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

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  • joehoover
    joehoover Posts: 146
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    He HAS to contribute, maybe it doesn't have to be monetary, it may be more useful for him to clean, do odd jobs, do some cooking, his washing etc etc, it's these life skills many people I know who left uni never had, apologies to anyone who did but am talking form my experience of how messy they were and they couldn't even boil an egg.

    He's moving into adulthood, sorry if this is rude but this gap year nonsense, is exactly that, who needs a break after studying for a few years, we need to flip that round and have gap years when we hit 40 or older after working for 20 odd years - that's when you need a break! He's dossing basically, he has no reason if he is planning uni to be taking a year off, you either go to uni or you enter the workplace.

    People calling out for "he's your son, you'll miss him when he's gone" are missing a trick. Asking your adult son to take adult responsibilities is not neglect, it's parenting the correct way. I am glad I learnt to cook young, to do chores, it set me up for life, I went into the workplace and worked hard and progressed in my career, that came from way back when I was taught these basic skills.

    If you let him off the hook now, he will suffer in the long run
  • Oh dear oh dear, what a load of old hardliners posting here! Honestly, £58 is not a lot of money - and you're not even sure he's getting it!
    From my experience, you'll get a lot further with him if you ask him to sit down with you and show him the household budget - so he can see what things cost. Then ask him what if any contribution he can make. If he says none, ask him what he's doing for money.
    He also needs to tell you what he intends to do with his gap year - if he isn't going to travel or work he needs to get a volunteer job or something!
    But it's not ALL about money - it's also about continuing to build good, solid and open relationship with the young man you brought into the world, and who one day may provide your grandchildren :)
    Think longterm - I was delighted to get this text from our 19-year old son (1st year in uni) last week: 'Are you around next weekend? Want to come home for mother's day.'
    IF you want messages like that too - make sure you build the right atmosphere for it to happen...
    best of luck :)
    'Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.' Soren Kierkegaard
  • rwgray
    rwgray Posts: 554
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    The whole point of a gap year is that you do something constructive with it before moving on with the serious stuff of life. So, if he has nothing exciting to fill the year (i.e. voluntary work, travel, duh!) then he should be at University already.

    Rich.x
  • Talent
    Talent Posts: 244 Forumite
    We never took a penny from our five daughters whilst they were at home or going through uni. Paid for their driving lessons, bought their first (used) car, taxed and insured. All of them had good part-time jobs. We're not rich by any means, except in family. Your children, do what's right.
  • alandbailey
    alandbailey Posts: 444 Forumite
    He is now an adult - no longer a child. It is time he grew up and realised that age carries responsibilities as well as rights. Give him an ultimatum and chuck him out if he doesn't come round. It's your house and your rules!
  • Of course you're not going to throw him out, as some have suggested. But as others have said, it is time to sit him down gently and explain how things work in the real world, then give him time to digest what you've told him and work out an arrangement together that you both can live with.

    It's a confusing time as he moves from childhood to adulthood, learning to deal with finances, freedom and finding his own way, so your job now is to guide him gently, but for both your sakes, do stick firmly to whatever arrangement you agree.

    Good luck, hope in a few years time you'll all be beaming proudly in the graduation photos.
  • Hi Debs,
    Yes, you absolutely should deduct rent! It sounds a little bit as if he may not (fully) appreciate all the comfort provided by you.

    Doing this might kick him into gear - better now than later - if he would drop out of university then it would be his own decision and I don't think that you could reasonably be expected to take care and fully pay for a 18/19/20-ish year old. Unless he is disabled of course.


    When I started my vocational training I had to pay rent from the money I earned - around 20% and this was despite the fact that I was only at home half the time as the other half I was away at boarding school.

    When I left to go to university in a different city I did not have to pay any longer rent to my mother but every time I came home I gave her some money - as I was obviously using the house, electricity, washing machine, fridge etc. etc. - I would have felt very uncomfortable not to give her money.

    During my time at uni I worked several jobs, and sometimes more than one job at a time, to substitute my student loan - and everyone around me was doing the same.
    You are 42% tight
    "You're frugal, you're thrifty, but on this site that's a little bit fab."
    Debt at start of 2010: £11,415.91. :eek: Debt at start of 2012: £4,830.00. Debt as of 01.04.2012: £ 1,230.00 :eek: Target date to be debt free: October / November 2012. :j
  • i thought the gap year was used to get a job or do something, i am a mum of four and can't imagine all my four playing these tricks, once they are old enough to work or go to uni, they should contribute, either financially or helping around the home. From experience with my friends...all those whose parents give them loads of money have turned into right layabouts who can't budget and have no concerns about overspending. Give him a deadline, either find a job and contribute, move out or loose privilages such as taxi services, wifi, power etc
  • alfacat
    alfacat Posts: 13 Forumite
    Just a couple of thoughts... I worked full time before I went to uni as an "independent", he could do a lot worse with his year out than work and save for his time away - it is very expensive, and despite that I still had debt (albeit very small by comparison to what many graduates leave with). You could encourage him by saying if he works he has the benefit of everything he saves. He will appreciate the value of his own "hard earned cash" when it comes to spending it! (I was far more frugal in the first year spending my "savings" as opposed to later years when I was only spending my student loans)

    Secondly, when we lived at home after we finished school mum and dad asked for a quarter of whatever income we received, be it from gainful employment or care of the DHSS!
  • steampowered
    steampowered Posts: 6,176
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    I don't think he should pay anything. Getting a few quid from a teenager is rather pointless, especially when he should be focusing on doing activities which develop his future employability and saving for uni. Money issues are one of the reasons rich kids tend to do so much better than poor kids at university and in the graduate job market.

    However I think you should make him help out with chores. This way he makes a contribution and he will also learn life skills to help at university (a lot of undergraduates do not know how to cook, do laundry, sew a button or do ironing properly).
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