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

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  • I went to uni and I saved up and worked whilst I was there and I managed to get a 2.1 and have a life-I loved it. Uni is a privilege really and if you doubt his ability to keep at it and not drop out I wouldnt fund it. Loans etc will cover costs alongside part time work so instead say you wi help pay those off as a graduation present rather than pay him to go! It will give him a reason to keep going and he will learn to manage money-which will be the key to him not living off you when he finishes his degree!

    Good luck and be strong!!
  • I hate to say it, but if you have not instilled in your offspring the value of paying their way in life at a much earlier age then I am not sure if I have much sympathy! There's a point to the adage train hard fight easy!

    I think you need to either put your foot down now and teach him that all adults have to pay there way, or put up with being made mugs out of!
  • There's something very wrong here.

    Why aren't you talking? How long has the lack of communication been going on? Is there a specific reason for it?

    Teenagers can be difficult but it's up to you as his parents to keep the gates open and communicate.

    Why are you contributing to his university? My son got a student loan and lived on that - he's brilliant with money, I've taught him how to be - he's even saved from it but he did eat like a typical student and bought cheap stuff - I think he spent about £7-10 per week on food.

    There needs to be a lot done here - you need to get talking to him and find out what he's doing in his gap year. Ask him why he won't tell you if he's getting JSA - what's his reason?

    You need to sort this out and soon.

    Good luck!
  • newpuppy
    newpuppy Posts: 38
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    As others have said, forget next year, the future or whatever. Your son is not head of the household, you are. Remember the sacrifices you made to buy or rent your first home? Well, it's his turn now to see how the real world feels, no ifs or buts, and if you don't mind me saying so, his enlightenment has already been a long time coming, compared with many.

    >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?<

    If he can't cope financially, he might well decide to drop out, but that would be his choice, one of several available to him. Should you risk him returning to live off you for the foreseeable future? Are you serious? It's your money, your house and your choice who lives in it. Save yourself some heartache and set your son some reasonable boundaries now.
  • stingyC
    stingyC Posts: 5 Forumite
    The problem is youre too soft. My parents arranged an interview for me for a part time job a week before I was legally allowed to start. When I went to Uni, they topped up my grant (yeah it was a while ago) but only so it covered my rent. The rest, bills/food included was upto me to earn.

    A gap year is meant for travelling or getting work experience. Somehow youve allowed him to go on the dole and pay no rent or food? I wouldnt be surprised if he finds an excuse not to go to Uni and live off the bank of M&D until hes 30.

    Act now or you will surely regret it
  • Sounds like you need a far more serious conversation with your son. Something about respect for his parents, getting him to understand the cost of food, clothing and shelter, and not least that it's time to grow up and accept responsibility.

    Stop feeding him, doing his washing/ironing and tidying up around him. He needs to understand life is a 2 way street.
  • Rufus20
    Rufus20 Posts: 37
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    If you are that tight that you want to take part of £56 off of him why are you offering to pay part of his uni costs? Either leave him be or take his money and don't pay his uni! If he isn't travelling in his gap year why doesn't he have a job to help pay for uni anyway?
  • Helen105
    Helen105 Posts: 363
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    What a lot of people aren't taking into account is the fact that a lot of 18 year olds aren't adults yet, they are stuck in limbo somewhere between childhood and adulthood. University is great for giving a safe controlled environment for them to grow up.
    Many people are saying make him get a job, ignoring the fact that jobs are hard to come by even for the keen & presentable with good social skills. These same people are saying to throw him out, presumably they are happy to see him on the streets as he will not get benefit to cover him.
    I take it that the crux of the matter is that you are not happy to see him living in idleness for a year, rather than the money issue? If he was doing some worthwhile voluntary work that was relevant to his future career you would be happy to support him?
    The only answer as a few people have said is to talk to him . That is talking properly rather than screaming empty threats at his retreating back. It may be that you need to take a day off work to help him update his CV, see that it goes off to temp agencies, look up voluntary work opportunities, encourage him ie stand over him to make the phone calls etc. People will say that this is babying him , that he should be able to do it for himself but he can't, and it will make you feel a lot better once it is done.
    After that is done, tackle him about specific tasks you expect him to do ie his own washing, vaccuuming on Friday, cook tea on Monday and Wednesday.
    Good luck.
  • Avon2001
    Avon2001 Posts: 99 Forumite
    I’ve been very impressed with the quality of the responses on this thread, so I’m not sure how much I’m adding, but I’ll pop in my thoughts.

    Life is often easier if you start from an either/or position. Your son is either a child or an adult. If he’s a child, he does what you tell him, if he’s an adult, he pays his way.

    Of course, in reality, life gets a bit more complicated, particularly in your teenage years. Ideally this should be resolved with a conversation between you, but this requires co-operation on both sides and if your son won’t play ball then it’s time to get tough.

    I agree with the comments about how difficult it is to get jobs, but generally speaking, you only get what you try for. Your son can carry on doing the sort of jobs that teenagers do – e.g. babysitting, gardening, walking dogs, that sort of stuff. If he hasn’t had to work before then that’s as good a place as any for him to start. He must have some sort of talents so he can at least try and use them. At the very least he can start doing some housework and if he refuses, then stop providing for him. You may not want to kick him out or actually stop feeding him, (although I would on the grounds that I refuse to be dictated to in my own house) but you can certainly lock down the internet and refuse to give him any cash at all, stop cooking his meals, stop doing his washing and ironing, stop giving him lifts, basically stop everything.

    When he complains, which he will, you have to stand firm. If he wants to be treated like an adult, he needs to start acting like one and that means paying his way.
  • Valor
    Valor Posts: 16 Forumite
    I'm not allowed to post links (too new? :() but the Bill Cosby Quote comes to mind.

    Daughter: "None of this would have happened if we wern't so rich"
    Cosby: "Let me get something straight ok? Your mother and I are rich, you have nothing."

    I am about to become a parent for the first time. I may well change my mind when I'm in your position, but at the moment, I think teaching my child how to live a financially independant life in this hectic society we have built is one of my most important responsibilities.

    As a poster stated above, learning that I was not entitled to my parents middle class lifestyle was a harsh but important life lesson. I am now on my way back there, and it feels great.

    Good luck with the "sit down conversation", I don't imagine it would be easy.
    Full Disclosure: I'm an Analyst that has previously worked in the B2C Financial Sector (A&L, Santander), I currently work in the B2B Energy Sector (Centrica).

    All views expressed are mine alone, and do not represent the opinions or polocies of any company I work for (or have worked for in the past).
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