Allowance for 17 year old starting Uni but staying at home

(102 Posts)
Missgiraffe1 Wed 31-Jul-13 15:46:10

Either I am clueless - as the offer I made to DD was met with a less than enthusiastic response - or she is being unreasonable.

She will stay at home, rent/digs free. No tuition fees (we're in Scotland). We will pay for her travel, food, toiletries, but makeup/clothes and social life will be for her to pay out of her allowance and any other earnings.
I don't want her to work too much during term-time, but I think 1 weekend day, or 1 or 2 evenings, would be reasonable. So she could top up what we were willing to pay by doing this, or by babysitting (we have a 1 year old) or by helping with housework (of which she currently does NONE!! [bone of contention emoticon]

She has been working a minimum of 4days per week since her exams finished, but has spent it all.

I suggested we give her £30/week. Working 1 weekend day would surely top this up to around £55. With potential to earn more by helping out (I offered her £10 to clean all the bathrooms) and £5 to watch her little Bro once a week to let me get out to the pub gym. That's £70/wk.

I honestly don't know if this is reasonable. She has got used to earning a bit more with her summer job, and her only reference is a friend who's already at Uni, but who gets a bursary and has taken out a student loan. She gets about £600/month (apparently)
With a reduction in my days of work, and childcare costs, we now have almost £13k less coming in per year. We are also looking to insure her for learning to drive, so that will be another 1.5K expenditure.

Would anyone be willing to share details of their arrangements in a similar situation? Am really struggling to understand what is reasonable. I know clothes aren't cheap, and they all have a great social life these days (spa days, city breaks etc) but I also want instill some life lessons in her (which I think I have mostly failed to do in this regard, regretfully)
Thanks (if you've got this far!)

Madratlady Mon 05-Aug-13 08:02:56

I think you're totally spoiling her. My parents helped towards my accommodation fees at uni but I paid for the rest with loan, overdraft and a part time job (and I managed to work around a very full on course - 9-5 in uni or full time placements).

Part of uni is learning to live independently and badge which she never will if you're paying her way entirely. I understand that you want to help her but it sounds like she's being demanding and taking the piss a bit.

Tabby1963 Mon 05-Aug-13 08:30:52

This is a really interesting dilemma, and one I faced this time last year with both my kids.

DD started uni away from home and we agreed to pay her first year's accommodation in halls, but she had to find a pt job to pay for anything else. This she did. She's starting second year soon and we have agreed to pay her monthly rent at the flat-share she is moving in to, but again, all other expenses she will pay for from job.

At the same time DS, decided he wanted to move away to another city to share a flat with friends. He got on a part time course at the local college, and found a pt job to pay his own way at the flat. After the course he found a really good apprenticeship with the Council and will do reduced hours with his job. He loves living at the flat with his pals and does not want to return home, he says it would be like going backwards not forwards.

Thing is, the changes I have seen in both kids are amazing. They have both grown up so much, increased self-confidence, and they value money so much more. Neither have been prepared to take money off me (I have offered), because they want to stay independent.

However, I do do an online supermarket shop for them both every couple of months though...

I truly believe that had they stayed at home and went to uni or college here, they would not have become so independent. I am glad they left home now.

crochetkate Mon 05-Aug-13 09:19:15

I think you are being very kind

When I was at uni 3 years ago I had £50 a week of my loan once I had paid for rent and bills. From that I had to eat, clothe myself and entertain and travel.

FWIW though even if lectures are only 3.5 days per week you are expected to devote the equivalent of 9-5 Mon - Fri to complete reading do assignments etc. I certainly didnt have time to work.

Madratlady Mon 05-Aug-13 10:02:30

crochetkate I was also at uni recently, I managed to live off £50 a week because it was all I had and my course was 5 days a week in uni or full time placements. I still managed to work 10 hours a week. It's doable if you need to.

Regardless of whether the OP's daughter works, it's one thing to provide accommodation and food, it's another to subsidise drinking and socialising.

I think the OP sounds very kind but is maybe going OTT with £45 a week for spending after food, clothes, toiletries are already paid for.

Madratlady Mon 05-Aug-13 10:07:31

Just to add, I don't want to have a go at anyone's choices, and I'm all for parents being supportive, but I don't think providing everything is doing students any favours. Full time work and having to manage a budget must come as a big shock to those who've never had to do it before.

Sleepyhoglet Mon 05-Aug-13 10:11:46

The amount of jobless graduates who turn thei noses up at low paying jobs because they will be worse off than when they were students is more than you'd think!

prettydaisies Mon 05-Aug-13 18:05:06

We live in England, therefore DD has to get a loan for tuition fees. We have said that we will pay her rent and food, but everything else she has to pay for herself, either by working or taking out a loan.

Sleepyhoglet Mon 05-Aug-13 19:23:20

If its any consolation. She will probably be ungrateful and selfish about it now, but in a few years time, she will realise how kind you were to her. I know I am grateful to the financials help my parents gave me at uni. However, she is going to find it hard living at home whilst her friends are in halls and indeed harder to make friends. No amount of money will change that. Still it is much more savvy not to take out extra loans.

Raindrops0nRoses Mon 05-Aug-13 19:34:59

What you are offering already sounds unbelievably generous, to the point of spoiling her (she won't clean the bathroom unless you pay her?!) I also dont understand why parents seem to feel they owe it to their children to pay for car insurance. A car is a luxury you have to work for, as are holidays.

chocoluvva Mon 05-Aug-13 19:49:48

Don't you think it depends on how well off you are though? If I could afford to insure DD to drive our car I would - it would be very convenient.

Having said that though, I was very proud of myself for funding my own driving lessons and buying my first car (aged 25). I'm sure I appreciated it more than the people whose parents bought them a car. The feeling of having achieved something through your own efforts is like nothing else.

Missgiraffe1 Mon 05-Aug-13 20:57:00

Just for info, she doesn't refuse to clean her bathroom unless I pay her. She does clean her own bathroom (how often, is another question altogether!) I offered to top up her allowance (which clothes would come out of) if she cleaned all 4. It's a chore I am happy to pay someone to do. We were thinking of getting a cleaner now that Im back at work anyway so, if we're going to pay someone, why not DD?
It would be very convenient if she could drive to be honest (having 1year old ds, a husband who travels with work regularly, and a dependant dad), she could even help with pick up/drop off with childminder on her days off, or when I have work meetings etc (I'm lucky enough to be home-based)
Im still struggling with how to strike the balance. Im thinking along the lines of to advising her she can take out a (modest, not 4.5K!) loan and get a new pt job. Then, depending on how she manages that throughout her first year, we may offer an allowance in future years. But only if she manages to budget properly and manage her own affairs in a mature and sensible way. If she blows the lot on clothes and weekends away then moans about being skint, well all deals are off.
I am feeling all defensive now. My dd is a really lovely girl, very kind and caring, and every single school report, without fail, has mentioned what a pleasure she has been to teach (proud parent alert). But I am well aware she has but been living the high life too easy, and for too long.
Thanks again.

chocoluvva Mon 05-Aug-13 22:01:29

Don't be too hard on yourself Missgiraffe1 - I think it's very easy to spoil our DCs - better to over-indulge than to neglect though surely?
.
Your DD is still very young - she'll grow up a lot when she starts at uni.

None of us are perfect parents anyway - perhaps you have over-indulged your DD, but you've obviously done lots of other very important things well from what you say about her reports. Some of those people who are good at giving their DCs good life lessons about working for your money/being independent/grateful etc; that's great, but perhaps they've been lax with other areas of their parenting - perhaps their DCs have not been brought up to be kind/caring/thoughtful etc. A good work ethic is admirable, but it's not the be all and the end all.

I think I took my mum for granted when I was 17 too, (not financially, but I just expected her undivided attention whenever it suited me and bent her ear over ridiculous things, grumbling and complaining all the while. I was in no way considerate to her). blush I appreciate her now though.

We all expect a lot from our parents when we're teenagers. Good luck with your decisions - it's not easy to know how to be balanced in this situation.

FiftyShadesofGreyMatter Tue 06-Aug-13 08:55:44

I am on my third and last teenager. Here is what I would do:
Let her live at home rent free and cover her food, that is all.

Let her take out the loans if she needs more funds than she can earn with her part time work. Otherwise she will not learn to budget.

If she graduates successfully, then if you choose to, pay off her loans (but don't tell her that you might do this).

A lot of us have learnt the hard way that giving them everything just makes them ungrateful and more entitled.

Good luck, I know it's easier to give in in the short term for peace but long term it does them no good at all.

Missgiraffe1 Tue 06-Aug-13 12:02:47

Thanks. I know the importance of learning to budget. And I know its our job as parents to try to teach them. I guess we cant get everything right all of the time!
Results are in. 2As,2Bs and a C (the C in a subject she had a tutor for. Refund?? wink)
Delighted for her. Will let her celebrate when she gets home, then it's time for the money chat. Wish me luck!

Viviennemary Tue 06-Aug-13 12:12:18

I think part of the fun and experience of going to Uni is to live away from home but she might decide to do that in her second year. £30 for pocket money sounds reasonable. But she might need more in freshers week to join in all the activities.

ShabbyButNotChic Tue 06-Aug-13 17:16:32

I think you are being more than kind! I live at home an went to local uni. I didnt have to pay board at home, but i wa expected to help out, eg doing my own washing, cleaning up, walking the dog. I also got a loan for fees and living, and worked 2part time jobs (shop work all day sat/sub, bar work on weds nights) mixed in with the odd babysitting job. I paid for all my own things including travel, clothes, books/stationary for uni.

Tbh i was quite spoilt as a child, but my parents were firm believers in 'you want to be treated like an adult, behave like one' so i had to get a job at 16 and start supporting myself.

I think a lot of parents do their kids no favours. Why would she get a job when you will pay for stuff?

34DD Tue 06-Aug-13 20:11:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

brightstarfish Fri 09-Aug-13 12:56:48

life is hard in the big world.sooner our children know that the better.you are doing more than enough.

cory Sat 10-Aug-13 12:42:06

At the moment her whole frame of reference is with a group of friends who seem extremely well off and spoilt. By the time she goes to uni, she will get to know the lot: plenty of students have poor parents/are no longer dependent on their students/are mature students returning to education after years of childcare or work. She will find out that there are all sorts and that nobody admires you for swanking around in expensive clothes.

Writerwannabe83 Sun 11-Aug-13 13:18:17

When I started University I moved in with my dad (my parents were divorced and he lived in the city I wanted to go to Uni in) and I had to pay my way. I got about £230 a month for my NHS Bursary and £125 of it went to my dad as rent. I still had to buy food and things too. I certainly wasn't given an allowance or given money for doing household jobs! That stopped when I was about 14.

In my 2nd year of Uni my bursary was stopped so my dad 'let me off' the rent but it meant I had to get a job in order to be able to afford my clothes and food etc. I worked about 2 nights a week and then either a full day Saturday or Sunday. It was hard work but such is life.

In my 3rd year I was more reluctant to work as I wanted to focus on my studies. I kept my job but worked less and instead took out a loan to subsidise my living.

I had to pay for my own driving lessons too throughout this.

As has been said, you are spoiling her. If she wants to go to Uni and get an education then she needs to face it like an adult should.

Thankfully me and my Hubby are in agreement over such things and when/if the time comes that we have a child who wants to go to Uni they will be told in no uncertain terms that they need to fund their own choices. We both had to and so do millions of other Uni students - it is part of growing up.

Missgiraffe1 Sun 11-Aug-13 14:56:53

As I said, I'd like to help her avoid leaving Uni with unnecessary debt (and we can easily afford to help) but I'm not willing to subsidise a lavish lifestyle, which some people who work fulltime can't even afford.
Sorry, but the idea of parents (who can well afford to help) expecting their 17/18year olds to support themselves 100% when they go to Uni doesn't sit well with me. It's just not in my nature. And if that makes me soft, then so be it. But we will be making big changes from now on in relation to her contribution to everyday tasks.

chocoluvva Sun 11-Aug-13 15:23:08

"As I said" - sigh, some posters don't seem to read what the OP has said....

Why on earth you should have to defend the view that you are happy to fund your DD through uni to avoid her having a large debt at the end of it is beyond me confused. It's only a few years since fees for FE/HE were introduced. There are lots of things that my DC have that I didn't have when I was a child, eg a family car. It doesn't make sense to me to think that they can't have things just because I didn't have them.

Housing costs are astronomical now - thanks to our generation - and pensions are less generous. New mothers get less help than they used to; if you can afford to help your DC through uni be glad I say! The young generation have it easier than us in some ways but definitely not in others.

Hurrah for the resolution to get her to help out around the house more now though.

Zoomania Sun 11-Aug-13 15:50:55

I think that it is great that you want to support your daughter through uni and start her out on life without debt. My parents did the same (bar a couple of student loans) by paying my rent and when I had finished paying back 4 student loans.

I would just say that the money I had (70 per week) went for food and books and travel as well as activities. If I wanted clothes, CDs or a holiday I used money I had in my savings account from working hard every summer holiday or birthday money. I think the fact she has blown her savings on expensive holidays already is the wrong attitude.

I did a course that was not compatible with part time work.

I had to budget for food, if I ate out occasionally with friends I would order the cheapest on the menu. This was a treat not a regular occurrence. I wouldn't have expected my parents to fund lots of nights out or drinking. Spa breaks , holidays and city breaks are what one might save for as a young professional after finishing... I do think her expectations are too high.

RawCoconutMacaroon Sun 11-Aug-13 16:15:00

Missgiraff, haven't read the whole thread so apologies if some of this has been covered.

My eldest 2 DS completed 6th year and started uni while still 17. The SAAS had no problem with this, a lot of Scottish kids start uni before they turn 18.

Above a certain parental income, the student CAN'T get the full living cost loan, previously it was only £900 a year they could borrow, but as of this coming academic year, the minimum living cost loan for an away from home student is about £4400. That won't even cover a room in halls.

Ds1 also gets a fee loan, as he's at an English university that's not "free" but his loan is funded by SAAS.

Each dc get £500 a month from us and they are expected to cover everything with that and the minimum loans, so I think £30 a week when you are paying for transport, food and lodgings is a lot!

dementedma Thu 15-Aug-13 22:14:43

Dds saas loan will only just cover living in halls. We can afford to give her 50 a week and she will have to feed herself from that as well as toiletries, social life etc. She is going to have to learn to budget pretty quickly. Its not going to be enough is it....?

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