The Moneyist: We began a homeschool capsule with one other household. After our trip out of state, they remoted from us and refused to separate the price of the nanny for two weeks. Who is correct?

I have put this question to several people in different walks of life and received very different answers, but nothing is ever settled enough for me, so I want your contribution.

At the beginning of last school year, I created a school / classroom pod with another family we didn't know before. We agreed that one child from each family, two children in total, should be part of a virtual classroom that is housed in my house and that uses my already set up nanny and divides the nanny 50/50.

Each would provide their own child with school supplies, but no further investment was required from the second family. We didn't have an official agreement or contract, but we agreed that the cost of the nanny would still be shared if a child is unable to attend due to illness or some other appointment during regular school hours.

My family took a two week vacation out of state / country and I agreed to continue paying our share of the nanny expenses during this time as I would during regular school hours. The only difference was that I asked the other family to have the classroom in their house while we were gone, which was no problem for anybody involved.

"I disagreed with their assessment that they don't have to pay while they are isolated from us."

– mother of Broken Pod

The other family did not feel comfortable if we left the state / country during COVID-19 as it was beyond their risk tolerance. Ideally, they would have wanted us to be quarantined for two weeks upon return and not take the class capsule or use the nanny, which was clearly not an option since I made the capsule in the first place and it was my nanny.

So the other family isolated from us for two weeks after we returned. They also refused to pay their share of the nanny cost during this two week period as we had placed them in this situation and primarily caused them difficulties due to our trip and they now had to make alternative arrangements for their child during this one Time.

We were still on vacation and I still paid my portion of the nanny during our absence and intended to pay the nanny in full upon our return, although I disagreed with their assessment that they did not have to pay while isolated to us.

My nanny quit after we returned from vacation for another job vacancy so the 100% payment on my part never took place, but I still want your contribution to this situation. It never quite worked out for me, but I can't seem to get an answer from anyone as to what a fair solution would have been.

Mother of Broken Pod

You can email The Moneyist with all financial and ethical issues related to coronavirus at

The money is: We put our spendthrift neighbors in touch with our financial advisor. They called her "lousy". How is it that WE are the ones who retired early?

Dear MBP,

You broke it, you bought it.

If you agreed to create a pod with this family so that your children could attend homeschooling or distance learning together, and then you injured the pod by vacationing outside of the state or country, it is your responsibility to Paying the nanny for the two weeks the other family stayed away.

There isn't one rule for you and another rule for everyone else, especially when it comes to the coronavirus.

– The money is

You can't have it in every way and make the rules because you were the one who started the pod and because the nanny you are sharing the cost for was your nanny to begin with. There isn't one rule for you and another rule for everyone else, especially when it comes to the coronavirus.

When traveling outside of the state or country, not only are you breaking the rules of the pod by not quarantining, but you are also breaking the rules of your state. If you restrict your movements after the trip, you need to make sure that you have not signed a COVID-19 contract. Your friends' child may not show symptoms, but their parents or grandparents may not.

If you quarantine at home, you can't expect another family to send their child to your home and put their own family at risk. I agree with how the other family dealt with this situation. They did this fairly and responsibly.

If you want a closure, I suggest the following: Send the family a card and correct the way you handled it.

The money is:I'm 28 years old, no debt, 401 (k), Roth IRA, and $ 45,000. My parents want me to save up for a home. I want a Tesla Model 3. Who's Right?

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