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One at Uni, one at work…

937 replies

BelleClapper · 20/05/2021 12:23

How do you square this without causing resentment?

Dd (17) is working full time on an apprenticeship course. We are charging her rent/keep/petrol equivalent to 25% of her take home.

DS (18) up until now was planning to leave college and get a job. He announced yesterday that he is now accepting the three University offers he got a while back. As an aside he’s just split up with his GF of two years who was absolutely definitely in no way the reason he wasn’t going…

So we will be in a position of taking money from DD and sending money to DS. Which has totally changed the dynamic. I’m really conscious of causing resentment from DD who already suffers a bit with middle child syndrome and jealousy.

If you’ve been in this situation what did you do? I want DD to contribute for lots of reasons, none of which go away just because DS now needs three more years of support.

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Am I being unreasonable?

AIBU

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BelleClapper · 20/05/2021 12:41

Ideally he’ll get a weekend job and then we’ll just be topping up, but I can’t guarantee that.

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Hardbackwriter · 20/05/2021 12:42

I'm kind of amazed that so many people think a 17 year old should have £1k a month pure disposable income and have absolutely no bills to pay...

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greatauntfanny · 20/05/2021 12:42

I’m quite interested in the above posts that suggest children need to ‘learn’ to ‘get used to’ the fact that part of their income goes on bills.

I don’t recall being particularly shocked when I got my first job after university and found that I needed to spend some of my income on rent and bills.

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Hardbackwriter · 20/05/2021 12:43

@greatauntfanny

I’m quite interested in the above posts that suggest children need to ‘learn’ to ‘get used to’ the fact that part of their income goes on bills.

I don’t recall being particularly shocked when I got my first job after university and found that I needed to spend some of my income on rent and bills.

You might have been if you'd been used to having £1k a month as spending money!
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SwimBaby · 20/05/2021 12:44

Firstly this is very tricky for you. Secondly, It doesn’t answer your question but I think you are charging your DC a lot. My DS finished his masters last year and is doing a very local job due to the pandemic, he takes home £1000 a month and we charge him £140 per month. We include some of his energy drinks and the odd cider and if he wants more he buys them himself.
I’m going to have a different dilemma next month when his younger brother finishes uni and will earn over double. I’m not sure how to work that one out.

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ChristmasAlone · 20/05/2021 12:46

Will DS not be entitled to finance for living costs?

That equals £9k a year which is probably more than what DD gets

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Comefromaway · 20/05/2021 12:46

I will probably be in that situation next year as dd will be studying and ds is thinking of taking a year out.

Mine know that whilst they are in full time education I will support them. For dd this means sending her the amount of money expected under the student loans system.

If ds leaves college next year he will have to get a job. His pocket money will stop and he will take over his mobile phone contract. I will also charge Keep.

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BanningTheWordNaice · 20/05/2021 12:46

Apprenticeships are the same as carrying on with education - in the U.K. we ascribe moral superiority to going to university when often people go and come out with degrees that won’t give them a higher earning potential. I think you should let your daughter know you’re keeping the money aside.

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SleepingStandingUp · 20/05/2021 12:47

It depends what you're sending him money for I think. If the ideal s that he can just study and you'll pay for everything for 3 years, you'll cover all his costs that the loan doesn't, or that he doesn't need to take out max loan cos you'll cover it all, I'd be upset in your daughter's shoes.

If you're covering his rent and giving him enough to survive on until he gets a job then it's about having a grown up conversation about financial situations and how if she wants to go to Uni you'd do the same etc.

Are you charging her 25% before or after tax?

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Comefromaway · 20/05/2021 12:48

@ChristmasAlone

Will DS not be entitled to finance for living costs?

That equals £9k a year which is probably more than what DD gets

Only students whose parents have a low income get £9k per year. Its on a sliding scale with anyone whose family income is over £60k get just under £5k per year
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Hardbackwriter · 20/05/2021 12:48

@ChristmasAlone

Will DS not be entitled to finance for living costs?

That equals £9k a year which is probably more than what DD gets

But presumably he won't be living at home, which means paying £250 a month for all food, rent and bills isn't an option for him
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greatauntfanny · 20/05/2021 12:49

@Hardbackwriter I think it’s a different thought process, if I was used to having a lot of money and then suddenly that dropped (e.g. because I became responsible for rent and bills) I wouldn’t think ‘time to learn to budget and adjust to this new lifestyle!’ I’d think ‘I’m not getting paid enough to fund the sort of lifestyle I want. I’m going to seek better paid employment and in the meantime stop spending money on things I don’t need’. To some that might be ‘budgeting’ but to me that implies something more delicate and considered than ‘no more handbags and holidays until I can afford them’.

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OodieWoodie · 20/05/2021 12:49

@AOwlAOwlAOwl

Perhaps your DS should get a job and pay some of the shortfall himself, or go to a cheaper university.

This.

You need to make if fair on both, so instead of focusing on DD, focus on DS. Het gets a job and pays for the same percentage of his rent as DD does.
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Comefromaway · 20/05/2021 12:50

So potentially the OP's ds will be paying rent, food and other expenses on an income of £4,700 per year (in loans) whereas her dd could be living at home rent free on an income of £12k per year

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HoldontoOneMoreDay · 20/05/2021 12:50

I do think you're kind of overthinking it.

No working adult should live rent-free, so in terms of your DD I think you've got things pretty much spot on. If she's got £200 in her hand to play with each week then she's not badly off.

Uni is different because it's so expensive and your circs as parents are taken into consideration. So the onus is on you to top up the grant - he'd get more (I assume) if you couldn't afford this.

It's two different circumstances and I wouldn't allow DD to conflate this - however I would make sure DS was taking all the loans he's entitled to and that his walking around money (funded by you) isn't more than DD's - if he wants more, he can work for it.

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bloodyhell19 · 20/05/2021 12:51

@BelleClapper

Ideally we’ll save it for her but I don’t want to let on that I am. So there’s every chance she’s going to get pissy at some point that she’s paying and he’s not.

I might be overthinking. There was a lot of inequality between me and my siblings (house deposits, first cars etc, I had none of those) and I’m a bit over sensitive to it.

I don't envy your situation but I think you're asking for trouble by not disclosing that you'll save some of it for her. Just be open about it?

"Listen DD, things are changing now because your DB is going to Uni so we're going to have to support him a little because a grant only goes so far. So, the amount you're handing up every month; of that £250 I'm going to use half on your contribution to bills & board and put the other half in an account for you to use towards a deposit later on. It just means it'll be saved safe for you and you will have something tangible when you're ready to move out. What do you think?"

If you think she's old enough to pay towards the household, then she's old enough to have an open conversation with about her money & where it's going. You can't have it both ways in taking the cash and keeping her in the dark about whether or not you're saving it. She won't trust you, for a start.
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BelleClapper · 20/05/2021 12:53

@HoldontoOneMoreDay

I do think you're kind of overthinking it.

No working adult should live rent-free, so in terms of your DD I think you've got things pretty much spot on. If she's got £200 in her hand to play with each week then she's not badly off.

Uni is different because it's so expensive and your circs as parents are taken into consideration. So the onus is on you to top up the grant - he'd get more (I assume) if you couldn't afford this.

It's two different circumstances and I wouldn't allow DD to conflate this - however I would make sure DS was taking all the loans he's entitled to and that his walking around money (funded by you) isn't more than DD's - if he wants more, he can work for it.

Thank you, this clears it up in my head I think.
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MisdemeanourOnTheFloor · 20/05/2021 12:53

If your daughter wanted to go university, would you support her to the same extent. That's the crux. As I agree with the life lessons she is being taught, and I also understand that loans nowadays don't cover the entire expenses. Also part time retail jobs will be a lot harder to come by in current climate.
I would think saving up your DDs contribution and presenting to her (or the equivalent amount you have supported DS by) would be the 'fairest' approach. Although fair doesn't always mean equal; my mum treats my sister and I very differently but we have very different circumstances

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Hardbackwriter · 20/05/2021 12:54

Uni is different because it's so expensive and your circs as parents are taken into consideration. So the onus is on you to top up the grant - he'd get more (I assume) if you couldn't afford this.

So many people don't seem to understand this - it is absolutely expected that parents will help fund university unless on a very low income, which is precisely why maintenance rates are linked to parental incomes.

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SleepingStandingUp · 20/05/2021 12:54

@Comefromaway

So potentially the OP's ds will be paying rent, food and other expenses on an income of £4,700 per year (in loans) whereas her dd could be living at home rent free on an income of £12k per year

Except no one is suggesting charge DD nothing and don't support DS. And he can try and get a job and top his 5k up
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bloodyhell19 · 20/05/2021 12:55

I'd also be furious if I was handing up money & my older brother was scott-free and being supported just because he chose to go to Uni. Lots of people work and are in education at the same time. An apprenticeship is also a form an education and you're in danger of placing your son higher in the pecking order in your DD's eyes just because he chose a third level institution. You can't teach one responsibility and not the other.

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VioletCharlotte · 20/05/2021 12:56

My situation was similar last year. DS2 was working and DS1 at Uni. I didn't charge DS2 rent, it didn't seem fair while I was supporting DS1 by giving him £200 a month.

I definitely wouldn't charge rent to a DC doing an apprenticeship as the wages are so low. To me it's the same as being in education.

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DinosaurDiana · 20/05/2021 12:57

I didn’t take money off my working children, and the one who went to Uni got money off.
But, the other two who chose not to go to Uni would have got money if they had gone, they chose not to go.
I’m all for treating them the same, but they all made a choice.

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PussGirl · 20/05/2021 12:57

It's a completely different situation - she is earning, he is not

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BelleClapper · 20/05/2021 12:59

Can I just reiterate that DD is on 12k a year. That’s 25% more than minimum wage for her age, so the fact it’s an apprenticeship is neither here nor there.

I’m doing an apprenticeship currently, I still have to pay the mortgage…

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