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Telling DH I'm not giving DSD any more money.

(120 Posts)
Nondescriptusernameforthisone Wed 23-Apr-14 16:51:23

Changed name for this, as it may contain more personal information than I'm totally comfortable with. Some of you might know my story anyway.

I have two DSC and one DD (all are my DH's children). My DSD is 19. She is moving out to attend university away in the autumn. She has been doing a foundation year this year.

We have an unusual financial situation. I don't want to dripfeed, but there is a lot of detail and backstory.

DH is not working currently. He does a share of the childcare for our DD, and is completing his PhD. I have a PhD and work full-time, but my current contract ends in the autumn and I don't think it will be renewed, so I will be looking for another job, as will DH (we will still need childcare for DD, too). I am at the beginning of my career, so my salary is relatively low. We get tax credits and child benefit for the qualifying two children. We have no savings. I work very hard and for part of last year had some part-time work in addition to my full-time job. We do ok, but we can't save; we have bills and some debt, and nothing put aside for my own DD's future apart from £10/month I have going from my account into a child trust fund plan that she'll get at 18. I'm worried about what will happen in the autumn, obviously. DH gets a small pension, too.

DH's first wife's pension has provided for the children's university education; they will receive a substantial amount (we are talking about thousands of pounds per year, though not quite into five digits) each year they stay in university (including if they go on to do postgraduate degrees). Through the twisted logic by which such things are decided, and based on our low income, DSD also will receive the maximum maintenance grant, plus the loan to cover her fees. She has also been given some money by family friends. Her yearly income as a student, aside from her fees, will be over £12,000, before any contribution from us.

Now. When DSD was born, her (now deceased) grandfather gave DH and her (now deceased) mum some money, and indicated that they should use it for her education. This money was spent by the time DSD was 8 or 9, though, because they simply needed it for her support. DSD has never been told that - she has always been told that there was x amount of money for her when she went to uni. She can't be unaware of our financial circumstances - for example, she knows her maintenance grant is based on our low income, and she's certainly heard me worrying about money - but her behaviour is oblivious and she just expects to be given money.

For this reason, I 'made up' the amount she expected to get from her grandfather, for this past year. This meant that she had even more disposable income, and I had basically none. I haven't been able to do certain things with or for my own DD, because I've had this expense. I had to turn down several work opportunities because I could not afford to travel. Meanwhile she is going on holidays with friends, buys new clothing almost every day, and is shockingly blase about the cost of things in the house. I am finding myself increasingly resentful about the difference in lifestyle that is happening under my own roof, and funded in part by my own hard work and sacrifice of time with my DD, etc... I can't see going on with it, and my friends are all telling me I need to stop.

I intend to tell DH that we won't be 'making up' the long-ago-spent gift from granddad. That we need the money for my other DSC and DD. And that he needs to explain to her that we can't meet her expectation.

She's more than adequately provided for. She's not my financial responsibility. She's an adult, albeit a student. Her disposable income far far exceeds ours, and by autumn, her ACTUAL income will exceed ours!

So. Why am I so dreading this conversation? Any supportive ideas about how to raise this?

KrevlornswathoftheDeathwokClan Wed 23-Apr-14 20:48:44

It is in no way your responsibility, she has more than enough and you need not be making up money your dh spent years sgo.

JumpingJackSprat Wed 23-Apr-14 20:51:21

That was a silly thing to do! Why on earth would you dothat!

Wow, your DH needs his head shaking if he has allowed you to top up, for money, he and his previous wife SPENT!

Just be very factual with it.

1) This money was spent by your DP at the time as they needed it to raise you.
2) for the previous year, you personally have been paying the allowance
3) you can no longer afford to do so, and will not do it any longer

*DP as in dear parents of DSD

SocialNeedier Wed 23-Apr-14 20:56:36

Why does your DH let you do this? Why is he lying to his dd about the GD money?

KeepCalmAndLOLKittens Wed 23-Apr-14 20:56:38

This is tricky because your DH and his fits wife spent money that was intended for their DD's education

JeanSeberg Wed 23-Apr-14 20:57:44

You need to he honest with her ASAP so she knows the real situation and can start saving from a job over the summer.

KeepCalmAndLOLKittens Wed 23-Apr-14 20:57:52

Oops!

... on 'support' (childcare? SN?) I can see why she would feel entitled to it. It wasn't theirs t

KeepCalmAndLOLKittens Wed 23-Apr-14 20:59:26

Oh maaaan!

... spend.

However I can't see why you should be footing the bill. Your DH needs to have a conversation with her about how and why the money was spent. If she is reasonable she must see that her late mother's pension more than makes up for it. It really isn't for you t

doziedoozie Wed 23-Apr-14 20:59:41

Tell DSD that your job is coming to an end and you then can't afford to make up her money as you have previously done.

Your DH can explain to her where granddad's money went. If you get involved you will be held to blame. Keep well out of it.

Liara Wed 23-Apr-14 20:59:47

Christ, I would be asking for some of the money you gave her back!

She is 19 - you should just have a grown up to grown up conversation about how tough things are for you right now and what she can do to help, not just what you are no longer going to do for her.

It sounds like everyone treats her a bit too much like a child.

KeepCalmAndLOLKittens Wed 23-Apr-14 21:00:36

confused

to make up the shortfall. Would you be expected to do the same for DSC2?

So sorry about my fat thumbs.

RhondaJean Wed 23-Apr-14 21:01:43

I'm assuming the money was spent on living expenses at the time.

She is well provided for ; I think you need to spell it out to her. Nothing you have said indicates she will be awful about this - she's a teenager who thinks she has money there and is spending it, just talk to her, explain what is happening. Actually your DH should be doing this.

I know you are finding it hard but she's only spending money she thinks she has at this point.

TheCraicDealer Wed 23-Apr-14 21:03:24

Where's her Mum in all this? I take it from the fact her pension provided for some of her fees means she's now deceased?

It's a pity that her parents needed to dip into those savings to help bring her up, but you shouldn't financially cripple yourself out of guilt to make up for it. If your DH had just been honest with her this wouldn't have been needed. It's not on to expect a family to live like paupers so that one of them can have a jolly good time as a student.

HillyHolbrook Wed 23-Apr-14 21:04:57

Her parents did spend money that wasn't theirs to spend, you didn't spend it, you shouldn't be paying it back.

If she has issues with that, remind her that YOU didn't spend it, her dad and first wife did, he can replace the money himself. Just because he isn't working now doesn't mean he never will be, it's not your responsibility to give it to her, especially not if you and her siblings are struggling whilst she swans off on holiday and buying new clothes.

She might learn the value of money if she realises she isn't getting thousands of pounds handed to her. It's not her fault, and I can see why she feels entitled to it, but you definitely shouldn't give another penny.

bamboostalks Wed 23-Apr-14 21:06:45

I can't understand why you ever did this in the first place. How bizarre. What was your rationale? Do not provide her with another penny. You need to focus on the financial well being of your dd.

NatashaBee Wed 23-Apr-14 21:11:35

Your DH should be the one dealing with this - he spent the money. I don't think you should be making up any of it - you need to be fair to all children, including your DD; it sounds like she won't have anything like the funds available to your DSD.

AMillionNameChangesLater Wed 23-Apr-14 21:20:02

Your DH should be dealing with this, not you

Nondescriptusernameforthisone Thu 24-Apr-14 00:25:49

Oh, god, thank you, I was expecting a bashing for this. sad
I think I went along with it because 1) I was newly married and wanting 'happy families' and the idea that what's mine is his/his is mine/we're all in this together and 2) it was so clearly what everyone expected that I never stopped to think about whether it made any sense! and 3) I have had lots of issues over DSD and so I try to be so scrupulously fair about how we treat her that I end up going too fat the other way in order that she never think I am being unkind.
I don't blame DSD at all for spending the money as she does - I would do the same at 19 with a bit of cash and part of me likes to see her having a bot to spend on nights out and new clothes - but even saying that, it is still hard when I spend a day fretting over bills and whether I can take DD to see her grandparents, only to come home to see her new handbag or whatever.

TheAwfulDaughter Thu 24-Apr-14 00:40:25

£12k a year is an eye watering amount. I am a third year and get by on £3500 + work 20 hours a week to make up the shortfall, and my mum gave me shit for buying myself a new laptop with my savings. sad

This isn't my chip on my shoulder speaking, but you don't need to give her anything extra- do not feel bad about it.

What is she like when she comes home? If she knows you are struggling, does she offer to pay a bit of board, happy to get a basket of shopping or offers to buy a round at the pub?

If the answer is no- definitely don't feel bad. All of my student friends do the same on a lot lot less cash.

AndHarry Thu 24-Apr-14 00:59:11

You need a good conversation with your DH and for him, or both of you, to communicate the outcome of that discussion to your DSD asap. She's not doing anything particularly wrong, although she does sound rather thoughtless, and she does need to know the exact situation. At 19 she's old enough to deal with it. £12k a year is an enormous amount of money for a student and she won't have to pay tuition fees until she's working.

twizzleship Thu 24-Apr-14 02:55:11

if she's still complaining after you've explained the situation to her then tell her to get a part time job to top up her income-just like most other students do!

mysteryfairy Thu 24-Apr-14 06:26:22

Was the money left in trust? If your DH was a trustee of some sort and has breached the trust by taking the money I think that's quite serious/criminal. I can see why he might be keen for the money to be paid if that is the case. I would check out the legal implications.

Nondescriptusernameforthisone Thu 24-Apr-14 07:30:24

She'll complain. She just will. She won't be awful, and we'll get through it, but she will not really understand, I think. She won't see it as a huge amount, and will think that we can do it, but just don't want to, and she feels entitled to it. She can see that she is better off than her university friends, but even at that, she doesn't quite get how things work for most people. She's made comments in the past saying things like "it was only £xxxx" that reveal a distorted idea of what is a 'small' amount of money.

She did have a part-time job (we pushed her to get one, last summer before she had access to any of the money/before she began the foundation year), and that was partly because we didn't want her to get this money and then never have to work until she leaves university and finds herself totally unprepared. She's given that up now. At home she has a couple of small jobs around the house, which she sometimes does cheerfully and sometimes complains bitterly about, but no, she doesn't do much. I do her washing. We can't afford any sort of holiday this year, but had a nice one last year, and a few trips to visit DH's family, and we've always paid for those for her.

I totally agree that it needs to be DH who explains this to her - I know I will get the blame anyway, and I want to minimise that.

Mysteryfairy, no - the money was given to my DH, with a comment along the lines of "here's something for my granddaughter's future". Over the years, it was talked about as 'her university money'. I have asked about how she was told about it initially, and whether her granddad ever talked to her about it himself, and DH wasn't sure/couldn't remember. But no, it wasn't a trust.

The money was used during a rough period when the kids were young. Their mum was ill, with the same thing that eventually caused her death, and DH was caring for her, and it was a bad time for them. I personally don't believe they did anything wrong in spending the money - if his dad had had firm intentions about its use, he certainly was capable of setting it up differently - and if they needed it to feed the kids and pay the mortgage, that was the right thing to do IMHO - but I think they made a huge mistake in how they handled the situation and they misled DSD.

It wasn't, I should add, a massive amount of money, but enough that coming up with it out of our current income, divided over four years (foundation plus three) is tough. And, yes, this will then be expected all over again for DSC2.

I think DH and I will sit down and talk about it this weekend.

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