Author Topic: 17 year old, stuck in antimustachian home.  (Read 18815 times)

Ethernet

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17 year old, stuck in antimustachian home.
« on: June 12, 2014, 12:01:41 AM »
Hey all, long time lurker, pretty recent poster.

I'm hoping you all can help me in my situation. For starters, I'm 17 years old. I still live with my parents, and I can't change that situation for a lot of reasons. While I have time on my side, it's also against me. I currently have to wait one more year before I can open an investment account, so as of right now all of my income (walmart cashier) is going into a savings account. (And for the record, my monthly income is about $600 a month).

I've recently amassed about $2500 in savings, and while this seems great, it also seems to be causing tension in the household. Due to my savings, my family sees that I have more disposable income than I know what to do with, and as such has given me more financial responsibilities. I was originally in charge of just paying for gasoline for my truck (forced onto me, more on that later) but I am now in charge of a $70 internet bill, totaling up to $190 a month.

That being said, my parents are the very definition of what I consider to be antimustachian. We go out to eat at least once every other day, drive our cars everywhere (they're known to drive my siblings one block to the bus stop in cold weather, and then idle for 20 minutes before coming home again) and we are in a lot of debt. It's become more obvious the older I've gotten, and it's saddening to admit that my family lives paycheck to paycheck.

My family has also started give me little groceries to buy while at work, and while they're seemingly small things like bird seed, what usually happens is I'll buy it, and then they'll forget to pay me back. I've been able to swallow this, but it's still another $30 a month that I'm seemingly locked into.

Similarly, I'm also locked into the truck, as my family sees no reason for another sedan, let alone a hatchback. My dad has the title, and has no intention of letting me inherit it anytime soon. I've been learning to hypermile, but even then the most I've been able to get out of the truck is 18 MPG.

Overall, I've been able to deal with this, but I'm kind of reaching my breaking point. It seems like they're very slowly trying to get me to use every single dollar I make for their purposes, and it's extremely hard to maintain a 50% savings rate in this situation. Very recently there was a dilemma over me not wanting to go 50/50 on a new boat, and even more recently my dad's only offer on trading in the truck was to take over his current lease ($150 a month) so he could get a new truck. It's very hard to save for my future when I'm in a constant battle just trying to live in the present. I love these people to death, but quite honestly the difference in lifestyle is astounding and almost heartbreaking.

This is driving me nuts, and my lack of options is even more frustrating. Living at home is the only plausible option for me right now, and I may need to stay here even longer if I plan on going to the local college. Fellow mustachians, can you provide any advice for my situation, short of giving in and letting my parents take over my savings accounts?
« Last Edit: June 12, 2014, 12:03:32 AM by Ethernet »

The Hamster

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Re: 17 year old, stuck in antimustachian home.
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2014, 12:33:40 AM »
Do you have to drive the truck?  Is there any way you could tell your parents "thanks but no thanks" and buy a bicycle or take public transport / walk?  Regarding the groceries - do you pay board?
The only way your parents can take control of your money is if you let them.

Kaminoge

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Re: 17 year old, stuck in antimustachian home.
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2014, 12:46:44 AM »
First of all great work on having managed to save up some money and on not just blindly following along with the way the rest of your family chooses to live.

It's great that you are trying to be frugal but I think at this point you may need to adjust your attitude slightly. Are you living rent free? Benefiting from a truck that your family paid for?

You say that you might have to live at home for a fair bit longer. Is that because you can't afford to pay rent? It just sounds to me like perhaps you're getting a pretty good deal out of your family even though I can understand why it's driving you crazy.

Could you perhaps do a deal with your family instead. Offer to pay them a reasonable amount of board but then explain that you really want to save the rest of your money for XXXX (make up a purchase they'll be sympathetic towards if necessary).

I also echo Hamster's question about the truck. If it's only fuel you are paying for then you can work on driving less.

dcheesi

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Re: 17 year old, stuck in antimustachian home.
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2014, 03:50:05 AM »
Yeah, you are benefitting from the household in various ways, so it's actually pretty reasonable for them to expect you to help pay for household expenses. What's not reasonable is expecting you to directly subsidize frivolous purchases like a boat(?!).

NewStachian

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Re: 17 year old, stuck in antimustachian home.
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2014, 04:27:05 AM »
This is certainly a tough situation. It makes sense from your perspective. Your parents are leaning on you more and more for household responsibilities since you're almost an adult yourself and have a job. They're still providing you a lot of stuff that you'd have to pay for otherwise. However, it's frustrating for you because you know that they wouldn't need your financial help if they were even an ounce smarter with their money.

My senior year in high school at age 17 was the most tension I've ever had with my parents. You've gotten to the point where you're ready to have your own life, but you can't yet. My recommendations are twofold:

First, tell yourself you only have 1 more year and that the money you're spending is heavily offset by the costs your parents are paying for. Sure, it sucks to pay for internet at 17... but maybe it will suck less knowing you don't have to pay electricity, gas, water/sewage, trash removal, and mortgage.

Second, don't give up on your family. Talking money is always difficult and heated, but if you can somehow find a way to show them the way of the Mustache you will both be much better off. This is one of those things that's insanely easy to say but much more difficult to do. As people get older, their mindsets usually become more and more ingrained in their ways. Many can break this, but it's difficult.

But, here's the bottom line: There are more important things at play at age 17 that dictate your financial success than a few bucks you have to give your parents. When you're 40 and someone asks you "So, how was your financial success affected by the money you had to contribute to your parents' household at age 17?". You will probably just laugh.

Questions you should be more focused on:
- Do you know where you're going to college next year?
- Do you know how you're going to fund that?
- Do you know how employable your major is in the real world and what that degree will be worth?
- Do you know how good of a degree your school gives out in that field?
- If you're not going to college next year do you know what kind of job you want to get?
- Are you starting now with learning the skills you will need?
- Is your employment decision maximizing your potential revenue as well as happiness?

I went to college for computer science. I love my job and make your current monthly income in a day. I'm not mentioning this to say "hey look at me" but to point out that the questions I posed above are orders of magnitude more important than the one about contributing to your household. I wouldn't be surprised if you already have these questions answered, since you do seem to be a very bright and responsible person. But, if not, it's a good time to start answering them.

Gray Matter

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Re: 17 year old, stuck in antimustachian home.
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2014, 04:40:47 AM »
This is certainly a tough situation. It makes sense from your perspective. Your parents are leaning on you more and more for household responsibilities since you're almost an adult yourself and have a job. They're still providing you a lot of stuff that you'd have to pay for otherwise. However, it's frustrating for you because you know that they wouldn't need your financial help if they were even an ounce smarter with their money.

My senior year in high school at age 17 was the most tension I've ever had with my parents. You've gotten to the point where you're ready to have your own life, but you can't yet. My recommendations are twofold:

First, tell yourself you only have 1 more year and that the money you're spending is heavily offset by the costs your parents are paying for. Sure, it sucks to pay for internet at 17... but maybe it will suck less knowing you don't have to pay electricity, gas, water/sewage, trash removal, and mortgage.

Second, don't give up on your family. Talking money is always difficult and heated, but if you can somehow find a way to show them the way of the Mustache you will both be much better off. This is one of those things that's insanely easy to say but much more difficult to do. As people get older, their mindsets usually become more and more ingrained in their ways. Many can break this, but it's difficult.

But, here's the bottom line: There are more important things at play at age 17 that dictate your financial success than a few bucks you have to give your parents. When you're 40 and someone asks you "So, how was your financial success affected by the money you had to contribute to your parents' household at age 17?". You will probably just laugh.

Questions you should be more focused on:
- Do you know where you're going to college next year?
- Do you know how you're going to fund that?
- Do you know how employable your major is in the real world and what that degree will be worth?
- Do you know how good of a degree your school gives out in that field?
- If you're not going to college next year do you know what kind of job you want to get?
- Are you starting now with learning the skills you will need?
- Is your employment decision maximizing your potential revenue as well as happiness?

I went to college for computer science. I love my job and make your current monthly income in a day. I'm not mentioning this to say "hey look at me" but to point out that the questions I posed above are orders of magnitude more important than the one about contributing to your household. I wouldn't be surprised if you already have these questions answered, since you do seem to be a very bright and responsible person. But, if not, it's a good time to start answering them.

+1 Excellent advice here!

former player

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Re: 17 year old, stuck in antimustachian home.
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2014, 04:55:12 AM »
Part of mustachianism is about the long-term.  Longer-term, you can be off on your own and deal with your family from a position of independence and equality.  That time will come: be patient, young padawan.  In the meantime, it is almost certainly better for you to stay with your parents, because 1) you are 17 and not yet legally an adult: this makes a big difference to the life and financial choices available to you, 2) it can be a big bad world out there and young people who don't have the backing of family have a pretty rough time of it setting up on their own (e.g. looked-after children, who tend not to get support after their 18th birthday, or children who are thrown out by their parents for being gay, tend to have particularly rough life outcomes), and 3) even with your anti-mustachian parents, you are almost certainly financially better off living with them than on your own.  Unfortunately, you do not have the choice of having mustachian parents, which would have been the ideal option for you.

I think you need to teach yourself the fine arts of negotiation and compromise.  Very few people know how to negotiate effectively.  If you can teach yourself this (library books, internet) it will serve you well with your family and in work.  Compromise (sometimes just the appearance of it, depending how good your negotiating skills are) is essential to good personal and working relationships: learn about this too.

Truck: does anyone else use this (ie are you paying only for your own gas, or for others too?  Who pays for insurance and maintenance?  How much as you paying per mile of driving, and how much are your family paying per mile of your driving ($150 a month lease, insurance, maintenance)?   Do the sums.  Can you drive less, or manage without driving (eg walk, take public transport, buy a bike or scooter?)  How much would these alternatives cost you?  What is the optimised solution of those available to you?  You may find that it is the truck, despite its mileage.  The thing to remember here is that you are not yet in a position to optimise vis-a-vis the rest of the world, only for the position you find yourself in.  Sometimes good enough is good enough.

Internet: do some research: $190 a month seems high: can you get this cheaper? If you are the only user, can you cut it off/down and manage with publicly available Wi-Fi?  If this is your main contribution to household expenses, and you use it a lot, it may not be unreasonable to pay, but there is no reason why you shouldn't look at getting it cheaper.

Extras: if your family wants something, get cash in hand before you buy it.  If they ring you up at work for something they need that day, then hand the item over only when you've got the cash.  If they haven't got the cash, stick the receipt on the fridge as a reminder.  Also, use your newly worked up skills in negotiation and compromise to try to help them plan their shopping better.

You haven't mentioned what your own long-term goals are.  If you have worked these out, then work out the financial route to them (eg saving for tuition) and let your parents know.  If you haven't worked them out, tell them that you are not yet certain what you want to do, but are working and saving so that you will have the option of getting training/education in something useful without taking on a lot of debt.  Perhaps too you could say that one of your interests might be financial management, that you have found savings on eg the household internet payments, and would be interested in looking at other areas where you might help with organising the family budget.

Good luck.

KBecks2

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Re: 17 year old, stuck in antimustachian home.
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2014, 05:26:30 AM »
Just say no to the boat.  You do not need a boat, and certainly not half a boat.

Maybe you can contribute to your household by learning to cook and making a few meals?

You can control yourself, but you can't control your parents.  Do the best you can and try not to stress over their choices. 

Try to be easy on them, do your share of helping around the house and try to get along with everyone.  If you have been talking about money with them frequently, you may want to bring up the topic less, or not at all.

Lastly, it's your dad's truck.  It is not your decision what kind of vehicle he has.  If you are ready to buy your own and insure it and cover all the expenses, then be thankful that your parents are sharing their vehicle with you.   Be careful about not acting like a know it all at 17 years old.


« Last Edit: June 12, 2014, 05:34:18 AM by KBecks2 »

Cpa Cat

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Re: 17 year old, stuck in antimustachian home.
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2014, 06:39:43 AM »
You're getting by with only $220 a month in room and board. That's not too shabby. You certainly couldn't house and feed yourself for cheaper - so no worries, you're still saving money. Instead of comparing it to your salary, compare it to what the bare minimums would cost if you were on your own.

Any time they nickle-and-dime you, just go and check the classifieds and see what it would cost to rent a room close to campus - factor in food and other costs - and do that math on whether you're still coming out ahead by living at home.

With silly purchases like half a boat - just remind them you're saving for college. End of story. They know it's coming in a year. Stay pleasant and practice saying "no."

As for the truck: If the only expense that you shoulder is the gas, then don't worry about the gas mileage. It's still cheaper than buying and insuring your own vehicle.

Ultimately, you're doing fine.

I understand that you read the Money Mustache blog and see that income doesn't matter, only spending and savings rate. But look, there are limits. You only make $600 a month. Don't get too frustrated about your savings rate. You'll keep your student loans low and you'll avoid lifestyle inflation when you get out school and are making adult money.

You really need to start looking on the bright side and stop getting so frustrated. You're living cheap, your whole life is ahead of you, and you're adopting mustachian philosophies at a young age. Your future is so bright, it's blinding me.

Bourbon

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Re: 17 year old, stuck in antimustachian home.
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2014, 06:49:00 AM »
What everyone else said.  I understand your frustrations but you do benefit from still being under their roof.  I do want to give you a Kudos on educating yourself about finances and putting a good savings rate into practice.  It will pay dividends if you get a start this young and keep up with it.

I worked some during high school and heavily in the summer between HS and college.  Blew most of that money on a trip to Florida and on building a fancy computer. 

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Re: 17 year old, stuck in antimustachian home.
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2014, 07:10:02 AM »
Read some of the "things I wish I knew at 20, 30, and 40" threads. You are WAY ahead of the game, even with your family. I would kill to go back in time and have your attitude at 17.

Avoid getting locked in to big commitments like the boat, but realize that all the $ you've earned to date is not all that much in the big picture. You've got the habits down. Things will click once you can be independent.

homeymomma

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Re: 17 year old, stuck in antimustachian home.
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2014, 07:22:11 AM »
Great advice here. Yes, it sucks that your parents are nickel and diming you, but at the same time they're (unintentionally) teaching you a very valuable lesson. You know how much internet costs (especially if you shop around a little), you know how much gas costs and how much you mpg affects it.

 Next step is for you to educate yourself about the costs of college, possibly rent, insuring your own car or purchasing your own car, etc. I think once you grasp all of these realities (you're not far off), you'll be much more likely to be happy putting up with paying a few hundred here and there to keep that free roof over your head.

 You're off to a great start... Even if you come out with $0 when you leave your parents home (I.e. They charge you room and board during college and it eats up all your $600 income), you're still waaaay better off than 99% of your peers, just by attitude alone.

Definitely focusing on the bigger picture and how to position yourself best for success once you leave home/graduate from college is more important right now. If, on top of that, you can amass a small emergency/moving fund in the meantime, more power to you!

CommonCents

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Re: 17 year old, stuck in antimustachian home.
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2014, 08:29:48 AM »
Agree with the others on focusing on the big picture.  I would take the expense of the truck as still less than fully paying for a car yourself (purchase, insurance, repairs+gas)

Probably the best thing you can do is talk about *what* you are saving for, that you are saving because college is going to be very expensive.  Be clear about how much you need to save by X date.  Also, don't talk about how much you have saved.

Finally, when you pick up items at the store, you can keep a list on the fridge of the running tally of items owed, along with the receipts.  "I'll get you the cash later, I don't have it on me now."  "No problem!  I'll just write it up on the fridge so you don't forget."  When it reaches a certain sum, suggest a check.  (Note that you aren't paying for groceries, so you are getting a benefit, which you might consider as whether it's worthwhile to rock the boat by insisting on repayment.)

mozar

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Re: 17 year old, stuck in antimustachian home.
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2014, 08:43:41 AM »
I want to say again to not discuss with your family how much money you have. I stopped telling my mom how much i make years ago. It was hard but worth it. Once you turn 18 you dont have to tell them anything. I also suggest moving out at 18 no matter what. Use your savings if you have to. Its worth it for learning independence.

unix_kung_fu

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Re: 17 year old, stuck in antimustachian home.
« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2014, 08:47:05 AM »
You need to explain to your family what BOAT stands for:

Bust Out Another Thousand.

netskyblue

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Re: 17 year old, stuck in antimustachian home.
« Reply #15 on: June 12, 2014, 08:59:44 AM »
Yeah, you are benefitting from the household in various ways, so it's actually pretty reasonable for them to expect you to help pay for household expenses. What's not reasonable is expecting you to directly subsidize frivolous purchases like a boat(?!).

At age 17, OP is a minor.  I don't think he/she "owes" the parents anything for room & board.  It's not his/her responsibility to pay for the family's groceries!  As far as the gas, I think that's fair.  You did the driving, that's one of the downsides of driving.

And what about the internet?  Are THEY using the internet?  Are you paying for a portion, or all of it?  If it's all of it, just quit paying for it and using it, and let your parents decide if they want to cancel it.  You shouldn't have to pay for their entertainment.  (But they aren't required to pay for it for you, either.  It sucks, but as the parents, they could say "we're not going to have internet anymore" and there's not much you can do about it.  Go to the library to use internet.)

curlycue

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Re: 17 year old, stuck in antimustachian home.
« Reply #16 on: June 12, 2014, 09:00:33 AM »
I want to say again to not discuss with your family how much money you have. I stopped telling my mom how much i make years ago. It was hard but worth it. Once you turn 18 you dont have to tell them anything. I also suggest moving out at 18 no matter what. Use your savings if you have to. Its worth it for learning independence.

+1000 on the don't discuss finances with your parents. If they are on your bank account get an independent one the day you turn 18. In the mean time, take out the cash and hide it. Tell them you work at Walmart and are poor. Play up the poor hick part of it.

You may have to help with family expenses, but if it is cheaper than rent and living on your own then sometimes you have to suck it up.

But start whining more about how poor you are. You actually are poor. $2500 is NOTHING and will be eaten up by college, car, rent, etc. For many poor people depending on where you live it is only one month of expenses!

You will have to weigh which is cheaper - living with them and helping out with expenses, or moving out on your own. Helping with internet might be the best rent deal you have - you may want to even thank them.

But after this you need to paint a picture of how poor you are. Get a P.O. Box so that they cannot open your mail or find out about your investments. As you get more financially stable and older they will even ask to borrow from you so do not ever reveal how stable you are or what savings or income you have. You are one emergency away from being flat broke anyway right now.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2014, 09:20:41 AM by curlycue »

boarder42

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Re: 17 year old, stuck in antimustachian home.
« Reply #17 on: June 12, 2014, 09:04:15 AM »
Boat's can be good investments if used properly and bought properly.  and you have to weigh the enjoyment you get from it.  but for 95% of people yeah they just want the status they feel they get with a boat. i have 17k in a boat i can flip mid summer for 25k if i wanted to sell... strongly considering it actually... then i will get a new one next fall when the boat market goes to crap again.

CommonCents

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Re: 17 year old, stuck in antimustachian home.
« Reply #18 on: June 12, 2014, 09:27:01 AM »
Yeah, you are benefitting from the household in various ways, so it's actually pretty reasonable for them to expect you to help pay for household expenses. What's not reasonable is expecting you to directly subsidize frivolous purchases like a boat(?!).

At age 17, OP is a minor.  I don't think he/she "owes" the parents anything for room & board.  It's not his/her responsibility to pay for the family's groceries!  As far as the gas, I think that's fair.  You did the driving, that's one of the downsides of driving.

And what about the internet?  Are THEY using the internet?  Are you paying for a portion, or all of it?  If it's all of it, just quit paying for it and using it, and let your parents decide if they want to cancel it.  You shouldn't have to pay for their entertainment.  (But they aren't required to pay for it for you, either.  It sucks, but as the parents, they could say "we're not going to have internet anymore" and there's not much you can do about it.  Go to the library to use internet.)

The OP may not owe his (her?) parents anything (and they are legally obligated to provide a roof and food, though not a car, internet, entertainment, or more clothes than bare min etc), but I know MANY kids who were expected to help out with family expenses when they got old enough to hold down a job.  I suspect he is given far more beyond the mandated minimum and it would not come out well if he were forced to pay for those extras.  While his deal is not as generous as many kids get, it is better than others - and better than they are required to provide, so to a certain extent, rocking the boat is risky.

WhoopWhoop

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Re: 17 year old, stuck in antimustachian home.
« Reply #19 on: June 12, 2014, 09:40:58 AM »
my family sees that I have more disposable income than I know what to do with, and as such has given me more financial responsibilities.
For the record, in many families, this is "standard." Once the teens start earning more, they contribute more.

On the other hand, you might be right that the parents are using this opportunity to excercise "control" over you, which some parents do. As someone who has a parent that actually refers to herself as a "control freak," here's what I know about fighting back:
  • They want money for the gas or car, then stop using it. Walk or bike instead. If your job is too far away, get a new job. The hardest thing to do is get a first job, which you already accomplished. A second job is easy to get. Ask your friends and parents of your friends for referrals to new jobs, but for god's sake don't ask your control freak parents.
  • Remove all "blame" for expenses that you incur. Start paying for and cooking your own food. Stop using the internet at home (use the library or someplace else if you have a research project). Offer to pay a basic amount of "rent." Whatever you do, remove all their excuses to whine about you.
  • If you don't want them to ask you to buy things, don't work at or near a grocery store. Get another job (see above) or make it clear you can't "carry" stuff home now that you're biking or walking.
  • Keep saying no to this boat and car nonsense.

As annoyed as you are, don't have a huge, blowout argument. Tension is fine, telling them off is not. Your parents may have control issues, but you're still not earning enough to support yourself, and you may hit a few bumps in the road and require their assistance.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2014, 09:43:23 AM by WhoopWhoop »

Ethernet

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Re: 17 year old, stuck in antimustachian home.
« Reply #20 on: June 12, 2014, 10:12:39 AM »
Hey all, lots of great advice here and I've definitely appreciated the different perspectives.

While I do very much appreciate the truck that they've provided me, it's been both a gift and a curse. The original agreement was that my parents would help me with gas, but once I started getting a good savings going they decided to cut off support for that altogether. I'm in charge of both gas and maintenance at the moment.

As for not letting my parents know about my finances, this again is a result of my age. I called multiple banks and all of them said I needed a legal guardian to also be on the bank account for me to open one. My dad is a printer, so he encourages that I always get a paper statement sent to the home whenever possible.

My parents do give me a lot, and I'm not complaining about how I'm treated in my family. It's rather the fact that I get the bigger expenses in the home, and they're the ones I have no control over. My dad recently upgraded the internet which is why it's at $70 a month. It used to be $50, but my dad fell for the whole "We get a whole extra 8 mbps!" thing and he upgraded. I've tried to help my family cut in other places, like getting rid of my data plan (wi-fi all day), but my dad never actually gets around to calling the service provider and cutting us down. Suggestions such as cutting the cable or moving to a slower internet package have yielded no results, and again added tension to the family. My family gets super defensive about their spending habits, and although painful I let it go after the first week or so when I realized they weren't willing to budge.

On the topic of driving me crazy, I guess I used the wrong term. It's not that my family drives me crazy, it's just that it withers my mustache a little whenever I see them buying the newest iPhone or going out to dinner every night and things of that nature. My parents have about $10k in 401(k)s right now (and he plans on taking a loan out on it soon, too) and I feel like every choice they make right now is something I'll have to pay for later on in my life. They're already in their early 40s.

Again, thanks to everyone for their point of view. I guess venting helped me out a little, and I see that my situation could definitely be a lot worse if I were to be on my own. I guess I've fallen to the know it all syndrome that seems to plague my age group and generation.

Greg

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Re: 17 year old, stuck in antimustachian home.
« Reply #21 on: June 12, 2014, 10:21:48 AM »
Keep in mind too that for many kids your age, the truck deal would be great.  From your parents' perspective they may think they're giving you lots of great things.

You may want to ask if since you have to pay the internet bill, you should decide the service level.  Or only pay the $50 basic amount, this would be reasonable to me if I were your folks.

My advice would be to lay low about your savings (consider an alternate place to save it, like a P.O. box?) and stay on track as much as possible.  The advice to act "poor" would be good.  Definitely act frugal, but not annoyingly so (this you'll have to gauge).  So if the family goes out to eat, get the cheaper thing on the menu, drink water only, but don't brag about it.  It'll still get noticed.

boarder42

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Re: 17 year old, stuck in antimustachian home.
« Reply #22 on: June 12, 2014, 10:23:04 AM »
well the fact that you're here at your age is going to benefit you in the long run.. If i were you i'd start looking into college and figure out where you can get the biggest bang for you buck and choose something you like that is profitable with a college degree.  Coming out with no loans is the way to go.  Its put both my wife and i on a very fast track that mirrors the mustache himself.

happyfeet

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Re: 17 year old, stuck in antimustachian home.
« Reply #23 on: June 12, 2014, 10:28:56 AM »
I am really impressed with your maturity at 17 and your ability to write so well. I am amazed that you have, at the age of 17, identified this money waste in your parents life.  I have no doubts you will "be successful" in life.

Best of luck to you as you move forward - there is some great advice here for you.




homeymomma

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Re: 17 year old, stuck in antimustachian home.
« Reply #24 on: June 12, 2014, 10:35:05 AM »
Wow, your parents are quite young. They're situation may not be as desperate as it seems, though of course to someone who aims to retire by 40, it may seem unimaginable. Not to say that they sound smart about money, clearly they're not, but who knows. Maybe they have a plan to save more once all the kids are out of the house. Can't stress about it yet. They're not going to take advice or criticism from you, because they used to change your diapers. That's just how it is.

As for the financial transparency, that sounds like you'll just have to put up with it until you turn 18. Perhaps don't leave your statements lying around if that's how they're finding out the balance? If they check it online, though, then you're out of luck. Would it be possible to take cash out here and there in smallish amount (movies $$, eating out $$, stuff they wouldn't question for a teenager) and just stash it somewhere? Seems kind of silly and sneaky... You'd have to decide if you feel that protective of your cash.

How far away are you from turning 18? If it's a whole year, it may be worth having a sit down talk with your parents and telling them what you're saving for and why it's important to you. I don't think you can reasonably expect to get out of paying for the car stuff, but maybe they'll lay off asking you to pay for groceries. On the other hand, teenage boys notoriously eat a lot, so maybe you should just accept making contributions here and there.

If you turn 18 in just a few months, though, I'd suggest not rocking the boat. Keeping a good relationship with your parents, especially for the selfish reason of potentially keeping your free rent gig a while during college, is worth putting up and shutting up, as it were :)

We live with family now and believe me, it's never easy, even when there is no financial transparency (ie we're all adults). But these relationships are life-long, and not worth jeopardizing over the small stuff. Too many of our family members are estranged from each other for us to rationalize arguing over money, especially when our finances are technically (though not always functionally) separate.

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Re: 17 year old, stuck in antimustachian home.
« Reply #25 on: June 12, 2014, 10:55:10 AM »
Don't forget to count your blessings.  You're doing fantastic!

Obviously you know gas is cheaper than buying your own vehicle.  If it was a major expense then you could stop driving.

Take a long term approach, 1 year isn't anything for an investment time frame.  Whip up an excel sheet and run through potential returns your $2500 might get, a stellar 10% gets $250.  While nice it's also not that much.  Over 10 years then you're starting to get something. So don't worry about investing, besides you might get lucky and we'll hit a recession! Then it's shopping time!

Don't preach at 17. Preaching the gospel of mustachianism isn't a good idea.  You need to build some credibility first, maybe in 3-5 years people will listen. To really be effective you also need empathy, can you explain why your parents make the decisions they do? Try to incorporate their life experiences in your answer, see it from their shoes. 

CommonCents

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Re: 17 year old, stuck in antimustachian home.
« Reply #26 on: June 12, 2014, 11:16:02 AM »
My parents do give me a lot, and I'm not complaining about how I'm treated in my family. It's rather the fact that I get the bigger expenses in the home, and they're the ones I have no control over. My dad recently upgraded the internet which is why it's at $70 a month. It used to be $50, but my dad fell for the whole "We get a whole extra 8 mbps!" thing and he upgraded.

Then talk to them and say, hey look, I think it'd be better if I paid you a set amount each month rather than paying for the internet bill, which can fluctuate and as you know, is more than I think is needed.  They you've separated the link in your mind between the two things, which seems to be important to you.

I get you could have a cheaper car, and they went back on a promise so you want to vent, but as noted, until you're ready to pay your own way on it (or just bike and forego it), then the deal you've been offered is still better than none.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2014, 11:25:52 AM by CommonCents »

Blackadder

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Re: 17 year old, stuck in antimustachian home.
« Reply #27 on: June 12, 2014, 11:21:16 AM »
+1 to not rocking the boat and trying to maintain a good relationship. I get your frustration about the internet cost, but I suggest you just accept the current financial responsibilities as staying the way they are, that is until you move out (which might end up costing everyone more money).

When discussions about future financial responsibilities arise, say that you want to use your money for college if that's ok for your parents. No matter whether you are planning to live with your parents during college, you will probably need to have a discussion about how much they are willing to help you through college, and how much of your own college cost is up to you. Their contribution, if any, can be by providing board and lodge, or money. Try to put a price tag on board and lodge, too, including your share of internet, also using the car, etc. This is much more transparent than making you responsible for expense X in full, while expense Y is fully out of your responsibility.

Regarding your current savings and boat-like purchases, say that you saved it for college and don't want to spend it for other things.

Regarding future income while being a minor, regularly withdraw two thirds more than you spend and keep the rest somewhere secret to keep that $2.500 from growing significantly and stirring more desires (nothing against your parents, they're only human). Once you have your own, private account, you can deposit your cash savings there.

Gin1984

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Re: 17 year old, stuck in antimustachian home.
« Reply #28 on: June 12, 2014, 11:38:23 AM »
+1 to not rocking the boat and trying to maintain a good relationship. I get your frustration about the internet cost, but I suggest you just accept the current financial responsibilities as staying the way they are, that is until you move out (which might end up costing everyone more money).

When discussions about future financial responsibilities arise, say that you want to use your money for college if that's ok for your parents. No matter whether you are planning to live with your parents during college, you will probably need to have a discussion about how much they are willing to help you through college, and how much of your own college cost is up to you. Their contribution, if any, can be by providing board and lodge, or money. Try to put a price tag on board and lodge, too, including your share of internet, also using the car, etc. This is much more transparent than making you responsible for expense X in full, while expense Y is fully out of your responsibility.

Regarding your current savings and boat-like purchases, say that you saved it for college and don't want to spend it for other things.

Regarding future income while being a minor, regularly withdraw two thirds more than you spend and keep the rest somewhere secret to keep that $2.500 from growing significantly and stirring more desires (nothing against your parents, they're only human). Once you have your own, private account, you can deposit your cash savings there.
I agree!

snshijuptr

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Re: 17 year old, stuck in antimustachian home.
« Reply #29 on: June 12, 2014, 11:49:13 AM »
Don't focus so much on your expenses right now. This might go against the Mustachian way, but you only make $600 a month. Some of us here have full time career jobs and make $10,000 a month! Keep your frugality, but start focusing on building your skills. You have an opportunity right now to shape the direction of your life. Here are some ideas:

- Read 7 Habits of Highly Successful People - Find your deep values and passion! Follow your passion! A lot of us would be happier having a job we love that pays well rather than a job we hate that we slog through to get to FIRE.
- Read about investing and entrepreneurship. The guy who write Beginners Investing on About.com has a great blog www.joshuakennon.com (He became a millionaire in college by starting companies and focusing on learning useful things!)
- Make a game plan - Mustachianism is about planning. Figure out the details about where you want to go in life. Think 1 year, 3 years, 5 years, 10 years, 20 years.
- Find acceptance! Accept your parents for who they are. It sounds like they aren't abusing you or stealing your money. They are asking you to help out and they aren't frugal. YOUR LIFE ROCKS! Seriously think about how many kids you know with truly unhappy families. You will be surrounded by people you love who are not mustachian your whole life. Learn to negotiate this relationship and enjoy loving them.

okashira

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Re: 17 year old, stuck in antimustachian home.
« Reply #30 on: June 12, 2014, 12:19:34 PM »
Hey all, lots of great advice here and I've definitely appreciated the different perspectives.

While I do very much appreciate the truck that they've provided me, it's been both a gift and a curse. The original agreement was that my parents would help me with gas, but once I started getting a good savings going they decided to cut off support for that altogether. I'm in charge of both gas and maintenance at the moment.

As for not letting my parents know about my finances, this again is a result of my age. I called multiple banks and all of them said I needed a legal guardian to also be on the bank account for me to open one. My dad is a printer, so he encourages that I always get a paper statement sent to the home whenever possible.

My parents do give me a lot, and I'm not complaining about how I'm treated in my family. It's rather the fact that I get the bigger expenses in the home, and they're the ones I have no control over. My dad recently upgraded the internet which is why it's at $70 a month. It used to be $50, but my dad fell for the whole "We get a whole extra 8 mbps!" thing and he upgraded. I've tried to help my family cut in other places, like getting rid of my data plan (wi-fi all day), but my dad never actually gets around to calling the service provider and cutting us down. Suggestions such as cutting the cable or moving to a slower internet package have yielded no results, and again added tension to the family. My family gets super defensive about their spending habits, and although painful I let it go after the first week or so when I realized they weren't willing to budge.

On the topic of driving me crazy, I guess I used the wrong term. It's not that my family drives me crazy, it's just that it withers my mustache a little whenever I see them buying the newest iPhone or going out to dinner every night and things of that nature. My parents have about $10k in 401(k)s right now (and he plans on taking a loan out on it soon, too) and I feel like every choice they make right now is something I'll have to pay for later on in my life. They're already in their early 40s.

Again, thanks to everyone for their point of view. I guess venting helped me out a little, and I see that my situation could definitely be a lot worse if I were to be on my own. I guess I've fallen to the know it all syndrome that seems to plague my age group and generation.


okashira

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Re: 17 year old, stuck in antimustachian home.
« Reply #31 on: June 12, 2014, 12:22:46 PM »
OP: just withdraw your money (or 1/2 or most of it) and keep a cash mattress account for now. Say you bought an $800 iphonez or something.

I agree with other posters. Your issues are not that bad. You are still young. Concentrate on what you wanna do. Go to community college, get a job, move...

Just don't let them you have money anymore. Say no to the truck lease. Say no to the boat. You don't have money, you bought teh iphonez for you and your GF or something.
Keep cash.

okashira

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Re: 17 year old, stuck in antimustachian home.
« Reply #32 on: June 12, 2014, 12:28:40 PM »
You don't need to maintain a 50% savings rate right now. Go out, hang out with friends, get laid, go to school, whatever. Just keep basic frugality in mind.
The mustacianism will come into play after you are off to college and after college. For now, take it easy (and don't let your parents know you have any more savings, no to truck/boat)

EricL

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Re: 17 year old, stuck in antimustachian home.
« Reply #33 on: June 12, 2014, 12:46:10 PM »
Being a teenager sucks.  (I remember it a little too well.)  But you only have a year to go and just by perusing this website you've already gained a serious advantage.  Not only over your parents but your peers and a LOT of people older and allegedly more mature.  And having a $2500 'stache is pretty damn good for 17 even if your parents seem intent on nickel and diming it out of you.  When I was 17, $1 bought a lot more than it does now.  Fortunately that was just about all I had so my parents made due hitting me up for a ton of household chores. 

BTW, do not go to college unless you really have a plan to make a living off the degree and pay off the debt incurred.  I hate to say that since I admire the ancient college ideal to make graduates balanced human beings rather than specialized money making machines. 

lifejoy

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Re: 17 year old, stuck in antimustachian home.
« Reply #34 on: June 12, 2014, 12:48:38 PM »
Here's an interesting thought:

In my privileged upbringing, my parents paid for everything for quite some time. It was only when I was out on my own (financially) that I learned how much life costs. It is hard for me to stop spending like my expenses are being taken care of. Maybe the gift your parents are giving you (however unfair) is learning that at a young age.

Silver lining?

Latwell

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Re: 17 year old, stuck in antimustachian home.
« Reply #35 on: June 12, 2014, 06:38:19 PM »
I agree w/ those who say keep your stash as cash hidden until you actually turn 18 and can have your own account.

It's a shame that it has to come to this method though b/c there's always the risk of someone finding it and then taking it or something.

But it definitely makes it much easier to claim that you "don't have money" when they see you have no money in your account. I use to get mad at my mom b/c she would say she would have no money even though I saw her bank account balance. Now that I'm older, I understand why she acted the way she did in order to avoid spending money. I even do this now too (claim I have no money even though there's a stash in the safe or in the bank lol).

I love that your are already financial wise.

As for the vehicle situation, bike if you can. If you are going out with family, let them be the ones to drive... that way if the vehicle needs gas, they will end up paying for it more often than not.

:) keep up the great mentality

StarryC

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Re: 17 year old, stuck in antimustachian home.
« Reply #36 on: June 12, 2014, 07:12:35 PM »
I suggest you read some of the budget threads, too.  You say you have the bigger expenses.  I bet that's not true!

I bet your parent's mortgage or rent is around $1000, if not a lot more.
I bet they pay homeowner's insurance too.
I bet the car insurance went up AT LEAST $70 a month when they started insuring you!  And they are paying that, 100% for you!  Plus, they probably pay at least $70 more for themselves. 
I bet your parents spend at least $100 a month on groceries for your food alone, and at least $300 total.  (Probably more)
I bet your parents pay heating costs and electricity that average to at least $100 a month all year. 
I bet their water/ sewer bill is at least $50 a month as well. 
Health insurance could be insane- $200 a month or more just to add you!
It seems to me like they gave you one of the smaller expenses!

I guess one way to think about it is to figure out how much you cost them now.  Say 1/4 of rent ($250), $100 in food, $70 in car insurance, $50 in utilities a month, $100 for health insurance, $30 cell phone.  Total: $600.  Once they ask you to contribute more than $600 to the family, then it will be unfair.   


Gin1984

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Re: 17 year old, stuck in antimustachian home.
« Reply #37 on: June 12, 2014, 07:34:12 PM »
I suggest you read some of the budget threads, too.  You say you have the bigger expenses.  I bet that's not true!

I bet your parent's mortgage or rent is around $1000, if not a lot more.
I bet they pay homeowner's insurance too.
I bet the car insurance went up AT LEAST $70 a month when they started insuring you!  And they are paying that, 100% for you!  Plus, they probably pay at least $70 more for themselves. 
I bet your parents spend at least $100 a month on groceries for your food alone, and at least $300 total.  (Probably more)
I bet your parents pay heating costs and electricity that average to at least $100 a month all year. 
I bet their water/ sewer bill is at least $50 a month as well. 
Health insurance could be insane- $200 a month or more just to add you!
It seems to me like they gave you one of the smaller expenses!

I guess one way to think about it is to figure out how much you cost them now.  Say 1/4 of rent ($250), $100 in food, $70 in car insurance, $50 in utilities a month, $100 for health insurance, $30 cell phone.  Total: $600.  Once they ask you to contribute more than $600 to the family, then it will be unfair.
Except this is minor, the parents are legally required to pay room and board.  I can't take ANY money out of my daughter's custodial account for her needs because it is her money and frankly I think that no parent should be trying to get their minor child to pay for needs unless the family 100% NEEDS the money.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: 17 year old, stuck in antimustachian home.
« Reply #38 on: June 12, 2014, 08:52:41 PM »
Does anyone have a link to these threads?  They sound interesting.  I used the search feature, but did not locate them.

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/things-you-wish-you-knew-when-you-were-20/

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/things-you-wish-you-knew-when-you-were-30/

Can't find the 40 year old thread. I think there was one, but maybe not.

StarryC

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Re: 17 year old, stuck in antimustachian home.
« Reply #39 on: June 12, 2014, 09:54:18 PM »
Except this is minor, the parents are legally required to pay room and board.  I can't take ANY money out of my daughter's custodial account for her needs. . .

I'm nor sure how it is in most states/ countries.  However, until relatively recently, the labor of the child was owned by the parent, and the income was all the parent's.  The parents had a duty to support the child, but the child also had a duty to support the parents.   For example, in my state, Parent's can take money inherited by a child to pay for the child's needs. 

But, morally, I agree with you.  However, he's not paying for his own needs!

I guess what I'm saying is when I became an adult, I better understood why my parents did what they did with their money and how expensive it was to be an adult.

taekvideo

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Re: 17 year old, stuck in antimustachian home.
« Reply #40 on: June 12, 2014, 10:56:41 PM »
I understand where you're coming from.  I had $10k mysteriously vanish from my savings account when I was a kid (representing 4-5 years of work as a soccer referee) because my parents fell behind on bills.  They ended up making it up to me by assuming the payments on one of my student loans, and I don't really resent it anymore (I was pissed at the time though because my computer broke and I couldn't even pay the $500 or so to get a new one).  They've done a lot for me... even after I graduated college I stayed with them for 9 months rent-free (paid for my own food and such of course) before finding the perfect house to buy (which I needed my dad to cosign for due to my self-employed income not having enough history).

I think you should just accept that they're not great with money.. and while it's unfortunate you have to pay for those things and probably not "fair" compared to your peers, you're still getting the better end of the deal overall, especially compared to very recent history (just a couple generations ago) in the US, and even current circumstances in the majority of the world.

TheFrugalFox

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Re: 17 year old, stuck in antimustachian home.
« Reply #41 on: June 13, 2014, 12:27:13 AM »
Wow, at your age I was also a saver - but it's only lately that I've realised the huge difference between saving and investing - wanting to invest at your age is fantastic. I'll add in the obligatory, wish I did that at your age.

Unfortunately, you will often have to hand out/spend money that you feel you would rather not  - often you just have to grin and bare it. And of course, it's best not to tell people how much money you have invested - they will always try spend it for you.








MrsPete

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Re: 17 year old, stuck in antimustachian home.
« Reply #42 on: June 13, 2014, 07:57:28 AM »
I can relate to your story.  My parents were also horrible with money, though their details differed from yours.  I always knew I could've managed the money better than they were -- and as an adult, I have done better.  However, a part of it was also typical "my family is so stupid" teenaged stuff.  Almost all of us have a bit of that because it's hard to see "the big picture" when you're young and inexperienced in the ways of the world. 

Specifics:

I do think it's fair for a teen who's working to pay some small things in the household.  I don't think you're being treated unfairly.  Paying gas/maintenance for a vehicle you use is reasonable -- though I agree that altering the agreement after it was made wasn't the best move on your parents' part.  Buying some small groceries is reasonable. 

Yes, parents are legally required to provide for teens, but I don't have the sense that these parents are anywhere near breaking the law.  I'm hearing that this is a middle-class household where the OP has a bedroom, a vehicle, food every day, clothing provided, parents who care about him -- this is all perfectly within the realm of normal. 

When you move out, you will spend MUCH, MUCH, MUCH more.  This is the kind of thing that is hard for teens to envision, but realistically when you move out you'll probably have less space, fewer niceties, and less money.  Do some research on what it'll cost in your specific area to have an apartment, insurance, groceries, etc.  Figure up an out-of-school budget for yourself; if you live on your own, you will probably not be saving 50% of your salary . . . not while you're still on an entry-level salary.  If you remind yourself of this, you're likely to feel better about your current situation. 

Suggesting that you go in on boat is just stupid.  At 17 your goals should revolve around preparing for college and paying for college!  And avoiding debt.  That is tremendously important.  A boat is in no way an investment; it may be something you enjoy tremendously, but it will never increase in value.

Okay, so your bank statements have to be printed -- and you're expected to keep these as records?  Buy yourself a small, fireproof locking file box.  It's good to have a place to keep personal items -- transcripts, birth certificates, passports, cash -- locked up anyway.  Keep the lock box put away in a closet, not laying about to attract attention.  Just because things are printed doesn't mean you have to share them with the world. 

I'm assuming you're about to be a high school senior?  You sound as if your college plans are still in the future.  Know that senior year can be expensive, even if you're being frugal.  College applications cost about $60 each.  The SAT is $50.  And then college costs are higher:  During your senior year you'll probably need to put down a deposit when you "accept" your college.  Then books, etc. cost more than you expect.  I agree with the idea of NOT discussing money with your parents, but if pushed, say truthfully that you're concerned about college costs and you are holding tight to your money for those anticipated expenses.  Whether they think you're right or wrong, it's hard to argue with a kid who says, "I'm saving for college". 

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Re: 17 year old, stuck in antimustachian home.
« Reply #43 on: June 13, 2014, 08:16:51 AM »
I went through something similiar with my parents many years ago and it didnt go well particularily when i was making more than my dad. Having said that I was always thankful for what I had and paying 250$ a month was alot cheaper than any other alternative. I agree you shouldnt share your earnings for one. Secondly as others have said keep learning about how you want to save and live on your own as opposed to worrying right now about saving 50%. You are way ahead of the game but if you want to even become further focus on learning knowledge.  Its unfortunate the way your parents live but as you voiced you love them and its not so bad.  So take the good with the bad and learn negotiating skills to at least try to avoid some of the anti-MMM ways they practice.  The trick will be them not looking at you as a smart ass know it all teenage kid. Dont be push but suggest.  Good luck! you seemingly have a bright future ahead of you!

JoyBlogette

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Re: 17 year old, stuck in antimustachian home.
« Reply #44 on: June 13, 2014, 09:39:21 AM »
OP: just withdraw your money (or 1/2 or most of it) and keep a cash mattress account for now. Say you bought an $800 iphonez or something.
[...]
Keep cash.
100% agree with this.  Cash.  It's the way to go until you can get your own account.

On the truck, I would say that if you don't want to drive it, then Don't. 
If you want a cheaper car to drive then you should look into the cost of purchase, insurance, maintenance of that.  I'm assuming that the small savings on gas wouldn't make up for you having to pay the full vehicle expenses yourself.  You should just be grateful or don't drive. 
I bet your parent's monthly cost on the truck is more then your monthly income of $600.  So they are essentially paying your salary by providing the truck for you to get to work and back.

Gin1984

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Re: 17 year old, stuck in antimustachian home.
« Reply #45 on: June 13, 2014, 10:59:06 AM »
OP: just withdraw your money (or 1/2 or most of it) and keep a cash mattress account for now. Say you bought an $800 iphonez or something.
[...]
Keep cash.
100% agree with this.  Cash.  It's the way to go until you can get your own account.

On the truck, I would say that if you don't want to drive it, then Don't. 
If you want a cheaper car to drive then you should look into the cost of purchase, insurance, maintenance of that.  I'm assuming that the small savings on gas wouldn't make up for you having to pay the full vehicle expenses yourself.  You should just be grateful or don't drive. 
I bet your parent's monthly cost on the truck is more then your monthly income of $600.  So they are essentially paying your salary by providing the truck for you to get to work and back.
My first car was $1000 ($500 repair and $500 purchase), $1400/year insurance, $20/gas/week and $10 set aside for repair.  I am not that old so I don't think my $250/month cost is so much lower than the parents current costs so I would disagree with that.

CommonCents

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Re: 17 year old, stuck in antimustachian home.
« Reply #46 on: June 13, 2014, 11:25:25 AM »
OP: just withdraw your money (or 1/2 or most of it) and keep a cash mattress account for now. Say you bought an $800 iphonez or something.
[...]
Keep cash.
100% agree with this.  Cash.  It's the way to go until you can get your own account.

On the truck, I would say that if you don't want to drive it, then Don't. 
If you want a cheaper car to drive then you should look into the cost of purchase, insurance, maintenance of that.  I'm assuming that the small savings on gas wouldn't make up for you having to pay the full vehicle expenses yourself.  You should just be grateful or don't drive. 
I bet your parent's monthly cost on the truck is more then your monthly income of $600.  So they are essentially paying your salary by providing the truck for you to get to work and back.
My first car was $1000 ($500 repair and $500 purchase), $1400/year insurance, $20/gas/week and $10 set aside for repair.  I am not that old so I don't think my $250/month cost is so much lower than the parents current costs so I would disagree with that.

If I understand you correctly, you are budgeting $120/yr for repairs.  That seems quite low to me.  Are you doing your own repairs?  Even so, on an older car I'm not sure if that's realistic and if not, is risky.

Gin1984

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Re: 17 year old, stuck in antimustachian home.
« Reply #47 on: June 13, 2014, 02:22:40 PM »
OP: just withdraw your money (or 1/2 or most of it) and keep a cash mattress account for now. Say you bought an $800 iphonez or something.
[...]
Keep cash.
100% agree with this.  Cash.  It's the way to go until you can get your own account.

On the truck, I would say that if you don't want to drive it, then Don't. 
If you want a cheaper car to drive then you should look into the cost of purchase, insurance, maintenance of that.  I'm assuming that the small savings on gas wouldn't make up for you having to pay the full vehicle expenses yourself.  You should just be grateful or don't drive. 
I bet your parent's monthly cost on the truck is more then your monthly income of $600.  So they are essentially paying your salary by providing the truck for you to get to work and back.
My first car was $1000 ($500 repair and $500 purchase), $1400/year insurance, $20/gas/week and $10 set aside for repair.  I am not that old so I don't think my $250/month cost is so much lower than the parents current costs so I would disagree with that.

If I understand you correctly, you are budgeting $120/yr for repairs.  That seems quite low to me.  Are you doing your own repairs?  Even so, on an older car I'm not sure if that's realistic and if not, is risky.
LOL, sorry, $10/week, not month.  The math was done correctly, but the english...not so much.  :P

Dezrah

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Re: 17 year old, stuck in antimustachian home.
« Reply #48 on: June 13, 2014, 03:15:30 PM »
You should look into opening a Roth IRA savings account at your current bank (or just use an online bank like this one http://www.ally.com/bank/ira/online-savings-account/).  There is no minimum age to open a Roth account.  I don’t understand why you can’t open an investment account, but I’ll take your word on it for now.  There’s no reason, however, that you couldn’t open a Roth savings account that collects a little bit of interest.  That account can happily sit tax free for a year or two until you’re ready to spend it or transfer it into investments.  Lock into this now though both to take as much tax advantage as you can and to keep it out of your parents’ hands.  You could always tell your parents you spent the money or if they’re not too savvy, tell them the law won’t allow you to take it out for 5 years (which is only a partial lie).

http://fairmark.com/retirement/roth-accounts/contributions-to-roth-accounts/roth-iras-for-minors/

Dezrah

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Re: 17 year old, stuck in antimustachian home.
« Reply #49 on: June 13, 2014, 04:31:34 PM »
I’m going with my gut on this one and suggest that the current relationship with you, your parents, and money is NOT okay.  Your parents are not savers, they are parasites.  Currently they are testing you to see what they can get away with.  Odds are they’re not even doing it consciously or to try and screw you, but when they break their promises, increases your bills, become lazy about helping you cut your bills that is what they’re doing.

Sure all the bills and increases are fairly reasonable now but they will only keep getting worse until you really (and I mean really) push back.  Whatever happens now is going to set up a pattern for the rest of your lives.  You need to make sure that you set up firm boundaries now and go back to make them keep their promises or you will back out of yours. 

Honestly, I think you need to get out as soon as possible or they simply won’t take you seriously.  Healthy family boundaries are more important than your savings rate, college planning, investing, or anything else.  It would be better to live on your own (with reasonable roommates) and spend every penny you make every month but have a good set of respectable boundaries where you each understand that you will live with your own financial consequences than to stay with them throughout college on the cheap but they keep bleeding you for ever increasing expenses.

Then over the next decade, you need to come up with an answer to this question: what are you going to do when your parents come to you because they’ve run out of money?  Are you willing to bail them out every time?  Will you set up a fund under “parents’ retirement” and cut them off when it’s depleted?  Turn them away altogether?  Not give them money until they are willing to work with you to set up a budget?  Dig through the forum and you will find people who have done all of these things, some have regrets and some are glad with their decision and/or acceptance.  What will be best for you and your parents?

It’s possible I’ve totally misread your situation and you really are just a kid who has it better than they realize, but if any of this resonates with you at all, you need to figure out why.  You’re not alone, we’re all here for you.