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Allowance for 17 year old starting Uni but staying at home

(102 Posts)
Missgiraffe1 Wed 31-Jul-13 15:46:10

Either I am clueless - as the offer I made to DD was met with a less than enthusiastic response - or she is being unreasonable.

She will stay at home, rent/digs free. No tuition fees (we're in Scotland). We will pay for her travel, food, toiletries, but makeup/clothes and social life will be for her to pay out of her allowance and any other earnings.
I don't want her to work too much during term-time, but I think 1 weekend day, or 1 or 2 evenings, would be reasonable. So she could top up what we were willing to pay by doing this, or by babysitting (we have a 1 year old) or by helping with housework (of which she currently does NONE!! [bone of contention emoticon]

She has been working a minimum of 4days per week since her exams finished, but has spent it all.

I suggested we give her £30/week. Working 1 weekend day would surely top this up to around £55. With potential to earn more by helping out (I offered her £10 to clean all the bathrooms) and £5 to watch her little Bro once a week to let me get out to the pub gym. That's £70/wk.

I honestly don't know if this is reasonable. She has got used to earning a bit more with her summer job, and her only reference is a friend who's already at Uni, but who gets a bursary and has taken out a student loan. She gets about £600/month (apparently)
With a reduction in my days of work, and childcare costs, we now have almost £13k less coming in per year. We are also looking to insure her for learning to drive, so that will be another 1.5K expenditure.

Would anyone be willing to share details of their arrangements in a similar situation? Am really struggling to understand what is reasonable. I know clothes aren't cheap, and they all have a great social life these days (spa days, city breaks etc) but I also want instill some life lessons in her (which I think I have mostly failed to do in this regard, regretfully)
Thanks (if you've got this far!)

morethanpotatoprints Wed 31-Jul-13 16:56:48

In fairness, if they have anything given to them above what is necessary you are doing them no favours. It doesn't matter if its £10 £20 or £100, the result is the same. You have to teach them that life isn't easy, its a struggle and sometimes you have to do without what you want even when you are working.

Missgiraffe1 Wed 31-Jul-13 16:57:40

I didn't offer her more as such. I asked what she believed would be reasonable amount. Then threw in '£45/wk?' as a suggestion. I have created a spoiled brat hmm

Parsnipcake Wed 31-Jul-13 17:02:58

I gave my son £70 a week, which comprised of £15 for travel, £15 for lunch at uni and £40 for clothes, entertainment and study materials ( he is doing art so has to buy a lot of kit). He worked 1 day a week and ended up buying a bike instead of getting the bus. When he got a better paid weekend job he only took £40, and I upped it again during his finals so he could take some time off work. He got very good grades throughout, if he had been arsing around I would have cut it down. I also have a dd at college who ended up with similar amounts as she got a bursary, and it seemed unfair for him to be worse off. He seemed to be on an equal footing with his friends who were in halls.

ruddynorah Wed 31-Jul-13 17:03:43

Honestly? I'd tell her to move out. I spent my first tear at home. Awful. Missed so much.

However, in that first year I got some grant (the last year there was such a thing) and I gave all £850 of it to my parents. No tuition fees to pay. I then had a student loan which that year was maybe £2k. Other than that I had a job that was 30hrs a week paying minimum wage. I bought my own food, toiletries, clothes, everything. That year I also learned to drive. As I was from a low income family I could apply for a hardship loan of £500. That bought my lessons. Didn't get a car til I graduated and got my graduate job.

Rummikub Wed 31-Jul-13 17:05:11

shock at your dh hugo grin

I'm good at budgeting as a result, my sister has no idea how to live without bring in debt and she earns 4 times what I do!

Students are v different now. I didn't but any clothes while I was at uni, mad to think that now. Current students seem to be well groomed and on trend.

Missgiraffe1 Wed 31-Jul-13 17:05:15

Morethan you speak so much sense . I think I have probably compensated for being in a real messy place financially when she was tiny. And also for some difficult times in our family that she dealt with really well. that we are in a better position

Parsnipcake Wed 31-Jul-13 17:05:41

Ps he is moving into a shared house this year. We are paying him £100 now during study weeks, ( there are about 35 in the year) and expect him to get a job during holidays/ to supplement during term time. He always finds works easily. If he couldn't I think we would have to give him more

morethanpotatoprints Wed 31-Jul-13 17:06:17


You sound a lovely loving caring mum and I know you want to do the best for your dd.
She won't learn the value of money unless you teach her or through making some expensive mistakes that could cost her future most dearly.
It is time for her to grow up and for you to allow her to.
I would do driving lessons for her 18th birthday and no other present. Car and insurance she should save up, especially as she has nothing left from her earnings. I told my ds1 he would be expected to fund this for himself and he did. There is no need to get involved with expensive days out, social life etc. Their true friends are the ones saving alongside them and meeting them for cheap night at cinema or happy hour pub once a week.
It is possible to have all the things they NEED on a shoestring income its the WANTS that are expensive. Teach her the difference between want and need and you will have cracked it. thanks

BalloonSlayer Wed 31-Jul-13 17:08:03

TBH I didn't read all that carefully the first time and thought you were planning on charging her £30 for rent and food and electricity and thought that entirely reasonable.

Lets get this straight . . . she is an ADULT, who has a part-time JOB, who could work more days, or she could be in full time work, and you want to pay her???

She could be living in digs and paying for everything with a student loan and a job and an overdraft. Lots of students do.

I think free board and lodging is extremely generous. Paying for her travel costs is really nice of you, and something a kind parent would do.

Paying for her car insurance is also really nice of you.

Giving an ADULT money or paying her to clean her own shit off the toilet - WTF?

morethanpotatoprints Wed 31-Jul-13 17:10:30


We don't have much money so its easier in a way, they have to do it themselves. I haven't had the same temptation as you have, perhaps I would have done the same myself. I am also told that parents are more lenient with girls and we have dd9 to still go through it.
You will probably be calling me soft in 9 years time. grin

Missgiraffe1 Wed 31-Jul-13 17:11:20

Posted too soon. In a better place financially &sort of spoiled her I suppose. Now I need to figure out how to address that! hmm

noddyholder Wed 31-Jul-13 17:13:25

It is very hard to say no and withhold things when you can afford it.We didn't have much when ds was small and now we are better off he has been spoiled He is off to uni this year and it is very difficult to back pedal but I am being strict as I know its for his own good.

Fifi2406 Wed 31-Jul-13 17:21:23

I never had £600 a month at uni? Think that's a slight exaggeration after paying halls/rent fees and things I never had that much! I think your offer is perfectly reasonable if she gets a little job on top! She has got it good that you will be paying for food etc!

TheAwfulDaughter Wed 31-Jul-13 17:22:17

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Bakingtins Wed 31-Jul-13 17:24:10

Can you ask her to find out her friend's living costs? £600/m probably sounds a lot to her but won't go far if she has to pay rent/food/bills. Also point out that a proportion of that will be debt that will at some point have to be repaid with interest!
I think covering your daughter's essential expenses whilst she is in full time education is fair (which would mean rent/bills/food/travel) but the rest is optional and she needs to find work to fund it. Driving lessons and expensive car insurance are optional, I'd probably fund some lessons for her birthday but not insure her on the car.
You need to have the discussion about what responsibilities adults who are part of the household have. Why are you paying her to clean the house she lives in?? She needs to be taking on a share of the household duties, and I'd also have some provisional agreement in place about how it's going to work when she leaves education or she will still be sponging at 25! thinks of a recent telly program where a couple had 8 teens and twenties from a blended family still living at home not lifting a finger

Missgiraffe1 Wed 31-Jul-13 18:40:51

Wow, this thread has been an eye opener. Personally I think its reasonable to allow your child to stay at home rent free, with food, travel &other essentials (deodorant, shampoo etc) provided when they start uni. If you can afford it obviously. And it is a privilege to be able to do that for her. But I do now realise that I need rethink about her attitude towards money and her wants, rather than needs.
She is a fabulous girl in so many ways but I do now see that her expectations are ridiculous. Re the bathroom cleaning. We have 4, and it takes me over an hour to clean them! Am more than happy to pay someone to clean them so might as well be her.
And yes, I totally agree she should be pulling her weight more and am going to start addressing this (and without financial incentives!)
We bought her a block of driving lessons for her 17th. We said if we put her on the insurance, she would need to be responsible for all other lessons and test costs. Thanks to whoever gave a recommendation for a cheap company in this regard (sorry, on phone so can't scroll back)

Thanks all for your input. I am taking it on board. Am also feeling slightly down about her attitude hmm Much easier to prevent that to fix I suspect. Lesson learned for when DS gets older!!

ajandjjmum Wed 31-Jul-13 20:06:14

We all look at our DC from time to time (nomatter how much we love them), and think we did something wrong. But the fact is that you did a hell of a lot right too - she clearly loves and respects you - and you'll sort this out.

Missgiraffe1 Wed 31-Jul-13 20:22:10

Thank you aj. I know, but its hard to stomach the fact that she's practically pleading poverty at what we're willing to offer her! If only she knew how hard some people really have it.

ajandjjmum Thu 01-Aug-13 08:13:28

I once took my DS on a tour of the area I was born, and the places my DP and GP lived. It is a dire area - and was has become far worse over the years - fortunately I can't remember too much about living there.

I told DS how hard his GPs had worked to be able to move to a nice house, and give their family everything they could. And he sort of 'got' why it was important to keep working himself, as it would have been thoroughly ungrateful of him not to appreciate what sacrifices had been made (holidays - what are they?) to give him the life he has.

It gave him the required kick up the backside at GCSE time. Maybe you could think of a similar personal trip for your DD?

Gruntfuttocks Thu 01-Aug-13 08:21:08

My DS manages perfectly well on £50 a week, living away from home - that covers all his food and living expenses apart from accomodation, which he has taken a loan to cover. He earns what he can in the holidays to top up. I think £30 a week to live at home rent free is more than generous. Show her this thread?

PeriodMath Thu 01-Aug-13 08:32:10

Isn't part of the university experience learning some degree (excuse the pun) of independence? Living away from home, managing your money, your time etc... I don't see how your DD's situation could be construed as anything but a continuation of school.

She is lucky she will have no money worries when it comes to fees, food and accommodation (unlike many) - you're going to give her pocket money too?

Seriously, in what way will university be a new departure for her? No uniform?

chocoluvva Thu 01-Aug-13 08:41:18

Aww - don't be too hard on yourself Missgirsffe1. It's only natural that she'll hope for/try for as much as she can get,especially when she sees her friends having a luxurious lifestyle.

I quite agree that it's acceptable to fund her living at home rent-free. Presumably she's not eligible for a SAAS bursuary. If she was, it would probably be different. Not trying to make a political point here - especially as I got a full grant to go to uni; couldn't have gone otherwise - but the government expects/requires parents to fund/subsidise their DCs higher education.

My DD and I have been having this conversation in advance of next year. I think she's quite shocked to discover that we REALLY can't afford to insure her on our car/pay for a 'leavers holiday' etc.

Hopefully your DD will begin to understand the value of money now that she's working. Once she has to choose how she spends her earnings hopefully. It'll be good for her to have to choose between an extravagant night out and something else for example.

OneStepCloser Thu 01-Aug-13 08:55:37

I think you sound lovely, and its a question I am also having to ask myself at the moment, DD is having a GAP year then starting uni next year and she could live at home.

However, as hard as it is we need to let them become financially more independent, otherwise we are doing them absolutely no favours at all. We have decided that dd, like most other students will need to work part time to fund her clothes and social life it wont kill them and I also decided that she needs to go into halls for uni for two reasons. One, to allow her to become independent and two, to allow friendships and to get the most out of being a student. I know this is going to be expensive and we will help however we can, but I do think in the long run it will be a massive benefit to her.

I think these days it easier for us to shield them from the harsh realities of life, but are we actually doing them any favours really?

Notyetthere Thu 01-Aug-13 08:58:41

I stayed at home while at uni. I too lived rent free and I was expected to do my share of the chores and look after my lil brother. I had a part time job in a supermarket for 19hrs/ week ( TBH looking back now they were too many hrs). I also took out the student loan. This way for the whole 3yrs I never needed a penny off mum and I believe it helped. I always had enough money for my transport, clothes, going out and the odd holiday. I wasn't particularly careful with money then as I was more in my overdraft than in the black but at least mum did not have to worry about me. I remember after uni when I started my grad job, I was so broke at about 8days before payday, I had £3.50 to live on till then! Luckily I had paid my rent for the room I was renting in another city. Even then I could have asked mum for help but I didn't bse u knew it was all my doing.

What I'm trying to get at is that even with a higher allowance it does not mean she be happy and disciplined. You will need to be very stern with your daughter on what you expect from her. She is an adult and will need manage her finances.

Student Loan is not that bad either, I wish when I got my student loan I had saved it. Its the cheapest borrowing she will ever be able to get in her whole life and only gets to pay it back once she earns over a certain threshold. My expenses were so low that and at the time Isas were paying 8%. I could have had a neat pot of money to start me off but I spent it all on gadgets and holidays.

chocoluvva Thu 01-Aug-13 08:59:56

You could give her her allowance once a term instead of weekly/monthly to help her learn how to budget.

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