When do "adult" children learn to control and budget thier money?

Shannon - posted on 09/22/2009 ( 8 moms have responded )

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Hello, I am new here. I have an 19 yr. old son who is a US Marine and an 18 yr. old daughter who is a freshman in college. My son gets paid twice a month and yet he still calls home for mom or Nana to send him money. I don't know if he has his own money and just doesn't want to spend it on things that he needs. He has a roof over his head, food on his table (although he says it doesn't taste good, chow hall food), clothes on his back all paid for. My daughter still thinks she is in high school. I ahve talked to her about getting a job, but thats like talking to a brick wall. I have made her start paying for her own car insurance and her on internet, but she gets the money from her granparents. It gets discouraging to come home from work and she is sitting on the couch and the kitchen is a wreck and nothing is done. Sometime I think high school was alot easier.

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Debbie - posted on 12/01/2011

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Hi, My name is Debbie and I am new here too! I am glad to see that I am not the only one going through this! I have an almost 19 year old daughter who is the same way! Laying on my new couch, making it stink(!) and the kitchen is a mess, not to mention her bedroom! Just watch tv and bum. Must be nice! I have 3 other adult kids, and even on Thanksgiving, noone helped me at all! My husband was deer hunting and we had dinner at noon. I was in the kitchen alone til 5:30 cleaning and putting it all away. I have had it!

Lisa - posted on 08/16/2010

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Hmm, if it were me... I'd talk to your parents about not supporting them money wise... they need to learn to cope without a family hand out. Just my 2 cents. My daughter is 20, lives on the other side of the country... goes to hair school and is presently learning to budget her money, time and school. It's not an easy task for her. But since her dad (my ex) refuses to help her out, like he promised if she ever took on further schooling. She knows she will have to work part time to keep up on her share of the bills. It kills me to not help her financially... but it will be something, I feel, she will learn from to help her in the long run. Good luck and much patience for you to get them headed in the right direction. Love and mental support, I feel, is key.

Kristin - posted on 01/24/2010

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I have to agree with most of the postings above. My 19-yr old has a PT job and is planning to move out on his own. He almost never sleeps at our place anymore, but his stuff is still here, Dad still takes him where he needs to go b/c he doesn't drive yet, and Dad still gives him $. I tend to be the strict one, and sometimes my husband thinks I'm being mean, but I believe I'm trying to instill some responsibility in him.

Unfortunately, I did not do as good a job preparing him to handle his money as my parents did with me. From the time I started delivering newspapers at about 10 years old, I started paying for my own "extras". My parents would provide shoes, for example, but if I wanted a specific pair that cost more, I had to pay the difference. I had my own checking account wen I was 16. My husband's parents never did teach him how to handle his money.

Even though you can't go back to when your kids were 10 or 16, you can attach requirements to the money you hand over. For instance, you could require a bank statement and/or a budget from your son. If he doesn't know how to write one, show him or get him to go to a budgeting class. You may not be able to control where the money he makes goes, but you can still control where the money you make goes. If he doesn't want the strings attached, he can fend for himself.

If your daughter won't get a job and contribute to the household, it might be time to start charging her rent, keep a tab, and tell her it comes out of her paychecks as soon as she finds a job. Maybe that will motivate her.

Terri - posted on 01/19/2010

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Hi Shannon,
I have three kids of my own, & two step sons. Each of them have taken on the financial responsibilities differently. Bottom line, they know we are not in the position to give more than a little help even in an emergency (a REAL one) - and they have to pay the price if they mismanage their money.
If that means the phone gets turned off - then it does... If that means living w/out cable tv until things pick up.. then they do... When they are left to deal w/ whatever money mess they make for themselves...then they start figuring out how to keep things like that from happening.
As long as they know mom and grandma have their back - theres no reason to make the effort. Draw a line - cut off the cash and watch them grow.

CORSALIA - posted on 11/01/2009

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I sent you a message---I should have posted and sent a message. I hope you get it Shannon.

[deleted account]

Oh dear Shannon. What a mess. I've read what Vicki & Pat have replied. I have 3 kids. They grew up from 1969 through 1996 when the last one got married & moved out. They are now 33, 38 & 40 and between all of them have given us 8 & one on the way grandkids. Our middle one, son, did 10 yrs in the Navy. From the time they could drive (back then the parent could teach) they KNEW they would have to pay for their own insurance & gas. They KNEW that would require a job. None of them had any interest in college but we had told them in high school, "when you graduate, you have 3 choices: go to college, get a fulltime job or get out. Two got married & they are still married. The son joined the Navy. A son-in-law joined the Navy for a 10 yr stretch too. The youngest became an entrepenour (sp) and has owned her copy/post office business for 13 yrs. So.....what did we do different? Well for one thing, from childhood I stopped doing any & every thing they could do themselves. I believe another difference is their parents are still married (41 yrs now). When we said "no", it was NO. When they asked why, I explained the truth. End of discussion. I listened to them. Dad wasn't around much due to hours working but they had a respectable fear of him so he didn't need to be "on site". We did many, many things as a family & had a lot of fun. There were no grandparents who could afford a Christmas gift let alone just hand over money. They didn't have the latest gadget or nor did they make demands. I just think at some point ya gotta got the apron strings. And anything else that keeps them dependant upon anyone but themselves for what they want.

Vicki - posted on 10/03/2009

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I tried teaching my kids how to handle money starting in about 8th or 9th grade. I took them on pretend shopping trips. I created scenarios where they had to use the classifieds to find a job, apartment, car, etc. Found a good home-school book about using a checking account. That was the easy part. Then came real life. My older 2 actually were good about getting jobs, because they both moved out on their own fairly early. My youngest (almost 20) is having a harder time. He has a P/T job, earns just enough to pay for gas & insurance on the car that his twit father GAVE him(!). He did 1 semester of college. I think "direction" needs to come first for him; then he'll find the "motivation". I feel bad for you that your child's grandparents are giving her money; that just undermines what you're trying to teach her. Can you talk to them about it?

Pat - posted on 09/25/2009

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Quoting Shannon:

When do "adult" children learn to control and budget thier money?

Hello, I am new here. I have an 19 yr. old son who is a US Marine and an 18 yr. old daughter who is a freshman in college. My son gets paid twice a month and yet he still calls home for mom or Nana to send him money. I don't know if he has his own money and just doesn't want to spend it on things that he needs. He has a roof over his head, food on his table (although he says it doesn't taste good, chow hall food), clothes on his back all paid for. My daughter still thinks she is in high school. I ahve talked to her about getting a job, but thats like talking to a brick wall. I have made her start paying for her own car insurance and her on internet, but she gets the money from her granparents. It gets discouraging to come home from work and she is sitting on the couch and the kitchen is a wreck and nothing is done. Sometime I think high school was alot easier.



Yes I had that probelm with my daughter as she was over 18 and graduated high school this last june. She will be 20 in november. In high school I started to have to get hateful  with her about if she wanted money to go do anything she had to help with the house work. She got really mad about it, but I just let her get mad. Even though she is a adult, she isn't the one bringing money into the house that pays for her to do things. She has been out putting applications in for parttime jobs and is attending her first semester of college. Now she is better about doing the dishes and vaccuming the floors, at least. She was one that stuggled with her high school classes so she didn't have to have a job thru high school.

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