't afford it.
  • jw007
    jw007 Posts: 9 Forumite
    While I agree that he should be allowed to go, I think those who are saying he should be told about the financial situation & that it is a priveledge should be aware that for those whose parents can also afford the trip it is also a priveledge. He should NOT be made to feel different or lectured at because of his financial position! The source of the other parents income which is paying for the trip is not up for question (drug dealer, pimp!) and does not result in the lecturing of their children. So the bottom line is he should go and no one (including his mother) should make him feel bad or different for how he was able to go!!
  • juliaw
    juliaw Posts: 50
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    He should go. The youth centre staff will find a way of dealing with it sensitively. It's his mother who has the problem. However, do not underestimate what this feels like for his mother. My daughter went on a leadership course paid for by the local Rotary Club (we haven't been away on holiday for several years). My friend had been part of a sponsored swim to raise money for this project, and I had sponsored her. I will never recover from the shock of realising that I was on the other side of the fence. My family were being helped by a charity.
  • garyrjb
    garyrjb Posts: 20 Forumite
    We have just had this dilemma with my lad who came home with a drama letter asking for £180 for an overnight trip to London . the itinery was excellent 2 shows and a workshop etc.
    We sat down and talked about it and said we would pay half if my boy paid half (proceeds from boot fair). He elected not to go because he realised it was just too much money for an overnight trip. I believe a valuble lesson for a 13 year old boy!!

    A lot of his friends have been unable to go also.
  • Free holiday let him go!!!
    Nothing to see here, move along.
  • i would discuss it with my little one and see if they want to go first.

    how keen he/she was about it would make up my mind.

    if i was really too porr to even contribute via cold, hard cash, i would volunteer time in helping to organise, sort-out the trip, or help out regularly with the youth club.

    youth clubs aren't just run on money, but willing and enthusiastic volunteers!
    What goes around - comes around
    give lots and you will always recieve lots
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