Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Drama Part ?

I posted yesterday that my neighbor is beside herself about her youngest child's decision to forgo college out of state and now stay home to be closer to her boyfriend who will be attending a community college.

Said child has not worked all summer, claims she was job hunting but unable to find a job. Then drops the bombshell on her parents that she is staying home and not going to school this semester. Her parents have shelled out $3,500 in fees that are non refundable. They were able to get back about $750, but the rest of the money-gone. The kicker is youngest child has absolutely no regrets about her change of plans and the money laid out by her parents that is not going to be reimbursed. Youngest child also told her parents that she can't enroll in the same community college as her boyfriend for this semester, not even to take some classes-why, we never got a straight answer. Youngest child still does not have a job and has no place to live since she has made it clear she is going to move in with her boyfriend and leave home. Plus they have done nothing to find a place to live either.

I spent a good portion of last night sitting on my neighbors porch listening to her vent about the above over a couple beers. I really feel for my neighbor, she is just not having a good spell. Oldest child went through a sulky phase earlier this summer when her parents said they were not funding her apartment. At least oldest child got on the stick, got a job, is now living at home and is trying to save up for her own place. As someone pointed out in yesterday's comments, a lot of this is my neighbors fault for allowing her kids to take advantage of her. I do have to agree, my neighbor has had a pattern of just giving in to the kids in the past and now that she is not, it's causing all sorts of drama.

What distresses me most is the latter part of our conversation last night. Well into her 3rd or 4th beer and crying on my shoulder. My neighbor has told me that she really wants to refinance her house (again) so she can pay off her maxed out credit cards, but she can't because her credit has taken a nose dive. Sigh. They bought a new 42" plasma TV on credit, dished out all that money for the youngest kid, paid the apartment expenses for the oldest kid, and then bought plane tickets for their vacation when ticket prices where insane awhile back. More power to her if she can refinance the house, but what will happen then? Pay off the credit cards and then run them up? Use the extra cash to "help" the kids because they have the cash on hand and not tuck it away? Plus my neighbor is leaving for vacation next week with less than $200 cash in hand. They are staying with friends, the plane tickets are paid for, but they have almost no spare cash and will be away for 7 days. I think she said she was going to use up the last of her credit on her credit card for the trip. I sort of blanked out that part, I did not want to hear that.

Oh well, all I can do is what I did last night, bring over a 6 pack and some snacks and be a shoulder to cry on...

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

That's really sad. Would she listen if you advised her to cut back and make changes that would move her out of being broke? Would she read your blog?

Dawn said...

Using a refinance to pay off credit cards makes me shudder. I did it once myself - and then found out really quickly that when you take short cuts, you don't learn the lesson. I ended up running up my cards again, she probably will too. It wasn't until I paid them off with my hard earned cash that learned the lesson.

I think you did all you could do, when your neighbor starts to wake up from the financial mess she is in, you'll be able to help more by pointing her in the right directions (books and blogs and so forth) but until she starts realizing why these decisions are bad, she isn't going to get out of her mess. It's too bad, but one of those things you have to come to grips with on your own, I think. You were a great neighbor to her just by listening.

Revanche said...

Yai. I can't imagine living a life like that ... I feel for her, but also am a bit frustrated that she SEES that there are problems but not beyond them to a solution. Wouldn't working your way out of debt be easier than this kind of pain and turmoil?

Anyway, it's something she has to see for herself.

marci said...

Yikes! Yes I agree with the comments above, you are a good neighbor to offer your shoulder to cry on and listen. Has she ever asked you for financial advice? Maybe you should sneak in little tips when she's at the end of her rope (not knowing which way to go). I bet you don't want to feel pushy though.

Bouncing Back said...

My neighbor knows about my BK, she is one of the few people I have told. I also told her that doing a refinance can be a good thing, but not as an answer to her maxed out credit cards, time and time again.they used the last refinance to pay off maxed out credit cards, install new windows and she bought each daughter a new laptop. Trying to talk to her about things like budgets and living on cash are not working. She has asked multiple times how I manage on cash only-I just do and and I also do without.

At this point, she wants to make changes, but she can't or won't for what ever reason. All I can do is be there with a shoulder, an ear, and a few drinks. Until she is really willing to change her spending habits, it will be what it is. I just get frustrated for her. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink!

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