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AIBU School Trip

66 replies

scotgal2017 · 17/10/2018 15:48

STBXH left last year after 20 years together. Was living abroad and I had to move back to UK. 2 Dcs, both in secondary school. I have just started term time only job which is low income (a lot less than personal allowance even). He pays a set amount each month for kids/rent. He earns 6 figures annually and can afford anything he wants. Not divorced yet as I have to try and find £190 to pay for a sol for an hour to get ball rolling etc.

Eldest DC (mid teens) brought home letter about a school trip happening in a year and a half to America. Cost is £1700. I stopped reading letter at that point and told her to ask her father. They are with him just now and I have received text from her saying he said he would pay the trip if I pay the spending money. I said I can't afford it (I have no savings, will get nothing from divorce and so I have to start saving for any unexpected emergencies etc). I said sorry to her but I can't do it. She is a good kid and understands the situation I'm in.

Next day had a message from STBXH saying he will pay trip and he is sure grandparents will chip in to help with spending money. my DF has already paid out a fortune since me and kids returned to Uk to help me out...... and also why should the grandparents be expected to help with it???

He has been pestering and I said I did not agree and I wasn't prepared to give spending money nor go down the route of asking GPs to help out.

AIBU? The trip doesn't even seem to be educational related as the city they are going to has a few landmarks etc plus I'm not sure I would deem it the safest of places for kids! I've mentioned cost to workmates and friends and they say they wouldn't be able to afford it.

OP posts:
GreenFingersWouldBeHandy · 17/10/2018 15:55

It's a shame, but if you can't afford it, you can't. If he's rolling in plenty of cash then of course he should offer. He's just trying to make you look bad.

How old are DC? Could they get a Saturday job and start saving the spending money for themselves?

user139328237 · 17/10/2018 15:57

The school is unlikely to want more than £100ish in spending money so if you have over a year it seems strange that the only possible source of this money is your ex. Your daughter could use her christmas or birthday money for a start, or she could get a paper round and unless she has a disability that makes it impossible for her to be left alone you really should be looking for a better job even if that involves working in the school holidays.

Celebelly · 17/10/2018 16:02

I'd think in 18 months she could manage enough money from birthday, Christmas, maybe doing some chores or oddjobs for friends and family for spends. A couple of hundred quid would probably be sufficient, depending on what the spending money has to cover.

I'd think if she wants to go enough then she will help come up with the cash or start saving for it herself.

upsideup · 17/10/2018 16:05

You've got a year and half to save for spending money which will only need to be a few hundred pounds.
If your dd wants to go and her dad is paying she can save for her own spending money in that time.

LeftRightCentre · 17/10/2018 16:05

Stick to your guns. Your child will also need to start saving herself.

scotgal2017 · 17/10/2018 16:06

@greenfingers , yes he was abusive and controlling for the whole relationship so i know what he is trying to do.

Neither over 16 yet for job, also we live in small village so not many opportunities on that front.

@user139328237 I was sahm and lived abroad for nearly 8. Having a qualification seems to make no difference in today's climate - and having applied for at least 150 jobs in 3 months and turned down for 4 out of 5 interviews, you take what you can get. Things may be different in a year or 2 but since I don't have a crystal ball I don't want to commit to something I may not be able to follow through with. if my car breaks down or I'm evicted or any other myriad of reasons, i need to try and be prepared with what little extra money I can save.

OP posts:
scotgal2017 · 17/10/2018 16:06

Yes I might put saving her own money she gets from her father as an option to her.

OP posts:
Tahani · 17/10/2018 16:07

well if he wants to pay for it, great - but he'll need to arrange and sort out all the spending money as well

IHaveBrilloHair · 17/10/2018 16:08

Would a paper round be possible for her, or washing dishes in a cafe?
My daughter did the latter at 14.

ErickBroch · 17/10/2018 16:08

I feel you - my parents couldn't have afforded these trips for me growing up and I never begrudged them. Your daughter sounds great anyway but even if disappointed, she will get over it.

Thisreallyisafarce · 17/10/2018 16:09

No. He doesn't get to control you anymore. He doesn't get to insist you ask your DF for money. If the sounds are so negligible that you could save it up without hardship, he can afford to fund the trip himself. Just keep saying no.

Witchend · 17/10/2018 16:10

I think if you have a year and a half to save for spending money it does sound like you're being defeatist.
Ask them how much they want to go, and if they really want to go they could have spending money instead of presents from grandparents (they'll have at least one birthday and 2 Christmases in that time) or could look at some other way of saving it.

IHaveBrilloHair · 17/10/2018 16:12

You/she could save £5 a week with Credit Union.

makingtime · 17/10/2018 16:13

Why do you say you'll get nothing from the divorce out of interest? Were you a SAHM for 8 years facilitating STBXH's career? Are there assets from the marriage (house, pension etc)?

scotgal2017 · 17/10/2018 16:15

I suppose she could have a look and see if there are any jobs she can do, I wasn't sure what the age was noe having been out of UK for so long. It used to be that the DCs would get everything no question but they have been made to realise that that is no longer the case (certainly when they are living with me). Life has changed very much in that regard but they seem to understand why.

OP posts:
buckeejit · 17/10/2018 16:18

Just say it's good that he wants to encourage it but it's all on him as you've no wiggle room financially for anything.

I don't know anyone who gets a paper delivered now apart from pils on a Sunday & they are 3miles from nearest shop. Does everyone suggesting this get a paper delivered? I don't think you need any headspace taken up with this. If it was me I'd just say no, the money could be better spent elsewhere. I doubt that many children will be going on a trip at that price unless it's a private school

pinkhorse · 17/10/2018 16:23

Surely you'll get something from the divorce?

scotgal2017 · 17/10/2018 16:23

@makingtime , I have threads elsewhere about the situation. Basically no property, no assets, savings, investments etc. 2 foreign joint accounts which Sol (30 minute free session) said I would only get half of what was in accounts when he left, so a couple of grand tops.

@ witchend, I'm not being defeatist, I'm being realistic. My DF paid my rental deposit, my repairs to my car last week, some furniture and some food to put in my freezer. this was whilst i was waiting to find work. Now I have found work but it is low paid. I will have to use most of any extra money to save for emergencies as stated above andalso for solicitors.

OP posts:
Tahani · 17/10/2018 16:25

just repeat to him

If you want DD to go, you will need to pay for the trip and arrange spending money.
You will also need to arrange this with the school as your responsibility

Thisreallyisafarce · 17/10/2018 16:26

Which is absolutely right, OP. You're (financially) up shit creek. He has an absolute cheek expecting you to contribute to extras.

Wolfiefan · 17/10/2018 16:26

Any chance he will say he will pay and then withhold payment and then blame it on you for not paying out?
(Suspicious mind here!)

RedHelenB · 17/10/2018 16:29

I'd let her go but explain she might not have much spending money.


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scotgal2017 · 17/10/2018 16:29

@Wolfiefan no i don't think so but anything is possible I suppose.

@Tahani I would love that to be the case but he works away for weeks at a time and back for weeks at a time, so sods law states he would be away when everything needs to be organised for her to go, so it would be left to me as usual.

@thisreallyisafarce yep it sucks big time.

OP posts:
Jaxhog · 17/10/2018 16:29

Surely the point isn't whether the OP can afford the spending money, but whether it's a worthwhile thing to spend money on!

If you think it is, then the option for your DC to earn and save seems the best one. It'll also be a good counter lesson for them against the manipulative way their father is operating.

Tahani · 17/10/2018 16:30

oh thats crap @scotgal2017

does he have enough money to pay it all up front?

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