Dear Abby..

My oldest will be turning 20 on Monday. sigh. She's away at college. Since she was 16 she has had her own checking account. Managed it pretty well, if I do say so... until she got a debit card before going away to college. Now, I think she swipes that debit card and never records those transactions in her check register.
She currently gets $70 a week to cover her gas, her food, and her physical therapy. She lives in an apartment and gets only 5 meals at the dining hall, the rest she does on her own. Drives herself to therapy. Oh, and any "incidentals" she needs comes out of that $70 a week. Yes, we give her that money. No, my  parents never gave me money like that, but then again, I didn't need weekly physical therapy when I was in college or live in apartment housing either. Seems like a lot of people get their panties in a bunch to hear we give this kid this money. Well, as long as she is in college, we are going to continue to support her financially... to a certain degree. Not my fault my parents couldn't afford it, not my fault nobody's parents didn't do that for them either. Not like this kid is getting spoiled rotten...  she's getting some assistance from her parents. Period. Amazing how people react to that!
Anyway... right before Christmas... she overdrew her account with three stupid little purchases. The total overdraft was $12.43. The total in overdraft fees she lost was $90. I was quite upset. Thinking my husband would 'talk' to her, I told him. He turned to her and said, " Don't worry, I've done the same thing." So... his reaction says, in my opinion, "No big deal" ... at least in front of her. In private, he lets on how it annoyed him. No clue why he was trying to play "good cop/bad cop" with me on that. Anyway, I made it clear, she needs to get that check book balanced, and keep it balanced. I am not going to bail her out if she gets into financial trouble.
Her checking account is joint with my name on it, so it is linked electronically to mine, and when I log on to check my account, her account balance pops up right above mine.
Last week I discover she has overdrawn it again. For a $5.08 overdraft, she paid another $30 fee. I was pissed! Neither she nor we have the money to keep throwing $30 here and there out the window for overdraft fees on stupid little oversights. Five dollars? You're kidding me! How hard is it to keep track of just $70.00??? I sent a rather nasty email! She sent a nasty one back. Told me to mind my own business! She has it under control! 
Well, that left her balance at -$35. Add in her $70 weekly deposit,.. that would have brought her up to a total balance of +$35.Well, today I get on to see if my property tax check has been processed yet, and discover her account balance is only $14.00 now. .... and I know her therapy is $15.00 a visit.
So, my question is... do I let her know she has only $14 to last all week, or do I do as she asked, and mind my own business?

confused mom trying to do the right thing

PS... Wanted to take her out to dinner for her birthday, but with things being tense.... not sure what to do on that one, either!  Just pretend like nothings up?

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Feb. 2, 2008 at 11:17 PM Thats your money, and she is saying to mind your own business? I would cut the amount of money you give her a week, or stop all together. I am probably the same age as your daughter...if my mother gave me money for specific items I definetly would use it wisely, and keep track of it.

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Feb. 2, 2008 at 11:20 PM I think it is great that you are helping your daughter out with the $70 a week.  My folks helped me out my first year of college.  It's a tough time for a young person.  The overdraft thing sucks.  I was really anal about my money, so I didn't have that problem, but my hubby was the polar opposite.  We were constantly going into the red with the bank.  I think the only thing that saved us was he screwed up on a deposit thru the atm and the bank thought he was trying to be fraudulent and they took our atm cards away for about a year.  In that year, we learned how to live on using only cash and writing checks for our bills.  It taught us alot!

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Feb. 2, 2008 at 11:24 PM ok is this your post for us to comment on, or what, is it been sent to Abby?  you lost me, in my mind dad was right at christmas time, we all do it sooner or later, but now it is time to step back, keep giving the 70 a week, let her borrow from friends or who ever if it  gets down to it maybe for a week or two, let it be, if she is 60 over that gives her 10 for the week, thats on her, I know you are helping her, but she has to learn.

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Feb. 2, 2008 at 11:26 PM

If your agreement is to give her $70 a week, then that should also cover her overdraft fees. She won't starve to death! She will have to eat ramen noodles, etc. I did at college, with no $ from my parents. I also advise you to allow her to have her own account without your name on it to protect your own credit. You can still deposit $ into it, but, won't be able to check her balance or what she's spending her $ on. It will give you less headache and she will feel more independant, and your relationship just might improve!

I would still take her out on her birthday. Go ahead and celebrate your daughter! She knows she messed up and hopefully will make a better effort to get her checkbook in order.

Best of luck! 

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Feb. 2, 2008 at 11:29 PM You may not want to hear it but you asked-Stop giving her the 70 dollars weekly!  She has gotten comfortable knowing y'all will be there for her. Our oldest is 24 and lives in AL, her choice to go out of state.  She is the first in both families to attend a 4yr University, we are so proud.  But she learned the hard way, on her own about finances.  When she started working(at 16) she got a Victoria Secret credit card only to realize she she maxed it out quickly and it would take years to pay it off, but she did!  We refused to give her money towards that card, she charged it she can pay for it.  We tried to tell he not to do it, after paying if off she cut it up and no longer uses plastic.  We do not send her any money unless we choice to put a little in her account for her.  I suggest you take your name off the account and let her be responsible for it.  When she bounces a check and receives a letter stating she can and will be prosecuted if not paid, that may help her grow up some.  She needs to feel the burn in order to learn her lesson, I know it hurts mom.  Trust me the best thing you can do is let her learn the hard way, she won't make the same mistakes.  Our dtr is still in school (part time) working two jobs and supporting herself.  Her share of the rent alone is $400.00 a month plus utilities, food, gas, clothes,etc. I don't know how she does it but she is and we are so proud.  Don't ruin your credit because she is careless, you know your credit score is affected when you bounce a check.  Good luck my friend and feel free to msg anytime, I have alot of tough lessons learned to share if you like.  You can still love your daughter without financially supporting her, even if it is 70 bucks!  If you are concerned about her copay for PT why not just write a check to them off your own account just for that.

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Feb. 2, 2008 at 11:42 PM   ok I do agree with all of Bamamom001 but part of it is a good idea, you writing a check to them, you write it for 15, then subtract it from what you give her. then let it be on her own, if she dont have gas $, she will have to walk call a friend, or what ever she wishes

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Feb. 3, 2008 at 12:06 AM

No, I didn't really write this to dear Abby... that would probably take weeks to get a response! lol!

She has a $5,000 annual scholarship and is in the honors program.. needs a GPA of 3.25 to keep the scholarship, 3.5 to stay in the honors program, so I really don't want her running around with a part time job to earn a few hundred, at the expense of losing a few thousand in scholarship money. I worked part time in college, and I know it IS hard to juggle classes and a job, and my GPA was NOT 3.25!!!

Now.. paying for the therapy myself and reducing the $70 a week, that may work. If I could get my hands on the debit card, I would shred it and leave her with only cash!  Hmmm.....

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Feb. 3, 2008 at 12:18 AM

The mind your own business is uncalled're giving her the money and that makes it your business. however she is 20 yrs old. is she turning 21? if she is then she needs to get a part time job to cover the extras that she cant seem to pay for with the 70. Ask her if she has new expenses that she cant cover? Why is it that she is overdrawn now? because the price of things have risen? and I agree with getting her own account w/o your name on it to protect your credit. The fact that she is saying myob...has me wondering if she is stressed about it.(about something)  If she continues to overdraw her account maybe she doesnt need an account...just the cash or maybe a gift card type thing that when it's empty its empty no overdrawing. or just pay for the therapy....she needs to get a job to pay for everything else....

but yes still go out for dinner for her bday.


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Feb. 3, 2008 at 12:37 AM

She will be 20 on Monday....

and no, the price of things hasn't risen... it's called B  O  Y  F  R  I  E  N  D   ..... insert the word lazy in front of that , too while you're at it!


 I thought parenting was going to get EASIER!!

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Feb. 9, 2008 at 1:08 AM hey how is this situation going now?

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