irresponsible 19 yr old!!!!

Peggy - posted on 04/04/2009 ( 10 moms have responded )




OK, so my daughter goes to college for nursing f/t, works as a CNA p/t, and has a boyfriend. You'd think she would be responsible right??? Wrong...she's flunking out on at least 2 subjects that are absolutely necessary for nursing, she has already said she doesn't like school, we will lose our financial aid. I told her she has to switch majors and find something that she wants to do. I think she is happy just being a CNA which is ok I guess if she could manage her money. She makes a decent paycheck but blows it all!!! We pay for everything, cell phone, car ins., everything. She has a secured visa that we set up with part of my disability reward that she has maxed out and gone over and we charge her $50 every 2 weeks but she always has some excuse why she cant pay that. Now this week, she has already gone through her whole check, payed us, payed her state taxes( which she was supposed to have been saving towards), payed on her credit card, and threw $65 away on clothes that she doesn't need(her downfall) and tanning(going to the Senior Ball with her girlfriend). How do we get through to her that she has to smarten up with her whole outlook? College...her money...her life??? We have tried everything short of kicking her out of the house which I really don't want to do. HELP!!!



Lacey - posted on 04/04/2009




Stop bailing her out. It's fine to let her live at home, but her own expenses are just that, her own. Let her deal with the downfall of her bills, she accumulated them, she needs to get out of them. Suggest taking her to a credit counselling centre, they may be able to get through to her better, and teach her how to deal with her money.


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[deleted account]

!We pay for everything, cell phone, car ins., everything. She has a secured visa that we set up with part of my disability reward that she has maxed out and gone over and we charge her $50 every 2 weeks but she always has some excuse why she cant pay that.

WHY??? why do you pay for everything??? She isn't learning to work with her money situations when you pay for everything.  Maybe if she had to do it she would see that she HAS to get responsible to take care of business if she wants her phone, ins, and credit cards, and store purchases.  Take the money you spend on her and put it away for you and hubby a nice vacation.  As for the credit card, take it back, let her continue to pay it. Let her be the adult she needs to be.  Not trying to be mean, but your robbing her of learning how to grow up by doing everything for her.  Next she will depend on a boyfriend or husband to do it for her, let her have her life and learn to manage it herself.  My brother just lost almost everything doing that for his daughter, they are in foreclosure and bankruptcy now cuz they let her have it all and guess what, she disposed of it as easily as she got it.  No, let her do it, if she is off to college, let her go, let her live her life, and you can get yours back

Claire - posted on 04/04/2009




simply answer dont pay for anything any more make her pay for it with her wages the real world will hit her hard enough it will make her realise what the real world is like and look after her money and life

Tabitha - posted on 04/04/2009




I am 24 years old with a 5 month old a 2 year old and getting married in two weeks today. I remember what it was like to be 19 as it wasn't that long ago! But if I were in your shoes I would start taking things away such as paying for her phone car insurance and what not. don't let her fall flat on her face but give her a couple things at a time to adjust to taking care of her own finances and making sure she can survive on what she earns instead of depending on you for hand outs.

Peggy - posted on 04/04/2009




It's funny that the main answer here is the same one my husband and I are leaning towards. We opened the credit card for her, it's a secured card, we are trying to get her to build her credit. She has a checking account with a debit card but she doesn't even keep a register, she basically just guesses what's in there and prays that everything clears. I have a sinking feeling that she wants to drop out of school which crushes me, of course she will be the first one in the family of all the grandkids to do so. All she has to do is find something else that interests her while she is in college and switch majors so we don't lose everything and she gets some kind of degree, x ray tech, respiratory therapist, something that has to do with the medical field. She's pretty much lost this whole year. We live in NY so insurance for her is going to be astronomical plus she's had a few tickets...ugh:( The $50 every two weeks is supposed to be for rent but like I said always an excuse. She is a great help sometimes around the house as we have a 6 yr old son as well. She usually helps the most when she wants something. She also has a CD that I match what goes into it every month which is $40 that is coming due in Aug. She knows she is not going to be able to touch that!!! I guess the first step will be to see how much it will cost for her to get her own insurance if she drops out of school. Thanks for all your answers, they have been a great help

Elecia - posted on 04/04/2009




Well considering I was 19 not that long ago, and hindsight is 20/20 PLUS i have had the "privelege" of witnessing financial irresponsibility of a sibling living with me, here is what I would do (and my parents should have done)

First, do you charge her rent? It would probably be a good idea to charge a small amount every week that you can put in a savings account IN YOUR NAME with the understanding that it will not be touched until she has her own place and it will pay for her down payment or security deposit.

Second, TAKE THE CARD AWAY! lol! If she wants a card, she should apply for her own (though if she is bad with money this could ruin her credit, as it did mine) or SHE canstart putting money into a prepaid card (unless she earns an allowance which you could then put toward that card).

Third, do NOT give her unearned money. Unless she is helping you around the house, she should not be allowed to "borrow" money from Mom. This works for both of you because you get some (probably much needed) help, and she learns how to keep a house (which is something my parents never did, and I still need work on)

I understand there were probably things you told her you would take care of as long as she is a student (as most parents do) obviously, stick to that because she needs to trust you. But when she is no longer a student, allow a grace period for her to take responsibility for those things herself.

Most important of all, if you do any or all of these things, STICK TO YOUR GUNS! I remember very vividly how manipulative a 19 year old girl can be. (watch out for the pouting to daddy, make sure he is on board to). It will be hard because you don't want to see her fail, but trust me, sometimes, it takes a big reality check. When you are out on your own in the world, Mommy and Daddy can't always make it all better. Best she learns it now while still under your roof than when she gets out there.

Also TEACH her how to handle money, does she know how to balance a checkbook? Does she actually go through the process of paying her own bills. Is everything in her name so if she screws up it doesn't hurt you?

If you are interested, my husband and I took a course at our church about finances, and it was a real eye opener. They also have materials to use to teach your kids as they grow so you can start with any younger ones now. The man who does the course is Dave Ramsey. You may have heard of him. I have all the stuff so if you would like it, I would be happy to send it your way.

Hope this helps! I would hate to see your daughter have to go through the worries I did at her age. But they do come around...I can promise that :-) You just need to create the opportunity now.

Amy - posted on 04/04/2009




Stop paying her bills. She's not going to learn how to save if she's not hit with the reality of what it actually costs to get by in life. My oldest son is 19. Works full time. I don't support him financially in any way. He knows how to budget his money to get the "extras" that he wants.

Kristy - posted on 04/04/2009




OMG...I have soooo been there!!  First you have to cut her off finacially.  Hard to do but a must! After all she wants to be an adult, treat her like one. The cell phone should be the first thing to stop paying for.  And take away the credit card!  If she can't pay cash for it AFTER her bills are paid, she doesn't need it. Tell her since she is flunking school anyway that next semester she can stay at home as long as she has a full time job with benefits and that if and when she decides what she wants to be when she grows up, you can discuss financial options then.  Then take charge of her paycheck.  Sit down with her and make a budget.  If she can't show her responsibility in the next month, take her check and do it for her with her money.  I know this sounds rough, but beleive me when I tell you she needs to get a grip now!  We were assisting our daughter at one point also, and she got us so in debt, we are still getting creditors calling......she is now 26 and masrried!  Trust me when I say this.  In this economical crunch she needs to have a reality check with old fashion tough love!  Show her your own finances if you have to.  Just remember, she should come last on the list now that she is a productive young adult.  This will be one of the hardest things that you have ever done, but your daughter will eventually respect you for this....mine did.  Good luck, let me know how it goes, and be ready for a world war!

[deleted account]

I don't think you need to throw her out of the house, but she is an adult. Cancel anything that is in your name and let her be responsible for anything that is in her name. There is no reason for you to pay her credit cards, cell phone, car insurance. That is crazy. She has an income, let her pay her bills. If she runs out of money once or twice she will see that she needs  to make better choices. 

I know we as parents often don't want to see our kids struggle or do without, but that is all part of learning. Without struggles and hardship we cannot grow.

[deleted account]

I have a 22 yr. old son, and have been dealing with the same issues. I am trying the tough love act. I don't pay for nothing! Is it working? He is realizing that he can't depend on his parents for hand outs and is cutting back on his spending. It's tough growing up and taking on responsibility. Let her swim, but be there for her if she sinks.

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