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



  • There are so many trips at schools, etc now that seem to cost a lot that I can see this being na issue for us in the future. We would always try our best but £180 for an overnight trip that has just been mentioned would not be happening!

    However, if this is a trip he would benefit from (and in my experience youth club activity trips really are) how about you pay what you can afford, say half. Then there is less cost being shared out amongst the others and you feel less guilty.
    hey there's no money but we couldn't be happier if we tried
    £2 coin pot - £92!
  • I work as treasurer for a playgroup and we have many families who struggle to pay for the fees.
    We don't ask other families to subsidise, we prefer instead to apply for grants to help out those in financial hardship.
    BBC Children In Need is one organisation who would be suitable to ask for help from in the situation of Charles and Elizabeth. There are many other similar organisations.
    What the youth group needs is someone who will take the time and effort to put in an application for funding for a group project - not for an individual family like C and E. The project can simply be ' to fund places on our educational trips for those in financial hardship', and as long as realistic plans and costings are included, the project stands a good chance of success.
    This takes away the dilemma for Elizabeth of whether she should let better off families within the group subsidise her own child.

    Ha ha, I like the choice of names here - Elizabeth and Charles. Not a problem that ever faced the pair I'm thinking of, I'm sure!
  • Daisies
    Daisies Posts: 256 Forumite
    I think she should let him go, but explain the situation and perhaps ask if he can help pay something towards it (maybe from a future paper round, or if he received money from grandparents, for instance). She should also ask for the hardship money, as this does sound like a case of genuine hardship, and the trip sounds like it's worth going on. Maybe she could pay some herself and ask the youth club to pay the rest?

    I imagine a youth club would have similar arrangements to Guides and Scouts (I'm a Guider), but we charge £1 a week for the meetings, and this is giftaided by those parents that want to and pay tax. So the giftaid money goes into the Guide bank account to help pay for things the group needs (eg new tent for camp) and to subsidise girls going to camp, or who maybe can't afford a uniform jumper. This also helps to keep the costs down when we do go to camp.
  • ilona_2
    ilona_2 Posts: 10 Forumite
    Speaking from personal experience, he should go. I grew up in the 50's when money was extremely tight - my mother was a single parent & there were no state benefits then, not even family allowance for the first child. Nobody cared about being 'sensitive' to a schoolgirl getting free school dinners (given obvious tokens to hand over) & free uniforms & every knew I got them. I only went on a school trip to Austria as my mother was allowed to pay the money in installments - everyone else paid upfront - & the teacher didn't keep this info to herself. At the time it was embarrassing but it made me a stronger person - a surviver - which has helped me through life. Lets face it: life isn't easy & being over-cushioned or nannied in childhood doesn't help you get through the grownup world.
  • nej
    nej Posts: 1,526 Forumite
    I think a parent who scrimped and saved or went without to pay for their child would be rightly affronted to discover they were subsidising another child.

    Not sure that's much different to someone who paid for their child but is on benefits and doesn't work - we pay for them indirectly, too.
  • Mics_chick
    Mics_chick Posts: 12,014 Forumite
    I think she should let him go.
    There is a scheme in place to help people in her situation. Why should her son lose out because of her uneasy feelings? - mine wouldn't!!

    Can she afford something towards it - even if it's only £10/£20?

    Would she begrudge anyone else in a similar situation to her taking advantage of this arrangement - maybe it will be her this time and somebody else next time and she will be able to afford the whole amount herself then...
    You should never call somebody else a nerd or geek because everybody (even YOU !!!) is an
    "anorak" about something whether it's trains, computers, football, shoes or celebs :p :rotfl:
  • XRAT
    XRAT Posts: 239 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Hold on, I seem to recognise this senario.
    Isn't it the same one Gordon Brown runs? As a P.A.Y.E earner I get taxed on everything, to pay for those who can't be bothered to work, and those who can afford an accountant!
  • Voyager2002
    Voyager2002 Posts: 15,281 Forumite
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    I don't see this as an issue: of course she should let him go. Elizabeth, however, should be aware that she has benefited from the Youth Club's policy, and when her finances have improved and it is her turn to pay up for others, she should do so cheefully.

    I am a parent, my earnings keep me above the poverty line, and I would not hesitate to pay a little more for trips such as this so that my kid's less fortunate friends can come along: they are the ones who are likely to appreciate the experience most, put most into it, and thus help my own kids to have an even better time than they would do otherwise.
  • Of course Charles should go. Why should he suffer because Elizabeth has a mis-placed reluctance to accept the offer of a subsidised place. I'm sure if she was in a position to subsidise someone elses place she would do so. Whilst I admire people trying to stand on their own two feet there are times when it would be folly not to accept an offer of help.
  • I agree with Voyager2002 - not an issue - sounds like Elizabeth needs to chill out a bit. If she had more money, wouldn't she be delighted to put a little towards someone with less being able to go on the trip?
    And what's with all the rush to put a guilt trip on the child? Provided she's teaching him how to handle his money, why on earth should he have the free trip shoved down his throat? Surely he is aware of the situation already - if he's not, then Eliz has a bit of work to do!
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