Young adult w/Poor decision making skills - FamilyEducation
Young adult w/Poor decision making skills
03/10/2008 at 17:41 PM

Hi, I'd like some feedback/input from others on this...  I am an honorary aunt of a friend's daughter, whom I've known since her birth.  She is now 24; I'll call  her DN.  DN went off to college with the intent of majoring in music.  She did fine for 1.5 yrs then fell in with a bad crowd and dropped out.  This past fall she returned to school as a Vocal Performance major, with a dream of becoming an opera singer.  She quickly realized that she couldn't work full time and go to school full time, as music is very time demanding, so she up and quit her job.  But, at the same time she decided she wanted to go to Europe with the school choir, so she paid $2,000 toward that out of her savings, money which cannot be refunded.  She borrowed money via financial aid to pay her bills, so she thinks that means she didn't borrow money to go to Europe.  Meanwhile, after three months she found a part time job and now makes $600/mo.  Not nearly enough to cover her car payment, rent, and credit card bills.  She has also promised a high school friend that she will be her Maid of Honor this spring.  Between preparing for the trip, the trip itself and the wedding, she will be unable to work for a month.

She has called me, upset because she's 'screwed up again' in her words, and wants my advice on what to do.  BTW, her parents have absolutely zero dollars to help their daughter with.  They gave her $1m around Christmas, but had to borrow that to give it to her.

DN is not a bad kid, demanding or spoiled, she just has no idea how to manage her finances, or make good decisions.  Her parents have continually made bad decisions and lurch from one financial crisis to another, and I so don't want DN to do the same with her life.

I have $, and could help, but I don't want to just keep bailing her out.  Besides, my hubby would not be happy to hand over several thousand dollars, which is what this mess needs to be cleaned up.  So, please tell me, what would you all do???  (And not to even get into the issue of borrowing tens of thousands of dollars to major in something that won't ever begin to pay her bills! And that I struggle to take her major seriously, because she smokes and has pierced both her lip and tongue!!!) 

I would suggest that if you want to help her that you set her up with a good financial advisor, someone who will be objective and has no emotional ties to the situation.

She needs to experience NOW the consequences before this situation gets worse.  Do not, I repeat (personal experience and hind sight) bail her out.  She will have to make arrangements with her landlord, the bank and her credit cards.  Phone calls can produce results.  Give her the tools to fix the problem, not the money.