A mother in the United Kingdom has asked women for advice on the internet forum Mumsnet after her mother-in-law suggested that she should be saving her children’s welfare benefits rather than spending them on daily necessities.
The woman, whose username is @cadburyegg on the site, wrote that she only works part-time, and that the welfare money helps with daily needs.
“So we have [two children], one three-year-old the other four months. We claim child benefit for them. It goes into our joint account and helps a little with our daily expenses. I have worked part-time since the three-year-old was born so it’s helpful,” she wrote.
She continued to share that her mother-in-law was “aghast” at how they were spending the benefits.
“In-laws came over last night and somehow this topic came up. [My mother-in-law] was aghast that we are not saving it up for the children when they are older. We do save for them but only a small amount per month. Her words were ‘you’re not poor so you should be saving it up for their first car or similar’. Well no, we aren’t poor, but we aren’t rich. I thought child benefits were supposed to help with the cost of raising kids, not be a saving fund for them? Am I being unreasonable?” she wrote.
While many of the responses agreed that the mother of two was being reasonable, others shared that they personally believed in saving the benefits for their children’s futures.
"YANBU [you are not being unreasonable] it is to help with raising the child. If you're spending it on luxuries for yourself that would be unreasonable. I think it's a much better idea to spend the money on things that will benefit the kids while they're developing than save for an expensive car when they're 17," wrote one empathetic user.
"My opinion is if you can afford to save the child benefit you shouldn’t be allowed to claim it as clearly you don’t need it. It’s not up to the goverment [sic] to provide savings for people, goverment [sic] help should be to make sure the child’s current needs are met... Your in laws are daft," wrote another.
Others agreed with the mother-in-law, sharing that they saved the money for their children.
"We do save it, but only because we can afford to now. When we couldn’t we didn’t," shared one user.
"We are now in a position where we can save for our children’s futures but that wasn’t the case when our eldest was only three," wrote another.
Ultimately though, most users empathised with the mum, letting her know that the mother-in-law was out of line.
"Your MIL is very unreasonable. And if you were as “not poor” as she says, in all likelihood it wouldn’t be worth claiming anyway. Tell her to keep her beak out," wrote one user.
Regardless of their position on the matter at hand, most of the users agreed that it was none of the mother-in-law's business.
Do you think parents should save welfare benefits for their children's future? Tell us in the comments.