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Thread: Rant about my son

  1. #1

    Rant about my son

    I love my kids..................................

    A bit of background.....a few months ago my 20yo step son dropped out of Uni, which I was annoyed about, but accept that it is not for everyone. He has been working part time at McDonalds since he was 16, so has a bit of income. A couple of weeks ago he got offered a job at Halfords as a fitter, but the offer has yet to be received in writing. When this job arrives, it will pay him about 750 a month after tax. Right now, he earns about 450.

    While I was on holiday in early September, he phoned as his bank had refused the direct debit for his car insurance. Obviously lent him the cash for that as it is particularly important. One week later he binned his car, writing it off....... good job we helped him out. We found out at that point that he also had a 500 overdraft in addition to having his student loan.

    Last week he bounced his 40 mobile phone direct debit, so his finances have obviously not improved.

    For a couple of weeks now, he has been banging on about how he needs a replacement car for the one he wrote off, and pointing at the new car deals on offer. My advice to him was that he simply could not afford a finance deal (as demonstrated by the bouncing of direct debits), and that he should buy another cheap run-about until his income improves.

    Last night he rocks up in a brand new 12k Vauxhall Corsa which he has bought on finance with a 155 deposit & 270 a month. Firstly, no wonder banks have bad debts if they are willing to lend 12k to someone with little hope of repaying it, but how stupid can he be. By my reckoning his outgoings will be as follows

    Car - 270
    Insurance - 260 (5 accidents in 2 full years)
    Board - 80
    Mobile Phone - 40

    Total - 650 and I have not included car tax, servicing, petrol, nights out, clothes or any other variable in there.

    My wife has the view that he is 20yo and it is his choice (which is true), however my own concern is that his stupidity will affect the family both emotionally and financially for 4 years to come. No way will his 20 a week board get paid, I can imagine regularly being asked to bail him out.... and either having to do so or live with the pain of having refused.

    I think I was fair with both of the kids when I bought them each a 750 car and insured them in their first year after they passed their tests, so I dont believe I am an evil step parent, but I do feel very down about his lack of common sense, lack of listening to me as a parent and general attitude.

    Nothing anyone can say or do, but I just wanted to get it off my chest.

  2. #2
    Grand Master boddah's Avatar
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    Re: Rant about my son

    I can certainly understand you being miffed, I suppose he will just have to learn by his own mistakes which by the sound of it will catch up with him pretty quickly!

    260 a month for car insurance! :shock:
    "I looked with pity not untinged with scorn upon these trivial-minded passers-by"

  3. #3

    Re: Rant about my son

    do us all a favor and keep him off the road.

  4. #4
    Grand Master WORKSIMON's Avatar
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    Re: Rant about my son

    Do what my dad did, anytime he had to lend us money he put it on his white board at work and made us pay it back. Soon learned the value of money. I think your quite right to be miffed and concerned and it sounds like you've been more than fair over time. Bit of tough love and let him sort it out if it goes pear shaped this time, it's the only way he's going to learn.
    Cheers

    Simon



    Ralph Waldo Emerson: We ask for long life, but 'tis deep life, or noble moments that signify. Let the measure of time be spiritual, not mechanical.

  5. #5

    Re: Rant about my son

    I was going to comment but then decided any comments are not going to change anything :P

  6. #6
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    Re: Rant about my son

    Did he not realize that he would have absolutely no money to do anything else once he has paid out for the car?

    Once he does I think that car will be going back to the dealer.

    Is there a 'cooling off' period with finance deals such as this? If so it would be within his best interests to return it sooner rather than later and getting into more debt or possibly writing that one off too.

    Hope you manage to talk some sense into him mate.

    Jim

  7. #7
    Grand Master Neil.C's Avatar
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    Re: Rant about my son

    That's kids for you but what are you going to do? :lol:

    I've lent money to mine over time as and when they needed it, the list is on our pinboard in the hall, the eldest is up to around 8 grand :shock: middle son about 2.5 grand and the youngest a few hundred.

    I've more or less written of the eldest as he has a house and a large mortgage, I'll get the middle sons back (eventually) but IMO helping your kids is the best way of spending money.

    What else would I spend it on , another stupid watch? :lol:
    Cheers,
    Neil.

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  8. #8

    Re: Rant about my son

    Oh God you have my sympathy.
    I have a 17 year old daughter......... nuff said!!

  9. #9

    Re: Rant about my son

    To add insult to injury, just had an email off my dad. Despite not being his natural grandchildren, he set up a trust fund for them which would give them a small payout after they were 18 of about 1000.

    Josh left his in the fund at 18 so that he would get a few hundred more at 21.

    Apparently he cleared that account out as well without telling anyone earlier this week.

  10. #10

    Re: Rant about my son

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim71

    Is there a 'cooling off' period with finance deals such as this? If so it would be within his best interests to return it sooner rather than later and getting into more debt or possibly writing that one off too/

    Jim
    While there may be a cooling off period, there are two problems with it.

    1. He is over 18 and I cannot insist on anything.
    2. I am a step-parent and therefore have even less moral authority than a natural one.

    He has no intention of sending anything back, and indeed as his first payment is not until the end of November, any cooling off period will have ended well before he realises just how expensive it is.

  11. #11

    Re: Rant about my son

    Quote Originally Posted by boddah
    260 a month for car insurance! :shock:
    Even before accidents, a boy in any car at 17 is about 2200 and a girl 1800. Once they rack up a few bumps and scrapes, it goes sky high.

  12. #12

    Re: Rant about my son

    First, a general comment on debt:

    Whilst its true some money sense needs to be 'earned', the average debt for someone leaving university now is over 30K: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/op...-14536482.html.
    I imagine many students may have to pull out of University, or won't bother applying, because of that astronomic debt level.

    Secondly, if he does live in your house surely there's some things you can insist on? Maybe you could work with him to show him how to do a budget so he can see what's happening with his finances?

    But I remember being 20. Didn't listen to anyone as I knew it all. :wink:

  13. #13
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    Re: Rant about my son

    If it helps, he WILL grow out of this. It really is just a phase all 16-22-year-olds go through! :)

    In the meantime, all you can do is batten down the hatches and hide the house deeds. :shock:

    Mike.

  14. #14

    Re: Rant about my son

    Quote Originally Posted by slinkybeats
    First, a general comment on debt:

    Whilst its true some money sense needs to be 'earned', the average debt for someone leaving university now is over 30K: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/op...-14536482.html.
    I imagine many students may have to pull out of University, or won't bother applying, because of that astronomic debt level.
    He already has 8k of student debt as he never finished his course !

    Quote Originally Posted by slinkybeats

    Secondly, if he does live in your house surely there's some things you can insist on? Maybe you could work with him to show him how to do a budget so he can see what's happening with his finances?
    Did exactly that. His figures had a few holes in them, like insurance, his mobile phone and car tax/servicing. He also made a few assumptions like pay rises and insurance going down due to no claims (the latter I found hilarious). He had a letter from his mobile phone company only yesterday threatening him if he bounced on them again.

  15. #15

    Re: Rant about my son

    Quote Originally Posted by slinkybeats
    First, a general comment on debt:

    Whilst its true some money sense needs to be 'earned', the average debt for someone leaving university now is over 30K: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/op...-14536482.html.
    I imagine many students may have to pull out of University, or won't bother applying, because of that astronomic debt level.

    Secondly, if he does live in your house surely there's some things you can insist on? Maybe you could work with him to show him how to do a budget so he can see what's happening with his finances?

    But I remember being 20. Didn't listen to anyone as I knew it all. :wink:
    Amen. It's painful for those who are there and feel helpless and not listened to, but your there for them and so can keep gently giving love. It may be pithy but it's as true as ever:-

    "Convince a man against his will and he is of the same mind still"

  16. #16
    Grand Master Saint-Just's Avatar
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    Re: Rant about my son

    Since I had my daughter fairly late in my life I cannot speak from experience as a parent.
    However I do remember being somewhat "careless" in my younger years when it came to money. Fairly similar situation as your son's, but with a motorbike.
    Was not best pleased when it was repossessed, and I still had to pay for the shortfall :twisted:
    Make sure you are in total agreement with your wife as to how you will BOTH react when the proverbial hits the rotating propeller: you will get nowhere if you discuss it after.
    Then do not bail him out, regardless. If he shuns his insurance, give him the choice of clamping the car or calling the police if he tries and drive it (and I must insist: DO IT, consequences of uninsured accident are too great to fathom, not to mention the lack of moral sense it would imply).
    He will not learn otherwise, and you will be doing him a great disservice because there will be a time where you can't help, and the consequences will be greater.
    Don't take my silence for agreement. I've just realised you're too stupid to argue with.

  17. #17

    Re: Rant about my son

    My own view is that he will receive no financial help from me. He was old enough and ugly enough to get finance on his own, regardless of my views, so he can deal with any repercussions of doing so.

    I suspect his mother will think the same right up until the point where he has actually screwed it up and then relent....... I sincerely hope I am wrong as this would send me off the scale !

  18. #18
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    Re: Rant about my son

    bugger...I'm waiting for this all to come. Daugther already racking up mobile phone bills. She's in for it tonight after I read the bill this morning....some harsh measures needed.

  19. #19

    Re: Rant about my son

    Quote Originally Posted by Puller
    bugger...I'm waiting for this all to come. Daugther already racking up mobile phone bills. She's in for it tonight after I read the bill this morning....some harsh measures needed.
    Been through that already with Laura, she was banned from contract phones a long time ago. When she can get her own contract, she can go back to it. "Pay as you go" is your friend !

    Have to admit that over the last 15 years since they came to live with me, Laura was always the problem. It is only in the last 6 months that she has, relatively speaking become an angel, while Josh, who has been a delight for all of that time, has become a nightmare !!

  20. #20
    Grand Master Saint-Just's Avatar
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    Re: Rant about my son

    Quote Originally Posted by b11ocx
    I suspect his mother will think the same right up until the point where he has actually screwed it up and then relent....... I sincerely hope I am wrong as this would send me off the scale !
    Which is exactly why you must talk it through with her NOW. Tell her what is going to happen, and decide TOGETHER on how to react. Explain the consequences of bailing him out (lesson not learnt) and make sure she adheres to the plan.
    If she doesn't, call plan B: how does she want to handle it? where will lessons be learnt? wants to turn him into a mummy's boy at 20? etc.
    Your couple will suffer if you don't.
    Don't take my silence for agreement. I've just realised you're too stupid to argue with.

  21. #21
    Grand Master Glamdring's Avatar
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    Re: Rant about my son

    Having seen this sort of thing happen to friends I do strongly suggest that you don't allow things reach the point where you fall out with your wife.
    My mate's partner has finally come to the conclusion after a couple of years of nonsense from her son that you can love your child but not like him.

    While ever someone is willing to bail him out he won't change.

  22. #22

    Re: Rant about my son

    I do think this is a phase, but might be a long one.

    So I wouldn't underwrite anything for the lad, and if it goes paws up he'll have to declare himself bankrupt or look at an IVA.

    I'd have thought that the key issue here is to make sure that you and your partner take exactly the same line, publicly and in private, tell the lad where the boundaries are (he's already crossed them I guess) and exactly where he stands/what will happen if he can't pay his debts.

    But what do I know? My kids are all girls, and at school or university, so they know that educational debt awaits them.

    Good luck anyway.

    Best

    Richard

  23. #23
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    Re: Rant about my son

    My two are 9 and 11. I'll by a watch now while I have funds :shock:

  24. #24

    Re: Rant about my son

    I suppose one thing which really, if I am honest, made me quite depressed, was his attitude to what is realistic.

    I was brought up in a council estate as a steel workers son, so while we were not poverty line, we did not have much left over after buying food and the basics. I am maybe a bit more "realistic" than some because of this, but I always felt grateful for whatever I got, regardless of if it was provided for me, or later in life, I had got it for myself.

    A pretty good car can be had for about 1000 and a fairly cracking little motor can be had for less than 2,000. (Seem to remember there is a diesel Corsa on the forum at the moment which would be a good example). His attitude has been that such a car is not good enough for him and that "I deserve the best, and will have what I want"................it really does make me feel I have done a bad job of bringing him up.

  25. #25
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    Re: Rant about my son

    Quote Originally Posted by b11ocx
    A pretty good car can be had for about 1000 and a fairly cracking little motor can be had for less than 2,000. (Seem to remember there is a diesel Corsa on the forum at the moment which would be a good example). His attitude has been that such a car is not good enough for him and that "I deserve the best, and will have what I want"................it really does make me feel I have done a bad job of bringing him up.

    You need to let him fall on his own then because he's not going to listen you. Sometimes it's better they learn the hard way. Hopefully he'll reconsider what college can actually mean for his future.

  26. #26

    Re: Rant about my son

    My sympathies but I guess he'll have to learn by experience. I have two son's the youngest saves every penny the eldest spend every penny. They both been brought up identically and I don't understand why they should be so different. So I guess what I'm saying is you can't blame yourself, after a certain stage they will ignore every word you say!

  27. #27
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    Re: Rant about my son

    Society tells people to spend money, especially over the last ten years. The idea of making do with what you have, or saving to buy something, has been highly unfashionable. I don't think you can discount the effect of that.

  28. #28

    Re: Rant about my son

    The last few years have been 'challenging' with our son, so I have a good understanding of your problem. As others have indicated, boundaries and a unified front are critical. Neither of you will get it right all the time but the more you stick to your own rules the easier things will get

  29. #29
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    Re: Rant about my son

    I know this may sound a Pythonesque "when I were a lad" routine. I always made my own way in life and had a job since the age of 13. Only thing I ever got was 2k to live off for a year when the parents abandoned me to live abroad when I was still in 6th form at school in 1984. I found my way on that, a year later got a grant to go to uni, lived off that and the jobs that I had. I earned everythging myself. I got student debts but paid them back after 6 months of first proper job.

    I have 3 kids now, all still young. They get 1 per week pocket money. They earn bonuses for doing jobs etc, and can have deductions for being naughty. Works for now, but 11 year old once got no pocket money when she said she did not care that she got deductions, so i deducted everthing. Trying to teach them - tough love.

  30. #30
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    Re: Rant about my son

    Quote Originally Posted by Neil.C
    That's kids for you but what are you going to do? :lol:

    I've lent money to mine over time as and when they needed it, the list is on our pinboard in the hall, the eldest is up to around 8 grand :shock: middle son about 2.5 grand and the youngest a few hundred.

    I've more or less written of the eldest as he has a house and a large mortgage, I'll get the middle sons back (eventually) but IMO helping your kids is the best way of spending money.

    What else would I spend it on , another stupid watch? :lol:
    You're perfectly right but we have to teach them the value of money. I know that it's completely different but my older son is 7 and fond of NINTENDO DS games, he has several and is always looking for new ones. I help him to finance it but he must resell two olds games to have a new one (and I pay the difference), doing so he learns to become responsible and only buy the games he really want. It's the same with POKEMON cards and PANINI cards (something like MATCH ATTAX in UK).

  31. #31
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    Re: Rant about my son

    As it seems he is still living at home (80 board) I would suggest that one of the things that you MUST do is file a notice of dissassociation with the credit file companies (Equifax and Experian)

    Otherwise his credit score could affect yours in due course.

  32. #32

    Re: Rant about my son

    Ohh the joy of youth. at least the corso will be reliable and safe if he happens to have another crash . perhaps he ought to be still doing a couple of nights in Mcds to help with funds when he starts at halfords

  33. #33

    Re: Rant about my son

    Doesn't sound as though there is much you can do, after than let him stand on his own two feet.
    Few quid here and there maybe a 12k car.
    Maybe read through the paperwork for the new car to see what the process is should he default.
    Maybe a lesson at this age will bring future rewards.
    J.

  34. #34

    Re: Rant about my son

    12k on a corsa? are they not like 6k from all these delers that have already registered the cars ! :shock: you can get a recent new BMW for that !

    In due time he will learn thats what its all about ,gainign experience and learning from your mistakes...

    I cant grasp why having a car at such a young age and the cost ,bascially swallows all your money well it grasp it it just isnt logical or make sense

  35. #35

    Re: Rant about my son

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrzej
    As it seems he is still living at home (80 board) I would suggest that one of the things that you MUST do is file a notice of dissassociation with the credit file companies (Equifax and Experian)

    Otherwise his credit score could affect yours in due course.
    Good advice, I had to do that a few years ago when my (older) brother ran up a dodgy credit history! :roll: It's pretty easy to do, I just requested a copy of my credit file which explained everything and then wrote back. Ironically your son probably only got approved for finance off the back of your (presumably good) credit record! :banghead:

    Quote Originally Posted by jonny
    12k on a corsa? are they not like 6k from all these delers that have already registered the cars ! :shock: you can get a recent new BMW for that !
    My fear would be that if you default on the finance after a couple of months, the car is indeed only worth about 6k and you still owe the balance :-( Hope it doesn't come to that.

    Anyway, I can only echo what other's have said... stand firm, you can't bail them out forever!

    All the best,
    Dan

  36. #36
    Master JCJM's Avatar
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    Re: Rant about my son

    Yeah...

    worse thing he can do is pseudo financing, that is to take loan2 in order to pay loan1, then he needs to take loan3 to pay loan2 etc. When he cannot get anymore loan he will be neck deep in s**t. This, many youngsters dont realize, so this has to be made clear to him.

    Other than that... Well, we human beings appear to spend our first 20 odd years building egos and the rest of our lives getting rid of them.

  37. #37
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    Re: Rant about my son

    Sounds a bit like me when I was that sort of age.
    I didn't buy a car as I couldn't drive then, but I left uni after starting two courses for a year a piece.
    Once I discovered the wonderful world of credit things took off, I could drink every night and have a gamble here and there in under 2 years I'd racked up sizeable debts which would make the corsa at 12k seem small.
    credit card limits were continually raised, more cards taken out, finance for this and that a few loans here and there.
    Then one day it all hit me, I was in the poo, that was when I went to my parents just to talk, yes they had kept telling me not to waste money, (they didn't and don't know about the gambling) but at that age you don't listen to your parents.
    My step dad offered to clear all my debts on the understanding I didn't borrow anymore, I turned him down and have almost paid off all I owe its taken a good few years, as I now have a family to support and a house to run (rented as my credit rateing won't allow a mortgage).
    I've learnt a lot more from paying it back myself, it's been hard but I've learnt my lesson, in time the only borrowings that i'll have are a mortgage.
    In short just be there if/when it all goes wrong, so at least he know's he's got somebody to turn too, but just opening your cheque book isn't always the answer.

  38. #38

    Re: Rant about my son

    It goes without saying the way it is these days if you keep giving they'll keep taking, time for some "tough love" better imho he learns a hard lesson sooner rather than later.

    My daughter was the same, hand always out, mine always in my wallet. For some bizarre reason when her mother left she stayed with me but I got my own back when she was 18, I left the country and sent her back to her mother to live. Her mother never stopped phoning complaining about how much she was having to hand out and the bonus was I heard that it p#ssed off her new bloke no end. No Luck eh :D :lol: :lol:


    Joking apart though what she does know now is that if and only if she is really struggling all she has to do is give me a ring and I'll sort it but not for all and sundry like nights on the town, cloths and cars, you have to work for that. No bad thing not just for me but her as well.


    Now I just have Big M's daughter, another full time professional scrounger, to sort out

    :lol: :lol:

  39. #39
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    Re: Rant about my son

    I don't have any advice to give, but you said that it was more difficult for you because you're a step father, maybe your wife could speak of the situation with your stepson father and he could do something. If the "advice" comes from his father he will maybe be more receptive.
    Good luck,

    regards, Nicolas

  40. #40

    Re: Rant about my son

    Some kids take advice and learn the easy way. Others don't and take a different course. There is little you can do and I have to say I don't think that because you are a stepfather your authority is diminished. This sort of carry on happens in all families. All you can do is be supportive and maintain your own peace of mind and sanity.

    At the end of the day, as long as the kid has his health that's the main thing. It could be worse...

    Know that you are not alone with these worries and that many here will know exactly how you feel.

    Good luck.

    JF

  41. #41
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    Re: Rant about my son

    Quote Originally Posted by b11ocx
    it really does make me feel I have done a bad job of bringing him up.

    Dont blame yourself mate, you have done your bit and tried your best. Ultimately he old enough to make his own decisions

  42. #42

    Re: Rant about my son

    You're not the only one. Kids/adults seem to be leaching off their parents way into their twenties these days, and to cap it off they think it is their right and get arsey when it doesn't go their way. To think I was married and in a place of my own straight out of school!

    Just beat him up a bit, it won't help him, but it might help you

  43. #43
    Craftsman Dr.Brian's Avatar
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    Re: Rant about my son

    It's funny what young people (and some of my generation) today seem to think they deserve, even though they can't afford it at all. He sounds like he needs another reposession to set him straight. He doesn't even have the job yet FFS.
    Start charging him $200 a month rent and he'll get the message. $20k+ car and no job to speak of, unbelievable! You have every right to rant. I wouldn't bail him out either, tough love and a tight wallet will show him the way back. As others have suggested, keep his insurance paid, or he really may ruin his life, and possibly someone elses as well.
    Good luck,

  44. #44
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    Re: Rant about my son

    You're right,

    Insurance is the most important thing. I saw a lot of youth in apprenticeship using all their money for a car credit and unable to pay for the insurance. They risk to have to pay for the rest of their life in case of serious damage !!!

  45. #45

    Re: Rant about my son

    Sir, you are a good father. You are a good father for being there for him and it sounds like he needs you!

  46. #46
    Grand Master Neil.C's Avatar
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    Re: Rant about my son

    Quote Originally Posted by alcmeonide
    Quote Originally Posted by Neil.C
    That's kids for you but what are you going to do? :lol:

    I've lent money to mine over time as and when they needed it, the list is on our pinboard in the hall, the eldest is up to around 8 grand :shock: middle son about 2.5 grand and the youngest a few hundred.

    I've more or less written of the eldest as he has a house and a large mortgage, I'll get the middle sons back (eventually) but IMO helping your kids is the best way of spending money.

    What else would I spend it on , another stupid watch? :lol:
    You're perfectly right but we have to teach them the value of money. I know that it's completely different but my older son is 7 and fond of NINTENDO DS games, he has several and is always looking for new ones. I help him to finance it but he must resell two olds games to have a new one (and I pay the difference), doing so he learns to become responsible and only buy the games he really want. It's the same with POKEMON cards and PANINI cards (something like MATCH ATTAX in UK).
    I completely agree and have always taught my boys the value of money.

    For instance I have never given them any pocket money, they all had paper rounds to finance their kids stuff or I'd give them a few quid to wash the cars or whatever.

    They are OK and very malleable at young ages and think Daddy knows best :lol: it is when they reach the sort of age when they want cars etc that things can get sticky and all the youthful economic training goes out of the window :shock:
    Cheers,
    Neil.

    My Speedmaster website:

    http://www.freewebs.com/neil271052

  47. #47
    Grand Master Glamdring's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Doncaster, UK
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    16,654

    Re: Rant about my son

    I was given pocket money but I had to save half of it into a Post Office savings account. Schools round here run an account linked to the Yorkshire Bank which the kids can save into. Watching the pennies (in those days) and pounds grow is an incentive to save more. I have to say though that sometimes I could have found a better use for that half of my pocket money than handing it over the counter at the PO!

  48. #48

    Re: Rant about my son

    Thanks for all the comments guys. It does help to know that others go through the same pain.

    The decision, with his mother, is that he will be told quite firmly that his willingness to take on finance that he plainly cannot afford is one he will need to live with, and that he will not receive any financial help with regard to it.

    My anger at his underhanded behaviour has not diminished, but I have decided to ignore this in the interests of peace.... and the fact that it is self defeating for the moment.

    Obviously I will keep an eye on the insurance, he will not drive without it, even if I have to clamp the car..... equally, I will not pay for it. His choice was to buy a car that he cant afford to insure... worst case all he will be able to do is admire it from afar.

  49. #49

    Re: Rant about my son

    One of the most important things to remember is that you and your wife must be united over this. Kids can be so manipulative and given any chance will create a wedge between parents, especially in your circumstances.
    Although she's my blood daughter, my wife and I lived apart for 7 years and my 16 year old daughter now seems to act as if I'm an evil step-parent. My wife would usually try to appear to take the easy route and 'tho agree with me about our daughter, she would say things like "your Dad says no" or "Dad will be mad" instead of saying "we" and "us".
    It's a long hard road and I dont know if it ever ends 'cos I know I have and still give my lovely Mum sleepless nights.
    I wish you all the best and hope you and your wife remain strong.

  50. #50
    Master
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    London
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    2,693

    Re: Rant about my son

    He's old enough to make his own choices - don't see what right you have to clamp his car really. Unless you're a policeman.

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