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04th Aug 2023

I’ve asked my 18-year-old daughter to pay £75 a month for bills – she claims ‘I’m mean’

Steve Hopkins

‘You should never charge your child for something a parent should do for free’

A mum has divided opinion after revealing that she hiked her daughter’s rent by £25 a month – from £50 to £75 – to help her deal with rising living costs and because the teenager had more disposable cash than she did.

Her daughter, who is 18, and was earning around £800 a month “lashed out” when asked to contribute more towards the family’s bills, the woman revealed on UK parenting site, Mumsnet.

After finishing college the daughter, who is referred to as DD in the post, started working at a supermarket, making around $800 a month.

To begin with, the mum asked her to chip in £50 a month towards the household bills and managed to save a bit more money on the weekly shop through her daughter’s staff discount.

“Her employer gave her a staff discount card for a family member as well as herself which was saving me quite a bit on the shopping. I still charged her £50 a month which I think is reasonable, considering she has been earning around 800 a month. She has more disposable cash than me,” the mum wrote.

But, then her daughter had a “falling out” with her manager and quit on the spot, “she says she hates it there etc etc”.

DD has a new job lined up working with her boyfriend at a fast-food restaurant, but without the supermarket discount, the mum said her bills are going up, so she asked her daughter to contribute a bit more.

The woman explained on Mumsnet that her daughter would now be earning less money and that she thinks “the main reason she quit was because she wanted to work with her boyfriend.”

“I think it’s a bad idea but she’s an adult she can do what she wants. I’ve said to her since bills are going up and I won’t have access to the discount anymore I want her to contribute more. I’m asking for £75 a month instead of 50. Which is actually less than I would have saved with the discount etc. But even still, she’ll be earning upwards of 500 a month, I get she needs to save but I feel like what I’m asking isn’t unreasonable.”

Her daughter, however, thinks differently: “She’s lashed out at me and said that it’s not fair because she’s earning less why should she have to pay more, and that I’m being mean and horrible basically. When she got the job at the supermarket I said that her staff discount would count towards her contribution, but she’s saying that I’m penalising her for switching jobs.”

The post has set off quite the debate, prompting over 170 comments.

And people are divided over who is in the right.

“£75 A MONTH! I would love her to be able to point to anywhere where she would be able to live for £75 a month. Do not back down. She should still be able to save with that amount,” one person wrote.

Another person suggested a subtle way the mum could make her point: “Perhaps offer her to sit down with the bills herself and work out what a fair contribution would be. I expect it will come to much more than £75 a month and she will quickly realise that.”

A third wrote: “I paid £60 a month when I was 18 and that was 34 years ago. I know that some parents don’t take contributions if they don’t need them, but if she had more disposable income than you, then she needs to make a proper contribution.”

But not everyone was on board with paying board.

One person wrote: “I’ll never understand parents who make their children pay rent, whatever age they are it just seems odd to me.

“You should never charge your child for something a parent should do for free.”

Another person echoed the comment: “I agree, I’d rather my kids save their money.”

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