NEW BLOG. Featuring tips and pics from pet owners of the MSE Forum, we present to you Homemade pet toy ideas. Take a look

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

edited 8 November 2022 at 3:47PM in Marriage, relationships & families
51 replies 41.2K views


  • silvercarsilvercar Forumite, Ambassador
    45.2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Academoney Grad Name Dropper
    If the grandparents need the money, hopefully the parents will realise and offer to pay. Otherwise a thank you gift may be appropriate. Other than that, all the grandparents are doing is SKIing - Spending Kids Inheritance. 
    I'm a Forum Ambassador on The Coronavirus Boards as well as the housing, mortgages and student money saving boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Forum Ambassadors are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to [email protected] (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of
  • edited 9 November 2022 at 11:28AM
    KxMxKxMx Forumite
    10.3K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    edited 9 November 2022 at 11:28AM
    If it is childcare being given while parents are at work, rather than nights out etc, then the kids need to realise what a fortune they are saving by grandparents providing it for free, and be gracious about paying out fuel money.
    They'd be paying out a lot more for commercial childcare if the grandparents weren't in the picture and need to realise this as the grandparents can no longer afford to do it without a contribution towards costs. 
  • RickyAHRickyAH Forumite
    2 Posts
    First Anniversary First Post
    One way to cut costs, get an electric car and charge it up at their house for free, then no fuel costs to you, at least on the journey home. 
    This is not a serious comment as electric cars are a fortune to buy, but it does make you think.
  • paulk3paulk3 Forumite
    9 Posts
    Second Anniversary First Post
    The simple answer is to have them over to your home (even overnight) and brought and picked up.
    Now and again,you can offer to collect them and have them picked up.

  • Gervais3232Gervais3232 Forumite
    15 Posts
    Third Anniversary 10 Posts
    Perhaps on occasion politely try to not make yourselves so readily available or that you can assist but they will need to drop the children off.  Are they able to equitably ask grandparents on both sides? 
  • pollypennypollypenny Forumite
    29.4K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Oh, I wish we could have been in that situation.  Our grandsons are in America. I envy my friends who are on regular duty. 
    Member #14 of SKI-ers club

    Words, words, they're all we have to go by!.

    (Pity they are mangled by this autocorrect!)
  • KerfuffleIncKerfuffleInc Forumite
    11 Posts
    Fourth Anniversary 10 Posts
    Presumably you get some enjoyment out of the arrangement and you wouldn't want to completely discourage them from asking you to babysit. You could either:

    Make up the difference with other costs. I.E. have a meal at their house using their ingredients. Drink their drinks etc. Save on your own heating (sad that this can be a quantifiable saving these days)

    or why not just offer to split the petrol costs.
  • captainfridgecaptainfridge Forumite
    1 Post
    First Post
    If you’re both struggling then sounds like an honest chat is needed. If done sensitively and from a good place sure a solution can be found. Maybe if they could ask for your help just a little less frequently it might relieve some of the financial pressure on you without the need for any money to change hands? Good luck!
  • crmismcrmism Forumite
    299 Posts
    Sixth Anniversary 100 Posts
    It looks like your son and his partner are a bit needy and that maybe they should have realised that having children is a considerable commitment which they should really try and fulfil on their own rather than leaning on and taking advantage of others without offering to meet the expense of travel. Perhaps, in view of the travel costs you incur, you might diplomatically indicate from time to time that you already have a special commitment that was agreed weeks before, and as a consequence you will be unable to babysit. Alternatively, you might find an opening to explain that travel costs have become an important consideration with the rising costs of fuel, and see whether that raises their awareness and willingness to contribute towards them.
  • bellabellabellabella Forumite
    1.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    I will be looking after my grandson whilst DD and her hubby go to work 3 days a week in a few months time and I wouldn't even dream of asking or expecting money towards fuel it is a 90 min drive each way but he will be staying with me  for 2 nights and then i will take him home. As a parent i want to support my DD and this is one of the ways in which i can as i unfortunatly had no help when i had my children  as my father was terminally ill and my mum was his carer and it was a miserable time for me financialy and mentally I am lucky to be in a position where i have no financial worries but i would hope that i would be able to approach my children if i needed to for some help
    Slava Ukraini
Sign In or Register to comment.
Latest MSE News and Guides

Energy Price Cap change

Martin Lewis on what it means for you

MSE News

Best £1 you've ever spent?

Share your most impressive bargains

MSE Forum