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To expect my 19 yr old to stand on her own two feet?

(88 Posts)
sooze41 Mon 23-Sep-13 09:39:26

We have a 19 yr old away at Uni (2nd yr) who seems to be constantly asking for money. We have always insisted she worked part time from age 16, even though she wasn't keen ( I found her the first job through a friend) because we think its important for them to take some responsibility and earn some money of their own. When she went to Uni it took her three months to find a job because she didn't fancy doing this that or the other, and in the meantime we gave her an allowance to keep her afloat, as well as topping her rent up, in fact we had to cut the allowance in half to force her into getting a job, I am sure she would happily have carried on taking money from us indefinitely! She got a job which she fits in easily with Uni as they are only in lectures three days a week, and she earns a good wage from it, but because she likes to spend a lot on clothes/make up she is always asking us for top ups. Quite honestly, I am sick of the conflict, yes we can afford it, but if she budgeted properly she wouldn't need any extra ( we already pay £100 a month towards her rent as her loan doesn't cover it). It seems like all we are good for is money, she honestly can't understand why we expect her to budget and take care with her money, she thinks that as we can afford to give it to her we should! She can't grasp that we just want her to grow up and take responsibility and not keep expecting us to bail her out, and it's a constant source of tension. Anyone dealt with this issue?

ShabbyButNotChic Mon 23-Sep-13 10:03:49

Yanbu, she is an adult. However, you also cant expect her to just suddenly become independent overnight if she has never had to before.
I have always known that my parents would support me and took advantage of this when i was young, i am actually ashamed of some things when i look back.

What helped me was my mum sitting down with me and actually writing down all my incomings/outgoings. As my trouble was i would see a lump of money in my account and think 'yay! Clothes, make up!' Forgetting that i actually had to pay rent/bills/phone etc, then i would struggle for the last two weeks of the month.
I ended up opening another bank account and transferring my 'spends' each month so i knew what i had to play with.

Could you have this chat with your daughter? Then say you will give her nothing the following month? No matter how much she cries/moans?

It will feel harsh and she will probably scream and cry, but after a month living on 9p noodles she may budget better the next month.

This is what worked for me

cashmiriana Mon 23-Sep-13 10:10:14

I agree that teaching her budgeting is the answer. However it isn't easy. A halfway measure for a couple of months might be to say, yes, you'll help her out but keep the amount small and pay it in vouchers (supermarket, Wilkinson) etc so you are making it clear that food and other basics come first.

RobotHamster Mon 23-Sep-13 10:13:25

SHe thinks you should top her up just because you can afford it? Yes, help her with budgeting, but agree with pp - a month of having no money and living on noodles will certainly get the message through
(of course it will all be your fault though grin )

Beastofburden Mon 23-Sep-13 10:15:14

I have two, 19 and 21, who are very reluctant to take my money and find it a little bit demeaning to be subsidised. Trying to think what we could export to your dd...

Does she have a sense of where this is going after Uni? does she imagine herself in her own flat, with job, etc? If she could, she might see the value of developing this skill, as she is going to need it to be able to afford rent/ a house deposit. Perhaps what you have here is someone who is still thinking short-term. So in your shoes I might develop the longer-term conversation about her future career and lifestyle after Uni. She may sponteneously get the point about getting better with money now; even if she doesn't, I guess the medium term game is more important anyway.

The other thing is for her to respect your money choices more. She must respect that fact that you earn it, so you can spend it not on her if you want to. But realistically, they will feel a bit jealous of your lifestyle if they are hard-up, unless they get the point about medium term plans. It helps that both my DC know I am saving spare money to help with their deposits in due course- so I am not splurging either.

SilverApples Mon 23-Sep-13 10:16:26

So, how did you manage the transition and skill her up for this independence?
DD is very good at prioritising and budgeting, but we started when she was 16. So when she went to uni, it was just one step further. Did you do that, or are you trying to suddenly expect her to understand how and why?

mummymeister Mon 23-Sep-13 10:17:32

my family helped me out by buying me food parcels - tins of stuff, packets, food for the freezer etc without any money actually changing hands. this way they knew that I would always be fed. at 19 with only 3 days at college yanbu to expect her to manage. however, all the time she sees your money arriving in her account she wont bother because why should she. you need to go back over your last 6 or 12 months of bank statements and show her exactly how much money she has had off of you including the £100 rent money. then tell her that as of now you will limit it to £X - whatever you feel is reasonable but I would think just the £100 for the rent. that will be all - be firm and don't get sucked in by the inevitable whinging, then sympathy vote, then anger that will follow. in the grand scheme of things you are doing her a favour by making her manage otherwise fast forward 20 years and you will still be subsidising her. just look on MN and see how easy it is for this to happen.

At 19, you'll probably need to spell it out for her in so many words that you can't keep bailing her out and want her to take proper responsibility for herself. As mummymeister said, she'll just take the money for granted - my sister was exactly the same at 19 until dad stopped giving her money and she had to sign on or get a job!

NoComet Mon 23-Sep-13 10:37:13

I'm utterly on the fence about this.
Absolutely DC need to learn to budget, but I'm less sure about working.

I don't remember any of my generation of students having outside, term time jobs. DH worked behind his collage bar, my flat mate did bouncer duty at the student union (purely to pay his international phone bill, and yes he did marry her grin)

I worked in holidays, but I had a very flexible job in a large cafe which a big pool of staff all happy to do what ever hours were going.

Therefore, my uni days were fun and quite relaxed and I want the same for my DDs if I can afford it.

However, I also accept funding is very different, I was the last year who got a full grant and my self catering accommodation was cheap. I naturally kept to a sensible budget because my parents weren't well off and I'd been budgeting since I first had birthday money!

bugster Mon 23-Sep-13 10:44:09

Maybe she has lots of work to do for her studies outside the lecture times, on her own, if she wants to succeed and get a good degree - or is that not the case? I never had to get a job in term time either, my parents thought my job was studying and supported me fully financially. I appreciate this isn't the case for everyone and costs have risen dramatically since I was a student, but if you can afford to support her through her studies, I can understand how she feels.

marialuisa Mon 23-Sep-13 11:22:01

I'm not clear from your post whether the money you are giving her is in addition to what the SLC think your contribution should be? If it's additional then go through the bank statements with her, if she ended up needing a crisis loan from her university they would do this and they wouldn't be very impressed if she's broke because she's buying clothes every week.

sooze41 Mon 23-Sep-13 15:57:10

I do help her out with certain things especially one iff unexpected expenses, and pay her phone contract...

sooze41 Mon 23-Sep-13 15:59:31

She works over the weekend and earns en

sooze41 Mon 23-Sep-13 16:05:31

Oops...she earns enough to feed herself and still have money for socialising, what she can't afford is to spend £30 on a make up product ( like she did last week) or £50 on a skirt (the week before) then she asks me for money because she is short. She has plenty of time for college work so I am not being unreasonable I don't think in expecting her to budget her finances so she doesn't need to ask for cash. I am just finding it difficult getting through to her that it is reasonable to support yourself financially and only spend within your means. She doesn't spend like a student, she spends like a well paid professional and expects us to pick up the shortfall! I just wish I could get through to her without her thinking I am such a witch ��

Beastofburden Mon 23-Sep-13 16:10:36

Sounds as if she doesnt respect what you spend your money on.

YouTheCat Mon 23-Sep-13 16:14:01

She's going to think you are a witch, so let her.

But stop picking up the slack if you don't want to do that.

I worked from 2nd year all through uni. It was that or go home and not be allowed much freedom.

A chat about living to her means is in order.

Wibblypiglikesbananas Mon 23-Sep-13 16:19:43

My DH's brother is similar. Quite a bit younger than DH and always being bailed out by his parents. Conversely, DH, brought up in exactly the same way, wouldn't have dreamt of asking his parents for financial help unless it was an absolute emergency.

Personally, I think you're enabling her. Saying no but then giving in and topping up her money sends a mixed message. If you've worked through a budget with her, and know for a fact she does have enough to live on and pay for books/bills/essentials, then it's up to her to manage better. At 19 she is an adult - if she wasn't at uni, she'd be out working and be completely responsible for herself. Just because she's a student doesn't mean she can come running back to you all the time.

whois Mon 23-Sep-13 16:23:58

She has lecturers three days a week but should be studding EVERY day! There will be loads of reading, research, and work to do. There is no way I could have had a term time job and finished my degree with the marks I did ( not ages ago btw).

You basically end up doing nearly full time work hours of uni work, or you should if you want a decent degree.

If you can afford an allowance each month, I think it's a bit mean not to give her one just to teach her about budgeting. You still have to budget within the confines of thr allowance.

My parents gave me an allowance so I didn't have to work during term time. I am very grateful for this and tbh probably would have been quite annoyed if they hadn't seeing as they could easily afford it.

carabos Mon 23-Sep-13 16:29:50

DS1 was like this when he first went to Uni. Seemed to think that once he'd spent all his loan money on booze and going out, we would pick up the slack. What we did in the end, after many rows and tantrums, was send him food. If he rang up crying the poor tale, I would send him a Tesco online shop of the basics so I knew he wouldn't starve and I would pay his gas bill, but wouldn't give him actual hard cash.

In the end he woke up and smelled the coffee, got himself a job and didn't look back. He had no money at all from us since his second year. It's a try-on. Time for a bit of tough love.

TootsFroots Mon 23-Sep-13 16:32:25

Oh dear, she sounds a bit silly. sad. I am all for helping the kids out if they have a big bill such as dental work or help with a new computer but I would have a problem helping out with fancy clothes or makeup confused
I would let her know that you are only going to pay X amount per month in future and then I would stick to it. If you keep giving in to her it will NEVER stop. I know too many people in their 30's/40's and even in their 50's who still take advantage of the bank of Mum and Dad.
Unlike a lot of other posters I don't think this is about budgeting. I bet your daughter is capable of working out what she should be spending, this is simply about you daughter having a bad attitude and not caring about taking advantage of you.

carabos Mon 23-Sep-13 16:32:30

Meant to say that with DS2, we were much wiser. We sat him down at the outset and worked out his budget - basically he had £10 per day for food and drink, going out, new clothes, gigs etc. We covered his accommodation and transport costs, topped up his fees loan and the rest came from his maintenance loan.

He has managed perfectly well on that and hasn't needed to go into a overdraft.

Wibblypiglikesbananas Mon 23-Sep-13 16:34:27

Whois - I'd have to disagree there. I worked all through both of my degrees and got a first at undergraduate level which then led to a scholarship to do an MA. During my MA, I regularly worked 16-20 hours/week and to be honest, it just made me better at prioritising and time management.

RunRabbit Mon 23-Sep-13 16:35:47

TBH it sounds like you've brought it on yourself. By giving her top ups she's learnt by nagging you enough you'll eventually cave and she gets what she wants so why would she stop?

No means no, you've told her why and that's enough.

Time to stop being a soft touch and stick to your guns.

PiddlingWeather Mon 23-Sep-13 16:37:23

YANBU. At 19, I was studying full time at university, as well as running a household and raising a child.

Tabby1963 Mon 23-Sep-13 16:46:42

I have a daughter same age as yours who is in 2nd year of uni too, staying in a shared flat. We pay for her share of the rent on the flat (all inclusive) and she earns any other money through her pt job for other living expenses.

My son, 18, moved out to another city to live with pals. He got a place in a local college and applied for and got some money to live on. We refused to give him any extra money and told him to get a pt job. He did this and now earns enough to live on as well as starting an apprenticeship.

Neither would dream of asking us for money. They would be embarrassed, I think.

Sooze I think you made an error when you gave money to her when she first asked. You still have an opportunity to say 'no' and be firm about it. It may mean she will struggle for that month, but it is an important lesson she must learn.

Could you imagine going to your boss and saying "I'm a bit short this month, can you give me extra money in my pay packet to make up the shortfall". It wouldn't ever happen, would it?

That is the lesson she has to learn. Live within your means.

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