Adult daughter keeps coming back to the "Bank of Mom"

My youngest is 27 with husband and 2 kids of her own (9yo and 2.5yo). She had her oldest as a teenager and is a wonderful mother but unfortunately doesn’t have a lot of financial sense. She tried university for a year but her problems with depression and anxiety really did her in so she quit and now her DH is back in school. Naturally funds are limited. Whenever there’s a shortfall (which is pretty often) she always comes to me, and I always give it to her. Usually it’s a small amount ($20-$40) sometimes more ($100 or more). Once nearly $1000 to help with moving expenses. But it’s adding up. They pay back some when they do have money but of course they then come up short a little while later.

I don’t begrudge these small amounts but I worry that I’m just enabling this behaviour, that if I didn’t help out she might get her act together and start planning a little better. On the other hand, she has a ****** job that barely pays minimum wage and I know they really struggle. Problem is, they really don’t have the skills to manage their money. We never had any money when she was growing up so she never learned how to deal with it. At 27 I can’t teach her anything any more. So do I close the bank or what?

Have you offered to help her learn financial management and she isn’t interested?

I think helping her and her husband learn this is really what needs to happen - it will make life a lot more enjoyable for them as well. There are organizations that do this, maybe you could offer to help set up an opportunity for them to see someone, as a gift?

Yes, close the bank.

Do so ahead of time, thoguh, not the next time she asks. Tell her now, there will be no more subsidies.

“She just doesn’t know how to manage her money” is an excuse. There are gobs of books and there are services that can teach her how. She has a husband, too, who can share responsibility. And he can also make some different choices regarding school, job, etc.

You are making excuses for her. Time to stop.

I think 1K3 is being a bit harsh. I think the main reason people continue to find themselves in these situations is that they find they cannot get ahead. Especially if they have some debt, they probably don’t have any emergency fund. So they borrow from Mom or use credit when those unexpected expenses come up.

And making a minimum wage job it can be really hard to find the cash for saving an emergency fund. And then people get overwhelmed, or they can’t see a way out of their situation.

Getting better qualified is good, but has short term cash flow implications. But sometimes a person needs someone to point them in the right direction and show them what they need to do.

Why not buy her Dave Ramsey’s book about financial planning and help her with that. If you can work on it with her that would be even better. Even not having money, one can learn how to work on a plan to budget. I took the course and shared the book with my daughter and daughter in law.

If she is earning minimum wage, then it isn’t a problem of irresponsible management; it is a career problem. She needs to look up information on Pell grants, food stamps, WIC, and other programs that can help her get out of poverty. Otherwise, if you can afford it I would cut her some slack and give her money until her husband graduates.

I think it’s also a factor of what the money is for.

If she’s irresponsible with the money she does have (buying luxuries, vacations, wild entertainment, drugs, etc.) then you are, indeed, enabling bad behaviors. Also, the DH has a responsibility for supporting his family, so if he’s in some way irresponsible you might be enabling him.

If she’s short of income (or down on her luck) and needs money to meet necessities like food, clothing, and shelter, then you are helping, not “enabling.” Especially if they are trying to get education(s) to put themselves on firmer financial footing, you may want to support them.

However, you probably should have a conversation with your daughter (and maybe the DH also). There should be an expectation that they work towards independence, and maybe a specific plan. If you expect repayment, you should make sure that’s understood.

That’s not an easy decision.

Now if you were enabling her financial irresponsibility, or drug use etc that’s a strong consideration to stop for her own good. On the other hand if you can afford it, sure why not? If she’s in need you should help your daughter.

I know it can get frustrating but I’ve seen other relationships crater over a few dollars and know of folks in your position that wished they could have done things differently.

If it were me…I sleep on it some more and pray for guidance.

I have a sister in a similar situation but she did not have her kids out of wedlock.

I admit I am a bit resentful of the fact she often asks my parents for a lot more things, and they give give give to her. I wish sometimes they would put a brake on the constant financial help. I don’t mind if they get her or the kids items from garage sales that they need as she cannot get to them as often as my parents can. I think they do so because she has kids. I know she is trying to get her education finished so she can get a better job, but I wished she would have done that 10 years ago not now. I know she works part time and gets some government aid but she could have fixed things years ago.

But I should be thankful that I am self sufficient, and seldom have need to ask. The aid I got back from my parents years ago was repaid years ago.

So parents should reduce the aid, and encourage self sufficiency on her part & cut down on luxury items like cable, vacationing, expensive items/services. etc.

If I were you, I do like some others have said, and tell her in advance that you were no longer going to loan her, she needs to learn to take care of her own finances. Perhaps direct her to a financial literacy class? Some places give them for free as part of adult ed programs.

If that is not an option, perhaps get someone she respects like an aunt, uncle, or grandparent to talk to her about financial responsibility. Sometimes is is better received if not coming from mom.

She really needs a trade or a skill. Through FAFSA, she could probably find the loans, if not grants, to get a usable technical skill such as fixing hair or secretarial duties. This will never make her rich, but get her out of poverty and her patterns of reliance. Before all of this happens, she needs to learn how to manage money, or it will inevitably fail.

I really it works out for her :-/ It can be difficult to get out of that cycle, but it’s certainly doable.

Hair dressing, unless you own your own salon and have clientele, won’t earn you squat. Most stylists have to start out by renting a chair in a salon, and pay for their own product. Your equipment is over $1000 to get you started, and until you have clientele, you’re in the hole every month. Then there’s you certifications and journeyperson testing/certification costs.

My sister-in-law is a hair dresser. She’s very skilled and had a huge clientele, but when she had to move, she lost all her clientele, and had to re-take her journeypersons exam because the state she moved to didn’t recognize her Canadian journeyperson certificate, and get a regulations certificate. There were days when she went to work all day and didn’t make any money.

I haven’t found this to be true where I am located. Many single moms are cosmetologists because they said the overhead was fairly low, and they will never make bank, but they certainly make enough to support themselves and their child. And besides, that was just an example. She needs a usable skill, and she didn’t succeed in University so she might need a shorter running program. :shrug: Regardless, she needs to make better than minimum wage, which is hard to do without either an associates degree or a 4-year.

My :twocents: about hairdressing, or whatever occupation for that matter …

If the Holy Spirit leads your daughter into hairdressing, or into some other field of work, I would say she should go for it and not be discouraged.

Three years ago when I lost a good full-time permanent normal desk job, I prayed about what to do. The answer I received was not what I expected … it was to go and sell my pictures at a resort island. Keep in mind that I had no idea whatsoever how to do something like this! I just knew that God apparently wanted me to do it, so I would do whatever I could to follow this path.

Now I’m an artist whose work has been featured in juried exhibitions in five art galleries … one of which is actually a museum.

And guess what? The good Lord has blessed me with a new full-time permanent normal desk job … which I got partly because the hiring manager was impressed with the sales I’ve made through my online art store.

So your daughter whom we’re talking about in this thread currently has a minimum wage job. If she has a talent or ability that God wants her to share with the world, be it hairdresser or anything else, my advice would be for her to visit the nearest Eucharistic Adoration Chapel, ask Jesus for guidance as to His Will for her life, and then follow God’s Will as best she can.

Praying for your daughter to find a better-paying job that makes use of her talents and abilities,

~~ the phoenix

I recommend that you work with your daughter to find someone who is good with money - could be a financial planner but could also just be a friend or relative who is good at stretching a dollar. Have your daughter get all her financial records together and meet together to figure out how much she has coming in on a monthly basis. Then make a budget for all her regular expenses plus savings.

Target the problem areas - which include her working for minimum wage and more importantly, her husband not earning enough to support the family. Look at whether there is another way they can earn more, and just how much more then need to earn to get by.

They need to strip out any extras so they can put something, even if it’s only $10 or $20 a week, into savings in case of unexpected costs like a car repair.

They need a plan to increase their income and the ideas posited earlier of a Pell grant, etc. are good. I was able, as a single mom (with a bachelors degree already - but in a non-marketable field currently) to obtain a government grant simply by talking to my community college, going to a one hour meeting and filling out a one page form, to get my full tuition and books and expenses covered by a government program to become a paralegal. Jobs are tight and mine isn’t perfect, but I went from earning nothing to earning $40,000 a year in one year. Community colleges are a tremendous resource and your daughter should get trained in a skill that pays better - even strong computer skills can get $15 plus an hour in temporary jobs, which often end up as permanent assignments with full benefits.

In the meantime I would suggest you also figure out what you can afford to do to help the family, with no expectation of being paid back, but with a definate termination deadline so they know by X date, they must be financially independent of you. Terminate the emergency bailouts so they are forced to figure that out on their own, but if you can perhaps cover some specific expense for them each month to help out, with the expectation that they continue to share and review their budget with you monthly and show the progress they are making by committing to the plan, I think it’s a reasonable thing for a family member who is able to do. Perhaps on the condition of your daughter or her husband being in school and earning at least Bs, you will pay their electric and gas for two years. Or maybe you will provide the children’s clothing and one park activity for each child per session - whatever works for you. If you cannot afford to help them financially, then that’s a reality you have to share. Your son in law might have to get a second job, such as delivering pizzas in the evenings.

If there is no plan, this will never end. The key is not to make them feel criticized, but rather just that you want the best for them - and you want them to have less struggle than you had yourself.

+Amen . . . a young working mother with two children (one in school :popcorn: and one just a tod:tada:dler), school and work and babysitting schedules to adhere to and coordinate, a household to maintain, laundry, cooking and marketing, etc., and a husband who is a university student :coffeeread: trying to get ahead and build the foundation for a good future life for his family . . . :juggle: . . . **WOW! **. . . that’s a **really busy ** and really exhausting life . . . :coolinoff: . . . for anyone of any age.

As parents we need to be especially sensitive in love to our own family members who have needs that may well outstrip their incomes and strength and abilities to cope both emotionally and financially on occassion . . . I’d be far more concerned as a parent as to whether she was able to handle all the demands and stress she has on her time in her hardworking life . . . than I would be with the need now and again for a little financial help . . . the type of financial help you described is very normal for a married university student’s household overflow needs . . . living on such a low income level can be a real strain . . . and compassionate help from parents with generous hearts :heart: during the struggle to make their way in life at a time like this can be such a blessing . . . and it is an act of mercy to help those in need . . . expecially family . . . whenever there is a** legitimate** need you are neither spoiling nor enabling them . . .

When our kids are going through the building/starting-out times during their twenties . . . very often they cannot make it altogether on their own . . . and they may need quite a bit of support and encouragement for a time . . . emotional as well as material . . . just remember . . . *this time too will pass . . . *


[quote]“The quality of mercy

is not strained; it droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath. It is twice blessed - it blesseth him that gives, and him that takes.”* - William Shakespeare*


*God bless . . . *

[RIGHT]. . . all for Jesus+
. . . Lord bless one and all in this situation+
. . . thank You Dear Saviour our Wonderful God+[/RIGHT]

Believe me, I know it’s hard to refuse your child, but I think you’re going to have to gently but firmly guide her away from borrowing money from you, for her own good as well as yours. I think a little tough love is in order at this point, and she’ll be grateful to you in the future. Otherwise, this pattern of behavior will not only continue indefinitely but might increase. The fact she never had much money when she was a child does not necessarily mean she could not have learned the value of money; in fact, children who grow up poor are often taught the value of money better than those who come from more affluent families. So I have to wonder about your own skills at money management and whether she perhaps learned by observation. Please realize I’m not saying this in an accusatory way, but rather in order to help both you and your daughter, as well as her husband. I’m also speaking from my personal experience. One suggestion I would make is to get in touch with Suze Orman (you may already be familiar with her TV show and the books she has written on money management). She has a website online and offers helpful tools to people who are having difficulties managing their finances.

as mentioned, so long as their is no sin or addiction involved (gambing, drugs,etc.) i think formerlysure’s advice of** timeline and plan **is good advice.

additionally, consider also offering a once monthly babysitting night and a coupe of free passes to the movies or a gift card to a local restaurant like RubyTuesdays or something.
getting on track with small kids, job and underemployment is really draining. dave ramsey says pay yourself. there’s good reason for this advice. it helps people not feel crushed and hopeless. if they’re really trying to live the plan, you can provide this small respite for them.

Sure you can still teacher your kid. At present you’re teaching her that she doesn’t need to learn to manager her money because she can go to you when she’s short on funds. Now you have to teach her that that’s got to stop, that she and her husband must learn to manage their own money.

There is some fantastic money-managing software and apps out there, so you might show her those. You could encourage her to take a money management adult education class, if such a beast exists in her area. Put her in touch with another woman who’s really good at bleeding a dollar dry.

And, you might have to say ‘no’ more than a few times and deal with the subsequent drama.

However you chose to approach this, once you’ve taught you daughter that she needs to stand on her own two financial feet, you’ve have given her a tremendously powerful gift.

It would seem that your daughter is serious about paying you back, as she does make the effort at times. If you are financially able to help, I’d wait until the husband is throuigh school before refusing to help financially. If he is working in a good position to support his family, then I would question the need to supplement their income. Until then there appears to be a real need. The call is yours. You can see how sincere your daughter and her husband are.

Is it helping at all that bothers you or is it the giving of money? If it’s the ‘cash’ that bothers you, can you give grocery or gas gift cards instead? (or whatever the need is)

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