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When do you cut off financial support for offspring?

(110 Posts)
Poppyflowe Tue 06-Jan-15 14:17:35

Following on (and not wanting to hijack) the thread about middle-aged children's stress and financial burden on their parents - when do you expect to end financial support for your children?

My dc are both at uni and bleeding us dry with the eldest due to graduate (on track for a 2i from a RG uni and with loads of work experience ).

She would love to work in London, where she thinks graduate salaries would be between 18 and 22k if she gets a job. She seemed surprised when I said I didn't then expect to keep supporting her (I would like to start winding down to retirement from my very stressful job).

But, that's not enough to live on for her, is it?

I'm interested in knowing what is the view of others' here - either if you are or have been in the same situation as my dc, or are a parent yourself.

We are comfortable, not super wealthy, and both dh and I work long, busy, irregular hours which enables us to have be generous with the dc (who both will have student loans to repay).

You stop supporting her in any regular way when she graduates, but can still give her money as say a birthday present, loan her money for a deposit on a flat, or treat her to things if you can afford to and want to, if she is on a low salary for an expensive area, working her way up, and if her income takes a hit and expenses go up at some time in life (when she has DC or retraining or something).

She shouldn't expect a monthly dd from you once she's working though!

hellsbellsmelons Tue 06-Jan-15 14:25:38

Well.... as soon as they start working you should be able to reduce this drastically.
I lived at home until I was 26 but I worked and made my own money from the age of 14 (2-33 jobs, it's what we had to do in my day) wink
I gave my mum money for living expenses etc...
Then when I got married and moved out at 26 they helped a bit with deposit for house then that was it.
Well kind-of anyway.
Bless them, I'm the wrong side for 45 and my dad still helps out sometimes. They always pay for meals out for everyone.
If they know we are struggling a bit they will buy something necessary or transfer a bit money over for us.
I am expecting to support my DD quite heavily until she is 18 then I'm hoping she will be paying me!

hellsbellsmelons Tue 06-Jan-15 14:26:07

33 jobs!!! Blimey - that would be some going eh?
2-3 jobs!

Poppyflowe Tue 06-Jan-15 14:27:47

Yes, I was going to add I would always want to give gifts, help towards a home etc for as long as we can, but it's more about the regular support for both of them - who have been well cushioned, although to be fair, have both also been proactive in carrying out ad hoc paid work when they can.

thisisnow Tue 06-Jan-15 14:29:21

My parents stopped helping as soon as I graduated, pretty much as soon as I started working really I had to pay rent. I was in shock!

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Tue 06-Jan-15 14:29:39

Graduate salaries for professional training contracts tend to be between £20-28k in London depending what role. That is enough to pay for a room in a shared house and living expenses. It won't be lots but there won't be time for going out drinking when she's working so that will cut down her current expenses a bit!

Yanbu to expect her to stand on her own two feet when she graduates. The only concession I would make is to allow her to come back home if necessary.

NotANaturalGeordie Tue 06-Jan-15 14:31:22

When they leave home surely? I left home at 18 and while my lovely mum and dad have lent me money over the years and been very generous in taking my family on holiday, I have repaid every penny they lent me and never expected any gifts.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Tue 06-Jan-15 14:31:47

If she can't afford to live and work in London then she needs to compromise someone. It's part of being an adult so she might as well get used to it!

FrankelandFilly Tue 06-Jan-15 14:32:42

Can't comment from personal experience, I moved out of home at 18 and had a job with accomodation and my own DD is only 10 months! However, those people I know who were supported through Uni by parents found their allowances stopped as soon as they graduated. In fact DH's uncle has just stopped his son's allowance as he's failed his first year of Uni twice and been asked to leave! He still lives at home with his mother but has been told by his dad that it's time to get a job and sort himself out!

Your daughter will need to look into a flat/house share if she wants to work in London on that salary, but plenty of other people do the same.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 06-Jan-15 14:33:30

I stopped supporting mine regularly when they finished education before uni.
I expect them to have a job at 16 and start paying their own way.
Saying that i do give them the odd handout and good xmas and b'day presents.
they are expected to fund everything from uni fees, driving lessons, car, insurance etc.
it helps them stand on their own two feet.

antimatter Tue 06-Jan-15 14:35:44

I think if she gets 22K she can rent a room in London and still have life. If close to 18 - then she has to adjust. I have single friend who earns ~24K hence my comment.

If I was in your shoes and she gets office based job on 18K you can offer to buy her some clothes and shoes for work. I can imagine what she has now won't be suitable for most companies. Whether your help would stretch to helping with her deposit - it's more up to your current financial situation

OvertiredandConfused Tue 06-Jan-15 14:37:38

Once I graduated, my folks stopped the regular support. I was welcome to live at home rent free while I saved a deposit. As well as helping around the house and doing my own ironing, I sometimes bought the groceries and often cooked a meal or treated them to a take-away.

I think understanding living costs from the outset is important but if they need help with deposits or other bigger items and you are able to do that then it's very much appreciated. Don't facilitate them living fundamentally beyond their means!

confused79 Tue 06-Jan-15 14:39:28

Well, as soon a as I got a job at 15 I was expected to buy my own stuff. They still fed me and allowed me to use hot water when I wanted etc...but had to buy my own clothes, toiletries and anything else I wanted / needed. I've never had their help financially, not even to help buy a car or with driving lessons. They'll give me money for Christmas and birthdays though, and buy a lot for my kids (regardless of how much I protest).
I think knowing I'll have no one to fall back on has made me careful with money, and do appreciate it a lot more.
Partner's son has recently turned 18 so instantly an adult in his eyes now, especially considering he works. So no big purchases for birthdays and Christmas's, but he's going abroad this year for a few months so a lot was spent on his for spending money. This equalled more than the latest playstation he'd asked for (which partner said no to because he was now an adult) but was a more worthy cause.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 06-Jan-15 14:40:27

She can get by as a single in London on £22k but it's going to mean a flat share, fairly frugal lifestyle and making a few sensible choices. If she 'looks surprised' at the prospect of you not underwriting a fancier lifestyle tell her.... in all seriousness... that you really wouldn't want to spoil the life-enhancing experience and pride that comes from being self-sufficient. Or suggest she looks for a job in the regions where property is considerably cheaper.

Big smile.... don't cave.... It's character building... smile

StaircaseAtTheUniversity Tue 06-Jan-15 14:42:52

My parents stopped supporting me when I graduated but said I was welcome to come home for a while if I needed to. I did, for a year, and then moved out for good. They give me, DH and our DD very generous gifts and have helped out occasionally with things like the car if it's needed work, but I would never expect it.

oldestmumaintheworld Tue 06-Jan-15 14:46:35

I've just faced this situation. My DD graduated last year and went to London to get a job. It took a while -four months - and she stayed as a lodger with a family friend. She paid the rent out of her summer job earnings. She now earns £19k and shares a house with uni friends in central London paying £650 per month. She walks to work - its cheaper than living further out - and takes sandwiches. She has a good time but doesn't have a lot of money to spare. We do not support financially and haven't since she left uni. She got a summer job and lived at home. She did have money for Christmas and we take her out when in London. But that's it.

We did save enough money to pay off her student debt, but have decided to keep it for a flat deposit later on.

We have always made it clear that this would be the case and is, more or less, what our parents did for us. Although we didn't get a flat deposit because we both have lots of younger siblings.

MissHJ Tue 06-Jan-15 14:46:35

I stopped being supported as soon as I moved out at 18. I finished my a-levels and moved in with my partner. My mum would still help me out thou if I needed it. She thinks nothing of buying lunch/cinema trip etc. Always bringing something little for my toddler. She recently bought my winter coat when we were having some money problems although I gave this back to her. She would never turn me away if I was desperate so I would be the same with my son. Once he is earning it's time he supported himself but again I would treat him and try my best to help him out if he needed it.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 06-Jan-15 14:46:36

FWIW.... £22k gross equates to £1500/month take home. Room in a flat share depending on which zone you're in averages at £600 (£1000+ for Zone 1). So if she was happy to live in a Zone 4 location (about £500/month), once she's factored in bills, transport and groceries she'd still have a few quid left for pocket money.

But this is the kind of maths that a 2.1 graduate from an RG uni should be able to do standing on their head. smile

Lweji Tue 06-Jan-15 14:47:10

Of course she can live on 18k. She may need to live in a house share, or rent a room, not in Kensington, and commute a bit to work, and possibly claim some benefits, but lots of people live in London on lower incomes.

Sickoffrozen Tue 06-Jan-15 14:51:21

Parents give too much nowadays and it has led to kids expecting too much!

£22k is fine and she doesn't have to live in London. She could live outside and commute.

I got nothing off my parents and didn't expect anything.

ChablisChic Tue 06-Jan-15 14:51:45

I stopped supporting mine when they graduated. DD is self-employed and took on any and every job she was offered when she first graduated, as she was terrified she wouldn't be able to pay the rent. She ended up working about 60 hours a week and was very glad to be able to give some work up after a year or so!

It's about cutting your coat according to your cloth. If your DD has to start by living in a not very nice shared house in a grotty area, so be it - that's life in London at the moment. If she can get a job and progress there, she can gradually move to nicer surroundings, but that'll be her reward for doing well. She is an adult now and (as in the other thread you referred to) you will be doing her no favours by continuing to support her on a day-to-day basis.

OnIlkleyMoorBahTwat Tue 06-Jan-15 14:52:00

The biggest help you can give her is to help her work out a budget to see what she can afford to pay in rent, bills etc and still have something left over to live on.

If she's looking to earn �20k ish, her student loan repayments should be almost nothing, shouldn't they?

Unless she can earn a lot of money in London, is there any chance she could look elsewhere for work?

There's plenty of life in a lot of other big cities (Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Glasgow etc) but accomodation will be much cheaper, so even though she will earn less, she is likely to have more fun money left over.

If she can get accomodation in walking distance of her workplace, she could manage without a car, which would also save loads.

TheWordFactory Tue 06-Jan-15 14:53:36

I think the absurd cost of housing and living in London, coupled with the relatively low starting salaries on some industries ( and let's not think about post grad education, internships etc) means that many many young people are simply precluded from them sad.

MB34 Tue 06-Jan-15 14:57:51

When I graduated I never expected my parents to keep supporting me. Even through uni holidays when I was working they always took (and I was willing to give) 20% of my take home pay for rent/food etc
Over the years, they have been very generous at birthdays/Christmas and helped when I purchased my first home so I know that if I ever needed help they'd be there but I certainly wouldn't expect/ask for money.

Wrt to salary, not sure how it is today, but I moved to Kent after graduating (although it was within M25) which was 250 miles from home. I lived on a salary of £12,000, which was low even then (15 years ago). Although it wasn't a graduate scheme which paid more, I managed to live on it so personally I think you live within your means.

So in your situation, once she has graduated, I would definitely be winding down preparing for retirement.

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