Author Topic: Overheard at a neighbor's house  (Read 5328 times)

TVRodriguez

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 774
Overheard at a neighbor's house
« on: January 22, 2020, 03:04:29 PM »
A neighbor invited me to a barbeque at her house, and I took two of my kids with me.  Met Other Mom there and we start chatting, just friendly banter among this Other Mom, the Host, and me--just three moms of elementary kids, chatting.  The subject of kids' allowances comes up, and Our Host mentions that she 'owes' some money to her two kids b/c she didn't have cash on hand when allowance time came up.

Other Mom says, "oh, boy, well, I actually owe my daughter because I raid her piggy bank sometimes."

Me: "Well, if you're short on cash b/c you never carry it--I mean, who does, these days?-- I could see using the kids' piggy bank as the ATM now and then."

OM: "It's really bad, though.  Like, I can't even tell you how much I owe her."

Me:  {thinking, okay, nbd}

Host: "How much?"

OM: "A lot."

Host: "I think I owe my oldest about $50 by now b/c I'm so far behind, so don't feel bad."

OM: "Um, it's more like, let's see . . . {starts counting on her fingers and mumbling} two, three, four, no, five hundred forty dollars."

Me: {blinks and tries to keep a blank look and also thinking that that is about 8 1/2 months of allowance for all three of my kids, and she's talking about one kid}

Host: "What?  No way!"

OM to Host: "It was when we went away together that week a couple months ago, and they were doing some weird catch-up thing on payroll at work, so my check was like, only $150 that week.  I couldn't make it that whole week of vacation on that!  So I borrowed from my daughter."

Host: "We had such a good time that week!"

OM to Host: "I know!  We should do that again!!  Oh, you know what, we're going to Costa Rica for a week in June!!  I can't wait."

I bit my tongue.  Didn't ask how she was paying for the week in Costa Rica or if she planned to borrow from her 10 year old again for that trip, too.

Piglet

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 18
Re: Overheard at a neighbor's house
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2020, 05:56:14 PM »
A few months ago when there was some threat of a government shutdown, I asked my neighbor if she was looking forward to some (probably unpaid unless Congress authorized back pay) time off since she always talks about how stressful her job is and how she’d like to spend more time with her two kids (she’s a single mom with a full time job). She told me she couldn’t survive a shutdown with all her bills. I sympathized with her.  She’s a really wonderful woman who works hard and tries to provide for her kids and elderly mother. Then at the end of December, she proudly showed off her brand new Mercedes SUV that she got during their year end sale....

lizzzi

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2156
Re: Overheard at a neighbor's house
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2020, 05:25:36 AM »
I think taking your kids' money is despicable. It's stealing, even if just small amounts from a piggy bank. Would you break into the coffee money at work just to get by? That's not much money either--hey, so what. Might as well look in co-workers desk drawers, too. There might be a couple dollars in there. 

And the post about the hard-working, lower-wage person buying the Mercedes SUV "on sale" is just sad. 

TheGrimSqueaker

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2369
  • Location: A desert wasteland, where none but the weird survive
Re: Overheard at a neighbor's house
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2020, 06:37:00 AM »
I think taking your kids' money is despicable. It's stealing, even if just small amounts from a piggy bank. Would you break into the coffee money at work just to get by? That's not much money either--hey, so what. Might as well look in co-workers desk drawers, too. There might be a couple dollars in there. 

Why stop there? A person might as well rifle through purses and wallets at work, at the gym, or anywhere else money might be stashed.

For a more serious answer to the question, I think that the only reason they don't help themselves to the coffee fund or money out of an employer's till is because of the consequences should they be caught. At the gym or at work that person could lose their job or be prosecuted for theft. But their own kid isn't in a position to do much about money stolen out of a piggy bank, a bank account, or a trust fund by a parent or a sibling. What police officer is going to investigate the crime, or take it seriously?

Chris22

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3361
  • Location: Chicago NW Suburbs
Re: Overheard at a neighbor's house
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2020, 08:14:35 AM »
I think taking your kids' money is despicable. It's stealing, even if just small amounts from a piggy bank. Would you break into the coffee money at work just to get by? That's not much money either--hey, so what. Might as well look in co-workers desk drawers, too. There might be a couple dollars in there. 

And the post about the hard-working, lower-wage person buying the Mercedes SUV "on sale" is just sad.

Meh.  My kids have thousands in their savings accounts and tens of thousands in their college funds, because I put it there.  They get to do pretty much any activity they want, have all the clothes and toys and books they could want, have high-end tech toys like iPads with data plans that I pay for, etc etc etc.  In return, they have to bear the inconvenience of dad occasionally grabbing $2 of crumbled bills out of one of their night stands because I forget to get cash the night before for train parking.  I think they’ll be fine.

Also my kids are 2 and 7. But I don’t think it matters.

kei te pai

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 436
Re: Overheard at a neighbor's house
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2020, 08:28:54 AM »
I think it matters.

jinga nation

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1668
  • Location: 'Murica's Johnson
  • Left, Right, Peddlin' Shite
Re: Overheard at a neighbor's house
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2020, 09:24:03 AM »
I think taking your kids' money is despicable. It's stealing, even if just small amounts from a piggy bank. Would you break into the coffee money at work just to get by? That's not much money either--hey, so what. Might as well look in co-workers desk drawers, too. There might be a couple dollars in there. 

And the post about the hard-working, lower-wage person buying the Mercedes SUV "on sale" is just sad.

Meh.  My kids have thousands in their savings accounts and tens of thousands in their college funds, because I put it there.  They get to do pretty much any activity they want, have all the clothes and toys and books they could want, have high-end tech toys like iPads with data plans that I pay for, etc etc etc.  In return, they have to bear the inconvenience of dad occasionally grabbing $2 of crumbled bills out of one of their night stands because I forget to get cash the night before for train parking.  I think they’ll be fine.

Also my kids are 2 and 7. But I don’t think it matters.

I'm in a similar situation. Agree with you in a broad sense.

The line I take, when I need emergency cash, is ask my 7 or 5 year old, to loan Dad some money since I spent the last dollar on <family activity>. They gladly provide as they know I had their back when Mum said no and I said yes to a well-deserved small-dollar-value treat. I'll issue a dated promissory note, they can cash it in at anytime within 30 days. I pay 10% interest.
They're learning the concept of time, money, interest, loans, some of which the 7 yo is currently learning in 2nd grade. Learn that dad/mum didn't plan ahead, and they learn from our mistakes.

Also, for school trips, they have to come up with the initial funds, Dad/Mum will cough-up the balance. Kids love to feel they contributed.
Because they know that if parents have to pay for everything, then we won't have money for their once-a-week school pizza lunch.
That's what we tell them, it works (so far, so good).

I don't think it matters to occasionally dip into their piggy bank, but I'd use it as a learning experience.

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8618
Re: Overheard at a neighbor's house
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2020, 11:05:39 AM »
I think taking your kids' money is despicable. It's stealing, even if just small amounts from a piggy bank. Would you break into the coffee money at work just to get by? That's not much money either--hey, so what. Might as well look in co-workers desk drawers, too. There might be a couple dollars in there. 

And the post about the hard-working, lower-wage person buying the Mercedes SUV "on sale" is just sad.
I'm sure the justification is that they are the parents, and likely all the money their kids have is because the parents gave it to them.

Anyhoo, when I was a senior in HS, we got our school tax bill.  My mom and dad were divorced/ separated by then.  We lived in a cold, drafty, rented trailer.  Note: it didn't seem weird to me then, but does now - that renters paid school tax.  Not so in California where I live now.

So, the bill that came in the end of the year was for a few hundred bucks.  Maybe $300?  My mom was broke, my dad didn't pay child support or alimony, and my mom's income was $9000 a year.  If you paid the bill in December, it was $300.  If you waited until April, it was $600!!!

She didn't have the money.  I had a few hundred bucks in my savings account from years of birthday money.  I told her to take it.  "I don't want to take your money!"  You can pay me back whenever, it's stupid to wait 3 months and pay double.

She did pay me back, but honestly didn't have to.
She did loan me $1000 when I bought my first car 4.5 years later just before graduating from college, before I got the bank loan.  I did pay her back.

lizzzi

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2156
Re: Overheard at a neighbor's house
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2020, 11:45:58 AM »
I think taking your kids' money is despicable. It's stealing, even if just small amounts from a piggy bank. Would you break into the coffee money at work just to get by? That's not much money either--hey, so what. Might as well look in co-workers desk drawers, too. There might be a couple dollars in there. 

And the post about the hard-working, lower-wage person buying the Mercedes SUV "on sale" is just sad.
I'm sure the justification is that they are the parents, and likely all the money their kids have is because the parents gave it to them.

Anyhoo, when I was a senior in HS, we got our school tax bill.  My mom and dad were divorced/ separated by then.  We lived in a cold, drafty, rented trailer.  Note: it didn't seem weird to me then, but does now - that renters paid school tax.  Not so in California where I live now.

So, the bill that came in the end of the year was for a few hundred bucks.  Maybe $300?  My mom was broke, my dad didn't pay child support or alimony, and my mom's income was $9000 a year.  If you paid the bill in December, it was $300.  If you waited until April, it was $600!!!

She didn't have the money.  I had a few hundred bucks in my savings account from years of birthday money.  I told her to take it.  "I don't want to take your money!"  You can pay me back whenever, it's stupid to wait 3 months and pay double.

She did pay me back, but honestly didn't have to.
She did loan me $1000 when I bought my first car 4.5 years later just before graduating from college, before I got the bank loan.  I did pay her back.

Good for you--but that's a different scenario.

Piglet

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 18
Re: Overheard at a neighbor's house
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2020, 12:21:12 PM »
My apologies on not clarifying.... my neighbor is not a low wage earner. She makes low to mid $100k. High end cars are “just her thing”....

AMandM

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1175
Re: Overheard at a neighbor's house
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2020, 12:42:08 PM »
We're talking about a bunch of different scenarios here. Being late to give your kids their allowance, or borrowing a few bucks when you need cash and paying it back quickly, is not the same as repeatedly helping yourself from their accounts/piggybanks with no real intention of replacing it.

TVRodriguez

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 774
Re: Overheard at a neighbor's house
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2020, 01:15:16 PM »
We're talking about a bunch of different scenarios here. Being late to give your kids their allowance, or borrowing a few bucks when you need cash and paying it back quickly, is not the same as repeatedly helping yourself from their accounts/piggybanks with no real intention of replacing it.

Yes.  I initially thought that the OM (in my OP) was referring to borrowing a few bucks when you need cash and then paying it back quickly.  But when she (i) told the amount, then (ii) followed up the amount with the reason (vacation where funds were clearly not saved or planned out ahead of time), and then (iii) followed that up with a plan for another vacation and no mention of a plan to pay back the child, that's when I bit my tongue.  I realized that nothing I could say would make a whit of difference to this woman's worldview.

pattycakepdx

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 19
  • Age: 31
  • Location: Portland, OR
Re: Overheard at a neighbor's house
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2020, 01:07:40 PM »
Oh man, as someone whose childhood savings was regularly depleted by parents who "borrowed" it because they were "just a little behind" because they were absolute shit with money (but thought they were good with it), this makes me so angry and sad.

FIRE@50

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 537
  • Age: 43
  • Location: Maryland
Re: Overheard at a neighbor's house
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2020, 01:17:31 PM »
Can we stop debating whether or not your child's money is your money and get back to the OP for a second? Either that is the most mustachian 10yo ever or that allowance is obscene! How does that kid have that much money? And, get that kid a savings account. 540 bucks in a drawer isn't doing any good.

Chris22

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3361
  • Location: Chicago NW Suburbs
Re: Overheard at a neighbor's house
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2020, 01:32:14 PM »
Can we stop debating whether or not your child's money is your money and get back to the OP for a second? Either that is the most mustachian 10yo ever or that allowance is obscene! How does that kid have that much money? And, get that kid a savings account. 540 bucks in a drawer isn't doing any good.

Meh, my 2y/o has like $1700 in a savings account just from various relatives giving her gifts at Christmas, birthday, baptism, whatever. And that doesn’t count what’s in her various 529s from us and her grandparents.  When she gets a $10 bill in a card here or there I or my wife usually snag it and put it in our wallet; we put several hundred dollars a month in her college fund plus buy her plenty of trinkets here and there, and no 2 y/o needs paper money laying around the nursery.

TheFrenchCat

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 173
Re: Overheard at a neighbor's house
« Reply #15 on: January 29, 2020, 02:39:45 PM »
Can we stop debating whether or not your child's money is your money and get back to the OP for a second? Either that is the most mustachian 10yo ever or that allowance is obscene! How does that kid have that much money? And, get that kid a savings account. 540 bucks in a drawer isn't doing any good.

Meh, my 2y/o has like $1700 in a savings account just from various relatives giving her gifts at Christmas, birthday, baptism, whatever. And that doesn’t count what’s in her various 529s from us and her grandparents.  When she gets a $10 bill in a card here or there I or my wife usually snag it and put it in our wallet; we put several hundred dollars a month in her college fund plus buy her plenty of trinkets here and there, and no 2 y/o needs paper money laying around the nursery.

I wish my relatives would just stick to cash instead of more plastic toys.  Of course my four year old loves it, but we don't have much space.  We also put any cash gifts in our wallet and then transfer the amount into her account.  But she's started getting more interested in money and starting to think about wanting to buy her own things, so we've started letting her keep the smaller bills.  Maybe soon we'll start taking her to the bank to have her deposit her savings.

We probably won't give her a traditional allowance, since neither of us got one.  Maybe something for above and beyond chores.

But yeah, letting that much cash just sit around isn't a good idea.  And raiding your child's funds for luxuries you couldn't be bothered to save for is abominable.   

Sugaree

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 957
Re: Overheard at a neighbor's house
« Reply #16 on: February 04, 2020, 06:38:25 AM »
Can we stop debating whether or not your child's money is your money and get back to the OP for a second? Either that is the most mustachian 10yo ever or that allowance is obscene! How does that kid have that much money? And, get that kid a savings account. 540 bucks in a drawer isn't doing any good.

Right after my kiddo turned 4, he decided that he wanted this gigantic Batman cave dollhouse type thing.  This thing was bigger than him at the time.  It was also right after his birthday.  So I told him that this would be a good time to start earning an allowance and saving up for the things he wanted.  We started him off at $5/week, I think.  Now, I didn't really think that he would ever save up enough money to buy this thing and I was okay with that because we didn't really have room for it in our house.  Well, the joke's on me because between birthday money, allowance, "working" for Nana, and charging my husband absolute loan-shark like rates on the money he "borrowed" there is now a 4 ft tall Batcave in my house. 

He's six now and gets $10/week or $20 every other week with the caveat that he has to save at least half of it.  He has two savings accounts.  One is a "Spending" account where he can save money for short-term purchases and a "Saving" account for long-term savings.  He doesn't quite understand the idea of saving for the sake of saving, but seems okay with the explanation that it's saving for the future (I gave him the example of buying a car at 16, which he told me that was silly since you had to be 18 to buy a car...which...he's right, but how does he know that?).  He's built up about $500 in that saving account, so we're probably going to start looking at investment options for a UTMA.  Now that most of the major platforms are going commission-free, I'm thinking that a share of MCD and a share of VTI/SCHB might be good places to start.