Advanced search

Adult daughter in debt - advice please.

(33 Posts)
xpc316e Wed 14-Feb-18 16:05:31

I have a soon to be 25 year old step-daughter who is constantly broke and asking for handouts.

She has a graduate-entry job in recruitment in London where she lives in a shared house. Her monthly outgoings are not high, although we haven't actually sat down and talked through her budget, and she is not a frivolous spender. She has the usual student debt after her degree.

She has lived away from home for just over a year and we don't see her very much, although we skype and message often. She has had quite a few loans (amounting to just under a grand) from me over the past year and for last Xmas I wrote them off as a gift. Her wages seem to last for a shorter period each month - this month she'd run out of money on the 8th. Yet again, I stepped up to the plate and bailed her out.

She has a boyfriend who has just moved to Manchester, so she is in a long-distance relationship. We've met the boyfriend just once and he seems like a really nice chap.

My chief concern is whether her money is being spent on drugs of some kind. I have chatted to my pal and my idea is to try to get her to come home for a weekend, and arrange a time to discuss her budget/finances with a promise that her Mum and I will not explode over anything we are told. That sounds like a sensible thing to do, but do you wise women have any other suggestions about angles and approaches that we could adopt?

Her Mum seems less worried than I am, but that may be because I am the source of most of the bailouts and perhaps unwisely have pledged to my daughter that her situation is private. I have another another step-daughter, aged 23, still living at home, who is very quick to bring up any imbalance between the way she and her older sister are treated. If she knew, it would a case of 'Why aren't you giving me money too?'

Don't get me wrong: I am happy to support her, because that is what parents are supposed to do, but I am not overflowing with cash myself and will retire in April. Money for me will then be somewhat tighter, and I may not be able to fund her.

Any help and advice would be gratefully received.

Fairylea Thu 15-Feb-18 19:36:55

Slightly off topic but I don’t think I’ve ever spent so much on food in my life as when I was a vegan for 2 years. If you do it properly a lot of the replacement foods are expensive - nuts, seeds, berries, soya stuff, vegan “cheese” and other substitutes and vegan ice cream (yep you don’t need those but who wants to live without treats?!) are all SO expensive!

needmysleep75 Thu 15-Feb-18 15:51:40

It will be going on going out at that age. I've just had my DS23 move home after getting himself in a mess financially. After we sat and looked through his outgoings it wasn't living expenses/food/clothes it was the nights out that had caused the issues. And if I'm honest with you knowing you will bail her out has meant she doesn't need to change. Sit her down tell her straight there will be no more money, ask if you can help her with a budget but at her age you can't insist on her telling you her financial dealings.

FucksakeCuntingFuckingTwats Wed 14-Feb-18 20:21:39

Just want to say you sound like a great parent.

GardenGeek Wed 14-Feb-18 20:18:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

xpc316e Wed 14-Feb-18 20:16:21

To be clear, she isn't living in the lap of luxury; she is sharing a house with a whole bunch of people in Camberwell. Her money doesn't go on clothes. In fact, her wardrobe is old and she wears stuff that she has had for ages. She perfected the art of eating cheaply when at Uni and doesn't exist on takeaways. She is a vegan who is lactose-intolerant, so ends up making her own food for the majority of the time. She has always had jobs: even when at school she had weekend jobs in shops and later waitressing in pubs, so she isn't a spoilt little brat who thinks money grows on trees. She has a good track record, so you can perhaps understand my concerns about where the cash is going.

I have chatted to her Mum tonight and we are in agreement about the sit down budget chat and the withdrawal of support unless it is an emergency.

I very much appreciate getting your perspectives on the situation, so a big 'thank you' to everyone who has taken time to tell me what they think.

Elle8989 Wed 14-Feb-18 20:01:16

Has your sd not explained already where your money is going. It seems she's pushing it asking for money but not saying it's for this or that. It seems she is heavily reliant on you yet has all the freedom to spend it on what she sees fit. I'd definitely want to know exactly what it was for and why she has run out of money. You say she's not a frivolous spender but you don't know what's she's spending it on.

Once you have sat down and have a clearer understanding then you can help her budget plus see if she is taking the micky or genuinely just got herself in a pickle with living in London with low wages and high rent. Or it might be she hasno more expensive cocktails! I hope she realises how lucky she is you helping out so you can continue living in London.

She should also understand about your retirement and that you need to be watching your own money so you feel secure for a rainy day.

GeorgeTheHippo Wed 14-Feb-18 19:57:00

Yes, and they can spend an awful lot on nights out. You do need to stop bailing her out. She needs to learn to adult now.

AdaColeman Wed 14-Feb-18 19:28:42

While I think the pre paid supermarket shop is a nice idea, it should be a last resort, only used in an extreme situation.

She must learn to stand on her own feet and be a grown up now.

CheesecakeAddict Wed 14-Feb-18 19:25:41

And just to be clear, I don't mean just continue supporting her for ever and ever, I mean if you have to help

CheesecakeAddict Wed 14-Feb-18 19:23:59

Some graduate entry jobs are terribly paid, I saw some about 4 years back that were 17k p.a. that would just about cover rent and bills with not a lot left over for transport or food.

I really think your idea of sitting down with her is a good one and if you feel she's splurging on unnecessary stuff, then could you give her the money in form of supermarket voucher, or do her online shop for her, pay her bills over the phone etc

Iflyaway Wed 14-Feb-18 19:09:37

I'm sorry but you are far too involved in her life.

Let her get on with it and stop bailing her out. You are not doing her any favours. Really.

Better to concentrate on your future retirement and the brilliant days ahead of you that you can plan however you want.

K1092902 Wed 14-Feb-18 18:41:32

There is a very simple solution OP. Stop bailing her out- the more you do the more she will ask. As far as is concerned she has a free meal ticket because she knows you will put your hand in your pocket.

You don't know what she is spending it on. It could be drugs. She could be going out and buying designer jeans every month because she knows she can get away with it. The best thing you can do is sit her down like you have already thought and get her to write everything down and then work out where she can make cut backs from there.

London is expensive- you say she is flatsharing but are we talking with 6 others in Tottenham or a 2 bed luxury penthouse in Hampstead? There's a big difference.

Can also see where your other step daughter I coming from to be honest.

If she is genuinely in the shit then by all means help her out- but I wouldn't do it without some sort of proof (i.e. council sending threatening letters due to unpaid council tax for example)

fearfultrill Wed 14-Feb-18 18:32:47

How much is she paying in rent? When I lived in London as a young graduate living with friends 73% of my monthly income went on rent. Then about £160 on commute. I went into my savings every single month.

Could it be the general cost of living in London?

PrincessHairyMclary Wed 14-Feb-18 17:49:26

If she's broke maybe organise a supermarket delivery with basics so you know she's eaten but don't give any more cash.

riledandharrassed Wed 14-Feb-18 17:42:05

Ps I think your suggestion is good

riledandharrassed Wed 14-Feb-18 17:41:49

I’m her age . Have worked in recruitment . It’s party lifestyle quite often !

Tell her to get money dashboard - set it up and look at where money is going. Brunch, Uber and eating out a lot really add up down here and don’t I know it .

Is she getting monthly commission or quarterly? Is she “billing” at work as we say. She should be able to live of her basic salary.

Redglitter Wed 14-Feb-18 17:41:27

You're not helping her. There's no incentive whatsoever forger to manage her money when she knows she only has to ask and you'll bail her out.

Time to start saying no. If she runs out of money that her problem not yours

DancesWithOtters Wed 14-Feb-18 17:36:41

Stop bailing her out. Of course she will overspend if you then top her up.

Tell her if she's starving you're happy to get a Tesco delivery sent to her with tins of beans, bread and pasta. But no more cash.

AdaColeman Wed 14-Feb-18 17:34:55

Stop bailing her out.

Don't write off any more money that she owes you.

Offer help such as MSE website, Stepchange to clear her debts, advice on budgets and keeping to them.

xpc316e Wed 14-Feb-18 17:25:20

Thanks for your opinions. I can see exactly how my financial assistance leads to more problems, but it is hard when she is skint. On balance though, I think the bet way forward is for my help to be in the form of sitting down with her and working out a sustainable budget.

Floralnomad Wed 14-Feb-18 16:49:38

I think you need to simply sit her down and explain that after you retire there will be no further handouts , and ask her if she needs help to look at her budget and how best to manage it .

Lemongingertea80 Wed 14-Feb-18 16:48:07

Once you start funding someone's debt it will continue until you stop funding it. That it because the hard lessons around managing money can't be learned if someone is continually bailing you out and financing your rash decisions.

I have adult relatives who are still being bailed out by their parents age 30 plus.

GeorgeTheHippo Wed 14-Feb-18 16:46:33

I think your plan is a good one and you have thought of everything. Is she well dressed, glamorously made up, does she have coloured hair? All of these can add up, it needn't be drugs. Good luck.

AnneLovesGilbert Wed 14-Feb-18 16:44:02

Stop bailing her out. She’s a wage earning adult and she’s never going to learn fiscal responsibility when you keep sending her cash because she’s “run out”. A large part of parenting is teaching children to stand on their own two feet. She’s 25 FGS, not 15. And at 15 I had a weekend job and was enjoying earning my own money. My mum was bringing 4 of us up on her own and she couldn’t afford to keep propping us up forever.

I’m sure you think you’re being nice but you’re not doing her any favours and of course her sister is resentful! Do you plan to support your younger DSD till she’s 25 and after? When you’re retired and have less coming in? Is that good parenting?

helpmum2003 Wed 14-Feb-18 16:38:36

I wouldn't assume drugs but can see why you are worried.
You need to not lend/give anymore and also do not agree to keep it secret. It is complicit with her poor budgeting.

Join the discussion

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

Get started »