Desperate for advice

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Only 23? Another vote for the military. Get paid, contribute to society and learn something. Pretty sure they will take you up to 25. Programs to pay your student loans off. Retire in 30 years. Military time can roll over into government job retirement plans (like PennDot, buy up to 5 years of service).

We have enough bums in America.

mikeg1 said:   I'm a 27-year-old guy, a few years out of school.

If I were you, I'd give your son a very basic safety net - essentially a couch to sleep on, but nothing more.

He's got to dig himself out of this on his own. He'll be better off if he does.

-mike


And heck, that is more than I got. at 23 I found myself a college grad that had trouble finding a real job and parents that said " you can't live here". so I left campus with the top mattress of my sisters bed and I got floor space at a friends house. did early morning stock at a department store, so I could leave late morning and afternoons for job interviews. On days without interview, I did cashiering. Eventhough I landed a job in a few months, I had to keep the mattress and the pt cashier job, because the student loans had to be repaid. My parents were total opposite of the OP, but flip side, I do resent that my parents refused to help at all to this day.

Meh, hopefully this is a slap in the face of reality, about 2-3 years ago I was pretty much in the same position, all my debt was from failed businesses/real estate though...and much more than your sons. I moved back home and got a free place to stay and dinner every night and worked my ass off on a couple new businesses, by the time I moved out early this year I had $100k+ saved up and have been doing great ever since. Its nice having parents that support you.

schop said:   mapen said:   Move to the jobs. There's an oil boom in North Central America. Places like Williston, North Dakota have a labor shortage, less than 1% unemployment, and anybody with half a brain and a pulse can easily get a job.

Problem is, you gotta live in North Dakota.



Boom might be over...Skilled workers (such as those with a CDL or rig experience) are still in demand somewhat, but the days of being able to get off the bus and score an interview with Select Energy the next day are over.


I'm a guy, and not an overly liberal guy, but that blog seems to be written by Saudi Arabians as far as their views on women go...

Family therapy might help. Not saying mental illness is involved, but might as well see if it would help. Insurance might cover it. Apparently, this situation is a trend. Boomerang Generation

So 3 pages deep and I haven't seen one critical piece of advice.

You need to sit down and find out how much money your son can cost you and how much you are going to allow your son to cost you. Obviously the first number is based on your hard finances, the second number is your sympathy in terms of how close you will let him come to your own financial collapse.

Tally up the monthly costs of having him at home, minus the CC debt, and tack on 15% as a CYA. Include the car, student loans etc. Find out where that number falls in the can and allow categories. Present the number, broken down by parts, to your son. Hold him accountable to find a job and stay employed that at the minimum covers that number. Look at selling the car if you have good public transit to save payment and insurance. Setup a joint account at a bank and have his paycheck auto deposit to it, and know his payroll date. When his paycheck is deposited transfer the amount he owes you into your account. Give him a time table to find the job and start paying, or he's going to be couch surfing with his buddies. If he gets a job try to consolidate his student loans and get off of them. In the meantime defer them.

As far as the CC debt goes is it one company or multiple? Lots of good advice in the thread, but you need to get it handled before the 6 mo mark or it will be creditors chasing him down for the next 10 years. A year from now start contesting items on his credit report and try to get it cleaned up.

+1 vote for checking to see if he has a hidden alcohol / drug addiction or mental illness (eg. depression, bipolar disorder, etc.) I would do that before looking at the financial advice mentioned.

The best gift you can give him, let him learn consequences.

ZenNUTS said:   23 is not your problem anymore.many charities exists because of people having this mentality. dave ramsey is popular because of people like this 23 year old, who don't know how to use debt. he could indeed benefit from counseling.

The op has not posted a second time.

blok said:   Meh, hopefully this is a slap in the face of reality, about 2-3 years ago I was pretty much in the same position, all my debt was from failed businesses/real estate though...and much more than your sons. I moved back home and got a free place to stay and dinner every night and worked my ass off on a couple new businesses, by the time I moved out early this year I had $100k+ saved up and have been doing great ever since. Its nice having parents that support you.

Wow did the
Diz house be stank" lady ruin your RE business ?

I think all of fw would love a thread on the aftermath of that saga, what happened and how you've turned it all around and become successful again

It could be a real inspiration . Your last thread was already a fwf classic

OP, do you have cable/satellite TV? Simple rule. He doesn't get to watch that.

If you've decided to let him move back for a time that's understandable, but you don't have to make it extremely comfortable. Let his boredom be an incentive to do something that he wants about his life.

Wow, I didn't expect so many replies. Let me have a little time to distil them down and I will probably come back with some clarifying questions. For those who took the time to offer serious advice to a complete stranger: Thank you!
I do know that there are behavior issues that must be addressed by my son and his enablers (his mother and I). Those will not be ignored. I am just looking for some advice on what financial steps need to be taken.

I have to say reading this that I would also vote for the military. It would help fix and point him in the right direction and it sounds like he needs it. It's 4 years and he might walk out with a skill set and some growing up, your his parent not the bank of parent and at some point they need to learn the easy or hard way and this is one of those get off your behind and do something..

Dil

I'm going to be the dissenting opinion here as I'm 27 and have many friends in his situation. I'd say $14k of the debt is valid ($10k student and $4k car). So he's really only worked up $15k of credit card debt, which is NOT THAT MUCH when he doesn't have a job and has living expenses. It's easy to do when you don't understand how credit cards and debt work. I have several friends with debt settlement payments they're working through now...they're idiots. They've learned and moved on.

I agree to try and settle the $15k for pennies on the dollar. Then work on getting him a means of income. How close was he to graduating college? 23 is young...I have 27 year old friends finishing their bachelors now. Would he have a tangible skill that somebody would pay for? $10k in student loans is nothing in the scheme of things.

elist said:   OP, do you have cable/satellite TV? Simple rule. He doesn't get to watch that.

If you've decided to let him move back for a time that's understandable, but you don't have to make it extremely comfortable. Let his boredom be an incentive to do something that he wants about his life.
OMG... why don't you just recommend disowning him outright, instead of trying to create disharmony with-in the household. No wonder the divorce rate is 50%+, the way people think and treat each other.

He needs to get himself some sort of job sooner or later. I wouldn't worry as much about his credit card debt as getting him out of the house and working.

Is his credit score and credit history already trashed?

Where do you live? There has to be some form of employment.

The military is a feasible option.

Any chance of him going back to school? How far was he away from finishing college when he quit? How were his grades? If he dropped out with straight F's after a year thats one thing but if he's a semester away from a bachelors and had OK grades then thats another.

I wasn't far from your kids situation at that age. I had finished school but I moved in with my parents and had similar debt (inflation adjusted 2 decades). The debts are not unmanageable for a 23 year old if he can find some form of employment. This is not a 'lost cause' situation, but a kid with a bit too much debt who just needs to get his life on track.

Whats the car worth? (was it the one in the accident?)

OP, please get some counselling. For yourself.
Please do NOT try to "help" your son further. You are enabling him. This will only get worse.
In fact, it will engender resentment from your son himself and other family members if you intervene further.

I forgot FWF was the land of everyone start saving @ 18, graduate college in 3.5 years, have perfect credit, never make mistakes financially, and shame all that are in debt.

I have a hard time believing every person replying did everything perfect since becoming an adult.

jason745 said:   ...I have a hard time believing every person replying did everything perfect since becoming an adult.Then don't believe it since no one is claiming such.

I guess I'm just past my time cause 20 years ago you couldn't even get a credit card with a fast food job. But I did have it better than my parents' generation which worked in minimal wage job, go to grad school, and still send $ back home. I guess I just need to get in touch with the time.

Kanosh said:   OP, please get some counselling. For yourself.
Please do NOT try to "help" your son further. You are enabling him. This will only get worse.
In fact, it will engender resentment from your son himself and other family members if you intervene further.


OP's son moved in with mom and dad. You move in with your parents and you lose the right to resent intervention in your afairs.

Or are you suggesting OP should evict their own penniless son? Most parents aren't that callous to their own kids.

jason745 said:   I forgot FWF was the land of everyone start saving @ 18, graduate college in 3.5 years, have perfect credit, never make mistakes financially, and shame all that are in debt.

I have a hard time believing every person replying did everything perfect since becoming an adult.


My idiotic financial mistake was going to law school to the tune of $206k in student loan debt. But that's my problem to pay off, and I have no intention of making it my parents' problem.

I think a lot of it comes down to parenting. I think of it as this: parents have a duty to "x" units of good parenting. If they have done their job right, taught the right life-lessons, the kid has a better shot at growing up to be responsible and standing on his own feet.

If the parenting is not as good (less than the required "x"), then it's tougher for the kid to do well in life. So, the parents need to make up for their lost parenting past their children's adulthood. Of course, there are always exceptions where a kid with little guidance in his childhood still ends up doing quite well.

IMO, it is not correct to simply generalize and say if your kid is 23, you get to wash your hands off it completely - not without knowing how the parents themselves performed during the child's early years. In many cases, the parents still need to make up for the guidance they did not provide in his early years.

This doesn't mean indulging the kid and bailing him out with money. It means sitting him down, sincerely talking about the problem and working with him to find a way to get him back on his feet. It is harder at 23 than it is at 16. But 23 is better than 30. And, no, none of this may apply to OP - for all I know, he may have been a model parent whose kid went astray.

direct your son to this thread and insist he read it. let him read all of these words written about him, from myriad perspectives. hopefully he'll realize how good he currently has it, with parents who want to see him stand on his own two feet, and are willing to help him do that. and hopefully he'll realize, by reading all of these perspectives and stories, how the quality of his future really does hinge upon how he chooses to live his life right now.

bullcity said:   JaxFL said:   Everybody is so callus, esp toward your family. What and who were you at 23? (Ill add: of your own making, without help!)
OP, Just make sure he learns not to live beyond means. That is his only real fault.


At 16-18, I was working at Barnes & Noble as a cashier in the music section.
At 18-22, I got health insurance, car insurance, and a family plan cell phone from my parents. I had a full scholarship to school that covered living expenses, but I got some help on my rent in the summers since I was doing full-time professional (unpaid) internships.
At 22-23, I had a full-time job. I didn't make much, but it paid the bills, and I had my own apartment. The only thing I got from my parents was getting to stay on their health insurance.
At 23-26, I went to grad school. All the loans are in my own name, and I paid all my own bills. My parents helped out with my wedding, which was kind of them.
At 26, I gave my parents back the car I'd gotten in high school from them so they could use it for my little brother (who is still in college, and using it to drive drunk college kids around on the weekend for cash). Before my job started, my parents gave me a loan to purchase a new (used) car. I paid them monthly payments at a market interest rate, and then paid everything off within a year. I'd rather owe anyone else money than my parents.

You don't have to cut your kids off completely at 18, but they need to be progressively becoming financially independent, and they need to be interpreting any help from their parents as unexpected generosity, not a parental duty. I know my parents would always be there for me to help me out financially as long as they are able. But what you need is to get your kid to the maturity level where they have enough respect for either you or themselves that before they'd call on you for help, they'd have a reason a whole hell of a lot better than laziness, overspending, and inability to hold down a minimum wage job. Like, I'd mayyyybe move back in with my parents or ask them for money if I was literally dying.


Bullcity- You sir know what the word responsibility means. Too many people out there feel they are entitled. Its clear to see you are going places with that kind of attitude. I dont want to get political but I wish more people in america would have that sort of thinking.
Everyone that applies for a job at my small business tells me they are a hard worker. Usually the phrase hard worker is their own definition of hard worker.
Rob

Table83 said:   mojoshtudd said:   ZenNUTS said:   23 is not your problem anymore.
I disagree and might be in the minority. This is still his son and the amounts involved are not unmanageable. A bit of guidance and good decision-making now will save many people a lot of financial and emotional headache later on.


I must agree. Family is your responsibility, and it's good to treat them well.

My immediate family will always have:
1) A place to sleep (even if it's on an air mattress in the corner of my small apartment. They are not aloud to bring drugs/anything illegal into my home.)
2) Food (Not amazing food, but they won't be starving food.)
3) My love and advice (even if it's not worth 0.02)

However you should NOT BE PAYING HIS BILLS! Period. No exceptions! This is not your responsibility. You are enabling him to live this lifestyle, and that is morally wrong IMO. Let the bank close his account. Let the credit card companies start coming after him. What does he need a car for? Not your responsibility. Keep your financials separate from his! He is an adult, and needs to act like it!

He should apply for unemployment and welfare/food-stamps. With at least food stamps he should help pay for food. I was living on $140/mo for food for about a year.

I have known (normal looking) people with full time jobs who had a goals of not spending any money other than rent for months, and lived by dumpster diving.
http://www.howcast.com/videos/400088-How-to-Dumpster-Dive

Frankly most people have never really been hungry, and don't understand how blessed we are today.

P.S. - I have about 10k in student debt, and promise that I will contribute to society for the rest of my life. Will you please pay my student loans for a couple months?

"They are not aloud to bring drugs/anything illegal into my home."

With a sentence like that, you might be able to extort the 10k in student debt out of your school by promising not to reveal their name. At least aloud passed spell check.

Dude this is fwf not grammar police

ESP when people are commenting using mobile devices with autocorrect like I do

SUCKISSTAPLES said:   blok said:   Meh, hopefully this is a slap in the face of reality, about 2-3 years ago I was pretty much in the same position, all my debt was from failed businesses/real estate though...and much more than your sons. I moved back home and got a free place to stay and dinner every night and worked my ass off on a couple new businesses, by the time I moved out early this year I had $100k+ saved up and have been doing great ever since. Its nice having parents that support you.

Wow did the
Diz house be stank" lady ruin your RE business ?

I think all of fw would love a thread on the aftermath of that saga, what happened and how you've turned it all around and become successful again

It could be a real inspiration . Your last thread was already a fwf classic


Yeah, that with a combo of other crap tenants and another business that sucked the life and money out of me. I thought about writing up a thread about the roller coaster ive been on financially and life in general in the last couple years, maybe ill do that this week, could be good for OPs kid to read

SUCKISSTAPLES said:   Dude this is fwf not grammar police

ESP when people are commenting using mobile devices with autocorrect like I do



I can't barely read the screen when I am on a mobile device. Besides that problem, add a few a beers and I start typing in pidgin.

Howzit Braddah?

blok said:   SUCKISSTAPLES said:   blok said:   Meh, hopefully this is a slap in the face of reality, about 2-3 years ago I was pretty much in the same position, all my debt was from failed businesses/real estate though...and much more than your sons. I moved back home and got a free place to stay and dinner every night and worked my ass off on a couple new businesses, by the time I moved out early this year I had $100k+ saved up and have been doing great ever since. Its nice having parents that support you.

Wow did the
Diz house be stank" lady ruin your RE business ?

I think all of fw would love a thread on the aftermath of that saga, what happened and how you've turned it all around and become successful again

It could be a real inspiration . Your last thread was already a fwf classic


Yeah, that with a combo of other crap tenants and another business that sucked the life and money out of me. I thought about writing up a thread about the roller coaster ive been on financially and life in general in the last couple years, maybe ill do that this week, could be good for OPs kid to read

Please do!!

jason745 said:   I forgot FWF was the land of everyone start saving @ 18, graduate college in 3.5 years, have perfect credit, never make mistakes financially, and shame all that are in debt.

I have a hard time believing every person replying did everything perfect since becoming an adult.


We all make mistakes. The true test is what you learn from them, and making better choices later.

One of my bigger mistakes was dating a materialistic alcoholic. The girl guilted me if I failed to buy her a Loius Vuitton handbag every holiday. She'd routinely down 6+ top shelf drinks at dinner. Lesson learned... dumped her and never looked back.

Another dumb decision was buying a house at market prices in '09 when my fiancé-now-wife would have preferred an apartment. Even with the first time homebuyers tax credit, we've lost money compared to renting, after you include upkeep costs and high TX property taxes.

Send him to the Gulag.

Laboring in subzero temperatures all day at gunpoint for a cupful of gruel will purge him of these decadent bourgeois tendencies.

cwtrooper said:   I do know that there are behavior issues that must be addressed by my son and his enablers (his mother and I). Those will not be ignored. I am just looking for some advice on what financial steps need to be taken.

That is a rare level of self-awareness. Green to the greenth degree for that.

sorry, strongly disagree. a person 23 yrs old is an adult and should be responsible for his own actions. But even as adults, the world around us takes over and bad choices are made when things are out of control. As a parent your JOB is to at least do your best and help set them on track for a better future. you may not be able to fix everything , but to toss him out and say he's not my problem is not a solution. a desperate person in a hopeless situation is capable of more damage to himself and to others.A person who has someone to turn to for advice, knowledge, guidance and most of all love and support, can accomplish anything and learn from his mistakes. as we all are not perfect. I'm sure 90% of us as young adults, didn't save money as we probably could have. but those same people through age and wisdom learned that throwing your money away was pointless. now they are on fat wallet.
as a parent I commend you for effort. don't let him off easy, but do help him through it, as you teach him the reproductions of bad choices. Mistakes are stepping stones, help him find his strengths and allow him to use the stones to build his own mountain. good luck to both of you.
BELIEVE IN HIM SO HE CAN BELIEVE IN HIMSELF.

exoticimagekk23 said:   

, as you teach him the reproductions of bad choices. .

Hopefully there was no reproduction
That would have definitely been a bad choice

I have a couple sub-25 year olds working for me for marginal hourly wage whose parents won't help. I can tell you what I've seen is stagnant at best, and certainly the 'building of character' experience falls far short of where they would be with supportive family around instead. Here comes the red, but the '23 years old is an adult crowd and show him tough love' are a bunch of people who have no idea a) what it is to be a parent and b) have to actually do it all on their own.

With private school most of my life, college, grad school, and wealthy parents to back it up I worked my ass off from 14 on. It was never easy, if I had dropped out of college without parent support I doubt my hard work would have made up for half of what the support of my family did.

beanie4me said:   jason745 said:   I forgot FWF was the land of everyone start saving @ 18, graduate college in 3.5 years, have perfect credit, never make mistakes financially, and shame all that are in debt.

I have a hard time believing every person replying did everything perfect since becoming an adult.


We all make mistakes. The true test is what you learn from them, and making better choices later.

One of my bigger mistakes was dating a materialistic alcoholic. The girl guilted me if I failed to buy her a Loius Vuitton handbag every holiday. She'd routinely down 6+ top shelf drinks at dinner. Lesson learned... dumped her and never looked back.

Another dumb decision was buying a house at market prices in '09 when my fiancé-now-wife would have preferred an apartment. Even with the first time homebuyers tax credit, we've lost money compared to renting, after you include upkeep costs and high TX property taxes.

Jason 745....you rock!!!!! it's about time someone told it like it is. It amazes me how one day your baby is 17 years old, got drunk, stole the car for a quick spin, kicked his brothers butt, tried to stand up to you like he was invincible ( like any typical child) and then he turns 18..... all of the sudden he is an adult, can not make a mistake, god forbid he loses a job, because he had oh so much experience in the work force.
we are grown adults and we learn daily. once your too proud to learn you need to give it up. don't expect an 18 yr old to have every answer and always do the right thing because he is no longer 17. we make mistakes and learn from them. as long as it's made clear we are also held accountable for them.

23 year old? Not the end of the world. When i was 22, my credit score was 460. Dropped out of college. Unemployed for 11 months and was spending toward my last 100/dollar bill. There was no parent for me. Somehow, I got off my ass and started working at a restaurant 12 hours/day with below minimum wage. That was when my life has turned around. Not because i made a shitload of money, but because i was able to get away from other distractions. Friends, girls, smoke....etc. By working 12/hours, i didn't have much time to have fun. instead more time to re-evaluate my needs. This is me. Can't say the same for your son. He just needs to get a life....and want to change on his own. If he can't seem to pick it up, military is an option. They will whip him up for you. good luck.



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