Author Topic: Impending financial doom for newly married daughter ?  (Read 8364 times)

retiredat58

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Impending financial doom for newly married daughter ?
« on: January 19, 2016, 09:10:28 AM »
My daughter was raised in a modest home with a very frugal Mom. All was good until she got her MBA and landed a good job in a large city with high COL. Since then it appears it's all about keeping up with the Jones.

She recently got married and had a very lavish wedding and honeymoon. I gave her what I thought was a generous amount but in no way did it come close to covering the wedding expense and I've no idea where the rest came from.

Now after nearly three months married they're buying a half million dollar house !! They couldn't even come up with 10 per cent down but I guess their salaries and consistent jobs help them qualify. My guess is that they raided their 401K's for the down payment. They'll have homeowners fees, plus she wants a new car, children, fully furnished home, like yesterday. They're moving from a tiny one bedroom, to a 4 bedroom McMansion.

They also want to start a family ASAP and I'm feeling as though all this is going to implode in about three years when they start to feel the effects of their lifestyle and financial choices. In addition, they take many costly vacations every year,eat out frequently, and their idea of tracking expenses is to see how much they have in their account.

The flip side of this is that up until now, they have no debt, so that's in their favor. Being modest and frugal, I see hard times ahead for them and I know I'll just have to grab a seat and watch this all unfold.

Thank you for letting me vent.


pbkmaine

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Re: Impending financial doom for newly married daughter ?
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2016, 09:24:08 AM »
Venting is all you can do. One of my relatives was regretting the purchase of a relatively modest (new) car for his wife. He is SO annoyed that it does not have a button that automatically "remembers" where his seat position is relative to his wife's, like his fabulously expensive truck. WTF? I just recently got a car without a hand crank for the windows.

nereo

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Re: Impending financial doom for newly married daughter ?
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2016, 09:30:05 AM »
Yup, I think venting is all you can do.  FWIW, I witnessed a close relative fall into a similar situation when she moved to NYC and got a six figure job in finance.  Ultimately she was shocked back into financial reality when her job turned out to be not so secure.  Now she seems to be on a much more sustainable path.
I hope your daughter sees the light

little_brown_dog

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Re: Impending financial doom for newly married daughter ?
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2016, 09:30:13 AM »
That’s tough. Does your daughter want to stay home with her kids? If she does, she’s in for a very rude awakening when she realizes she can’t have what really matters because she chose a fancy house and cars/toys/status symbols instead.  It makes me very sad that people really can’t see that high flying lifestyles cost so much more than the money you pay for them. We know quite a few young couples who live in McMansions and now have very little financial flexibility... I'll take my little 2 bed home and financial freedom any day.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2016, 09:32:56 AM by little_brown_dog »

Exflyboy

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Re: Impending financial doom for newly married daughter ?
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2016, 09:33:55 AM »
I'm sorry.. that must be hard to watch.

cats

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Re: Impending financial doom for newly married daughter ?
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2016, 09:52:53 AM »
Ooof, that must be hard to watch.  The good news is that she's still fairly young, so if she and her husband wake up to their situation they have quite a bit of time to change it.  Having kids does seem to be a wakeup call for a lot of people--maybe it will be for her too?

partgypsy

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Re: Impending financial doom for newly married daughter ?
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2016, 09:53:00 AM »
Any way to sit down and talk to her in a non-confrontational manner? Especially the desire for a big home, new car, seems to conflict with her goal of having children. Doesn't mean she will listen, but talk to her how you live your life, and how life throws curveballs, and it is better to live under ones mean than to test it, and how that gives you peace of mind better than any material object.  Would they be able to make it on one salary? That is a good test. Myself I always planned my life looking at the best case scenario. But my youngest has pretty bad learning disabilities and is currently in private schooling that costs 18K a year. Something neither of us planned for. That's just an example, could be any number of things. But as a parent you should be comfortable talking to her about financial life lessons.


« Last Edit: January 19, 2016, 09:54:53 AM by partgypsy »

fa

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Re: Impending financial doom for newly married daughter ?
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2016, 09:57:21 AM »
If you are a very frugal mom maybe part of this is rebellion?  Trying to change her behavior may have the opposite effect.  I have heard of an adult daughter being raised in a very health conscious low fat and low sugar household.  As an adult, she brings ice cream to Thanksgiving and eats it out of the tub just to piss off her mom.

Altons Bobs

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Re: Impending financial doom for newly married daughter ?
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2016, 10:01:57 AM »
I think all you can do is to talk to her, whether she listens is another story. If she doesn't, you have to let her fail and get up on her own. It pains for a parent to watch that happen, but what can you do?!

Altons Bobs

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Re: Impending financial doom for newly married daughter ?
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2016, 10:07:39 AM »
I just recently got a car without a hand crank for the windows.

My husband's car still has hand cranked windows!  :-D  I think he has the oldest and crappiest car in our neighborhood besides the antique ones a couple of our neighbors have with hand cranked windows.

FLBiker

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Re: Impending financial doom for newly married daughter ?
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2016, 10:22:24 AM »
Thatís tough. Does your daughter want to stay home with her kids? If she does, sheís in for a very rude awakening when she realizes she canít have what really matters because she chose a fancy house and cars/toys/status symbols instead.  It makes me very sad that people really canít see that high flying lifestyles cost so much more than the money you pay for them. We know quite a few young couples who live in McMansions and now have very little financial flexibility... I'll take my little 2 bed home and financial freedom any day.

I agree with others that you can't really do much other than watch BUT if she brings up kids, maybe the above is a way in.

DW and I recently had our first, and DW is going to be a SAHM for (at least) the first two years.  We work at a university that (generously, for the US) gives 3 months paid, and very few of our colleagues take more than that.  It has been wonderful having the "luxury" of being able to have a SAHP for our daughter, and has given us a lot more flexibility than we would have with full-time daycare.  For one thing, I doubt very much that we'd still be breastfeeding (9 mos and counting) because it was very difficult (and time consuming) early on.

Many of our coworkers live in houses costing double what ours cost, with newer cars, cable, Starbucks, etc., and are mystified as to how someone (DW, in this case) could afford to not work, even for just a couple of years.   

beltim

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Re: Impending financial doom for newly married daughter ?
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2016, 10:24:40 AM »
If she has an MBA and a well-paying job, and her husband works too, how do we know they aren't financially set?

The car, children, and expensive furnishings are all maybe in the future Ė they haven't happened yet.  We know that despite vacations and eating out they don't go into debt.  Why would this behavior change?

Dicey

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Re: Impending financial doom for newly married daughter ?
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2016, 10:26:36 AM »
Another POV from a high COLA. There is often generational sticker shock when it comes to home prices. The parents are often anchored to long out-of-date real estate prices. The younger generation are making decisions based on what housing costs are today. If they really are in a high COLA, 500k for a house is not especially alarming.  It is also expensive to buy a "starter" house and then need to trade up once they have a family.

They are in an acquisition stage of their lives and you probably have everything you need. It sounds like their financial situation is different than yours was. Consider trying not to measure them by your yardstick. Try to be happy for them and show some excitement for them, not bitterness. You don't know how things will work out for them, but you do know that if the shit should hit the fan, she has the skills to cope, thanks to her solid upbringing.

Rather than fret about their finances, which really is not your place, try to be happy for them. Predicting a gloom and doom future, which may or may not happen, will not endear you to them. You don't want to be in that position when your grandkids come along.  Please don't think for a moment that I think you should be expected to bail them out in the future, just try to keep your opinions to yourself, and focus on the positive.

little_brown_dog

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Re: Impending financial doom for newly married daughter ?
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2016, 10:46:47 AM »
Many of our coworkers live in houses costing double what ours cost, with newer cars, cable, Starbucks, etc., and are mystified as to how someone (DW, in this case) could afford to not work, even for just a couple of years.

Same here...they don't realize that we planned our fixed expenses to only use up one income, and so when the time came, my income could disappear without a problem.

OP - this may be passive aggressive if you do it incorrectly, but if your daughter enjoys reading about finances/debt (I assume she does with an MBA), you might recommend or get her the book "The Two Income Trap" by Elizabeth Warren. It's a really interesting read and basically warns people away from using 2 incomes to fund their lifestyle....I'm recommending it to all of my newly engaged and pregnant friends because I think the message is critical for young couples today.

MrsDinero

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Re: Impending financial doom for newly married daughter ?
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2016, 10:51:07 AM »
It is tough place to be in, watching someone you love make decisions you think are bad.  But you have to remember you raised her to make her own decisions and she is making them.  She is living her life the way she wants it, it might not be the life you wanted for her, but it is her life. 

Giving unasked for advice is also known as butting in.  If she asks for your advice, give it to her.  Other than that just be happy that she is in a loving relationship and building a life with someone. 

little_brown_dog

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Re: Impending financial doom for newly married daughter ?
« Reply #15 on: January 19, 2016, 10:53:15 AM »
Another POV from a high COLA. There is often generational sticker shock when it comes to home prices. The parents are often anchored to long out-of-date real estate prices. The younger generation are making decisions based on what housing costs are today. If they really are in a high COLA, 500k for a house is not especially alarming.  It is also expensive to buy a "starter" house and then need to trade up once they have a family.


I think OP suspects they can't afford the house because they couldn't come up with a down payment of just 10%. It is reasonable to assume if a couple can't scrape together 10% for a down payment on a home that they probably can't afford said home without seriously stretching the budget or heavily relying on both incomes just to make ends meet. This is problematic due to the desire to also have babies asap.

icemodeled

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Re: Impending financial doom for newly married daughter ?
« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2016, 11:06:34 AM »
I think a big salary could go to her head as having it made and being able to afford the finer things which is what most of us disagree with. Sounds like she is certainly making some costly financial choices very quickly. I hope they have a good emergency fund established before they enter into house buying and possibly more debt due to wedding ect. Everything could fall apart if she or her husband loose their jobs, this is why of course living modest and below your means is important. Do you know if they would like to reach early retirement? Have you talked to her about it or this site? With them having good paying jobs and watch spending, they could start saving a lot of money and reach their goals.

Eric

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Re: Impending financial doom for newly married daughter ?
« Reply #17 on: January 19, 2016, 11:09:55 AM »
Another POV from a high COLA. There is often generational sticker shock when it comes to home prices. The parents are often anchored to long out-of-date real estate prices. The younger generation are making decisions based on what housing costs are today. If they really are in a high COLA, 500k for a house is not especially alarming.  It is also expensive to buy a "starter" house and then need to trade up once they have a family.


I think OP suspects they can't afford the house because they couldn't come up with a down payment of just 10%. It is reasonable to assume if a couple can't scrape together 10% for a down payment on a home that they probably can't afford said home without seriously stretching the budget or heavily relying on both incomes just to make ends meet. This is problematic due to the desire to also have babies asap.

I'm not sure you can conclude that they couldn't come up with the down payment.  All you can conclude was that they and the lender decided that it wasn't necessary.

And I agree with Diane.  $500K sounds like a bargain!  It's amazing how living in a HCOL area changes your perspective.

BPA

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Re: Impending financial doom for newly married daughter ?
« Reply #18 on: January 19, 2016, 11:32:08 AM »
Live and let live.

I hate when spendier people try to force their views on me, and I won't force mine on others.

Let them make their own decisions and don't swoop in with "economic outpatient" care if it comes to that.  My kids know that I will never pay their bills for them, but that they can live with me rent free if it ever comes to that (although after they are finished school, I would expect them to pay for their portion of utilities and food).

I know it's hard when our kids' values don't line up with our own, but they are their own people and adults should be allowed to make their own decisions even if we think they are making mistakes.

little_brown_dog

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Re: Impending financial doom for newly married daughter ?
« Reply #19 on: January 19, 2016, 11:57:57 AM »
Another POV from a high COLA. There is often generational sticker shock when it comes to home prices. The parents are often anchored to long out-of-date real estate prices. The younger generation are making decisions based on what housing costs are today. If they really are in a high COLA, 500k for a house is not especially alarming.  It is also expensive to buy a "starter" house and then need to trade up once they have a family.


I think OP suspects they can't afford the house because they couldn't come up with a down payment of just 10%. It is reasonable to assume if a couple can't scrape together 10% for a down payment on a home that they probably can't afford said home without seriously stretching the budget or heavily relying on both incomes just to make ends meet. This is problematic due to the desire to also have babies asap.

I'm not sure you can conclude that they couldn't come up with the down payment.  All you can conclude was that they and the lender decided that it wasn't necessary.

And I agree with Diane.  $500K sounds like a bargain!  It's amazing how living in a HCOL area changes your perspective.

That's true...I guess I read OP's statement about it as a known fact (as if her daughter actually told her they couldn't afford a bigger down payment). I still think the two income trap is a great read for couples buying a home...the section on mortgage lending is really interesting.

retiredat58

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Re: Impending financial doom for newly married daughter ?
« Reply #20 on: January 19, 2016, 11:59:57 AM »
Diane C.

Thank you for your heartfelt comments. It was probably the kick in the pants that I needed. She's my only child, and I still worry about her and the decisions she makes and have to realize I cannot measure her and her husband by my yardstick, as you so aptly wrote.

retiredat58

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Re: Impending financial doom for newly married daughter ?
« Reply #21 on: January 19, 2016, 12:09:50 PM »
Little_Brown_Dog

I read Elizabeth Warren's book many years ago and found it to be a fascinating and eye opening read. One that many newly engaged or married couples should read.

retiredat58

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Re: Impending financial doom for newly married daughter ?
« Reply #22 on: January 19, 2016, 12:20:20 PM »
My first thought when I heard about the house is that she just took away any option of working vs. staying at home with children. She's now committed to working, which is fine, heck I never stopped working. But a lot of times babies have the darndest way of changing our minds once we lays our eyes on them. Day care where they're located is thousands a month.

But as some have mentioned, I can't judge them based on where I came  from and how I got to where I am. I also know that she will NOT live as frugal a life as she and I did, watching every dime, and she has told me so. I need to, and will, respect their decisions even though they're not the ones I would have made.



Retire-Canada

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Re: Impending financial doom for newly married daughter ?
« Reply #23 on: January 19, 2016, 12:25:33 PM »
And I agree with Diane.  $500K sounds like a bargain!  It's amazing how living in a HCOL area changes your perspective.

Yup. I paid $420K for a 100yr old cottage and it was a deal locally! ;)

onlykelsey

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Re: Impending financial doom for newly married daughter ?
« Reply #24 on: January 19, 2016, 12:30:39 PM »
I agree with the suggestions re: cost of living shock.  My apartment is no wider than 12 feet at any point, and a walk up in a not-so-nice area with no central A/C or amenities, and it's work ~600K

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Impending financial doom for newly married daughter ?
« Reply #25 on: January 19, 2016, 01:09:20 PM »
If she has an MBA in a HCOL area, and he husband has similar income......maybe they are making a shit ton of $$?

My parents/SO's parents have no idea what we make. I bet it's more than they could imagine 2 20 something year old pulling in.

I would try to be happy for them.

Josiecat

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Re: Impending financial doom for newly married daughter ?
« Reply #26 on: January 19, 2016, 02:20:42 PM »
It's all fun and games until someone loses their job.

honeybbq

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Re: Impending financial doom for newly married daughter ?
« Reply #27 on: January 19, 2016, 02:21:03 PM »
Thatís tough. Does your daughter want to stay home with her kids? If she does, sheís in for a very rude awakening when she realizes she canít have what really matters because she chose a fancy house and cars/toys/status symbols instead.  It makes me very sad that people really canít see that high flying lifestyles cost so much more than the money you pay for them. We know quite a few young couples who live in McMansions and now have very little financial flexibility... I'll take my little 2 bed home and financial freedom any day.

I agree with others that you can't really do much other than watch BUT if she brings up kids, maybe the above is a way in.

DW and I recently had our first, and DW is going to be a SAHM for (at least) the first two years.  We work at a university that (generously, for the US) gives 3 months paid, and very few of our colleagues take more than that.  It has been wonderful having the "luxury" of being able to have a SAHP for our daughter, and has given us a lot more flexibility than we would have with full-time daycare.  For one thing, I doubt very much that we'd still be breastfeeding (9 mos and counting) because it was very difficult (and time consuming) early on.


I'm don't want to be argumentative, but you CAN breastfeed AND have a career. I breastfed til my DD was almost a year and a half. It was a commitment, but it can be done.

kiwigirls

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Re: Impending financial doom for newly married daughter ?
« Reply #28 on: January 19, 2016, 02:47:56 PM »
 It is normal for kids to get their first jobs and blow the lot on living it up.  This is their first real taste of freedom with the funds to do the things they want to do.  I know I did!  It wasn't until I was a couple of years into my working life that I realised that financial security was more important than material things.  Your daughter may well realise this in the coming years as the financial reality of their financial choices hit home and then she has your lifestyle as an example of how it is possible to live.  She and her husband will make their choices and decide where to draw the line between current lifestyle and future savings, as we all have to do. And we all put the line in a different place.  The worst things you could do is to criticise her choices and create distance between you or allow your worries about her to cast a shadow over your life.  Without being privy to all their financial details you aren't in a position to know whether they can afford these things or not.   I am sure it must be hard after taking care of her for the past two decades to let her go off and make her own decisions (good or bad). I guess part of being a parent of adult children is letting them be free to choose their own path.

Sibley

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Re: Impending financial doom for newly married daughter ?
« Reply #29 on: January 19, 2016, 03:18:57 PM »
Don't say anything. Yeah, you may be right and it may be a house of cards. But what good will it do anyone in the long run for you to be disapproving? All you'll do is discourage her from talking to you.

Maybe they are going a little nuts. Maybe they're not. Maybe it'll calm down soon. But it isn't your business anymore - your little girl grew up, and she gets to make her own mistakes now. Smile, tell her you love her, get to know her as an adult. When you spend time with them, steer it towards free or low cost stuff, just like you'd do with any other adults (presumably). If you are asked for advice, then give it. Otherwise, keep quiet.

(fyi, I understand - my sister has and is making life choices that I disagree with. They're her choices, and I get to bite my tongue on my opinion.)

Dicey

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Re: Impending financial doom for newly married daughter ?
« Reply #30 on: January 19, 2016, 04:01:19 PM »
Diane C.

Thank you for your heartfelt comments. It was probably the kick in the pants that I needed. She's my only child, and I still worry about her and the decisions she makes and have to realize I cannot measure her and her husband by my yardstick, as you so aptly wrote.

You're welcome. When you want to say something to them, just bite your tongue and remember how sweet freshly bathed babies smell. You want to stay in their good graces to get those grandbaby fixes as often as needed. The rest will sort itself out. Seems to me they have completed their degrees, gotten married and are impatient for their adult lives to begin. There's really nothing wrong with that, is there? Just imagine if they wanted to live in your basement while they saved up a down payment.

And oh, yes, I bought my first house with 10% down and PMI, despite the fact that I had a year's salary in the bank. I needed some of the money for improvements and some so I wasn't completely house-poor. It all worked out in the end. I've been FIRE for three years, and it wouldn't have happened yet if I hadn't bought that first property, PMI and all.

Merrie

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Re: Impending financial doom for newly married daughter ?
« Reply #31 on: January 19, 2016, 04:11:20 PM »
Do you not have a good relationship with your daughter? I feel like if I had parents who I felt had their heads screwed on straight financially and who loved me and wanted the best for me, and they sat me down and talked gently about stuff they saw me doing that concerned them for my future, I'd at least take it under consideration. (My relationship with my parents sucks and consequently it's hard for us to talk about real stuff. But I could see it being different.)

Exflyboy

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Re: Impending financial doom for newly married daughter ?
« Reply #32 on: January 19, 2016, 04:13:48 PM »
Same thing happened to friends of ours.. Their Daughter married this guy in California.. Bought a $1.1M house I think it was. Two foreign SUV's blah blah, 2 kids.

This was in 2007.. Guess what happened next?.. Yup everything repo'd.

Now the guy is a financial councillor passing on everything he has learned during the great recession.

It all worked out in the end, even if they did have to start over and visit the foodbank once or twice..:)

Thats the good thing about having time.

Cassie

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Re: Impending financial doom for newly married daughter ?
« Reply #33 on: January 19, 2016, 04:53:09 PM »
My Mom had a MIL that loved to offer advice that was not wanted or asked for. Consequently she never offered us any unless we asked and we appreciated that. Now I do the same with my adult kids. WE all have to make our own mistakes and our own decisions. Also sometimes we think things will end up badly and they end up fine.  Hugs:))

okits

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Re: Impending financial doom for newly married daughter ?
« Reply #34 on: January 19, 2016, 05:35:33 PM »
I agree with all the advice to mostly leave it alone.  If you have a pretty good relationship you could trying bringing it up once.  Something like, "I'm so proud of you both for finishing your MBAs, launching your careers, and getting your adult life started.  And I'm so excited for a grandbaby!  With so much going on I just want to make sure you're also investing in your family's financial future/security."  Depending on how it's received you could back off and just mention something innocuous (life and disability insurance, wills), something a bit more serious (emergency fund, retirement), or leap into her open arms with the full FIRE, money is freedom deal.

One time only, though, if unsolicited.  Then let them handle it.  If it's any consolation it doesn't sound like a completely disastrous situation, perhaps there are additional good parts you're not aware of.

Josiecat

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Re: Impending financial doom for newly married daughter ?
« Reply #35 on: January 19, 2016, 10:47:17 PM »
Perhaps you could introduce them to Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University or MMM.  Explain to them that it really helped you, and you'd like to share it with them.  Then leave it alone. 

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Impending financial doom for newly married daughter ?
« Reply #36 on: January 20, 2016, 07:30:07 AM »
For a bit of balance to the financial doom, I went from being a frugal kid and student to a bit of a spendipants when SO first moved in with me (exciting, everyday was like the weekend, lots of meals out and fun trips) and I got a pay rise (unrelated).

We thought we were doing fine by saving 5% and not taking loans out, but we weren't saving any more paying one mortgage than we were when we lived separately. We had a bit of a wake up call and took money matters more seriously, and we're now doing great!

I understand your concern, and speaking to my parents now, they had moments of similar concern for me. I'm not sure I would have taken a lecture well, so they were probably right (for me) not to say anything. But people can come back from this without an intervention. Best of luck.


Tetsuya Hondo

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Re: Impending financial doom for newly married daughter ?
« Reply #37 on: January 20, 2016, 07:50:09 AM »
Hey, that sounds a lot like me about 10+ years ago.

It took a little while but I realized that it wasn't sustainable. It took longer to dig out of it. But, here I am, a born-again MMM acolyte.

Try to plant seeds where you can, but realize that sometimes people have to learn the hard way.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Impending financial doom for newly married daughter ?
« Reply #38 on: January 20, 2016, 07:54:40 AM »
Might be a house of cards, might now. Just think how "impossible" the results from mustachianism seem to people who aren't living it. As an example: DH and I are young newlyweds, and I just started working in September after graduating this summer. We just paid cash for a $15.5 car. I'm quite sure everyone thinks we did this on a car loan, since that's "what people do".

Re: not having the downpayment. I highly recommend "Radical Personal Finance: 9 Myths and Truth about Buying a Home". https://radicalpersonalfinance.com/270-myths-facts-9-things-used-believe-teach-home-ownership-no-longer-believe/  The one about putting 20% down being the "right" way to do it. They may just be playing it smart for their situation, but have the cash in the bank anyway.

MrsDinero

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Re: Impending financial doom for newly married daughter ?
« Reply #39 on: January 20, 2016, 07:56:10 AM »
After reading through several of the journals on MMM, it sounds like most (not all) of us got here because at once we lived too large. 

She might have some tough lessons ahead of her but all is not lost for your daughter.

soccerluvof4

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Re: Impending financial doom for newly married daughter ?
« Reply #40 on: January 20, 2016, 08:23:53 AM »
My guess and its nothing more than that is she will revert back to how she was brought up once the honeymoon is over if the run into $ problems or there incomes will be high enough and it wont be an issue. Having said that yes, all you can do is sit back and watch because you dont want to ruin a relationship between you and your daughter and instead just watch and listen in case the time does come for your imput.