MONEY MORAL DILEMMA: Should Darth take money from his kids accounts?

MSE_Martin Posts: 8,272 Money Saving Expert
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Here's this week's hypothetical situation for you to cogitate on:
Should Darth take money from his kids' accounts?

Widower Darth is having a dark time, he's badly in debt and really struggling to keep the family's head above water. Both his seven year old twins, Luke and Leia, have savings accounts with around £1,000 in each; their money is from a mix of Darth's gifts and that of other relatives. He could really use the cash right now; should he take the cash from the kids' accounts?
Enter the Money Moral Maze: Should Darth take money from his kids' accounts?

Previous MMDs: Would you lend to a friend in need? and Would you take the job?
Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
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  • edenhendry
    If I were Luke and found out daddy was pilfering my savings, I'd pull out the light saber and cut off his money-grabbing hand!

    But seriously, if I had money difficulties, I wouldn't go near my childrens' savings accounts. I put away money in their accounts each mounth that I can afford, and as far as I'm concerned, it has then left the realms of my recovery.

    Plus this dilemma also says that other people's gifts have gone into the savings too, and I'd feel even more like a thief for taking the money as it was never meant for me.

    Personally, I'd have a serious look at my finances to see where the problems lie, and sort that out, rather than looking for the quick fix option of taking someone else's money.

    Just because the kids don't know about their savings or because you are the trustee, doesn't mean you take whatever money you like from it - it is someone else's money......
  • hilstep2000
    hilstep2000 Posts: 3,089 Forumite
    I've done it in the past when things have been tight. I've always put it back tho once I could. I treated it like another debt, one that had to be repaid.
    I Believe in saving money!!!:T
    A Bargain is only a bargain if you need it!

  • hmc
    hmc Posts: 2,483 Forumite
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    i would if it meant feeding us or keeping roof over our heads

    i would aim to put it back asap though
  • viktory
    viktory Posts: 7,635 Forumite
    Yes of course he should use it! It would benefit the family as a whole, as it would mean that some pressing debts could be paid and the load would be lightened on poor Darth's shoulders. They are a family aren't they? Helping each other out and supporting each other in times of need.

    Taking the money and paying some debts would mean he would become a happier Daddy, which would benefit the family as whole. Imagine how those children would feel if it all got too much for Darth and he committed suicide. They would feel dreadful. However, he should return the money when finances allow.

    Alternatively, Darth should get on MSE and post his SOA for advice and assistance!
  • natsplatalie
    When I was a kid I always used to save birthday money and pocket money and by the time I was 10 or 11, I had saved a few hundred pounds, which I lent to my dad to buy a computer. I got the money back with cash interest, a TV and a Budgie, so I was happy.

    Its not quite the same, but if I was Leia, and Darth wasn't evil or anything, I would want to lend him the money, so Maybe Darth should sit down with his kids and explain the situation to them? It could be a good, early money-saving lesson for twins.
  • skylight
    skylight Posts: 10,716 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker Home Insurance Hacker!
    Depends on the level of debt. If they could clear off what they owe and be bobbing along on the £2k, then yes, take it immediately. Darth can start to replace it when things are looking up.

    If, however, the £2k from the accounts won't even touch the sides of the debt, then its not worth it.

    After all, money is not everything. I would be horrified if I thought my parents lost our family home whist I was a child and then at 18 get a lump sum that could have helped.
  • SunnyBrighton_2
    Not a chance - never - ever! It's not his money and it wasn't given to him To ask 7 year olds for it would be emotional blackmail. And it won't make any difference, because he'll still be deep in debt, (sounds like a couple of thousand would only be stealing from Peter to pay Paul) and then where does he go for the next fix of money? This is much deeper than a 'oops, need a little now, and will pay it back tomorrow'.

    There are other relatives around, so why doesn't he sit down with the family he trusts and ask for help - not just money, although some may offer temporary solutions. like looking after the twins so that he can work - and do something positive?

    He needs to get debt counselling, and probably bereavement counselling too, sign up to MSE, sort himself out, and stop looking for the easy option.
  • macaroni
    macaroni Posts: 448 Forumite
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    No dont do it

    Its the kids money given my family in good faith. Whayts the chances of him being able to pay it back?? Zilch !!
  • fratty
    fratty Posts: 36 Forumite
    If it really truly utterly is a TEMPORARY 'loan' then I would. For example, it was a case of cashflow issues rather than debt problems then I would (and have!!!) borrowed from my kids.

    BUT (and it is a BIG BUT!) I would NEVER EVER touch it if I thought for one second I couldn't replace it in the very very near future!!

    .... if you don't like what I say, then don't listen....

  • jtzt
    jtzt Posts: 17 Forumite
    If Darth is "badly in debt" then as charlotte664 says, £2000 won't even touch the sides... No.
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