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to think that my dcs should pay for their own cars, houses etc?

(316 Posts)
overthemill Sat 13-Nov-10 19:25:59

this is really bugging me. I am from a fairly normal working class not at all well off probably poorish background. My parents loved me but had nothing so I never got anything from them once I left home. When I was at home doing summer jobs (as a student) my mum would ask for £10 a week (in the 70s) towards my 'keep'. I never got pocket money. If I wanted something I had to work for it (I got my first p/t job at 13 and worked all through school and college). My mum used to make up my grant (about £30 a term was what they had to pay) out of the money I gave her in the summer. My last year at college my dad refused to fill in the application forms so I didn't get a grant that year at all and I had to work 2 days a week to pay rent, eat etc. Incidentally I came out of college with a few hundred pounds in savings. Two days after my finals I got a job and have worked ever since.

I have no beef about this at all - I think it was 'normal' for my family and most of my peers, there were a few people I knew whose parents had more money but really very few.

I am now married to a lovely dh (not our first marriages) and we have 3 kids between us. I came along when his were 2 & 4 and ours was born about a year later.
First is due to go to Uni in 2011 ad it has suddenly become apparent to me that dh is expecting to fund in full her education - ie at least £10k a year for the 4 year degree, then do the same for the next one and then the next. I have always kind of known this but hadn't ever realised he was planning to wholly find it, not just 'top it up'.

And then, last weekend we had a real argument about the kids cars - dsd has juststarted driving lessons and will want a car. He blithely said, 'we'll have to buy her one' and still later 'we need to look into how we can help them all out with deposits when they want to buy a house'.

Now I am totally and utterly gobsmacked by this. He does come from a different background from me. Privately educated, Oxford Uni and he had help from his very comfortably off parents at various stages. He thinks this is normal. I think it is totally and utterly abnormal.

You need to know that we do not have much money at all - he doesn't earn loads and I lost my job last year and have struggled to find alternatives, he will probably get made redundant next year - and his payout will not be huge. We are always overdrawn and live paycheck to paycheck despite our best endeavours.

AIBU - please tell me, what do you think - are you all planning to impoverish yourselves to give your dc's money?

scurryfunge Sat 13-Nov-10 19:30:54

He is unreasonable about the cars as there is no need whatsoever.
Education may be different though. It is the student who takes out the loan if needed and they pay it back, not the parents.

If you can ease this burden because you can afford it then it is not so much of a problem.

If you can't afford it then don't do it.

ZZZenAgain Sat 13-Nov-10 19:30:59

if you don't have the money to fund tertiary education fully for 3 children and buy them cars, I think he is being a bit unrealistic

AnnoyingOrange Sat 13-Nov-10 19:32:00

how does he plan to fund all this if he does not have sufficient income?

Tee2072 Sat 13-Nov-10 19:32:26


My story is close to yours, except that my parents though a degree was so important, they paid for it. Also, I grew up in the US where it's much more expensive to go to Uni.

But I bought my first car, I've never owned a home because my DH and I can't afford one, etc etc.

I personally think giving your kids that sort of thing is odd as well. At what point to turn off 'bank of mum and dad'?

And, by the way, my mum at least (my parents are divorced) is very wealthy. And very generous with gifts and things, but would never pay for me to have a house or a car!

BangingNoise Sat 13-Nov-10 19:32:41

I will fund my son, if I can, as long as he is doing something worthwhile. If he's going to uni to do a wishy-washy degree that isn't leading anywhere in particular (like I did, and like DH too), then I won't.

monkeyfacegrace Sat 13-Nov-10 19:33:58

Tricky. Im 24, have also worked since I was 13.
Bought my first car at 17 after saving up, but dad paid the 25k deposit on my house, and did the same for my 2 sisters.

Only my little sis went to uni, and dad topped her up but didnt pay anywhere near the full whack.

FIL has just give us another 20k so we can move higher up the property ladder. Fairly normal I thought?

OhCobblers Sat 13-Nov-10 19:34:41

if we can afford to help them then yes i would do it.

if we can't afford to, then they'll have to fund it themselves. DH and i have worked too hard to get ourselves into debt once our DC are old enough to work to fund their lives. however, i certainly don't agree with just buying a car for the hell of it. who's going to pay to run that too??

one thing confuses me in your post is why your dad wouldn't fill in your Grant Application form - what was his reasoning for this?

i understand your DH wanting to financially help but it must be thoroughly discussed first with you surely? does he have an ex-wife? what are her thoughts?

HappyMummyOfOne Sat 13-Nov-10 19:36:28

Not sure about funding a car but we will assist DS through his education - as long as its either a trade or decent degree.

If we can, then yes i'd help with a house deposit to for him if he lives alone, not sure i'd fund it if he had a partner that could potentially walk off with half of it.

overthemill Sat 13-Nov-10 19:38:02

we are selling our house. he wants quite a large proportion of the not enormous equity to be put in a fund for this. I'd thought we were going to buy somewhere and not have a mortgage and not have to work so hard. He thinks we should continue to work and give them the money - as I said 'so you want me to carry on cleaning, babysitting and doing any job I can get until I am 70, to pay for them to be educated and have a car when we are this broke?' he said ' of course, that's what parents do'.

It makes me very insecure. I thought we'd worked our guts out to give them their childhood, holidays, music lessons, language lessons, sports etc and after that it was up to them.

narkypuffin Sat 13-Nov-10 19:39:14

You think he's abnormal, I think your father's abnormal- refusing to fill in a form so you couldn't get a grant??????? WTF?

It sounds like he needs a financial reality check. You need to talk to him about how you aren't in a financial position to be able to help out your children in the way that he was helped by his parents. There's nothing wrong with wanting to make it easier for your children to get a good start in life.

hairytriangle Sat 13-Nov-10 19:40:04

How does he propose to find the money for the uni courses, cars and houses?

If the money isn't there, then he won't be able to.

I came from a similar background to yourself.

I've helped my DSD out with contribution towards driving lessons and car insurance instalments when she was really struggling, but she bought her own car at 17 (she saved from when she was 15) and she is doing well at A levels (As and Bs) and is working part time (waitressing) and is doing everything possible to find a better job.

TartyMcFarty Sat 13-Nov-10 19:40:51

If he's planning to fund university, a car and a deposit on a house, where, exactly, will your kids ever have to make their own way?

And what if he finds you can't afford to sustain this level of support by the time it's DC3's turn?

hairytriangle Sat 13-Nov-10 19:42:01

"I'd thought we were going to buy somewhere and not have a mortgage and not have to work so hard"

I think you probably need to have a very good chat about financial planning with your DH. If you 'thought' one thing and he 'thought' another, then there isn't enough discussion going on.

"of course, that's what parents do" it is what the majority of parents do, if they can.

narkypuffin Sat 13-Nov-10 19:42:17

Just seen about the equity. You can afford to help to a degree, so your discussion should be about the amount.

Gay40 Sat 13-Nov-10 19:42:32

I'm with you, overthemill. I'm from the "row your own boat" school myself, as is DP and while we will have the money to help DD, it certainly won't be doled out willy-nilly.
Personally I think it does folk no favours to have everything paid for them.

overthemill Sat 13-Nov-10 19:44:12

my dad wouldn't fill in teh form because he is bloody minded - he felt they knew what he earned - it never changed! - and they were being stupid to keep asking. He is still like that but that's a whole new AIBU thread...

My dh's ex will also be funding their 2 dcs but she has wealthy parents who have set up a trust fund for them (and there is a lot in there). But that is a side issue - my dh expects parents to pay for 100% of the funding needed for Uni. I am not abdicating parental responsibility just thinking that we would 'help out ' with what we can afford (so something but not into the 1000s) and dsd would get a student loan for some of it. I know he is a parent with responsibilities - but if they were 100% ours we'd still be having the discussion it is NOT about me not wanting to pay towards my beloved step children - I am totally shocked with respect to my dd too.

Alouiseg Sat 13-Nov-10 19:49:16

My parents had second marriages and are still funding their second families hmm.

My feelings are that all children should be treated equally. I intend to help mine as much as is humanly possible, however I won't be funding cars!

SausageMonster Sat 13-Nov-10 19:51:33

ExH funded DS through Uni. He paid for his flat, gave him £80 a week allowance and Ds also took out student loans. DS had more disposable income than I did.

Result was that he totally wasted his time at Uni, scraped through the First year on resits, had to repeat the 2nd year in total becuase he hardly attended and then dropped out.

After that experience I think you can over feather-bed them. i think they too should invest in their own future by taking a p/t job to contribute. All DS did was squander someone else's money.

DS2 is now at Uni with no assistance at al from ExH, living at home and I am paying him a reasonable amount each week to study. He's predicted to get a good degree.

MrsVincentPrice Sat 13-Nov-10 19:52:22

It would be madness for you to get yourselves into debt to fund your DC's degrees because their student loans will presumably be available at much more favourable terms than a commercial bank loan.
If they actually need help, eg they can't get a job without a car and can't afford to buy one then it's not unreasonable to help out if you can, but I disagree with giving them money just on general principles.

narkypuffin Sat 13-Nov-10 19:53:48

The thing is that 15 years ago a student loan paid for accomodation in halls. Now they take a loan for the fees and then need another loan for living expenses.

Is your DH feeling a bit emasculated because the ex-ILs are paying for things he feels he should be covering?

overthemill Sat 13-Nov-10 19:54:26

the house we live in is our home. it does not, to be , represent pare money. we are really really struggling and have talked very hard about moving and buying somewhere without a mortgage so as to reduce our outgoings (our mortgage in the SE is over £1000 a month) and we live in fear of the interest rate going up.

Yes we do need to have a major financial discussion - we had talked a lot but now I'm realising that his idea of helping out doesn't equate to my idea at all. It is suddenly becoming apparent to me how much of an entirely different world we came from.

btw, none of my 3 sisters have given financial backing to their kids & among my friends it is only those who fund private education who are planning to do as much as dh. Incidentally dh is vehemently opposed to private education.

lady007pink Sat 13-Nov-10 19:55:44

My parents funded our education, but we bought our own cars and houses. It might have helped they let us live rent-free at their house when we got our first jobs so we could save up.

We've saved the Children's Allowance since our children were born and we will be using this to fund their education, but after that they will have to look after themselves.

overthemill Sat 13-Nov-10 19:56:46

'it does not, to me , represent spare money'

Adversecamber Sat 13-Nov-10 20:00:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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