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The Kid

July 21st, 2008 at 04:12 pm

Been without a computer for over a week. Blah!

Anyway, have had some interesting happenings with the kid, my 19-year-old--he needs a new crown (teeth issues), has spent most of his job money on fast food, and just got another speeding ticket this weekend. Heavy sigh...

The kid is keeping me from my millionaire status. Or at least keeping me from getting closer to my millionaire status. Depsite my years of thrift and saving and household cash management, my son has turned out to be materialistic, name- brand conscious, a fast food junkie, "forgets" to turn off TVS and lights, and he lacks a serious or consistent work ethic.

This is a problem.

I think the materialism began in middle school where although they wore uniforms he was obsessed by the expensive athletic shoes that the 'other kids' were wearing. So it began...

He's my only child, the kid, so I have trouble holding my ground. He's doing well in school with good grades and except for the money thing, is reasonably well-behaved. Somehow in spite of my efforts with him, I've gone horribly wrong in the finance department. While I avoided buying him a car in high school (and constantly argued with 'but all my other friends have one'), I did buy a small used car for college use ($3500) AFTER he graduated high school. He now has some independence and uses it to drive back and forth to school and to his summer job, but he has no greater sense of responsiblity. I neglected to have him sign on the dotted line for 'being more responsible.'

My goal is to save. The kid's goal is to spend. He has a huge sense of entitlement, which is partly my fault--a round of applause for the Bank of Mom!--and partly the 'fault' of our neighborhood and environment and society. In high school many of his friends had new cars, Ipods, laptops, expensive cell phones, name-brand every thing and NO JOBS! I didn't know any of these parent very well but would love to ask what the blazes they were thinking--obviously now I'm the one not thinking!

Things I regret or might regret, but am making a choice to live with: I bought him a car and required little extra responsibility from him. I still buy most of his gas and pay for his maintenance AND I added him to our car insurance. (The car is where we'll begin the second round of 'weaning.' This has been a financial mistake for me.) I recently bought him a re-furbished laptop for college. I pay $65 a month for his prepaid cell phone (namely so I'm able to call him, but his conversations with me are not really worth $65 a month!). I give him $100 a month allowance during college and will likely continue that or increase it due to the increase of gas prices. (He plays basketball for the school under partial scholarship--makes it difficult for him to work during school).

So.

I have to forgive the kid for being 19. I have to forgive him for not taking my advice. And for not doing what I do. And I have to forgive myself for the mistakes I've made. (Boy! the mistakes I've made.) But as the Bank of Mom...the doors will be gradually closing. (Gradual because I have to wean myself as well as the kid. And somehow I have to get my spouse on board! My spouse is worse than I am...)

Still working with ideas and a better plan than what I have. Will keep you posted.

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