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    Former MSE Debs
    Real-life MMD: Should we deduct rent from future uni contribution?
    • #1
    • 28th Feb 13, 6:00 PM
    Real-life MMD: Should we deduct rent from future uni contribution? 28th Feb 13 at 6:00 PM
    Money Moral Dilemma: Should we deduct rent from future uni contribution?

    My 18-year-old son is on a gap year before starting university. I'm sure heís getting jobseekers' allowance (£56/week), though he won't discuss it. He refuses to pay us for bills or help around the house. We've told him if he won't contribute, we'll take rent for this year out of our contribution when he goes to uni, but 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?

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    Last edited by Former MSE Debs; 05-03-2013 at 10:49 AM.
Page 1
    • lvm
    • By lvm 5th Mar 13, 7:36 PM
    • 1,501 Posts
    • 1,763 Thanks
    • #2
    • 5th Mar 13, 7:36 PM
    • #2
    • 5th Mar 13, 7:36 PM
    Correct me if I'm wrong but I though gap years were used to actually do something - like travel, volunteer work, work experience etc.

    DEMAND money from him - don't make him meals, give him money to go out or anything else like that. Tell him to get a job and contribute or find alternative accommodation (gotta be cruel to be kind!).

    I don't think taking it off Uni contribution will be that effective - he didn't have the money in the first place so won't feel as if he's losing anything.

    If he isn't learning how to manage his money now, even as little at £56 then it'll just get worse when he's at Uni.

    I was in his position around 10 years ago and I ended up in a mess...which only stopped when my parents stopped bailing me out and I had to learn to manage my money properly.
    DEBT - £10,176.11 (Jan 2011) ---> £0.00 (Sept 2014)
    SAVINGS - £0 (Jan 2011) ---> £35688.08 (Jan 2014)
    Home @ 3.99% - £65,000 (Jan 2011) ---> £62, 092.86 (June 2015)
    BTL 1 @ 4.49% - £69, 750 (Sept 2014) ---> £68, 610.49 (June 2015)
    BTL 2 @ 3.99% - £123, 750 (June 2015) ---> £123, 750 (June 2015)
    • haggisneepsandtatties
    • By haggisneepsandtatties 5th Mar 13, 7:42 PM
    • 23 Posts
    • 51 Thanks
    • #3
    • 5th Mar 13, 7:42 PM
    • #3
    • 5th Mar 13, 7:42 PM
    Why dont you take a small amount off him as rent and if you can afford it, save it for him for when he is at university? I think he should pay something. I thought a gap year was so that the would be student could either travel or work though. He does need to be contributing in some form.
    • lauh88
    • By lauh88 5th Mar 13, 7:48 PM
    • 118 Posts
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    • #4
    • 5th Mar 13, 7:48 PM
    • #4
    • 5th Mar 13, 7:48 PM
    I know you want to help, but sometimes not helping is the best help.. if that makes sense! Most students get through uni without any parental contribution, so why can't your son? If he wants the luxury of living at home he needs to contribute or move out!
    • Tigsteroonie
    • By Tigsteroonie 5th Mar 13, 8:19 PM
    • 22,975 Posts
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    • #5
    • 5th Mar 13, 8:19 PM
    • #5
    • 5th Mar 13, 8:19 PM
    though he won't discuss it. He refuses to pay us for bills or help around the house.
    Originally posted by MSE Debs
    Wait until he goes out and then change the locks.
    Mrs Marleyboy

    MSE: many of the benefits of a helpful family, without disadvantages like having to compete for the tv remote

    Proud Parents to an Au-some son
    • NRTurner
    • By NRTurner 5th Mar 13, 8:35 PM
    • 33 Posts
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    • #6
    • 5th Mar 13, 8:35 PM
    • #6
    • 5th Mar 13, 8:35 PM
    You should demand rent from him or make him earn his keep at home. When I had to move back in with my parents (admittedly when I was 24) for a few weeks when unemployed, I was expected to do housework and shopping trips, in between applying for jobs.

    Also, if he doesn't yet have a place at university then sitting around doing nothing on a gap year does not reflect well on a UCAS application. The better universities will want to know what he's been doing, whether it's re-sitting exams to get better grades, working, volunteering or travelling - if it's none of those he may be penalised.
    • iclayt
    • By iclayt 5th Mar 13, 8:42 PM
    • 420 Posts
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    • #7
    • 5th Mar 13, 8:42 PM
    • #7
    • 5th Mar 13, 8:42 PM
    If he can't cope financially at uni with the support of student finance and a contribution from you (even with the rent deduction) then he might have to do what every student does and get a part time job or two. If he knows you will always be there as a financial back up, he will never learn to manage himself.

    The issue at hand is his lack of contribution while he is living with you NOW, not his lifestyle while at uni.

    Cutting off the Internet supply worked well for me in my selfish "I'm an adult, you can't make me do it/pay for it" phase. As did a fridge/cupboard empty of snacks, my mum refusing to do all my washing, dad refusing to pick me up on nights out when I had money for a taxi.... Whatever he considers a perk, restrict it. I soon got a job!

    There's just no excuse for not even helping out in a shared household and that attitude won't go down well with future housemates at uni either! Teach him that now rather than let him get away with it - he won't learn a thing otherwise.

    Also, unless he's volunteering, working, seeing the world or generally contributing to society in some other way, he's not on a gap year, he's unemployed. Not great on a uni application. This is a brilliant opportunity for him to do something he enjoys before he has the boring restrictions of adulthood. So force him in to it while you can
    Last edited by iclayt; 05-03-2013 at 8:47 PM.
    • Voyager2002
    • By Voyager2002 5th Mar 13, 10:24 PM
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    • #8
    • 5th Mar 13, 10:24 PM
    • #8
    • 5th Mar 13, 10:24 PM
    His behaviour right now is unacceptable. You need to deal with it now, rather than pushing the consequences into a distant and hypothetical future. Make it very clear to him that he can either contribute to the household or find somewhere else to live.
    • determined new ms
    • By determined new ms 5th Mar 13, 10:32 PM
    • 7,041 Posts
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    determined new ms
    • #9
    • 5th Mar 13, 10:32 PM
    • #9
    • 5th Mar 13, 10:32 PM
    I read this really great article a few months ago and it was saying sit your adult child down and explain that they need to contribute or it was time for them to move on and give a reasonable timeline for them moving out if they don't start contributing reasonably.

    Then over the period from now and the move out day you start restricting their access to certain things you provide. TV, games consoles, certain food and progressively remove the items so right towards the move out date things like toilet roll is not provided, light bulbs etc. Obviously I am paraphrasing heavily but the idea was we make life too cushy for our adult children and they have grown up believing they are entitled to a middle class lifestyle but don't need to work for it like you and I did.
    DF as at 30/12/16
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    • JuliusCaesar
    • By JuliusCaesar 5th Mar 13, 11:06 PM
    • 44 Posts
    • 47 Thanks
    Why are parents so soft these days?
    Tell him that now he is an adult he has to take more responsibility and give him the choice to either to pay and help with chores or move out.
    • VT82
    • By VT82 5th Mar 13, 11:52 PM
    • 1,011 Posts
    • 855 Thanks
    unless he's volunteering, working, seeing the world or generally contributing to society in some other way, he's not on a gap year, he's unemployed.
    Originally posted by iclayt
    Couldn't have put it better myself.

    Why would you even contemplate contributing to his uni time (which, by the way, isn't going to ever happen), if this is how he treats you now? Love your children unconditionally of course, but 'enabling' him like this this would just be bad parenting, bringing him up to be spoilt and lazy.
  • Madeleine White
    Madeleine White
    I agree with all previous comments and have had 2 of my 3 spend some of their gap year at home (earning to travel). The boy has to DO something! If he thinks a gap year is a year to loaf around he's either very lazy, immature or depressed. Whichever, Parents, you've got to help him see the light! Assuming it's not depression, then he has to contribute in some way; if paid employment is hard to come by where you live he can at least do some work in a charity shop AND cook supper for the household a couple of nights a week. Both will teach him some useful skills; cooking and a work ethic for a start. You have to make him responsible for some aspect of the household running that affects you all. WHY is he taking a gap year? What did he hope to gain from it? Did he just want a breather from education? Fair enough if he does but he's an adult not in education and therefore needs to be prepared to be self supporting. Be firm, don't mollycoddle him, don't ASK him, TELL him what he has to do if he wants to continue to live at home. Good Luck!
    • browny5678
    • By browny5678 6th Mar 13, 12:02 AM
    • 10 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    Give him a choice, contribute or live elsewhere.
    On the one hand, the fact that he isn't bringing in a great deal of money then it would be difficult to pay the going rate for rent. However, his attitude sounds disgraceful, and it seems like you should take steps to correct this ASAP!

    I was very lucky that my parents provided for me while at university, and I wasn't expected to contribute towards bills while home for holidays. My parents made it clear from the start that if I were to drop out of uni, or live at home once I had finished, that I would have to pay £300 in rent. This felt unfair at the time as I didn't want to pay to live somewhere where I felt I didn't get any freedom. So when I left university and got a job I chose to move out. 5 years on I totally understand where they were coming from, and that it was a fair deal, as you shouldn't rely on getting a free ride from your parents forever.

    It sounds like your son should also be given a choice, to either live at home while contributing to the household, be that financially or by doing a decent share of the housework if he isn't earning much, or, if this doesn't suit him he can move out and learn that you can't get where you want to be in life by sitting on your bottom and refusing to do anything!

    Also, the point re UCAS is definitely valid. If your son does not yet have a place, or decides to get a job instead, the gap in the CV will not help him!
    • oldtrout
    • By oldtrout 6th Mar 13, 12:04 AM
    • 129 Posts
    • 176 Thanks
    You need to deal with it now, rather than pushing the consequences into a distant and hypothetical future.
    Originally posted by Voyager2002
    Agree. Deal with the present situation. Forget next year for now ... he might decide not to go to University anyway!

    No matter how hard it might be, and how much you dislike it, you really do need to be cruel to be kind at this stage in his life. No doubt you'll get some flack from him, but keep your cool, stay calm but be firm, and don't lose your temper with him!

    If he won't talk with you about it, slowly withdraw his 'luxuries' as others have suggested. When he questions this, ask him again to sit and chat. Hopefully, he'll get the message.

    I do think it's more difficult for young adults to make decisions these days, and quite often, 18 yr olds who still live at home are slightly less mature than those who have already left home.
    • joannie
    • By joannie 6th Mar 13, 9:03 AM
    • 45 Posts
    • 51 Thanks
    money message
    Sounds like he neds a short sharp lesson in money. Not only should he be paying something, he should be helping around the house. Better to teach him now.
  • LauraExplorer85
    Put an ad in the paper! 18-year-old available for odd jobs... He'll soon learn to pull his weight.

    Alternatively, if he doesn't pay, he doesn't get. Take the fuse out for electric in his room, cut the internet connection, don't provide him with an evening meal and when he tries to help himself, stop him as he hasn't contributed.
    • Fluff15
    • By Fluff15 6th Mar 13, 9:15 AM
    • 1,324 Posts
    • 3,134 Thanks
    Try and clear the air with him, you don't want things to be uncomfortable at home, but his current attitude is going to just land him in deeper waters when he actually attempts to go out in the world without support. He is acting very selfish, and it seems he's taking you and your husband for granted.

    If he still refuses, like others have said you should refuse all his privileges. This includes washing for him, cooking and feeding him, giving him lifts etc - all things he would have to do for himself if he was at university anyway. Force him to earn his keep. He wants to go into the adult world at university, so force him to act like an adult. After all, a gap year is about gaining experience!

    I've just left university, and in between me leaving and finding my own place, I paid my Mum £300 for rent and bills, plus contributed to the food shopping. This was because my Mum brought me up with the attitude of 'you want something, work for it' and I can't fault her for that. If in a few months your son still refuses to contribute, then you can think about reducing your contribution at university, or removing it altogether. Plenty of students do it by themselves, why should he be any different? He should be grateful to have such loving and generous parents. Good luck!
    • Androcles
    • By Androcles 6th Mar 13, 9:19 AM
    • 76 Posts
    • 84 Thanks
    As others have said, if he is not working at something specific and is (probably) collecting Job Seekers, then he is NOT on a gap year, he's skiving.

    In this case he needs to be taught a very rapid lesson about there being no free lunches, so don't do or provide anything for him. Those of us who left home at 18 to work had to provide a roof over our heads, our own food, cook it, and do our own washing and cleaning, or pay for it to be done if you were in digs. Explain to him that this is how it will be when he leaves home so he might as well start learning to do it now!

    Time for a bit of tough love!
  • bristolbaron
    Oh dear.

    Unfortunately you've brought this upon yourselves.

    At 18 I wouldn't have dreamed of not contributing or helping around the house. I was paying towards my keep from the age of 16, not because I was asked to, but because I was brought up to respect my parents.

    If he's telling you he won't help and won't contribute, its because he's calling the shots, not you. You need to reason with him, tell him you love him and will always feed him and put a roof over his head, but you cant afford to 'keep' him.

    Any luxuries/allowances above food and shelter need to go, and he needs to be self sufficient.
    • scotsbob
    • By scotsbob 6th Mar 13, 9:47 AM
    • 4,462 Posts
    • 6,958 Thanks
    This is family.

    When you are a little older and he no longer lives with you, you will wish he did.

    Why worry over a few pounds a week from a teenager.
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