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Working grandson staying with us

(74 Posts)
Saralice Fri 27-Jan-17 08:27:16

My grandson has come to live with us. He is 21 and working. I really think he should contribute something towards his keep etc. How do you think I should approach this without upsetting the applecart? What do you think is a reasonable amount to pay? He doesn't get a large wage.
Am I being tight expecting our grandson to help towards expenses? I think he thinks we are well off,then again I may be imagining that.
Any advice would be appreciated, thank you.

glammanana Fri 27-Jan-17 08:45:25

Even if you are well off and don't need the contribution I think he needs to learn that he has to pay his way in life and learn to budget his salary.I would show him the total cost of your running costs of you home and explain he will need to make some sort of input towards that cost,if your costs run to say £120 per week I would suggest maybe £40.00 from DGS depending on his wage,and by the way always keep a spare £10 to hand midweek as boys seem to run out of cash half way through the week.
Don't feel tight asking for him to contribute its the only way to go and teach him the value of money and what it costs to keep a home.

Iam64 Fri 27-Jan-17 08:47:13

Suggest to him that you agree a time to sit down and talk things through together. That'll give him time to think before your discussion. Meanwhile, you work out what you believe is fair and also what you feel he can afford.

Iam64 Fri 27-Jan-17 08:48:02

Sorry, I should have said, no I don't think you're being tight, you're being realistic. It might only be a nominal amount as he isn't earning much, but it's important to contribute.

Welshwife Fri 27-Jan-17 08:49:01

When we had my stepson come back to live with us he was in a low wage - ( because he could not afford the house share he had been living in) - any money he had he spent on nights out etc not on any of the essentials of live - this enraged OH who insisted I made him pay - so I showed him a supermarket bill and divided it by three and charged him less than that - explaining we did not want him paying rent etc but just his food. He happily paid and thought he had a bargain!

Anya Fri 27-Jan-17 08:49:18

You ought to have discussed this with him before he actually came to live with you. It's a bit late now he's in situ if you gave the impression he was a welcome guest.

Unless we know how much his take-home pay is I couldn't even hazard a guess at an amount.

Christinefrance Fri 27-Jan-17 08:50:18

I think young people should pay their way too. We need to give them realistic ideas of working life.
We agreed with our children that they would pay one third of their wage for board & lodge, one third for themselves and one third to save. This took into account any wage variations between them.

cornergran Fri 27-Jan-17 08:54:59

Basically, yes I do think he should contribute as I believe all working adults living in a home should do so according to their means, no matter the income level of the home owner, whether parent, grandparent, other family or friend. Having said that it would have been so much easier to have the conversation before he arrived. Difficult if he is established as a non paying guest. I'm also wondering what the understanding is over duration, is this short term or a long term arrangement? There could perhaps be a difference between a stay of a month and a stay of a year or more. I'm wondering where he lived before he came to you, was he with his parents? If so was he contributing there? Did you own child/ren contribute? Would his parents support your request? Did he ask to live with you or did you suggest it? I'm also wondering if he contributes in other ways. Does he help around the house? I'm sorry I have more questions than answers. My standpoint with our own children was clear, they contributed once they began to work, no matter how small the contribution was. I still believe this is a good life lesson, having written this I wonder if this view is now outdated and am interested to hear what others think. Your relationship is important, you must all have felt this could work and it's important resentment doesn't build.

PRINTMISS Fri 27-Jan-17 08:56:37

I too think he should pay something toward his keep. There is no such thing as a free lunch, and he really should appreciate at 21 there are bills to pay and food to buy. You obviously do not want to 'rob' him, but as suggested here, sit down and talk about the financial responsibility of living.

Alima Fri 27-Jan-17 09:03:46

I think he should pay something for his keep. Even if his contribution was not needed by you it would (should?) do his self esteem a boost. How you mention it to him I don't know but think the subject would be better raised sooner rather than later.

Saralice Fri 27-Jan-17 09:19:18

Things are fine at his parents house but after travelling the world for eighteen months bedrooms have been allocated to other siblings. He told his parents he would be getting a place of his own when he returned but he has found it easier said than done.
I didn't really have chance to discuss things with him first as it was a spur of the moment decision.

mumofmadboys Fri 27-Jan-17 09:32:36

When our children have returned to live with us we have let the first fortnight be free and then after this they have contributed thirty five pounds a week if working and no longer students. I know this is on the low side and some friends charge fifty. I agree it is a good discipline to let them contribute.

cornergran Fri 27-Jan-17 09:47:46

Can understand the instinct to help, you wouldn't see him homeless. Maybe use the shopping receipt approach? Tell him how much you enjoy his company, if you have a receipt from before his arrival show him both. He must have maintained himself during his travels so will hopefully understand. Best tackle this sooner rather than later.

ninathenana Fri 27-Jan-17 09:55:19

My son who can't find work due to his ASD pays £20 month out of his UC it's a nominal amount but it helps him to have a little self worth.
D and her SO have been temporarily living with us for the past three months. Neither of them are currently working or recieving any benifits, so I haven't been able to charge them, otherwise I would expect a contribution for food and utilities.
If it were my GS I would hope he would offer and not need asking to contribute to the household.

Izabella Fri 27-Jan-17 10:04:07

IMHO there is no debate here. Of course he should contribute and not just financially either. I would expect him to contribute financially for both food, heating and laundry. I would expect him to strip and remake his own bed and place all items in a laundry basket. I think you should also look at other household chores and assume he will help with putting bins in/out on collection day and helping with shopping. I would expect him to prepare a meal for you all and learn to cook if his mother has not already done so. Teach him about cheap cuts of meat and introduce him to slo cookers etc.His future partners will thank you for it and it will teach him to be a more mature and caring adult. (You can tell we have been there with this!!!!)

There is no such thing as a free ride. I think cornergrans suggestion with the shopping receipts is a good idea to start with. You may have a rocky ride for a while, but in our experience in the long term it was a win win situation for all of us.

NanaandGrampy Fri 27-Jan-17 11:32:04

I totally agree with Izabella .

He needs to be able to deal with life once he does strike out on his own.

Our children from their first full time jobs contributed 10% of their take home salary. Because we had more than one child on different salaries it made it very fair. The pain of 10% of £1000 was equal to the pain of 10% of £100 we felt.

We were lucky enough to not need their money and although we never said , we put it away for them and returned it in full when they left home finally.

I don't think your grandson would expect a free ride ( although he might like it) . Have the discussion - you might be surprised smile

Rigby46 Fri 27-Jan-17 14:53:11

Agree with those who say sit down with him - what I did with dd was to show her the full costs of running the house so included all utility bills, CT, insurances, shopping, broad band etc then said which were not impacted by her living with us and which did increase, then worked out a fair share. We saved it without telling her but only because we didn't need it. Another advantage of his paying his share is that he can then take his turn in saying what he'd like to eat. Oh and she paid for all her own toiletries.

Grannyknot Fri 27-Jan-17 15:59:20

welshwife gives very good advice.

A young family member came to live with us for a while, at first he wasn't working but once he did start work, having cut him a few months slack, I asked him for (from memory) about £75 a week (well, this is London and he had a nice room grin, also a cooked meal every night, WiFi on tap etc ). I explained to him that we were now three working adults living in the house and it was like being in a house share with benefits. He was happy with that, I think people (even family) expect to pay their way.

When he left here, still earning the same, he went into a house share where he paid a lot more!

Deedaa Fri 27-Jan-17 22:44:32

When DS started an apprenticeship he was going to give us money. Against my better judgement DH told him not to and he's had money problems ever since. Instead of learning to budget he has lurched from one financial crisis to another ever since.

Theoddbird Sat 28-Jan-17 09:20:44

A percentage of food bill is a good place to start. As said, it will teach him about important.

Shazmo24 Sat 28-Jan-17 09:21:58

You must have a good relationship with your GS for him to be living with you in the first place so arrange a time when you can sit down and have a chat....see how much he can afford and go from there...With having another person in the house will add to your bills If he was living anywhere else he would have to pay rent and bills

Bbbface Sat 28-Jan-17 09:26:28

Are you being unreasonable? No

Would I do it? No

All this, it's a good lesson etc, doesn't wash with me. I was never asked for rent by my parents or grandma, and I'm now a very self sufficient woman. Having a year or so where your grandparents help out a bjt, that's not going to mean you'll end up throwing money down the drain on your forties!

janetmaile Sat 28-Jan-17 09:29:16

Yes, he needs to contribute, otherwise he will always expect things to be done for him. My ex husband lived at home until we married, contributing nothing. He never gave me enough money for the food and things for the children, and spent his money on himself. They used to say, a third of the wages for living expenses, a third for saving and a third for other things. Write down a list of expenses - heating, food, light, Council tax etc. and show it to him. Start by asking him to pay half, rather than asking him what he can afford. That way you can have a sensible discussion, and agree a realistic sum. It sounds harsh, but his future wife will thank you.

inishowen Sat 28-Jan-17 09:32:07

Of course he must contribute something towards his keep. I remember when our two children started working, my husband sat them down and told them they had to pay towards their keep. They were furious! We laugh about it now that they are parents themselves. They agree they had a bit of a cheek thinking we would support them when they were earning their own money.

Witzend Sat 28-Jan-17 09:32:30

Of course he should contribute, if he's working. At 21 he must understand that a warm house, hot water and a fridge full of food all have to be paid for.

It's ages ago now, but I charged dds once they'd graduated, were working, and had paid off their student overdrafts. It was £60 a week then, still a lot less than they'd have had to pay in a flatshare.
The odd person told me I was being mean, but I couldn't disagree more. The sooner they learn the realities, the better. I really don't think that letting an adult live for free does them any favours.

If you don't actually need the money you could save it, or part of it, for him.