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Expecting working 18 year old to pay his way
181

Fisifoofoo · 06/08/2022 01:36

My 18 year old son finished college this year and is now working at a local hotel. It was a part time job but is now supposed to be full time as he won’t be going to higher education - so this is it, he’s now in the workforce and is an adult. At home there is myself, my husband and a 16 year old in further education and we are finding money is really tight at the moment.

At what point do we stop paying for our son? I don’t mean food and household stuff, I mean his haircuts, clothes, prescriptions etc? He is working and wants to be treated as an adult, I think he should pay for anything that’s for him. We used to pay his gym and rugby membership before covid but think if he decides to rejoin now he should pay for it himself. We also had to cancel Disney+ and Netflix etc because of the expense, so if he wants to sign up again himself then that’s up to him.

He already pays for his own social stuff and transport to work. We will keep paying his phone for the next year until the contract runs out. He also has access to our car which we obviously pay for.

I have told him he will need to contribute in some way as child benefit stops this month. We wouldn’t expect him to pay a lot in the way of board (any suggestions?) but we aren’t rolling in money.

We had a rare family holiday this year and also had several big family events and weddings that had rolled forward because of Covid, so it’s been a hefty year financially. The family commitments involved long weekends away, suit hire/purchase, meals out, stag dos etc and we’ve paid for all of it; all we asked was that our son buys his own beer.

So:

AIBU for asking for a contribution to board now he’s working and left education?

How much would people suggest we ask for?

When should we stop paying for all the stuff that’s just for him likes clothes etc? Obviously we will still feed him!

I would really love to just keep supporting him but it’s a struggle. Thanks for taking the time to read.

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Am I being unreasonable?

AIBU

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NeedToLeaveNow · 06/08/2022 01:40

He pays for everything he needs himself
His own Clothes, Haircuts, Phone, Tv Things, Rugby and Gym Membership…

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Musicalmaestro · 06/08/2022 01:42

Of course he should be paying for his own stuff.
What he pays for board depends on what he earns to some extent.

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MintJulia · 06/08/2022 01:46

He's earning full time, so he pays for everything for himself, ie clothes, dental etc, and contributes £50 a week to general household bills, to begin with.

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Myusername2015 · 06/08/2022 01:47

If you don’t start making him pay now he never will. He absolutely now should be paying for clothes/personal items and making a contribution towards living expenses. He’s never going to learn how to budget/save/live independently if he doesn’t do it now so you’d be doing him a huge disservice by allowing this to continue now he is working full time. I think you need to sit down with him and go through the costs of renting a room in the area/cost of living bills etc. Sit down and work out his income and outgoings and make him understand how much he would be paying in the private sector. My mum personally back in the day charged me about 30 percent of take home income for everything (but actually saved half of that without telling me and gave it to me when I moved out) obviously what he pays depends on how much he earns but it’s really important that he understands the cost of living or he is going to crash and burn when he moves out (or live with you forever!)

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excelledyourself · 06/08/2022 01:48

If he's earning full time, why would you even think to be buying his clothes?

He should be taking on all of his expenses now, phone included. Get that transferred.

And he should be paying dig money. Especially if you're struggling. Depends what he's earning, but something should be paid to cover his share of food, gas/electric, etc.

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Tasmanium · 06/08/2022 01:52

@Fisifoofoo I would ask him if he wants to contribute or if he wants you to keep supporting him for the next while. Explain to him that you would love to just continue supporting him indefinitely so he could save or enjoy his money but things are a bit of a struggle so if he can contribute it would really help you.

If he’s happy to contribute (he might ask for a few months breathing space first- which if you can I think you should give him) ask him how much he would like to give.

By empowering him to set the commitment and the limits you are gaining his consent, he will feel better about giving the money and you will feel better about receiving it.

I would say that 18 is very young to be contributing to the household these days, it may be that he’s the only one of his friends that will be doing it, so gradual mutual arrangement will probably be best if you want to avoid resentment on either side. Also I would try including him in budgetary decision-making for the household too, ask his opinions, get his feedback it will be good training for him, and will make him feel like he’s adding value not just paying into a kitty he has no say over.

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Fizzorgin · 06/08/2022 01:57

Soon as I started working I paid for everything 'non house related' for myself - and paid my parents a super nominal amount as 'rent' a month that was for bills etc. That said I was initially on a year out from uni at the age of 18 so unbeknownst to me they put that aside to give me back once I actually started studying.

However if your son is properly done with FT education and working then why should you fund his lifestyle choices? I'd not be paying for anything and I'd be asking him for rent/lodgings.......

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excelledyourself · 06/08/2022 02:00

@Tasmanium 'Breathing space' from what?

No, I would not be seeking his consent and telling him it would really help me out if he covered his own expenses. No-one should be under the impression that paying their own way is a favour to someone else.

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Ponderingwindow · 06/08/2022 03:02

He chose to enter the workforce instead of continuing his education. That should mean that he starts taking care of himself financially. That really should include rent and groceries as well. You aren’t doing him any favors letting him feel like his pay goes further than it actually will.

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dottycat123 · 06/08/2022 03:30

How much you ask from him would surely depend on his actual income? You mention 'part time but now supposed to be full time', is he earning above the minimum wage? The ds I have left at home on a 4 year apprenticeship earns more than many on apprenticeships but I don't charge him rent, he pays for his car, fuel, clothing, sports club membership and gym membership and saves some each month.If I needed to take rent I would but at 18 I would still take the minimum I had to.

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ManAboutTown · 06/08/2022 03:48

I could do free board but charge him a monthly contribution for food etc.

Anything else is up to him - clothes, haircuts, tattoes (you'd be amazed how much brain dead teenagers will oay for them)

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ArcticSkewer · 06/08/2022 04:09

Is he earning an okay wage? I'd also help him check if he is entitled to anything eg a low wage exemption for prescription charges (still free though until end August), nhs dentistry, possibly universal credit.

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ColdLasagna99 · 06/08/2022 05:03

YANBU at all to ask your DS to contribute, regardless of whether you need to or not. I do think PPs are being a bit hasty to judge - if he’s 18 and finished college this year, he’s probably only been working this job since June. It takes time to work these things out, and I don’t think the OP is suggesting that her DS is refusing to pay his way or has an issue with that.

He should pay for his own lifestyle stuff, clothes, haircuts, leisure, gym, etc. If he needs regular prescriptions I’d get him to look into a pre-payment certificate, or even a health cash plan if he has a lot of dental or optical costs. I’d be happy to continue paying the phone bill for now, as presumably you chose the tariff and that can’t be changed without a cost (in case he wanted to get a cheaper tariff, for instance). The wedding stuff and family holiday sounds like it was pre-planned and budgeted for before he started working, so I’d personally leave that out of the equation (though he can still buy his own beer, and some of yours too!)

For food and bills, including car stuff, divide by number of adults the household and that’s his share. I’m also assuming he was fills up the car as necessary as well? Rent should be dependant on both what you need and what he earns - you both need to do your maths and sit down together. It’s good to have an idea of rent prices in your area for comparison, but renting is so expensive now that I wouldn’t be looking to charge him market rates, especially if he’s on NMW.

Is he also contributing to the non-financial running of the household by cleaning, doing chores etc? It’s a tough one - you need the money but also want him to save to move out eventually. You sound very caring and he has a great chance to learn an important life skill :)

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StClare101 · 06/08/2022 05:08

He should be paying for all his own personal stuff including toiletries, clothes, haircuts, sport, phone etc. I’d also be asking for a small contribution as board.

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ClareBlue · 06/08/2022 05:17

MintJulia · 06/08/2022 01:46

He's earning full time, so he pays for everything for himself, ie clothes, dental etc, and contributes £50 a week to general household bills, to begin with.

We have a 19 year old at home in full time work and that is exactly what they pay. 50 towards bills and keep and they pay for everything else they want. If they need lifts for non family socialising they pay petrol money.

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dizzydizzydizzy · 06/08/2022 05:22

As others have said, he should pay for his clubs, haircuts, clothes etc and pay you some rent. If you want, transfer the phone bill to him at a later point.

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5zeds · 06/08/2022 05:24

What are his plans? It sounds like you are doing too much “invisible” paying are you doing invisible life work too? For example does any cooking, cleaning, gardening, maintenance get done? Who does his laundry and who buys the washing powder? Who plans trips and holidays? Does he know when the bins go out or how to read a meter?

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Pepperama · 06/08/2022 06:07

Yes, start as you mean to go on, otherwise it’s very difficult to change . £50 per week contribution sounds fair

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Ffsmakeitstop · 06/08/2022 06:48

Definitely should be paying for all his personal expenses and then some board depending on what he has left.
Smiling at the comment about letting him enjoy his money. Who in the real world gets to do that?
When I started working, admittedly decades 😊

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Ffsmakeitstop · 06/08/2022 06:49

Need an edit button. Anyway my mum let us have the first weeks wage of a new job and then after that we contributed.

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Teardroprain · 06/08/2022 06:57

I think everyone including children should he expected to pull their weight with respect to doing age appropriate chores and all adults should contribute towards the homes expenses. This should be happening regardless of wether you need the money or not. I rarely say anything nice about my mum but she did make sure we understood money\budgets and the running costs of a home. There seems to be an awful lot of young entitled adults now that do not pay any rent or help in the home at all. I do not think that that is a kindness to them.

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InChocolateWeTrust · 06/08/2022 06:58

Remember at 18 he may not get the full minimum wage an older adult gets, by law.

Does he earn a "full" wage?

I think when young people by law don't earn what older adults do, there's an expectation it's because they can still be partially supported by a parent.

On that basis, he absolutely should be "paying his way" but probably won't be able to afford everything (including market rent) unless he's paid more than is typical for his age.

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CakeCrumbs44 · 06/08/2022 07:00

Once he is working full time, YANBU to ask for a contributions towards bills (a quarter of the gas, electricity, internet and water) and for him to pay for anything which is exclusively for his use such as clothes, personal grooming, furniture, games etc.

If he uses the car a lot he should probably be paying for the petrol for that too. If it's very occasional use I wouldn't bother asking for money for petrol.

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CakeCrumbs44 · 06/08/2022 07:01

I wouldn't charge for food or rent unless he is on a pretty good wage (I assume he is on the under 21s minimum wage so not a lot)

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InChocolateWeTrust · 06/08/2022 07:04

Also agree with a pp that if you don't do it now, it's a harder lesson later on as he will get used to living the high life spending all his wage, and will feel very poor when he gets his own place and has bills to pay.

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