This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Do your student DC/DSC contribute to housekeeping when home for the holidays?(18 Posts)
The context: I have 3 DC, one is living and working away from home, one is a student in another city and the youngest lives with us FT.
I receive child support from XH for the youngest, and when DD moved from school to uni he transferred her child support from me to her. She has plenty to live on with that, her loan and a term-time job.
DH has DC of his own whom he supports financially, and we each contribute to a joint pot for our household expenses. My ability to contribute diminished when DD left for uni with the halving of child support overnight but it wasn't a big problem as bills were lower too, especially food and hot water!
Now she's back for 4 months and I can't really afford to put my contributions back up to pre-uni levels to cover the extra costs. As it is unfair to expect DH to subsidise my DC as well as his own, would it be unreasonable to ask her for a contribution when she's found a summer job?
When you say she has plenty to live on, do you know actual figures. What her income and outgoings are? When I worked in the uni holidays I saved every penny just to get me through term time.
I think she should get a job asap and pay for anything like clothes, food when she's out, drink and transport herself. I would definitely pay for her food in the house, though, and wouldn't take any money off her, as long as she was respectful and helped around the house.
No. My daughter is at uni every day and wouldn't have the time, head-space or energy for a job. She's a full time student, and during holidays she gets to laze in bed and catch up with her course work.
If student DD gets money from her dad for child support, she needs to give some of that to you when she’s home for 4 months. The child support isn’t supposed to be her beer money !
You are already covering all her housing costs for that time, she should give you something towards food AND she needs to do some chores - same as any adult member of the household.
It might be different if you didn’t need the money but you do. She needs to live in the real world.
When they come home they will chuck some money on the gas/electric, will pop into the shop and buy stuff, get everyone a take away etc. They know they don't have to, but they tell me regardless of where they are it costs.
I never contributed financially during uni holidays. It didn't occur to me too and my parents never asked. All my money went on uni costs and rent and food at uni. By the time term ended I was skint, and needing to go home to wait for my next bit of student loans.
I also didn't work, because holidays were for recovering from term time..
*ImNotNigel Yes, the dynamic is that I can't afford to support her without the child support i was getting when she lived here full-time. That has all been taken from me so I need a bit of grocery money because it would be unfair to ask DH - who is not her dad - to sub her, when he has his own DC to support.
It's different when you live with your mum and dad, but when you're talking step-kids and step-parents things are much more complicated unless everyone is loaded!
I don't know her exact income & outgoings but I do know that she has no overdraft and has managed to save some money since September, some of which is going on a holiday with a friend. And now that she isn't paying high hall fees every month she will have more (because her dad is paying her the same amount every month incl summer)
She's good with money and I don't want to punish her for being careful, but I do want her to understand that life costs even when you're at home.
How much are you talking about? Surely hot water for one person doesn't make a massive difference and food can be sane meals just a bit bigger portion. Any snacks she can pay for.
Hi @anyoldvic - my dp will also transfer his maintenance to his eldest ds, who will be going to uni in September, into an allowance for uni expenses. He is planning on doing this once school ends in a few weeks. His ds does not seem inclined to get a summer job (that's another story) & dp has told both ds & exw that ds can either go get a job & contribute to his dm's expenses for him as he'll be staying with her the majority of the summer, OR he can use his maintenance from dp to contribute to those expenses but obviously won't then have any spending/saving money. He has told both of them that he will not be doing this any other summer - only this one - & that he will not support ds not getting a job any other summer.
I think you could do similar with your dd. Either she uses her allowance from her dad to contribute or she gets a job to contribute. My eldest ds is in college & my exh and I give him an allowance in term time (equal parts from both of us) which he supplements with pt work throughout the year & then gets a full time job in summer. If he's home for any length over the Xmas/other holidays I reduce his allowance to cover the huge quantities of food he eats when home & he's totally ok with that.
What are her hall fees - they must be at least £600 a month? So she has all that to spare when she’s living with you for 4 months.
I don’t think £120 or so a month towards the food shopping is much compared to that. I assume that’s the kind of sum you are talking about, rather than rent ?
I agree it’s totally different with blended families, unless money isn’t an issue.
I'm glad other blended families agree.
Since she left I've been able to contribute quite a lot less per month to the pot. Essentially food, as she's vegetarian so we'd often cook 2 variants of a meal, or 2 different meals, and she'd take very healthy packed lunches to school, so shopping was more. Also she has very long hair and uses a lot of hot water!
She's lovely but not cheap... so yes about £120 per month seemed reasonable. I'll talk to her. Thanks all
I'll have a chat with her.
I was never asked to pay anything to my parents during university holidays. Or when I moved home for 6+ months afterwards.
I'm honestly a bit shocked to think that some parents would ask their child who is away studying to pay them housekeeping etc for holidays. I hope I never have to do that to my children.
I would do whatever I could to ensure I didn't have to take money off of my child, especially since they're away studying. Scrimp and save if needs be!
No I do not think he/she should contribute. They are still in education, they have years of contributing ahead when they finish.
@SuziQ10, this stuff tends to happen in separated &/or blended families & no it's not ideal but it sort of has to be done if resentments aren't going to build up.
For eg. my dp's exw will be down eldest ds's maintenance in a few weeks once he's finished school. He's also 19. Now, she refuses to get a job as does he so what is dp supposed to do? Keep giving maintenance to an exw who refuses to work, for a grown ds who refuses to work? Legally his maintenance ended at 18 but he kept it going as ds is old in his year and was still in school. Dp feels his best option (mainly to safeguard his other 2 dcs) is to give his ds an allowance for uni & let him & his dm thrash out how much he gives her when he's at hers for holidays or weekends. If he doesn't then she has to use the maintenance (which is very substantial but she's not great with money - not being bitchy, just stating a fact) dp gives her for his other two kids and make it stretch to cover 3 as 19 yo ds won't work.
It's very difficult for all involved but they are not a family in a financial sense anymore & dp is not legally or financially responsible for what his now adult dc does in his dm's home so this stuff has to be done.
In the OP's case she's now a family with her dp but he's not her kids dad & shouldn't have to support her adult dc who is, like my dp's ds, lucky enough to have 'income' from her df. However if her dd doesn't contribute when home for long stretches then op is out of pocket as is her blended family.
It's really messy & in all honesty I hate this aspect of divorce/blending but it has to be as fair as it can be for all concerned.
I hope that I can afford to support the children through education. But if I can't then they need to contribute so that there is food in the cupboard and hot water. That's life.
When I returned home for the summer break some 25 years ago my mother asked me for £15 a week. I was working full time and although felt it wasn't justified at the time. as I asked for no support throughout my education. I can see why she needed to now as an adult.
Students finances are directly affected by the adults income in the resident home. It's the one instance where the step parents income is also considered and has been this way for a very long time.
In that respect, your joint decision to marry and live together has affected your children so it isn't the case that he couldn't be expected to subsidise her, it is expected if you are in England, I don't know about any other countries. It doesn't matter if it's right or wrong, but his income could mean she is having to work more than necessary.