Ask Someone Else's Mom by Susan Writer

Generous Grandma Covers Cost of Grandkids' Cell Service

Generous Grandma Covers Cost of Grandkids' Cell Service

DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: My mom and dad started paying for my kids’ cell service back when they got their first cellphones and made it a family plan. My dad’s gone now, and my mother is on a pretty tight budget, but she still insists on paying for her grandkids’ service, even though she could save a bundle going to a single user plan. I keep telling her this, but she wants to do something to help her grandkids out. Only one of them is still in school. The others are working and fully able to pay for their own plans.

What can I say to convince her she doesn’t need to keep paying, especially since I said we would put our one kid who’s still a student on our plan? --- DAUGHTER OF A GENEROUS GRANDMA

DEAR DAUGHTER OF A GENEROUS GRANDMA: You do indeed have a generous mom. Her keeping the kids on the plan is certainly a gift to them, and saving money can be a good thing at any stage of life. However, I agree it’s entirely reasonable to expect at least the adult, non-student grandkids to cover their respective portions of the bill connected to their individual numbers. With the cost and complexity of services and plans changing all the time, it would help Grandma’s bottom line, while allowing her to feel she’s continuing to make a material contribution to her family.

If she won’t take cash payment from her grandchildren — and you on behalf of your student child — perhaps there are other ways she can be paid back, especially if any of you are local. For instance, you or your children could buy her groceries or treat her to outings or items her limited budget can’t easily afford.

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