Two thousand pounds spent in first 8 weeks at uni !! What the hell on ??

(30 Posts)
AandAmom Thu 08-Nov-12 17:36:04

Have posted on here about being worried my dd1 may be taking drugs/legal high. Now found out she has not only spent the thousand pounds she had in her bank when she went to uni (her money) but also got herself an overdraft and has a thousand spent from that !! Found out when a ten pound dd she pays to me weekly for her car insurance didnt go in so I opened the letter that came to her the same day. I am horrified and can only think it must be on drugs. Her rent is paid and we sent her loads of food when she started so not on that, even if it was that's an awful lot. Called her and she firstly denied it then said she has been going out a lot - she is home tomorrow and I have told her I want the truth. Help ! I am at my wits end.

PandaNot Thu 08-Nov-12 17:41:13

I think it is very easy as a student going out every night to be spending that kind of money. She may well be eating out every night and spending a lot on clothes etc too.

Stay calm! My brother did this in first term at uni- suddenly he had money in his pocket and no-one noticing what he was doing and he went off the leash. Unless you have any other reasons to suspect, I doubt it will be drugs- it will be lots of clubbing, eating out, buying new stuff. Eight weeks for two thousand pounds is £250 a week and I bet is is easy to spend that on a few nights out a week clubbing and eating out with a few new things to wear thrown in.

The important thing is where you take it from here. She will know she has messed up, but you need to work with her to work out how she is now going to survive the rest of term without getting into too much more debt. Tell her that whilst it wasn't wise, you can understand how tempting it is to be able to go out/party etc. Help her to plan a budget etc I think it is important to keep the lines of communication open- if you just go off the deep end she will end up doing her own thing, hiding what is happening and probably doing even dumber things with credit cards/ further debt etc

She also needs to feel you are treating her like an adult- even one who has made a bit of mess of things- so please don't open her post as that will undermine her feeling that she can trust you.

AandAmom Thu 08-Nov-12 19:22:37

Thank you schoolchauffeur and pandanot you have put things in perspective, I know I shouldn't have opened her post but I have been suspicious for a while as to what is going on. We are on our own tomorrow so will sit her down and chat properly re managing her money, getting a part time job etc. she has only got the thousand pound overdraft so I know she can't go over that, will gt her to cancel the so to me so no more charges and she can pay me that back when she has earnt some money and a bit straighter.

biscuitracer Thu 08-Nov-12 22:28:13

overpriced coffee
alcohol
eating out at dinner time
narcotics
subway
special clothes from boutiques
becoming a lesbian
finding herself
ridiculous hats
dreadlocks

flow4 Thu 08-Nov-12 23:31:35

becoming a lesbian ?!?! grin
My mind is boggling trying to imagine how that could possibly cost money! After all, sex is one of the very few things in life that women can generally get for free unless they're frumpy middle-aged single parents like me grin

flow4 Thu 08-Nov-12 23:49:05

Seriously though AandA, if you have never before had any reason to think your DD might be using drugs, I think it's highly unlikely she'd start now. She'll be excited, motivated and will have lots to do - so unless she has an existing problem, she'll have no reason to start and lots of reasons not to.

All the items others have listed are much more likely smile

One note of caution... There is a newish drug that I personally think all parents of teenagers should know about, but generally don't. It is called m-cat/miao-miao/mephedrone, and it is becoming widely available in the UK. It is extremely compulsive, so although it isn't particularly expensive, a young person who gets started on it can spend a shocking amount in a short period of time (my own DS spent around £1000 in 5 weeks sad ) -buying it and other things that become irresistibly tempting when they're off their heads on it.

Again, I emphasise that it's unlikely your DD has started taking it, but if she has, I think you will be able to tell. It has a characteristic smell - nasty citrus - a bit like loo cleaner/de-scaler - which users sweat out of their pores. It makes them look ill - clammy, spotty, glazed-bright-eyed and flushed. It gives mood swings - very happy shortly after taking it, then a crash/very low mood when it starts to wear off. It also has other marked behavioural effects that you would soon notice - it's a dis-inhibitor (users do things they wouldn't normally do) and because they spend so much money on it, users often steal, so you would quickly notice money going missing. More info here if you need it... But I hope you don't! smile

scarlettsmummy2 Thu 08-Nov-12 23:55:25

Highly unlikely to be drugs, more likely to be on food and booze! Has she made friends with wealthy students- maybe ex public school types?

piprabbit Thu 08-Nov-12 23:58:04

Some students even spend a few pounds on books and stuff for their courses, as well as alcohol and takeaways.

izzywizzyisbizzy Thu 08-Nov-12 23:58:58

MCat - drug of choice amongst teens here so I am told, why I ask myself?

Re your DD, clubbing alone would do £2000 in 2 months,

NewNames Fri 09-Nov-12 00:06:52

Very easy to spend the money if you have it and if it's her first taste of freedom and spare cash, even more so!

When her funds run lower she will be forced to budget. I, for example, was terrible with money at that age but quickly learned where and when to go to still get pissed and have a good time when the pennies ran out!

Don't open her post though. Perhaps a 'How are you getting on with money?' will do but monitoring her every move will do nothing but question trust.

And it's probably not drugs. Most kids don't do them smile

NamingOfParts Fri 09-Nov-12 12:47:35

Please dont open her post again. My DM did this to me and I have never forgiven her. It felt like such a huge betrayal.

She is a grown up now. If she has got herself into a bit of a mess then make it clear that she can come to you for advice but that is it. If she spent a thousand of her own savings then really that isnt your business. If she is going to pay the overdraft back herself then that too is her own business. The only bit you have rights over is asking her when she is going to pay you the money she owes you.

wordfactory Fri 09-Nov-12 12:52:53

Has she bought loads of new clothes?

Some students suddenly want to look like the 'in' crowd and run out a buy stuff. Those flowery DMs are £100 a pop.

Beamur Fri 09-Nov-12 12:55:09

She is an adult, but this kind of behaviour does highlight she is still in need of some maturity.
The post is open, the damage done, but it's in the open now.
Be supportive, but limit your bail out - she needs to learn and gain from helping herself out of this hole.
Yes, money can be spent like water easily - there are lots of ways, but I think you're right to be wary that it going on drugs. They were easily obtainable when I was at Uni 20 years ago and I'd imagine it's just as easy and there's more choice now. Lots of kids do do drugs - including some lovely, intelligent and responsible ones I know myself.

Indith Fri 09-Nov-12 13:07:23

Soooo many students spend all their money in the first term! It is perfectly normal. For most it is the first time they have ever had to budget, it seems like such a huge amount of money they suddenly have in their bank account that they can't comprehend how little it actually amounts to per week if it is to last until the start of the next term and the new student loan payment. You have freshers with everyone going out all the time and you can't help but join in and drink too much, eat out too much and so on. There is the temptation to graba coffee several times a day, it is the first time they have had complete control over what they eat all day every day so probably far too many bought lunches because they don't have the right stuff in to make a packed lunch. Then you have the fact that freshers have not discovered the library yet so buy everything on their reading lists which amounts to a few hundred!

She may find it easier to open another account, maybe an instant access saver and then unse online banking so she can pop her student loan straight into the saver when it comes in and transfer £x per week into her current account to help her to keep track, afterall keeping track of how much you have to spend per week for a whole term is hard enough for an adult used to budgeting let along a fresher.

AandAmom Fri 09-Nov-12 13:49:37

Had a bit of a chat to her this mornin, she admitted she is going out all the time and also that she takes MCAT - devastated she is messing with drugs but she can't seem to see any problem !! Says she is going o get a job and sort herself out and that I need to butt out !! I know the bank won't increase her overdraft so until she does get some work she won't have any money for drugs/booze. Have sent her by email a lot of info from FRANK on recreational drugs. Been and bought her a bag of food so she can eat. Me and her dad are divorced so dont know whether to tell him or not, she is going to see him later.

izzywizzyisbizzy Fri 09-Nov-12 14:59:02

Tell him - it's out of line to keep him in the dark when the chances are she will tap him for money.

izzywizzyisbizzy Fri 09-Nov-12 14:59:46

Plus you arE both her parents

flow4 Fri 09-Nov-12 17:15:25

Sorry to hear about the m-cat. It is a nasty drug, and yet young people don't seem to see it as a problem until it's really messing with their lives and behaviour.

Ask her how many times a week she's taking it. If it's just weekends, she is probably keeping it under control. If it's more often, it is going to start to affect her life quite quickly.

If she's taking a lot, I have 2 bits of advice, based on hindsight...

1) Don't bail her out. She needs to see how much she's spending on m-cat - it is likely to rise very steeply because it's so compulsive - £40-80/night is not unusual sad If you give her money, it will allow her to avoid/ignore the scale of the problem for longer. She needs to understand that taking m-cat means no treats, no new clothes, no food eventually sad

2) Keep an eye on your purse and other valuables. I'm afraid that many young people on m-cat start stealing. sad Better safe than sorry.

babesdontlie Fri 09-Nov-12 17:28:23

We have a daughter at uni doing fashion and design - this is where all her money and more goes:

clothes
shoes
drinking out
drinking in
clubbing
make up and toiletries
nandos
bits and pieces for courses/projects
takeaways
foreign holiday every year

We take food parcels every time we visit and have tried to explain about budgets etc but apparently she knows best.

I spent lots on joining societies - £10 membership fee each club plus £10 insurance a year for each sport!! That wiped me out a bit as well as books and lots of socialising! Spent £1500 before December that was 2007 and I'd say I was more sensible than others!

AandAmom Fri 09-Nov-12 17:42:40

Have told her dad, we have both agreed to keep an eye on her and deinately no money. It's her birthday in a few weeks and we are both going to buy her clothes and take labels out so she can't take them back for refund of money to spend on mcat. Thank you everyone for your input you are keeping me sane and putting lots of things in perspective. She is the first of anyone in our families to go to uni so never knew what to expect.

flow4 Sat 10-Nov-12 08:16:21

Sounds like you're handling it alright. smile It is hard when you can't 'fix' things any more, but just have to find the 'least worst' option...

Two boys from near us died last year after taking M-Cat sad.

jshibbyr Sat 10-Nov-12 19:00:43

from living last year as a student and meeting sooooo many people (i'm now second year and am obviously very responsible now) drugs is the biggest thing i met last year, i never took them coz i'm against all of it, but weed and m-cat was everywhere, security at halls turned a blind eye, so i'm not suprised she's taking m-cat but as others have said, make sure she knows the dangers so many said to me 'but its harmless it just gives you a bit of a buzz c'mon try it you'll love it'

but yes clubbing i know most people will go out with £200+ and spend it all thinking it wasn't enough even when the entry to the place is only £1. teach her to budget and get her to open a savings account (just an everyday type one) where her loan goes straight into that ones its in her account, and then the amount that's been budgeted for the week is put into her main account every say sunday (i do online banking and have taught a lot of friends this who couldn't budget and spent all there money straight away)

she now doesn't have much money to live off, let that be a lesson to her, we all have to learn somehow, might be hard for you to let her learn stuff the hard way, but you can't bail her out.

Oh your DD isn't the worst... i knew someone that got into about 10 grand in debt her first year alone with credit cards, overdraphts ect, now that takes some skill to spend that much on clothes and booze

LongTimeLurking Sat 10-Nov-12 19:11:02

Junk food & Alcohol. You would be shocked at the amount students can spend on one night out; £150 easily. Yes I bet some of the money has gone on the 'm-cat' but I bet a lot has just got frittered away; i.e. she probably isn't a 'junkie'.

Apart from opening her post (big invasion of privacy & illegal too) you are doing the right things. Don't bail her out with money but do give lessons on money management and perhaps bail out with food/clothes if really necessary.

Hopefully she will come to her senses before failing the first year at uni and having to resit....

TeenageWildlife Mon 12-Nov-12 12:47:29

Stop bailing her out. Speak to your ex so that you are both guiding her together. Quite honestly, I am not surprised this happened - her rent and her food was paid so this was "pocket money". Keep her up to still owing you £10 a week for her insurance - that way you will know if she has any money and teach her responsibility. and you will not need to look into her post - a disgraceful action!
Teach her to budget. If she runs out of money it will be a very big lesson - hard, but important.

I shared a house with a lad at university who went out one night for a bottle of wine and came back with a Nintendo... you do stupid things when you first have spare money.

Can you sit down with her and talk about budgetting - not "what have you done" but "this is what you'll have to spend whilst you get out of this"

AuntFini Mon 12-Nov-12 20:59:54

Oh dear. I did this back when I had my first year of uni. It just went on food/booze/nights out. Just used to withdraw £20 from the bank all the time.
My mum was fuming when she found out, petrified, like you, that I'd taken drugs or something. I just was too young really.

She got me a new account (not student) and I had to pay my loan to her. Then she used to put in £65 a week into my account (that way I had money in the holidays as well). She made me get a job and all wages went right into paying off my overdraft for my student account (she cut up my card).

It was the best thing that could have happened, although some would say heavy handed treatment for someone who is 19! I was unhappy and homesick and didn't know how to budget properly. Bless her, I remember my mum calling me and I felt so sick, thought she would really hate me forever. Looking back it's silly really, 2 grand isn't loads and loads of money in the scheme of things. The important thing is to ensure she doesn't do it again, and she can be open with you in future, as a friend of mine at uni got a terrible loan as she was in debt and too afriad to tell her parents. It all spiralled totally out of control.

CrazyDaizy Thu 22-Nov-12 19:22:30

What do you mean "becoming a lesbian?"

Why should that cost money?

As for money, they don't realise (until you tell them) exactly how much they are spending. My daughter got through £260 in the first week. She was as shocked as we were when we told her. My hubby (as agreed with daughter) has access to her Bank account so we can keep track. She has LOADS of nights out so it's not surprising.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now