Need ideas please

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by WiseChoices, Sep 25, 2019.

  1. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    I will be out of the country on a solo vacation for almost a month in 2 1/2 weeks time.

    DC2 ,daughter , is currently commuting to university twice a week, and I drive her as I have a general rule (subject to certain exceptions on occasion) that nobody drives my car. While I am away , she will need to drive herself evoking an exception to my rule . She does not work , and she has very little money to her name, and she will have to put gas in the car twice a week. I am very reluctant to leave her my gas card to use as she has lied about money before, and, because I also feel it's a very bad practice and a boundary issue. Husband will be here, so he could hold my gas card and only give it to her the night before and then check the receipt. I have a strict rule without any exceptions that I don't pay for any harmful substances like cigarettes or alcohol.

    She will also do the grocery shopping for the remaining family while I am gone and while I feel generally that this kind of independence is good for her, I am reluctant to leave her a credit card.

    I have thought of getting gift cards for the grocery stores instead with limits which will help her to stay within budget also, and I guess I could do this for gas as well and have husband give then out one by one when needed, however, it's harder to be exact then with any leftover amount on gas card. It's a pain for me to have to get gift cards etc and I would rather not, but I suppose I could do that.

    Any other ideas? I could also transfer money into her checking account and have her use her debit card for gas and groceries but I would have to do it weekly because she has shown to be irresponsible with my money while she was at college last year. Having to do the transfers while on vacation is a bit of a pain for me but doable . Husband does not really transfer funds etc - I handle our bills , but I could show him .

    I am starting to feel a little anxious about all of this as I am overthinking. I am a planner and a controller by nature so this feeds right into those character defects and I want to remain peaceful and focused on the solution.

    Any input is greatly appreciated as always. Thank you :)
     
  2. BusynMember

    BusynMember Active Member

    Hi. Hope you enjoy your vacation. Sounds fun!

    From experience, I would not give her a credit card. No way. If you can give her the right amount of money in an account each week or every few days I would do it that way without expectations. She may or may not use the money correctly. Of all people here, you are Wise indeed and know it's a crapshoot with difficult kids.

    To me my plan would be to minimize the possible harm to the rest of the family and us (parents) and to make it as easy as.posdible for her to do the right thing.

    Worrying doesn't help. You are good at acceptance and this a situation where you need to accept whatever happens.

    God bless.
     
  3. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    Enjoy! Going anywhere fun?

    I agree with Busy.
     
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  4. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Great news about your trip.

    I agree with Busy and RN.

    The only other idea I can think of is you getting 5 different prepaid Visa cards. 4 of them would be for each week of groceries and household expenses, the 5th for her gas money. All 5 of them go in an envelope. Each card in black sharpie has the purpose/time frame of the expenditure, and the amount of money on it. Your husband can hold the envelope and hand her each card sequentially for food money at the beginning of each week.

    This systems would be a hybrid approach. She would have the guidance of dividing the money into quarters. She would have free choice in how she spent each week's money. Any mismanagement would become apparent as the month progressed.

    As far as her blowing her gas money. You could, I guess, get 4 different prepaid cards for each week of gas. But why? There would be pros and cons.

    Our goal is that our children learn and grow. To learn and grow they need some freedom to try. If she blows her gas money, she will be the one who suffers. She will be unable to go to school. If she wants to go to school, she will not blow her gas money. If she does blow the money, maybe school for her is not in the cards. We can't grow our children up for them. However difficult we must allow for risk. Which entails the possibility of poor choices.

    Alternatively, you could buy 4 gas cards, one for each week, and have your husband hand these out. But where would be the guarantee she used each one for gas? Unless your husband stood over her at the gas station. To me there would be more risk with this kind of micro-managing. Your daughter has to have some possibility to do things right (as well as wrong.)

    I am in the same position with my own son. It is very, very hard.

    I do give him free rein. He is older. But I am so tense and afraid, I end up anticipating his doing the wrong thing, and saying it. Which I guess is the worst possible thing to do. For me handling my anxiety and fear about what more bad stuff will happen (he will do), is the hardest challenge.

    We'll miss you while you're on your trip.
     
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    Last edited: Sep 25, 2019
  5. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...

    Wise,

    From experience I know that gas cards don't have to be used for gas. Other items within the gas station/convenience store can be purchased. I ran into that with my oldest son while I was on vacation this summer. I gave him an $80 gas card and in three days he was calling me for more gas money :heh:.

    I like Copa's take on it. At some point we hope they will step up to the occassion and act responsibly. I guess, only you know if you feel in your gut that this is the right time experiment with this.

    Have a wonderful vacation!
     
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  6. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    I like this system a lot! I agree with fostering independence and learning . I agree with holding accountable. Those prepaid visas are $5 a pop but I guess it's education and protection money well spent .It also eliminates me having to get gift cards from multiple stores as we shop in 3 grocery stores . Thank you!
     
  7. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    I am going to Europe. I am from there originally. My parents are aging and I want to see them as much as possible while I still can .I have been going every 6 months and this will be my third trip.

    Funny thing is without Al-Anon, I would not be doing this. When I went into the program 3 years ago, I was consumed by my fears, absolutely paralyzed. Mostly fears about my children but also fear of flying.

    As part of the Al-Anon 4th step inventory on fears, I challenged myself to confront and walk through fear showing myself courage. And hence I booked the first trip, by myself, when both children were at University. It was a rite of passage for me returning to my roots and also to the woman I was before I devoted my life to my children for 20 years.

    Last time I went, in April, I became a big baby before the flight again. A lot of the fears of flying returned , I did not want to leave my husband , I cried , was convinced I would die etc As a result, I decided that if u were to go again, I would take one day at a time, not get worked up and ruin the 2 weeks leading up to the trip, make things harder than they need to be on my husband and myself, and accept God's will for my life since I turned my will and life over in Step 3.

    So far, it's working .I am working hard at staying centered in the present moment. When thoughts of the trip come up, I control my mind to return to the now .I play a game with myself and tell myself everything that is happening right now , ie " I am driving the car, the sky is blue, the sun is shining, the seat is supporting my body etc". It grounds me into the present moment, into my body, and right now all is well.

    I don't want anxiety before I leave. I just want to go with the flow. I want to think "Today I GET TO go on my trip" rather than surrounding it with fear and anxiety and yuckiness.
     
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  8. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    Copa, I used to do the same : state my fears to my children before anything happened .And it didnt work. My biggest fears came true: DC1 does drugs and drinks, and DC2 cuts (an addiction also). Both have eating disorders .

    I am slowly starting to come out of those patterns with the help of Al-Anon, prayer and meditation which I do every single morning. I am learning to detach with love, another Al-Anon thing.

    My son had stopped smoking, he knows I don't like it, he knows the health risks, and this morning he walked out of the house with a cigarette in his mouth, unaware that I was washing my car outside. He said "oops, you caught me". I didn't even respond .He said "I only got these for my birthday (a few days ago) and I said "You don't owe me any explanations". And he goes "I know that but I don't want you to think that I will smoke like I did before (he was pretty addicted and spending money he did not have)". And all I said was "It doesn't matter what I think". He expressed appreciation for that.

    I have already told him how I feel about smoking before, so no point in giving the same speech again . He knows the health risks, he knows he doesn't have money for smokes. My Al-Anon sponsor always says "If it doesn't affect my breathing , it is none of my business". And he only smokes outside , so it does not affect my breathing.

    In the past I would have been very upset by this and I was astounded how calm I felt. It truly does not concern me. He has to make his decisions and learn from them.

    A few months ago when he had just quit and I was giving him a ride somewhere, he asked me to stop to buy smokes and I refused to stop the car , refused to enable him to start back up again. He was mad and had words me with me but I just kept politely declining. That lead to him staying quit and he didn't smoke for a good 4 months - until now. So even that past effort on my part, was useless . They have to figure stuff out for themselves and live the consequences.

    What you said about my daughter not being able to go to school if she failed to manage the gas money correctly, hit me. It's where I push up against my enabling. I would not want her to have to drop out because of gas money despite the fact that you are absolutely right about it being the natural consequence. So we all have our Limits and buttons.
     
  9. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I found a prepaid visa called Fifth Third Access 360 Reloadable card that advertises no fees, charges. Whether or not this is true I don't know, but I will look into this for us! In my area you can buy the cards at Walgreens or gas stations. I don't know if you have Walgreens' Drugs there. But there's a tool online that shows you where you can buy these.

    What I did was google no fee, no charge, no interest prepaid visa. Or something to that effect.
     
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    Last edited: Sep 25, 2019
  10. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    Awesome, Copa. THANK YOU! I do have Walgreens and will look into this ASAP.
     
  11. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Another thought if you dont want her to use her card and assuming it available is to set up an uber account for her and have her take uber to school and back.
     
  12. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    That is a good idea except we don't have Uber in our remote area and the drive to school is 2 hours. But it may be possible to find someone to drive her privately if that becomes necessary. She gets terribly anxious and chews up her bottom lip while in class to the point that lip is swollen next day .when I asked whether she could think of something else to do for her anxiety in class, she said no, and so I dropped it. She has fidget wheels and all kinds of tools we have purchased and uses none of them. The antihistamine must not be working for her because she has not taken it before class except once. I know better than to ask and I am done making suggestions that won't be followed anyway.
     
  13. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    Can you use the envelope system and let your husband give her the correct envelope each week? And then ask her to place the receipts in the envelope? Or get a refillable debit card and add money each week?

    I like the envelopes. I set up a system for younger DGD to put her money in several envelopes. She saved for a car, and in 6 weeks had about $1500. Then she would have her envelope that was for incidentals, fast food, etc. then one to save for car insurance.

    She liked seeing the money accumulate and it was a visual thing for her. If the money was kept all together, it was too easy to overspend. If she needed more money, she had to take it out of one of the other envelopes, and she knew she might not have enough for the necessities.

    Ksm
     
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  14. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I have done this for ME. A number of times, for comparable distances. For the most part, it went well. At the same time I would not recommend it for her. Unless it was a family member or very close friend of yours, she would have to navigate a relationship. And if it was not somebody you knew well, there would be the X factor.

    I like your original idea best.

    __

    That Fifth Third Bank card is only available to people who bank there. I never heard of the bank so I doubt if it is around here. I will keep looking for you.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2019
  15. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    Love this idea! Thank you!
     
  16. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    Thank you!
     
  17. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    I think I found one: Bluebird by American Express. It is reloadable and there are no feed as long as you load it from your linked checking or savings account or at Walmart. I applied and they will Mail the card in time before I leave. I love that I can reload it (or hubby can) because we can go week by week for the groceries rather than shelling it all out up front.
     
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  18. Blindsided

    Blindsided Face the Sun

    All I can add is that I hope with all of this careful planning you can let go and really enjoy your visit.
     
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