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Dss and school trip

(76 Posts)
wheresthel1ght Sun 29-May-16 06:45:21

Dss has arrived this weekend with a school letter about a holiday trip skiing and told is his mum has told him he has to tell us we have to pay £800 so he can go. It isn't an educational trip, it is just a social holiday for themZ

Dss is a bit of a wimp, he is terrified of the idea of skiing but his best friend is going so he wants to go.

I am livid that dp's exw hasn't discussed this trip with us first. She has told him he can go and to tell us we need to pay for it. We now have to break dss's heart by saying no because there is no way we can afford it.

The initial issue is the financial settlement is supposed to be 50% of trips so she is expecting us to pay 100% or this trip is £1600!

£800 will bring our family budget to its knees. Dsd, Dss and dd would have to sacrifice birthday/Christmas presents. I wouldn't be able to see any of my family and as a whole family we couldn't have any days out, holidays new things and all treats would have to stop.

We don't spend a lot now, we pay for an annual family pass to a local attraction (not Alton towers or the like) And a day out is often local parks or free museums. But we do try and take them swimming because Dss can't swim so we are trying to raise his confidence.

What do we do? Do already works 12 hour nights so can't take on a second job, I would but we would have no one to look after dd without paying for it which would wipe out any earnings. I love that boy but there is no way we can send him. Does anyone have any ideas??

I have told dp he needs to speak to his exw about it all. She has form for doing this but previously it has been £200 (total cost) trips which is a bit easier to find when you have 6 months to pay. It seems this £800 needs to be paid before Xmas.

NapQueen Sun 29-May-16 06:50:30

If he is old enough to go on a skiing trip then he is old enough to understand (though of course, be upset) that you do not have the money to spare.

I'd be saying "I'm sorry Dss, we do not have £800 to spare; I'm sorry your mum said you could go but she shouldn't have made that decision without talking to us first, I'm sure there will be other trips".

AyeAmarok Sun 29-May-16 06:56:35

If you don't have the money, you don't have it. You just need to explain that some things in life are too far beyond your budget and you won't be able to magic the money up for them, even though you'd love for him to be able to go.

But ideas for extra money - you could work nights while the children are sleeping, that way no childcare needed.

wheresthel1ght Sun 29-May-16 06:58:04

Nap that's exactly what I said to dp! He is of the opinion "we should look at it harder"

Dss obviously clocked my reaction to the cost and asked if we could pay it. I said I really don't think we can afford it but that daddy and I need to have a talk about it.

I don't know if I am being selfish in saying I don't think it is fair that the whole family has to sacrifice in order for him to go on a holiday. If it was an educational trip then I think I would feel differently but I don't think it is fair that he gets this amazing holiday whilst everyone else has had to sacrifice to pay for it. I would feel the same if it was dd if that makes a difference?!

Does that make me an awful step mum?

wheresthel1ght Sun 29-May-16 06:58:57

Aye - I can't! I already work full time in the days and dp works nights so there is no one to look after dd or the dscs when they are here.

Adelecarberry87 Sun 29-May-16 07:06:23

I would explain to the mother that the amount is too much. Tbh I never understand why schools try to organise such expensive trips especially when most families have more than one child to consider.

donajimena Sun 29-May-16 07:06:55

I don't think you are a bad mum / stepmum.
my sons school does these 'trips' costing 1600 (think New York, Thailand) I have told him that he won't be going on any of them as it would mean that the rest of us would have to go without a holiday.

AyeAmarok Sun 29-May-16 07:11:14

Well in that case then it's just a flat no! You're both working and don't have £800 to spare.

Definitely don't even consider DSS and the rest of the family going without family days out and Christmas presents so that one of them can go on a ski trip - that is just not reasonable.

Ski trips are an expensive luxury. I went to a very naice school where were were all offered to go on various ski trips during our time there. Out of over 200 people a year, about 15 went.

This is a good life lesson for him. Things that are extremely expensive and unnecessary are not in budget for most people. This is too expensive.

wheresthel1ght Sun 29-May-16 07:11:24

Adele - I genuinely don't get it. Without outing myself we live in a VERY deprived area. High unemployment, those in work are generally in low paid work. The primary industry in this area has been completely shut down and as a result lots of the towns/villages are very poor. I have no idea why they would organise something they know a good 60% can't afford.

Adelecarberry87 Sun 29-May-16 07:16:11

It's madness the type of trips some school organise. Lucky my DS goes on trips cost 15 contribution which is what most parents pay. Don't let the mum make you and your DP feel bad. You have other commitments and DC to consider. If she's adament he goes she should pay.

wheresthel1ght Sun 29-May-16 07:19:13

Aye - I went to a very naice high school in London and these things were the norm, I never went because my parents couldn't afford it.

It breaks my heart that we are going to have to say no. But I have been up since 5 trying to find a way to afford it for him. We weren't having a proper holiday this year as the finances just couldn't stretch to it, but we were going to stay with my Dsis as she lives near the beach so it would give the kids a bit of a holiday but even that would have to go. We would literally have to stay home with board games and puzzles and their bikes.

Dd (nearly 3) wouldn't be able to have a "party" which was only going to be a few friends to the soft play and would have to give up her ballet lessons. She absolutely adores them. They are only £5/week but they would have to go to help out.

We are gonna have to break his heart aren't we.

Scoopmuckdizzy Sun 29-May-16 07:21:14

His mother really shouldn't have agreed to this without discussion. I can understand paying half towards trips but £800 is a lot of money!

Noteventhebestdrummer Sun 29-May-16 07:22:20

It's really not a big deal, don't turn it in to one. You can't afford it, that's all.

Rhubardandcustard Sun 29-May-16 07:23:09

The 50% was for educational school trips, this one is more of a holiday and optional for those that can afford it. I would contact dss mum and tell her no on this occassion. He won't be the only one not going.

AyeAmarok Sun 29-May-16 07:26:14

You're overthinking this, honestly.

Not going on a school ski trip is NOT an awful hardship for him. It's normal life. I bet 90% of children won't go, because not many people have that sort of money to spare for all their children.

Honestly, that you're even contemplating giving up your holiday to your sister's home near the beach, and your DD's ballet lessons shows that you've lost perspective on this a little bit flowers

wheresthel1ght Sun 29-May-16 07:28:21

Scoop I think that is what his pissed me off the most. She earns less 6k a year according to her declarations during their divorce and has just taken on a mortgage so I am fairly sure she can't afford it either but wants dp to look like the bad guy I think

wheresthel1ght Sun 29-May-16 07:31:13

I know Aye. His mum will go off the deep end that we are saying no although she should never have said yes without talking to do.

I just don't want to say no without being able to present him with what it would mean if he did go more so he sees we have looked at it rather than just said a flat out no. He is nearly 13 and exceptionally bright so I am hoping he will understand

AgeOfEarthquakes Sun 29-May-16 07:35:12

A bright 13 year old should understand that £800 for a non essential trip is too much. He certainly won't be the only one not going. You won't break his heart. If he is upset then the person responsible is his mum for saying he could go without discussing it with you. Though are you sure his mum said that he could go and he's not trying it on?

AuditAngel Sun 29-May-16 07:36:18

We are not in the same position as you, as we are not a blended family, but DS came home from school asking to go on a £780 water sports holiday and was told it was a no.

wheresthel1ght Sun 29-May-16 07:39:45

Age, yeah she prompted him to tell dp at the door when we picked them up.

As I said above this is her way of dealing with everything. She says yes knowing we can't afford it and will say no so she looks like the hero and dp looks bad. Last time it was a water sports thing and they had to be able to swim!!

wheresthel1ght Sun 29-May-16 07:41:23

Audit - it's bonkers! It's more than we spend on a holiday for 5 of us.

And that is without all the kit he will need and lessons before hand

AgeOfEarthquakes Sun 29-May-16 07:44:41

Don't agonise about it. You would let him go if you could afford it but you can't so unfortunately he'll have to miss out this time - as will most of his peers I expect. A bright 13 year old should have no problem understanding the economic reality of this situation.

wheresthel1ght Sun 29-May-16 07:47:31

Thanks folks!

I am going to stop feeling guilty and pull up my big girl pants and make dp tell him a firm no and then deal with his idiot ex!

Only1scoop Sun 29-May-16 07:52:32

What does your DH think?

What has been his input to discussion

It seems to be you doing all the sums here?

wheresthel1ght Sun 29-May-16 07:54:40

Only1 - he did the numbers and thinks he can find a way. I am just going through it to be certain for myself. Realistically he knows we can't afford it but he hates having to say no to his kids

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