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The Kid - Part Two

August 27th, 2008 at 04:42 pm

After an earlier blog entry about my son and receiving some of the advice I got from fellow savers, I've made some steps over the summer to help train the kid in financial matters. He was destroying the budget this summer and it had to stop. I feel like I tried so hard to teach him financial foundations as he was growing up, but he wasn't interested before and now, at 19 years old, he still doesn't seem interested. And because I try to 'help' him financially by giving him money, I made the situation worse.

Anyway, I either failed at teaching or he failed at learning, but I made a few changes mid-July after some deep thought.

The things I decided that I'll continue to do are:
(1) Pay for college tuition until the $25,000 I saved over the past sixteen years (mostly savings bonds) runs out.
(2) Pay for the maintenance and insurance for his car.
(3) Pay for food at home. And shelter.
(4) Pay for his prepaid cell phone.
(5) Give him an allowance of $200 each month during the school year at college with the stipulation that he doesn't ask me for ANY additional money during the school year for personal expenses. The consequence of asking will be a slight decrease and a big lecture. (The lecture part being my motherly right and duty.)

This summer, here's what I decided NOT to do:
(1) Not pay for his gas. (I was doing that even though he was working a summer job. Don't ask me why.)
(2) Not pay for his fast food addiction. (I was doing that, too. Don't ask me why.)
(3) Not pay for his overdraft fees. (I was doing that, too. Don't ask me why.)
(4) Not pay for his speeding tickets. (I was doing that...well, you know the drill...) I'd already paid for 3 of his speeding tickets within the past year. He got a fourth ticket in July and will pay it with money from his summer job.
(5) Not buy his clothes or shoes.

He's a heavy spender and I'm a heavy saver. (We're both heavy-weights--ha ha!) All of our arguments are over money. To me, wasting money (like on overdraft fees) is a crime or a sin--it's that SERIOUS to me!! But he seems to think it's no big deal, that I make a lot of money compared to him, that I should spend a lot of money...on him.

These were small but serious changes for me as the mother of an only child. It's so intense! But already I can see the change in my cashflow. The kid has been angry with me for weeks because of these changes. But I was angry before. Now it's his turn.

School will begin for him next week. Eventually I want this money challenge with the kid to be win-win for both of us, but I think we have a ways to go...

Thanks to all for your previous encouragement. I'm taking baby steps, baby steps...

6 Responses to “The Kid - Part Two”

  1. mom-sense Says:

    I am married to an only child who was indulged by his mother. You are doing your future daughter-in-law a big favor by instituting these changes. I had to overcome the "I want it now" syndrome. The breaking point was when he wanted an expensive sports car (at least it seemed it at the time, a Corvette costing $11,000). He didn't get that one because it was too big of a whim to buy. So for the next few years: he parted with a Mustang worth $1,600, sold his grandfather's diamond ring for $1,000, worked a part-time job to acquire another $2,000, saved his "mad money", banked his gifts. It took several years, and when he found the car he wanted ($11,000 - we did take $3,500 from our savings). He values that car because of the sacrifices he made. And I married young - at 20 - now we are on the same money page most of the time.

  2. thriftorama Says:

    He should be paying all of that stuff on his own anyway. Especially since he has a job. I don't think you should give him spending money at school either, he should either be working for that during school at a student worker job or saving his summer earnings for school time spending money.

    My hubby is a spoiled only child whose parents paid for college, but even he had to pay for gas, transport and spending money.

  3. cptacek Says:

    I don't know that I agree with you thriftorama. He is only 19. I think the plan she has laid out is fine, except, I would make one small change...he should pay the insurance on his car ONLY because of the tickets he has had in the past. If his driving record was clean, I wouldn't change it a bit.

  4. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    Good, Sher. Good for both of you.

  5. dividing the dime Says:

    Thanks to everyone for the comments, which will help me stay encouraged. I'm sticking to my guns so far. The kid is still angry about the changes and still spending like water, but I know I'm doing the right thing. Have a feeling it's going to get worse before it gets better, but I'm holding my ground. And Cptacek, I'm still looking at the insurance part... maybe by next year we'll make that change... Baby steps, baby steps. Thanks again everyone.

  6. baselle Says:

    He spends like a husband and you save like a wife! Big Grin

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