‘My 26-year-old son had to move back home to get by – now I give him pocket money’

Catherine Crane, 53, from Cardiff, said her 26-year-old son and his wife have been living with her and her husband for 18 months.

Mrs Crane said the couple moved home in October 2020 during the pandemic, cutting short their travels in New Zealand, where they each had found temporary jobs. The pair have been living rent-free at home and do not pay towards bills or food. Mrs Crane said she gives them spending money and cash for fuel.

“They aren’t really saving much money and I don’t take anything from them because I would rather they save whatever they can so they can push on in life. They are not where they thought they would be at their age,” she said.

Her son has done odd jobs, while his wife is a personal trainer, a profession that so far has not afforded a secure income, Mrs Crane added.

“It takes an adjustment because when you reach your 50s and 60s you expect to have more disposable income and be able to save as much as possible for retirement. Food and fuel cost the most – I’m spending a lot more money on that. It is quite scary how much prices are rising, even things like pasta.”

The weekly shop now comes to between £250 and £300, Mrs Crane said. The family home was refurbished to separate living spaces for the young couple, with an extra shower added. This was at the parents’ expense, she said.

The newly-weds had planned to get their own home, but can no longer afford to as bills soared and inflation picked up. This week, the ONS revealed the consumer price index hit 7pc in March, the highest since 1992. “They have had to put their plans on hold, again. We have laughed about where we put the grandkids,” she said.

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