Real-life MMD: Should we deduct rent from future uni contribution?

edited 5 March 2013 at 11:49AM in Money Saving Polls
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Former_MSE_DebsFormer_MSE_Debs Former MSE
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edited 5 March 2013 at 11:49AM in Money Saving Polls
Money Moral Dilemma: Should we deduct rent from future uni contribution?

My 18-year-old son is on a gap year before starting university. I'm sure he’s getting jobseekers' allowance (£56/week), though he won't discuss it. He refuses to pay us for bills or help around the house. We've told him if he won't contribute, we'll take rent for this year out of our contribution when he goes to uni, but if he then can't cope financially he might drop out and have to live off us for the forseeable future. Should we risk it?

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  • lvmlvm Forumite
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    Correct me if I'm wrong but I though gap years were used to actually do something - like travel, volunteer work, work experience etc.

    DEMAND money from him - don't make him meals, give him money to go out or anything else like that. Tell him to get a job and contribute or find alternative accommodation (gotta be cruel to be kind!).


    I don't think taking it off Uni contribution will be that effective - he didn't have the money in the first place so won't feel as if he's losing anything.


    If he isn't learning how to manage his money now, even as little at £56 then it'll just get worse when he's at Uni.


    I was in his position around 10 years ago and I ended up in a mess...which only stopped when my parents stopped bailing me out and I had to learn to manage my money properly.
  • Why dont you take a small amount off him as rent and if you can afford it, save it for him for when he is at university? I think he should pay something. I thought a gap year was so that the would be student could either travel or work though. He does need to be contributing in some form.
  • lauh88lauh88 Forumite
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    I know you want to help, but sometimes not helping is the best help.. if that makes sense! Most students get through uni without any parental contribution, so why can't your son? If he wants the luxury of living at home he needs to contribute or move out!
  • TigsteroonieTigsteroonie Forumite
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    MSE_Debs wrote: »
    though he won't discuss it. He refuses to pay us for bills or help around the house.

    Wait until he goes out and then change the locks. :p
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  • NRTurnerNRTurner Forumite
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    You should demand rent from him or make him earn his keep at home. When I had to move back in with my parents (admittedly when I was 24) for a few weeks when unemployed, I was expected to do housework and shopping trips, in between applying for jobs.

    Also, if he doesn't yet have a place at university then sitting around doing nothing on a gap year does not reflect well on a UCAS application. The better universities will want to know what he's been doing, whether it's re-sitting exams to get better grades, working, volunteering or travelling - if it's none of those he may be penalised.
  • edited 5 March 2013 at 9:47PM
    iclayticlayt Forumite
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    edited 5 March 2013 at 9:47PM
    If he can't cope financially at uni with the support of student finance and a contribution from you (even with the rent deduction) then he might have to do what every student does and get a part time job or two. If he knows you will always be there as a financial back up, he will never learn to manage himself.

    The issue at hand is his lack of contribution while he is living with you NOW, not his lifestyle while at uni.

    Cutting off the Internet supply worked well for me in my selfish "I'm an adult, you can't make me do it/pay for it" phase. As did a fridge/cupboard empty of snacks, my mum refusing to do all my washing, dad refusing to pick me up on nights out when I had money for a taxi.... Whatever he considers a perk, restrict it. I soon got a job!

    There's just no excuse for not even helping out in a shared household and that attitude won't go down well with future housemates at uni either! Teach him that now rather than let him get away with it - he won't learn a thing otherwise.

    Also, unless he's volunteering, working, seeing the world or generally contributing to society in some other way, he's not on a gap year, he's unemployed. Not great on a uni application. This is a brilliant opportunity for him to do something he enjoys before he has the boring restrictions of adulthood. So force him in to it while you can ;)
  • Voyager2002Voyager2002 Forumite
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    His behaviour right now is unacceptable. You need to deal with it now, rather than pushing the consequences into a distant and hypothetical future. Make it very clear to him that he can either contribute to the household or find somewhere else to live.
  • I read this really great article a few months ago and it was saying sit your adult child down and explain that they need to contribute or it was time for them to move on and give a reasonable timeline for them moving out if they don't start contributing reasonably.

    Then over the period from now and the move out day you start restricting their access to certain things you provide. TV, games consoles, certain food and progressively remove the items so right towards the move out date things like toilet roll is not provided, light bulbs etc. Obviously I am paraphrasing heavily but the idea was we make life too cushy for our adult children and they have grown up believing they are entitled to a middle class lifestyle but don't need to work for it like you and I did.
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  • JuliusCaesarJuliusCaesar Forumite
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    Tell him that now he is an adult he has to take more responsibility and give him the choice to either to pay and help with chores or move out.
  • VT82VT82 Forumite
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    iclayt wrote: »
    unless he's volunteering, working, seeing the world or generally contributing to society in some other way, he's not on a gap year, he's unemployed.
    Couldn't have put it better myself.

    Why would you even contemplate contributing to his uni time (which, by the way, isn't going to ever happen), if this is how he treats you now? Love your children unconditionally of course, but 'enabling' him like this this would just be bad parenting, bringing him up to be spoilt and lazy.
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