difficult child is out of money

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Nancy, Nov 22, 2011.

  1. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I was at lunch today with a friend and I got a text from difficult child asking if I could transfer $20 into her bank account so she could buy lunch. She worked today 8-7 and had no money to get lunch and only has $18 in her bank account. I told her I was not able to do that right now and she should go into the bank and get out what she could and she should call us after work to discuss her finances.

    So at 7:05 she called husband and told him she was out of money and wasn't getting paid until Dec 1. He asked her what she was asking for and she didn't know so he told her to go home and write down what she thought she needed to get by until payday and call him back and he would see if he could help. So she called and told him what days she was working and how much she needed to eat and pay for gas and asked if he could give her $90. He told her we would transfer $50 into her account and since she was coming home for thanksgiving we would give her leftovers which would hold her over a couple days and then if she needed more she could ask.

    On one hand I wanted to tell her no, that she should stop smoking and she would save a lot of money and that she has to stop driving everyone around to save gas, but on the other hand I was glad she called us instead of stealing food or things to sell for money which she would have done last year, or worse go work in a strip club for fast bucks.

    I don't know how long we can keep giving her financial help but I don't know what else to do.

  2. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Nancy, I think you and your husband did the right thing. Remember Fran's "do to get." Your difficult child is sober, has a job, and a place to live. It would be nice to think you could loan her the money and that she would pay you back but we both know better than that.

    Your difficult child really has come far even though she has a way to go. I do understand the feeling, though, of when will it ever end.

  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    My suggestion would have been to buy her food (groceries or gift certificates to low-cost restaurants) and fill her car with a tank of gas. If she misses a meal or two, it won't kill her.
  4. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    I think you did the right thing too...

    That said, $50 is A LOT.

    I am not sure what the alternative is though - I might of done $7 per day until payday (set up as a bank transfer)...but that could also set up an expectation of it continuing...

    I agree with "do to get" 100% and strength by endorsing good behavior...it shouldn't be this hard!! Instead of 2nd guessing them all the time, we second guess ourselves too!
  5. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    I just paid my son's 228 phone bill. He didn't listen to me and set up his own account with an I-phone. The buy out is outrageous and I am looking for some way for him to do it. He is working but only part-time, living with 2 friends in the house their deceased parents left them. He doesn't drink, smoke or do drugs and is a generally nice person. The reason I helped him (he's 21) is that he apologized for not listening to me and asked me to help him get out of his mess so he doesn't wreck his credit. I need to figure out how to get out of his Verizon contract.
  6. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    You may be able to downgrade the service while maintaining the contract - to a regular "non smart" phone. Which could be more affordable. He should call Verizon and tell them he thinks he left his phone at a friends and "wonder" what happens if he doesn't get it back. He can't afford to replace it with another iphone if it doesn't show up...
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Nancy, I know that at some point you know the $ has to stop, but right now she seems to be at least trying to do what she needs to do. She didn't try to scam you, she didn't try to scam someone else or claim that you did something to her that will cost her $$ and will they help her because y'all are so awful, and she didn't try dipping her toes into drug dealing, stripping, or "favors" for $$ (around here many of the college girls think it is okay to have a "one night stand" and have that person "help you out" with money that neither of you expects you to pay back, or even for clothes, shoes, purses, access to the fraternity test bank - don't ask me to go into that, college town thing - etc.... in my opinion it is prostitution, but the girls don't seem to want to think that. Heck, the cops here call it prostitution, but the kids say they are just "being friends".

    She is just 20. Her brain isn't done growing yet. the $50 was a lot more reasonable than $90, esp as she will be home for several days. She was honest with you, which is a good thing. Lots of us had to call home for $$ at that age sometimes. I know she hasn't fully embraced the program the way you would, but she is doing a LOT of good things, so I would let this slide. Esp as her behavior with you has been very appropriate. I think it would be different if she was 3-4 years older, or had a child. As it is, sh eis in a place that isn't easy right now (emotionally) and a little extra support isn't a bad thing.

    I do think that maybe gift cards would be a better thing, if you can work that out. If nothing else, maybe a reloadable visa card? I know they have a fee for each time you load them, but it is still better than cash.
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    The other thought, at least regarding gas, is to ask if there is a mom and pop gas station around where she lives?? We have one a few miles away, still has full service at within a nickel of the chain stations, and they will let a parent call and ask them to give Junior a tank of gas or $20-$30 in gas and then Mom or Dad will come pay them later. Or mom and dad can give them $X on account for Junior to use. They will NOT allow it to be used for cash, or gas for a friend's car, only Junior's car. I know because one day a kid was not happy at all because they called his mom to see if he really had a new car or if he was just saying that to them (he was scamming them). they will sometimes allow the kid to add a coke to the cost of gas if it is prepaid, but that is ALL. Well, gas, oil, brake fluid, that type of thing is all.

    So if there is a mom and pop store around her, maybe you could arrange something like that?
  9. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Susie you are right, she is doing a lot of the right things and I am glad she called us rather than resort to some not so good alternatives. The reason we agreed to $50 is because her car costs $40 to fill up and she does need to get back and forth to work. I like the idea of a mom and pop gas station, I will have to check into that. I've never heard of that around here but you never know. I told her I would go to the grocery store tomorrow and buy her a few things for breakfast and dinner food to tide her over and she will have to make meals in the apartment. I think I will get her a gas gift card if she needs help with gas. The worst that can happen is she will buy cigarettes, but then she won't have as much for gas.

    I thought I was aware of most of the college tricks but didn't know about the fraternity test bank thing. I assume that's answers to tests. I should be thankful that difficult child isn't doing favors for money or food. But then the people she is hanging with are all in the same boat she is so they wouldn't be able to give her any.

  10. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    At least as long as she's basically doing what she should be doing, I don't see anything wrong with encouraging her to make the correct decisions so that she doesn't fall back into old patterns before the new behavior even gets to the "pattern" stage.

    Only thing I'd have done differently is bought her the food and filled up her tank. She could pack lunches for work. I'm huge on that not giving cash to adults thing when it can be avoided.

  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think you did okay too. Many of us had to borrow a few funds when we were young. Even when I was down with Terry for that week at the beach she had to transfer funds into her easy child's account twice because she was low on money. Guess it happens often. I had to do it one time for our middle son was in the military and they lost one of his paychecks and he wouldnt get a replacement for two months and he couldnt pay his rent for a month. That was a real pain believe me. Us having to come up with a thousand bucks on the spur of the moment was a shock!

    Right now SO is keeping easy child/difficult child on a very short leash. If easy child/difficult child has to borrow any money at all, he is able to borrow no more than 40 a week and he has to pay him back that same week. He is then able to borrow the same 40 the next week if needed. should he not pay him back, there is no money to borrow. Basically SO is holding 40 bucks to let easy child/difficult child use as an emergency fund. Of course we started it out...lol.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2013
  12. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest


    I too think you did the right thing.... I mean we want our difficult children to know we support them while they are in recovery and helping out here and there is not an out of the ordinary thing for young adult her age..... if she is losing her sobriety i suspect you will know that soon enough and then of course you would need to take a hard line....but at this point as far as you know she is sober.

    I know with my difficult child we were willing to help out with money while he was in the sober house.... and he did scam us for extra cash which we did fall for... but of course we found out and so now there is no way we are giving him money directly.... but that was one more way he had to learn that his actions affect him. Now we do give grocery money to the sober house to dole out to him..... but we will not give him cash directly.

  13. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    TL yes I will eventually find out, I always do. I check her bank account history and she just takes $20 every couple days so there is no unusual activity. I think what she may be finding out out is that her paycheck will get spent very fast if she isn't careful. Maybe these are good lessons.

  14. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    If she has any bipolar or borderline tendencies she will have problems with money. Maybe it would be a good idea to sit down with her and talk about money if she is a willing participant. If she has a bank and is willing to use a computer program called MINT, that will show her exactly where her money is going if she uses her debit card for all her purchases instead of simply taking the cash out. Might be an eye opener for her. Otherwise maybe she would listen to you if its a conversation not a lecture. I know I was awful with money at her age, and I can still be awful if Im not careful. I love to spend! I would also love to earn but that doesnt seem to be in the cards for me...lol.
  15. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh Janet we've done that many times. My husband even showed her how to make a budget. She is always going to have problems with money I'm afraid. It's part of her living for today thing. It's one of the reasons we never got her a credit card or debit card. She has the old fashioned atm card. We also put a no overdraft protection on her card. The banks are more than willing to give you cash even if you don't have it in your account, and then charge fee upon fee for overdrafts. been there done that, not again.

  16. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I'm sitting on this one until difficult child needs it... not for a few years yet... so I haven't actually TRIED it myself, but have heard about it...

    You can use loadable store cards to simplify budgeting... here, groceries and gas are same chain, which helps...
    Load a months worth of funds for groceries and gas onto the store card. Teach them how to front-load their groceries (buying storable items in larger quantities at the start of the month... so they don't run out of food by the end of the month).
    Next, load a budgetted amount of "spending money" onto a pre-paid-only credit card... the kind where you can only spend what you have loaded onto the card, but stores take it like a credit card.
    The rest is to pay for rent, utilities, etc.
  17. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Verizon is usually a decent company to work with. He could get a non-smart phone and downgrade his plan. The other option would be to suspend his service. You can suspend with bill-stop and then restart it when his finanaces improve -- he'll still have to pay 24 months of service but it may give him a bit of time to get more financially stable.
  18. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    Our twins separated at birth saga continues .... difficult child tallied up a grand total of $200 in overdraft fees on her bank account when she first moved in with her dad. This is AFTER I was smart enough to close our joint account (whew!). Like you, we've set her up with budgets and had many, many conversations about money ...all with the same non-result.

    You handled this situation very well. You seem to be good at rewarding her good behavior with just the right amount of support.

  19. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    That actually happened to my easy child. She went over by $5.00 one day and didn't realize it for a week and by the time that she did she had overdraft fees were over $500. She called husband sobbing from the bank where she was trying to talk to the bank manager and was getting nowhere. husband talked with the bank manager, too, and she said that there was nothing that she could do to reduce the amount.

    This was one of the huge megabanks that was infamous for doing this at the time. easy child wrote an email to the highest ranking VP that she could find contact information for and explained what had happened and admitted that she had made a mistake but didn't think she should be charged that huge fine. She didn't think anything would happen but to her surprise the VP's secretary called her 30 minutes later and told her that they were going to remove all of the fines from the time after the first day when the overdraft happened. That left her $135 to pay.

    We told her that she should keep fighting it but easy child said that she thought that was fair because she had made a mistake. I keep asking myself if they got my baby mixed up with easy child in the hospital.

    by the way, the original bank manager called the very next day to offer her a reduced fee. easy child casually mentioned the VP's name and said that it was all taken care of. easy child did learn a valuable lesson from it but I still think that the bank was wrong. I was glad when congress passed a law saying that banks couldn't do that anymore.

    Last edited: Nov 23, 2011
  20. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I hate when that happens. I am really not all that good with money now and I try extremely hard to do the right things. I dont have a credit card at all. I actually need to get one though because I found out recently that my credit score is horrible even though I just bought and paid off my car on time every month like clockwork. In fact I had it drafted out of my bank account! It was never a day late. In fact, I paid it off a month early because the the lending agency offered me a buy out. But evidently paying off a car loan and owning your own house without a mortgage arent things that serve you well. You need revolving credit. The more the better! I have no bad debt on my credit report. Oh well...I do have some medical bills that I have no clue why they are there because they say...hospital XXX, sent to collections on xxx date (never known to me) paid on this date.

    I have insurance. I was covered during these time periods. I dont know. Plus the bills were paid.