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Should I finance my grownup DD and the DGCs?

(36 Posts)
closetgran Fri 15-Feb-13 16:54:37

My DD (only child) and her husband both work but in not very well-paid jobs. I am relatively well off - not rich, but I can afford the things I need. Interested to know what others do about subsidising their children and DGCs (my 2 are 7 and 5). I would like to help out but I don't know what to suggest. I could for example have paid school fees but they won't be going private. What could I do to make a contribution and how easy have others found it to broach this?

Anne58 Fri 15-Feb-13 17:01:15

Are there any after school activities that they might like to do but can't afford?

Mishap Fri 15-Feb-13 17:01:53

I have tried to help our children and GC as far as we are able. The sort of things we have done are to pass on a car when we are upgrading rather than trading it in; to pay for a kitchen one of them had bought to be fitted in order to stop them being in chaos for too long. We do nothing regularly but just step in when we can see help is needed and if we are able. They all seem to be happy about that and I have never seen any signs of sibling jealousy if one is on the receiving end at a particular time.

Ana Fri 15-Feb-13 17:07:00

We pay for our two GC's school meals and their ballet lessons - DD is glad to have the regular contribution as it helps with her very tight budget. We also buy them school shoes when they need them.

nanaej Fri 15-Feb-13 17:33:18

like ana will do the September school uniform shop + shoes, we all go on holiday for a week in the summer..our treat, and then as and when needed if we can help!

annodomini Fri 15-Feb-13 18:23:12

I used to provide shoes and school uniform for GD1. It hasn't been necessary to subsidise the younger ones.

flowerfriend Fri 15-Feb-13 18:46:08

I think that the random help is the way to go. That's what I do and I believe that it's the way not to be taken for granted.

Marelli Fri 15-Feb-13 18:53:05

I help mine when they need it. There were times when help was needed quite often, but that's just the way of things. They may as well have it while I can see them benefiting from the help, than keeping it and seeing them struggle.

Ana Fri 15-Feb-13 18:55:46

I don't see it as being taken for granted, flowerfriend - it's much-needed help while the children are at school and we have the disposable income while DD doesn't. Every family situation is different.

Galen Fri 15-Feb-13 19:49:01

I have a junior ISA for my DGD, and I try to help out my children but they insist they're ok, but like to know I'm there if neccessary.

HildaW Fri 15-Feb-13 20:30:10

This is a highly personal matter and from the many threads that have been on GN over the months I think we've decided that there are just no hard and fast rules. I think I'd go further - its almost an instinctive thing. You just sort of pitch in where you feel its both needed and wanted and at the level you can afford and that you feel is a fair contribution. There are really no rules - its almost a case of, if you have to sit and think about it then something can't quite be right.
In my case (D and SIL work jolly hard, are proudly independent but are not that well off) so I will offer to buy something usefull and make a big play of it being a huge treat for me to spend some money on them. That way I can get away with spoiling the GC but on things that they need. I think we are probably all fooling each other but its a system that works for us. So, as an example, I get the pure pleasure of taking GC shoe shopping (watching an 18month old trotting around a show shop in shiny new shoes is a delight!) whilst her Mum has one less bill to worry about.

GadaboutGran Fri 15-Feb-13 20:50:05

We've never had to broach the subject as their need has been only too clear & we've just offered as we didn't want the worry of them being homeless etc. Some help also helps us to use our money wisely. It doesn't sound like yours will take you for granted or use you to rescue them as a matter of course. We have offered money as a loan with interest or given things to the kids as presents as you do. It's harder when there's more than one sibling who have very different means & earning potential. Inspired by the Gerry Robinson programme about Wills, we asked them what they think would be fair when we die. We concluded we would rather help them now (in money or practical help) in our lifetime, which might mean one gets more than another, but on our death any remaining assets will be divided equally.

HildaW Sat 16-Feb-13 13:29:06

GadaboutGran, gosh wasn't that Wills programme excellent? Shame they did not do another series as I thought it covered some potentially very difficult family problems in a very tactful yet persuasive way. Gerry Robinson was so calm and gentle with all the families.

vampirequeen Sat 16-Feb-13 18:52:00

My mum used to help me with the cost of ballet and swimming lessons. She also took the children on holiday to places we couldn't afford to take them.

angiebaby Sat 16-Feb-13 22:18:30

i have always helped my daughters and their children,,,,in fact i have gone beyond the call of duty,,,,,now im having it trown back in my face,,,,so the bank of mum and dad ceases. holidays..clothes baby stuff swimming lessons,, florida holidays,,,teneriffe spain,,sweden ect.....even houses, flowers flown in from holland,,,diamond rings,,,gold bracelets...deposits on furnitchure,,,the list is endless,,,,,,,,its ok helping them as long as it doesnt get you a slap in the face like my husband and i have done, children have had so much,,,so now we are changing our will and not leaving them anything, it will be put in trust for the grandkids . they can have it when they are hopefully sensible at 30, !

bluebell Sat 16-Feb-13 23:11:45

Well there's helping and there's spoiling - are you serious about all the holidays, jewellery, flowers?

Ana Sat 16-Feb-13 23:14:34

Diamond rings?? angie, you must be mad! confused

FlicketyB Sun 17-Feb-13 16:50:53

I think there is a balance to be struck between giving our children help when help is needed and subsidising them and undermining their ability to be self supporting.

My rule has always been to help them in their hour of need but never to subsidise every day living or pay for expensive luxuries. So Angie I would never contemplate buying any of the things for my children that you mention.

Unless there is very good reason otherwise I expect my adult children, and anybody elses for that matter, to act like adults and be self supporting and order their lives so that they can deal with any problems that beset them. Its what everybody else has to do. Because we are better off than our children at present we do like to treat them now and again to things that they need but cannot afford or the odd treat, but the last thing I want my children doing is expecting me to bail them out whenever they get in a mess.

annodomini Sun 17-Feb-13 17:34:49

I agree completely, FlicketyB. And what's more, my DC would agree as well. I'm very proud of the way they and their partners have stood on their own feet. Yes, they have had loans from me (car, deposit on a house) but have paid back every penny by standing order. Now they are well established and have been known to offer me a loan... which I gratefully declined.

HildaW Sun 17-Feb-13 19:36:54

FlicketyB, I do agree with a lot of what you're saying. In many ways how our children cope with all things financial is down to how we bring them up. There will always be exceptions - the most well balanced parents can have children who grow up with completely different values and views on all sorts of subjects. Thankfully both my daughters seem to have grown up understanding that if you want things in life you have to work for them. They grew up knowing that they would always have what they needed (within reason) but they certainly knew that they would not have everything they wanted. I have seen far too many youngsters grow up bitter and disappointed because they were not gently introduced to that one little magic word that helps them learn that life can be difficult and complex. The word is 'NO'. I dont want to sound too smug and self satisfied but I do feel that if they dont learn this lesson nice and early and in a strong and loving environment they can have a right horrid time in life.

FlicketyB Sun 17-Feb-13 21:19:10

My own attitudes were formed by my parents. When I had my first summer job, £5.50 a week, my parents asked me to pay them 50p a week towards my keep, not they made quite clear because the money was needed or would go anywhere towards what I cost them but it was the principle that if I was earning I should contribute to my keep.

My own DC got into the usual muddles at university and we lent them the money to get themselves out of their troubles but always with a repayment plan - and they did. Like youHilda my DC have grown into responsible adults and, importantly my DS married a woman who grew up with the same values so DGC are also learning to save money for things they want.

HUNTERF Mon 18-Feb-13 21:13:54

What is the point of me making my daughters repay the money I have given them.
I have plenty to live on and I would rather see them enjoy my money rather than see it going to the government with inheritance tax etc.


Galen Mon 18-Feb-13 21:17:31


specki4eyes Mon 18-Feb-13 22:02:47

What interests me about this subject is how things have changed. Our generation was expected to become self-sufficient soon after leaving full time education. Neither I nor any of my friends would have anticipated being helped financially by our parents. If we wanted to drive a car, we had to save up and buy one - the parental car was not an option. And as for houses - you saved up your deposit, got a mortgage and moved in with a few bits of furniture. As we progressed into our 30s, we then started subsidising our parents as they had subsidised theirs!
Now its quite the opposite and I and many of my friends are helping our children out in various ways - house deposits; cars; holidays; new furniture; childrens' equipment; legal fees in their divorces (!) etc. I'm not whinging, just commenting on the difference. Why did it all change?

Ariadne Tue 19-Feb-13 07:12:58

Once my in laws got over our marriage, they did lend us the deposit for a house. And never let us forget it!

We are very, very happy to help our DC and DGC out, and treat them, but not extravagantly. DGD (16) is on a school trip to Paris, and we helped with that, and I did buy her some boots in the sales. But bless her, she has a waitressing job on a Sunday, and never asks for anything. smile