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Money Moral Dilemma: Should our son pay us for the fuel we use babysitting our grandchildren?

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  • PaulTee
    PaulTee Posts: 16 Forumite
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    In reality it is not just the cost of petrol, it is wear on the tyres and each additional mile on a car lowers its value - why, if you trade in a car they want to know the mileage and the higher the mileage the less you will get.

    And yes, they should be reimbursing you. You are doing them a big favour especially as you are finding matters tight on the financial front.
  • Sea_Shell
    Sea_Shell Posts: 9,603 Forumite
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    Why does it only seem to be that people are mostly saying that they should pay (or at least offer) you some petrol money if you're "feeling the pinch"?     

    What if they weren't.   Shouldn't there still be some offer of petrol money, for such a long journey, not just assumed that they would suck it up.

    What if the shoe were on the other foot, and the grandparents (you) needed taking on appointments (hospital etc), would you be happy to give them some petrol money for helping you out, if you're both struggling.
    How's it going, AKA, Nutwatch? - 12 month spends to date = 2.51% of current retirement "pot" (as at end June 2024)
  • Looby77
    Looby77 Posts: 17 Forumite
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    Have the chat (best not related to a specific request) if I was your son I would be happy to swap Christmas presents for the next 10 years for a few nights of quality babysitting.  
  • silvercar
    silvercar Posts: 47,365 Ambassador
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    Sea_Shell said:
    Why does it only seem to be that people are mostly saying that they should pay (or at least offer) you some petrol money if you're "feeling the pinch"?     

    What if they weren't.   Shouldn't there still be some offer of petrol money, for such a long journey, not just assumed that they would suck it up.

    What if the shoe were on the other foot, and the grandparents (you) needed taking on appointments (hospital etc), would you be happy to give them some petrol money for helping you out, if you're both struggling.
    I disagree. If someone is short of money then I can see the need to cover their costs. If they don’t need the money then supporting family is just something you do out of your general living costs budget. The grandparents get to build a good relationship with their grandchildren. 
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  • honestcove
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    With an hour drive each way I presume this is not an evening thing and more like a day care arrangement for work related reasons (as suggested in other posts). 
    It depends on your relationship with your son - how much have you been subsidising him in his adult life? And the relationship with your son’s partner - mother/same sex partnership?
    If the cost really is becoming unbearable to you, and you don’t anticipate losing access to the kids if money is mentioned, then worth bearing in mind that if your fuel cost is £15/£20 then the true costs for this trip is much higher (typically double).
  • pollypenny
    pollypenny Posts: 29,395 Forumite
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    We used to fly 3500 miles and have to  hire a car to look after our grandchildren. It was a delight. 

    However, it depends how often the OP is asked to make this journey and if it causes a genuine problem. 
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  • TonyandMargaret
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    Is this the only time you see your grandchildren? When you are ask to babysit? Or are you included in other family activities like days out or holidays?
  • hammer__time_2
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    We are in the same situation as my son and his partner have asked us if we could look after our granddaughter once a week to save on nursery costs as they both work.
    It is a sixty mile round trip and although fuel costs are high we wouldn't dream of asking them to contribute.
    My son earns a good wage but they are still struggling.What with mortgages and high child care costs etc.
    Everyone's situation is different and if the OP is struggling financially maybe they should have a quiet word.
  • dgp1000
    dgp1000 Posts: 76 Forumite
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    Perhaps offset the savings you make from not having your heating on or cooking your meal at home.
  • Perhaps they should bring the children to you on a Friday night and collect them on Saturday afternoon after you've had a lovely time with them. If that's too much effort for them, they should definitely contribute.
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