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



  • I think Elizabeth should let Charles go on the trip and use the arrangements the club has for financial hardship. I dont think i would mention the cost issue to Charles specifically if i were Elizabeth, but i would want him to be aware that we had to take care with our money in general. i wouldn't have a problem with asking for help from the club if i genuinely needed it - the scheme exists to enable kids of low income families to go on trips with their peers, so I'd take the pragmatic approach and use it.
  • Justamum
    Justamum Posts: 4,727 Forumite
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    Poptart - money troubles are not necessarily the parents' "fault". Maybe some parents don't earn very much, or there are too many essential outgoings such as rent, bills, food, etc. Not everybody who is hard up is up to their ears in debt. We really struggle but don't have any credit cards or loans so I don't feel we are to blame for our troubles. If we can't afford something we explain to our children (10 and 7 - the 2 year old is a bit young to understand) and have done for as long as I can remember. Children do have the ability to understand that they can't have everything, it's just that some parents are incapable of saying "no".
  • my son was going on a school trip to the US last year (for which I saved for over a year for) and before he went there were mutterings that one of the lads going was only going because the rest of us were basically subsidising his travel.

    I must admit that when I first heard about it I was annoyed ....after all I gave up things for my son to go and I thought it was very cheeky of the school to do this off their own bat without even asking.

    However the more I thought about it (and found out about the lad concerned) realised that we were only (??) talking about £40 each. In addition to that the lad concerned has shown his appreciation by consistantly helping out at school events.

    So in answer to the question I think povided Charles does actually get something out of the trip and is appreciative of the sponsership then yes hos mum should take advantage of the help being offered.
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  • Lady_E
    Lady_E Posts: 1,046 Forumite
    Not sure if this has been mentioned before but if Charlie does go on the trip would there be any additional expenditure e.g walking boots, sleeping bags etc etc? If there were then I think Liz would have to tell Charlie that it was not going to be possible to go . If not then I think Liz should swallow her pride speak to the youth club,who in all honesty are probably expecting a few applications anyway, and see if they can come to some arrangement.It might be Liz could pay maybe £20 or something towards it , therefore saying she had "paid " for the trip. Kids love all this group fun trips and I think Charlie may feel left out if he cannot go , or conversely the other kids might pick on him for not being allowed to go .
    I say , Liz , let Charlie go .........and thinking about it , she could use Freecycle if there were additional things required e.g sleeping bags etc
  • Dotdot
    Dotdot Posts: 12 Forumite
    Let him go and enjoy himself, be cheerful, and don't put any guilt on him! At 65, I remember school trips with great pleasure. Life is difficult enough for young people. Accept the opportunity as a blessing. There'll be chances in the years to come for you to help others financially in your turn. A very old gent told me years ago to ask yourself when in doubt the question "Will it be important in 30 years' time? The trip may well have been, the snobby parents no.
  • Chas
    Chas Posts: 1,794 Forumite
    I would like to know if Elizabeth smokes & if they have Sky TV before answering the question.
  • 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.
    Your wrong there buddy, in my case anyway. I would never ever begrudge another child going just because of my own hardship. Its not the kids fault he's in this position. I would be pleased to help knowing that I would be very grateful if I were in the same position as Elizabeth.
    Wildly my mind beats against you, yet the soul obeys. :heartpuls

    Murphys "No more pies club" member #70

    Vivit post funera virtus
  • poptart wrote:
    I cannot understand why a parent would make their 13 year old child pay £90 towards a school trip, that is a disgusting thing to do. If the child was 18 I would expect them to pay towards their own trip, certainly not 13. It isn't a valuable lesson for a child at all. I don't believe a 13 year old should know about money troubles as it is the parents problem that they are in that mess in the first place, not the child's. I applaud your child for saving enough money to pay half of the trip, not many 13 year olds can save up that kind of money without spending it on trainers or computer games. what will you do next, start investing his pocket money without asking? or perhaps start removing 'tax' from it. You shouldstart treating your child like a 13 year old, not an 18 year old. :mad:
    Bit harsh to have a go at someones parenting skills like that I think. Everyone has different opinions about how to raise their child. Whilst I agree with the essence of what you are saying about letting children be children, there is going to come a point when they need to start to learn about the value of money. I think 13 is a reasonable age to start because they are starting to have some sort of autonomy at school and it would do well to start them off gently as opposed to chucking them in at the deep end when they leave school.
    Wildly my mind beats against you, yet the soul obeys. :heartpuls

    Murphys "No more pies club" member #70

    Vivit post funera virtus
  • As a parent myself I would do everything within my power to endure my child goes on the trip, even if it means speaking with the youth club leaders and arranging to pay in installments or giving my time for free. Pride is a terrible thing to have in situations like this if it means your child misses out on experiences. Just my tuppence worth.
  • All through my years at school I received free school meals and had the option to have my school trips at least partially paid for. I knew this was because my Mum and Dad couldn't afford it on their own. I was never made to feel bad or inferior because of this subsidisation and would often choose not to go on school trips if I felt the level of susidisation was still not sufficiant for my parents to afford. As a result the trips I did go on were that more special to me and I have always felt I got more out of them than a lot of kids who's parents could just sign the cheque without a moments hesitation. The amount of whinging that went on from the 'rich kids' about how rubbish the food was and how they weren't having any fun still makes me laugh now. I feel very strongly that kids of any age should be made aware that not everything they want will be handed to them on a plate. I think this approach is why we have so many parents in debt nowadays. Parents who just can't say no to their kids and will spend hundreds of pounds on credit in order for little Johnny to have his 'must have' playstation or mountain bike. We have become a nation of instant gratification junkies and we are raising our kids in the same way. How will our kids ever come to value money or even experiences like holidays and trips if they are handed everything they ask for without question.

    I think Elizabeth should take the subsidisation on the trip, but sit down with Charlie and explain what is happening. There doesn't need to be a lecture, but Charlie is plenty old enough to understand that money doesn't grow on trees and from my own experience it will make him appreciate not only the trip, but his Mum more as well. Modern day 13 year olds are a lot more streetwise and 'grown up' than we like to admit and it is likely that Charlie is already at least partially aware of the financial troubles his Mum is in. And although we may still view a 13 yr old as a child, the majority of 13 yr olds would desribe themselves as young adults and will not tolerate being treated otherwise. As others have said if Elizabeth feels strongly enough she can do volunteer work for the youth club to help out. As for the other parents feeling put out about subsidising another child, anyone who feels that way should remember a time when someone has helped them out, be it financially or otherwise. We already pay thousands in Council Tax and National Insurance in order to 'subsidise' people we will never meet who are out of work and on benefits or sick and using the NHS. What is wrong with paying a few pounds extra to help out someone who is actually part of your personal community and would you really begrudge a child having a special trip even if it meant you paid a little extra?
    Don't let the b*st*rds get you down!
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