The top 10 Money Moral Dilemmas of 2023

Revisit the most convoluted corners of the Money Moral Maze...

The Money Moral Dilemma, or MMD, where we ask you to debate and discuss cash-related conundrums sent in by your fellow MoneySavers, has been a staple of MoneySavingExpert's famous Money Tips Email for 17 years now, making its debut on 25 October 2006, when a then fresh(er)-faced Martin asked: 'What's fair rent for working children living at home?'

Today, it's one of the most regularly read parts of the email, and as its current custodian, I've compiled the 10 most-popular MMDs of last year to celebrate its longevity, covering everything from lottery wins and overseas weddings to legal action against offspring and leaky pipes – so, prepare yourselves as we enter the perplexing labyrinth that is the Money Moral Maze...

Have a Money Moral Dilemma of your own? Then please email it to us at mmd@moneysavingexpert.com or send it via Facebook, Instagram or X, formerly Twitter. And don't worry about us dropping you or someone else in it – all MMDs we use are published anonymously.

10. Should we report neighbours who are in the 'wrong' council tax band?

We found out we're in a higher council tax band than some bigger, more expensive properties on our street, so asked for our band to be reassessed. We were told it wouldn't be lowered, and were asked to indicate which houses on our street are in a lower band so they could be reassessed! There's not much to be gained by grassing up our neighbours, but we're annoyed we're paying a higher rate when they have larger, pricier homes. Should we say which houses are in a lower band so we might at least one day benefit from the extra council tax paid?

📅 Date appeared in the Money Tips Email: Wednesday 15 February 2023

👀 Number of views on Friday 17 February 2023: 26,028

🧵 MSE Forum thread: Should we report neighbours who are in the 'wrong' council tax band?

🗣️ Most profane response: "Absolutely not! Leave well alone, it's the council's business to run their affairs not yours, and you could potentially bring a huge poo storm on yourself if your neighbours found out who'd initiated the change." - harz99

9. Should I tell my relative about my lottery win from a ticket she got me?

For my birthday, a close relative always gives me two lottery tickets, and I do the same for her. This year, I won a significant amount of money, and I'm not sure whether she might expect me to split it with her, given the reciprocal nature of the exchange. I've considered keeping quiet for six months, then saying the money came from another ticket, so I can share it around the family as I choose. But when I give her tickets, I make a note of the numbers so I can check if she's won, so there's a chance she's done the same. Should I tell her?

📅 Date appeared in the Money Tips Email: Wednesday 22 March 2023

👀 Number of views on Friday 24 March 2023: 26,035

🧵 MSE Forum thread: Should I tell my relative about my lottery win from a ticket she got me?

🗣️ Bluntest response: "I'm glad I'm not your relative." - Mr5Micawber

8. Should I return one of the duplicate orders I received after bad delivery service?

I placed an order worth about £50 with a major retailer, which it sent using a courier that is well known for bad service. The order was delivered to the wrong address. After getting no response from the courier, I contacted the retailer, which sent a replacement (using a different courier). The original parcel has since been dumped outside my house. Should I bother arranging a return, or keep both as I'm fed up with firms using terrible couriers and think they should take responsibility for their poor choices?

📅 Date appeared in the Money Tips Email: Tuesday 25 April 2023

👀 Number of views on Friday 28 April 2023: 26,354

🧵 MSE Forum thread: Should I return the duplicate order I received after bad delivery service?

🗣️ Most rancorous-yet-reasoned response: "I loathe these delivery companies – a modern Dante would find them their own circle of hell – but also sympathise with the seller" - Yawn

7. Should we ask the bride and groom for help towards the cost of attending their overseas wedding?

My wife agreed to be her friend's maid of honour, but the bride has since divulged that the wedding will be in Cyprus. It will cost more than £2,000 to attend, and mutual friends have declined invites because of this, so we won't know anyone else there. Given the bride was my wife's maid of honour, and we got married locally and paid for as much as we could at the time, should we ask the bride and groom to make a contribution towards our costs?

📅 Date appeared in the Money Tips Email: Wednesday 15 March 2023

👀 Number of views on Friday 17 March 2023: 26,851

🧵 MSE Forum thread: Should we ask the bride & groom to help with the cost of attending the wedding?

🗣️ Most exclamatory response: "The money they will save by abolishing this mad idea will pay their utility bill for a month!!!" - ripongrammargirl

6. Should I pay less after my friends gave me a worse room at our New Year's getaway?

Some friends and I booked to stay in a nice house over New Year's, with me the only single person going. At the last minute, another couple joined us, and it was decided that they'd get my double room overlooking a lake as they're a couple, and I'd sleep on the sofa bed in the TV room as I'm single. I didn't want to kick off about it and spoil the stay, and I did have a good time, but since then no one has mentioned compensating me for not getting the room I paid for. Should I say something?

📅 Date appeared in the Money Tips Email: Wednesday 4 January 2023

👀 Number of views on Friday 6 January 2023: 30,024

🧵 MSE Forum thread: Should I pay less after friends gave me a worse room at our New Year's getaway?

🗣️ Most vengeful response: "I’d bottle it up. Remain in the circle of ‘friends’ and remain calm … for a couple of years. At each new event where you may be in the homes of the others, take fresh prawns with you and, when the time is right, sneak out of sight and put them in the curtains, or lift the carpet and tuck a few of those juicy beauties away there. In a few weeks' time the stench will surpass that of their own deceit and disrespect, and they will be driven round the bend. Divorce and grief will rain down on those sorry excuses for friends and you will blossom once again." - JackTheBiscuit

5. Should I take legal action against my daughter for refusing to repay the money I loaned her?

Four years ago I remortgaged my cottage to help my daughter buy a house, and since then she's been paying me back in monthly instalments. But after her recent wedding we fell out, and she's stopped repaying me. I'm not well and live on a low income, and have started to think the only way to get my money back is to take legal action. Yet her husband has no idea I bought half the house, and I worry that if I do take legal action I'll cause problems in their marriage and she'll never speak to me again. But why should I struggle when they have a decent joint-income?

📅 Date appeared in the Money Tips Email: Wednesday 25 January 2023

👀 Number of views on Friday 27 January 2023: 32,712

🧵 MSE Forum thread: Should I take legal action against my daughter?

🗣️ Most heart-warming response: "I'm so sorry you're in this situation, which is not dissimilar to some of my own experiences. Hang in there and take really good care of yourself and your health while you're trying to work this out in a way that is fair for you." - Eccentrica_Gallumbits

4. Should my partner pay more towards bills as they earn more?

My other half of eight years earns more than twice what I do, but we both pay the same towards our household bills. With the current high energy prices, splitting bills this way puts me into fuel poverty, as more than 10% of my income is spent on energy. Yet I get no grants or benefits to help with this as my partner's income means that, as a household, we're not eligible. I have very little left over after living expenses, so should I ask my partner to pay more or is it fairer to keep bills 50/50?

📅 Date appeared in the Money Tips Email: Wednesday 22 February 2023

👀 Number of views on Friday 24 February 2023: 35,831

🧵 MSE Forum thread: Should my partner pay more towards bills as they earn more?

🗣️ Most worldy-wise response: "Before I proposed I realised a penny pie would now cost tuppence. I have no regrets." - Bonnypitlad

3. Should I ask for money if family and friends charge their electric cars when they visit?

Given the massive rise in energy prices over the last couple of years, I've been wondering whether I should ask family and friends to contribute to my bills when they charge their electric cars at my home when they visit. I have a petrol car, and when l visit others I obviously wouldn't ask them to fill it up for me, so I'm not sure what the right thing to do is.

📅 Date appeared in the Money Tips Email: Tuesday 7 November 2023

👀 Number of views on Friday 10 November: 36,235

🧵 MSE Forum thread: Should I ask for money if people charge their electric cars when they visit?

🗣️ Sarkiest response: "I already charge visitors for parking, enforced by wheel clamping. In December I stick a parking meter on the roof. Free charging? You got to be kidding me." - Mr.Generous

2. Is it fair I pay to repair a leaking water pipe that only supplies our neighbours?

I live in a semi-detached house where the water supply used to be shared with the house next door through a lead pipe. I put in a plastic pipe with a new stopcock to provide water to our house 25 years ago. But the lead pipe (that now only feeds the house next door) passes through my property and has developed a leak. I contacted a plumber who quoted me £650 to repair it. My neighbours are refusing to share the cost, but should I have to pay for it?

📅 Date appeared in the Money Tips Email: Tuesday 22 August 2023

👀 Number of views on Friday 25 August 2023: 36,838

🧵 MSE Forum thread: Is it fair I pay to repair a water pipe that only supplies our neighbours?

🗣️ Most meooooow response: "I suspect that the lead in the water they are getting is affecting their behaviour." - Skier_G

1. Should we keep splitting restaurant bills with friends that have kids, even though we don't have any?

For many years, we've socialised as a couple with a large group, which now includes many children of all ages. We're the only couple that don't have kids. We've always split restaurant bills equally, yet now some of the older kids eat more than the grown-ups and soft drinks can cost the same as alcoholic ones. Should we continue to subsidise the others' children, or ask that the bills be divided more fairly and risk causing disharmony in the group?

📅 Date appeared in the Money Tips Email: Wednesday 11 January 2023

👀 Number of views on Friday 13 January 2023: 36,989

🧵 MSE Forum thread: Should we keep splitting restaurant bills with friends that have kids?

🗣️ Snappiest response: "If you're rich enough to eat out, then you can afford to pay for everyone. Of course, the same applies to your friends..." - John_Gray

So there you have it. Thank you very much for reading this blog, as Big M would say, IN FULL (though if you skipped straight down to number one, know that he's disappointed in you), and a biiiiig thank you to all those who sent in a Money Moral Dilemma suggestion or responded to one we used. 

Want to be in with a chance of making the top 10 Money Moral Dilemmas of 2024? Then fire your suggestions to mmd@moneysavingexpert.com or give us a shout on FacebookInstagram or X, formerly Twitter. And if that wasn't enough dilemmas for you, dive into the Money Moral Dilemma archive. See ya back here in a year's time.