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Money Moral Dilemma: Should I charge my son for living at home after returning from uni early?

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Money Moral Dilemma: Should I charge my son for living at home after returning from uni early?

edited 5 May at 4:16PM in Coronavirus support and help
93 replies 57.5K views
MSE_KelvinMSE_Kelvin MSE Staff
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edited 5 May at 4:16PM in Coronavirus support and help
This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks...

Should I charge my son for living at home after returning from uni due to the coronavirus outbreak? It seems likely he'll be spending the whole of the summer term with us now, and the cost of our food shopping has increased, as will our other household bills. He is saving money as he isn't being charged for his uni accommodation, so should I ask him to contribute to our bills?

Unfortunately the MSE team can't always answer money moral dilemma questions as contributions are often emailed in or suggested in person. They are intended to be a point of debate and discussed at face value. 

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  • unforeseenunforeseen Forumite
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    I think you should at least claim what he gets as a maintenance loan
  • edited 5 May at 5:39PM
    gettingtheresometimegettingtheresometime Forumite
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    edited 5 May at 5:39PM
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  • lincroft1710lincroft1710 Forumite
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    Agree with Unforseen
  • Gonna-be-debt-freeGonna-be-debt-free Forumite
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    I think it depends entirely on the circumstances of both parties.   e.g. Is he working?  Are you impacted financially by CV as a family?  Is he still having to pay uni-related bills such as rent.

    At the wealthier end of the spectrum, given that you would be paying a parental contribution towards university anyway, it might make sense to reduce that if he doesn't have those associated costs.  However I would assume he would still have some costs including books etc.

    At the other end of the spectrum, if you are struggling to put food on the table then it makes sense that all income from any family member is fair game in such exceptional times.
      
  • hlb41hlb41 Forumite
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    I think you should at least claim what he gets as a maintenance loan
    Remember that maintenance loan is only during term time - the summer term ends in mid June. What were his plans for the summer in regards to living/working? Uni accommodation also doesn’t cover the summer unless you’re renting privately. I’d suggest that he pays his way with a contribution to his share of the bills/wifi/food, but maybe not rent. If his plan was to work during the summer in order to pay his rent, then it is likely that he will not be able to get a job now, and so it’s unfair to charge him money if he cannot reasonably earn it.
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