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AIBU or is DH about charging your children "digs"

(77 Posts)
Whowouldfardelsbear Wed 15-May-13 11:17:14

DH tells me that when he was thirteen and still in school his parents took some of his wages from his part time job (helping out on a milk round. This was the early 80s.) They actually took over half of it. DH says they didn't need the money at the time but it was their expectation that as a wage earner he contributed to household expenses.

I was aghast at this. My parents never took any of my earnings from my Saturday and evening work I did whilst I was still at school. This was my money to spend or save as I wanted.

I said that I would not expect our DC to pay keep if they do
any part time work while at school. He doesn't see what's wrong with it.

So who IBU here. Our DC are only 4 and 2 do the reality of this discussion is some way off for us yet. smile

hillyhilly Wed 15-May-13 11:20:12

In our house you didn't pay digs while you were in education. However, I think my pocket money probably stopped when I started earning a reasonable amount

AmberSocks Wed 15-May-13 11:20:29

i had to pay board when i got a full time job at 16,i wouldnt do it but i dont think its unacceptable at that age.

at age 13 for a part time job(which are rare for kids that age these days) it is totally mean and out of order.

EhricLovesTeamQhuay Wed 15-May-13 11:20:32

As a child, absolutely not. Once they have left school or college I would expect a contribution, especially at 18+. If they were working alongside studying then I wouldn't, unless it was well into adulthood and I needed the money to run the house.

WorraLiberty Wed 15-May-13 11:21:23

I worked in a shop from the age of 13 to 16 and my parents didn't take any money off me.

They stopped giving me pocket money and I bought my own 'luxury' things which was fair enough.

If they'd have taken half my wages, I wouldn't have seen the point in working.

CocacolaMum Wed 15-May-13 11:21:34

I worked part time from 14 and 80% of my wage went on things like gas and electric for the meters because if it hadn't then we would have been cold and in the dark.

I personally think it is good for children to learn as early on as possible the art of responsibility especially the financial kind. Even if you take your percentage and stick it in savings without them knowing - it would be a lovely gift when they need their driving lessons or whatever later on

diddl Wed 15-May-13 11:21:34

I think it's really mean when they're still in ft education.

Sugarice Wed 15-May-13 11:21:38

My ds1-18 works part time whilst doing his A Levels.

We don't take any money from him because tbh he doesn't earn that much.

He pays for his own clothes, alcohol for nights out, his holiday this year and any gigs, trips away.

Taking money off a 13 year old seems very odd to me.

LaurieFairyCake Wed 15-May-13 11:21:41

For me it depends on the kid. I would reduce pocket money and gradually expect them to pay for more.

When they start earning hundreds I would expect them to be able to save for college/driving lessons. If they wanted to piss it up the wall on takeaways and sweets then I'd be charging 'rent' and secretly saving it for them.

What I wouldn't be doing is providing a roof over their head/food/washing for a 20 year old who had more disposable income than me - yes, I know people who do this and complain a lot!

GoblinGranny Wed 15-May-13 11:22:36

I haven't taken money from either of mine yet, what I did do was expect them to use their wages for the entertainments and frivolities that I'd previously paid for.
I saw their part as working as hard as they could at school and college and turning in homework etc.
Now they are both adult, when they earn a wage I will take a significant percentage for their food and household expenses if and when they live under my roof.
They can have the bed and heating/lighting/laundry for free. smile

queenebay Wed 15-May-13 11:23:14

I used to get £1.50 paper round money and I had to hand over 50p. Then I worked on a Saturday and got £15 and had to give them £5 . When I got a wage rise I just didn't tell them !

starsandunicorns Wed 15-May-13 11:29:30

Had a sat job once in college ( summer baby) and i had to pay to bus fare tp college out of it once in work i paid tent and bus fare

fieldfare Wed 15-May-13 11:35:07

I didn't pay anything while I was still at school, although I had 2 jobs. One all day Saturday in a sports shop and earnt £21, the other was waitressing in a nearby hotel and earnt £3 an hour on Friday and Saturday nights and some Sunday lunches. Mum used to ferry me about all over the place but I still used to get pocket money as I had chores to do at home.
That said I would often go and pick up a magazine and a bunch of flowers for her and treat her to a hot chocolate and a bun when we went out, sometimes lunch.

Even when I had to move back home for a bit when I was older Mum and Dad didn't want any money, I just made sure that when we did the weekly shop I paid.

When dd is older and out of education, if she's still at home I'll be asking her to contribute. Not sure of what level but it depends on what she's earning.

Kewcumber Wed 15-May-13 11:35:13

My mum charged when I was working full time so uni holidays (I worked full time for all of them). But a relatively nominal rate - I think it was more to make sure that I didn't have loads of spare cash sloshing around - more than her!

Whowouldfardelsbear Wed 15-May-13 11:35:58

Yes - my wages replaced my pocket money when I started working in a supermarket while still at school. It went on frivoulties while my parents continued to pay for things such as essential clothes, school stuff etc.

I see it as parents' duty to provide for their children at this age - not expect them to contribute. DH sees it as a valuable life lesson and does not resent his parents at all for taking his money.

Princessdivaaa Wed 15-May-13 11:36:50

When my siblings and I got part time jobs whilst still at school, we no longer received pocket money and were expected to buy our own stuff, clothes, toiletries, going out etc but my mom and dad continued to pay for our food, household bills, washing etc.

When we left education and got "proper" jobs we had to pay "housekeeping" not a massive amount I think I paid £10-£15 a week (hardly enough to cover the full cost of board and lodgings) but we had to make a contribution..

I would do the same with my own children.

Kewcumber Wed 15-May-13 11:37:23

Money for rent at 13 is odd to me - no pocket money fair enough and possibly even expected to pay for all non-school clothes and entertainment/phone type stuff. How much can you possibly earn on a weekend at 13? I worked saturdays in a shop then but I'm not sure you could now so revenue generating opportunities are more limited now until they are 16 anyway.

NotSoNervous Wed 15-May-13 11:40:25

I never paid a penny. IMO if the child is still at school and working then they are to young to be paying towards household expenses but if they are 18+ then I don't think there's anything wrong with parents wanting something. I personally wouldn't charge my DCS digs because its their home and my job as a parent to put a roof over their heads and food on the table but if I couldn't afford to do that then maybe

sparkle12mar08 Wed 15-May-13 11:40:26

At 16 with a part time job in a supermarket, and full time at college, I had to give my mum £10-£20 a week depending on how many hours I'd done. It was a symbolic contribution to the household. I later found it all after she died two years later, all neatly folded and stacked, in a small box in her wardrobe. We think she'd been planning to give it all back to me as a (small) slush fund whenI went to uni.

13 seems a bit young, even for a symbolic gesture, but at 16, I think I'd stop pocket money if they were earning themselves, and expect a nominal conrtibution, yes.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Wed 15-May-13 11:40:57

DS is 17. He is yet to get a job bone of contention but he knows that as long as he is in education, it is his own money. When he leaves education, he has to pay for himself.

quoteunquote Wed 15-May-13 11:41:00

My husband and his siblings all had to have jobs from an early age, DH was 9 when he started a six day a week evening and weekend job (washing dishes and food prep in a pub) and they contributed all of it to the household budget,(he used to feel very guilty if he kept any tips) as MiL was very ill (bedridden), and skint, single(husband shagged the whole town then ran off with one of his students, came back, emptied the bank accounts, took out loans, and re morgaged, then ran off with OW to another country,leaving MiL with a massive pile of debt) , with almost no income, she rented rooms to students.

DH and siblings ran the house bought food, cooked for students and family, cleaned the house and nursed their mother.

I can rant a lot about child carers, the shame of all of us, as it still goes on, as he has watched our children grow the enormity of his missing childhood, has become very apparent.

He is the most incredible parent and relishes every part of the children's childhood.

Before he was considered tall enough to work in a pub, he had paper rounds, ran messages, gardened, walked dogs ,busked he and his siblings were constantly doing anything to make a pound all of which went into the kitty.

mrsyattering Wed 15-May-13 11:41:34

I had jobs from age 13, but stopped getting pocket money (i think) dad only took digs once I had left school and was working full time at 18

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Wed 15-May-13 11:41:35

DD14 helps me at work. She is well paid and Id never dream of taking it!

IloveJudgeJudy Wed 15-May-13 11:42:53

I have three teenagers - 18, 16 and 14. All three have part-time jobs and have had since 13. We haven't taken any money from them, but have not given them pocket money (we don't have the funds to give them money sad).

When DS1 18 was going through a phase of not knowing what to do we did tell him that if he left school he would have to start paying a contribution. Even if he had no job (we wouldn't have allowed him to leave school without a job to go to, though), he would have to pay us some of his jobseekers' allowance. He was quite shocked, but not resentful. He could quite see why.

Due to our present financial situation we unfortunately cannot pay for all the things that we would like to. DC do pay for lots of their own clothes. Don't pay for toiletries, school uniform, basic footwear. I think it's good for them to realise how much things cost. Their friends are gradually realising the cost of stuff now as they all get jobs.

I think your DH is being a big harsh and I'm surprised that he isn't resentful of his parents taking some of his wages, unless his family were on or below the breadline and that was the only way they could function?

everlong Wed 15-May-13 11:51:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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