Author Topic: Reader Case Study- Post Divorce Financial Recovery  (Read 10351 times)

NewDay2

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Reader Case Study- Post Divorce Financial Recovery
« on: December 05, 2013, 08:25:04 AM »
Debt:  $12k @ 7.9%)
Assets:
Savings $1000
401k- $200k (contributing 6% same as company match)
Income: $6800 per month after taxes


Expenses current and projected:

Rent $650
Groceries $400
Gas $300
Daughters car ($335- @ a whopping 14%)
Cell Phone: $98 per month
Other: $25 per month (manicure indulgence)
Shocks for vehicle needed 2014 $800
IRS- I will likely own the IRS $4k for 2013 and State tax of $1500


Budget Killer:

I made the mistake of co-signing with my adult daughter who is always pays late or waits until I have no choice but to make the payment or risk impacting my credit. Her payments are $335 per month and she owes roughly $9k. I've made the last 3 payments and it's a constant source of stress. Her interest rate is high due to her lack of or negative credit even though mine is excellent and I co-signed.

My options are to re-finance her car  (at around 4-5%) and take over the loan in  my name only and have her pay me hoping the lower payment will be easier for her. Or pay it off and let it be a hard lesson for me on co-signing. She also hasn't been taking car of basic maintenance so her Christmas gift from me is a set of $600 SUV tires. She is a sales rep and the vehicle is required to meet with customers. Id take it and sell it if this wasn't the case.

Summary:

Back to my overall situation. In 2014 I will be able to keep living in my current roommate situation at $650 per month including utilities. My vehicle is long paid off and it's still going strong. Plus I work from home so I don't have to drive much. Prior to 2013 I was married to someone who was financially irresponsible and I enabled him by allowing him to purchase "toys" (BMW motorcycle, big gas-guzzling SUV, etc). You name it he bought it. I'm now divorced and need to have a financial plan.

My goals for 2014 are to first eliminate the debt, then save at least 50% or more of my income. I'm not sure how much I should allocate to savings and how much to my 401k a this time.

Also, Im debating if I should put it all in savings to have a down payment for a small home or townhouse in 2015. Regardless, I will need to move in 2015, either a rental or purchase.

Questions:


1) Car situation with daughter. Take over loan and lower her payments or pay it off and lesson learned for me?

2) Best allocation of my savings in 2014?

3) Buy a house or rent in  2015?

4) I'm claiming Single 1 on my taxes. Maybe I need to change this to avoid a tax bill for 2014 as I have only standard deductions. Change this (I think it's obvious but want to throw it out there)?

I know I should be a LOT further along based on my age (48) but now that I'm the only one making decisions with my money now's my chance to turn things around!

SunshineGirl

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Re: Reader Case Study- Post Divorce Financial Recovery
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2013, 08:56:52 AM »
It sounds like you're enabling your daughter like you used to with your husband. That's all I'll say about that...as far as what to do with her vehicle, she can't possibly need an SUV, or one that costs so much, so maybe the solution is to sell that and steer her towards something more practical.

A sales job probably isn't the best job for someone who isn't good with their money, so some guidance on getting into a steadier and more secure job might be useful. If you can make a break with supporting her financially, you can be in really good shape in no time. Also, why does she need a gift at all? Can't all the payments you've made be considered her gift?

I don't want to be harsh. I don't have adult children yet and so can't say what I'd do in your shoes. She shouldn't be taking money from you, though -- she should be doing everything she can to avoid that. Does she live large? I might sit her down and say enough's enough, and this is the year she gets her finances in order. You could work with her to set up YNAB and make her show you her income and expenses during the time she owes you money.

Your gas seems high since you work from home. What's that going toward?
Your cell phone can be reduced a lot. Check out threads on that. I use Ting and am happy with it. Very cheap.
Because you have taxes due, you need to quickly build some cash savings.
What's your 12K debt for - credit card?



dude

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Re: Reader Case Study- Post Divorce Financial Recovery
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2013, 08:58:27 AM »
You have a car, but work from home and don't use it much.  Have you thought about selling your daughter's car (an SUV???!), and then giving her your car with the caveat that you will have use of the car for those times when you really need it?  Though in truth, this would probably only be enabling her more than you already seem to be.

$300 a month on gas when you work from home and don't use your car much?  That simply doesn't add up.  I commute a LOT, and my gas expenses are only around $300/month. Are you paying for gas for your daughter's SUV?

Shocks? Give strong consideration to this.  I have 160K miles on my car and have never replaced the shocks.  I've replaced them in previous cars and honestly barely noticed the difference.  I don't think they are worth the money.

As for buying a house - with only $1000 in non-retirement account savings, you don't seem even remotely close to having enough for a downpayment.  Let me say this about home ownership, having been a renter for many years and a home "owner" for the last 7 years -- it is overrated.  Don't just do it because it's what society says you're supposed to do.  Really sit down and do the math.  For many areas around the country, renting is the far more sound choice then owning.  Don't take this purchase lightly, and DO NOT be persuaded by banks/realtors and others regarding how much house "you can afford."  By their logic, I could have "afforded" a $700K+ house.  Bullshit.

You make a lot of money at $6800/month -- you could be killing it financially (esp. with a $200K head start on retirement).  But it sounds like you need some "get tough" love for your daughter first.

NewDay2

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Re: Reader Case Study- Post Divorce Financial Recovery
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2013, 09:27:44 AM »
Ouch! But you are both correct. I am enabling. However, I've only been bailing her out with the car payment to avoid a hit on my credit. I haven't been funding her gas; just mine. I need to better track my usage and mileage to see where it's going. I might be over-estimating my usage. I have a 99 SUV with 296k miles on it (shocks may be mandatory vs. optional at some point).

I'm not sure I can sell her vehicle as she owes more than what it's worth. I can re-finance it and make the payments lower or in late February I can use my annual work bonus (assuming I get one) to pay off her car and be done with it once and for all. Enabling over.

The new tires as a Christmas gift is a safety issue. We both live in Colorado and driving on bald tires in a safety issue. The bottom line is I know she has to drive, she cant afford tires, and I don't want her to get in an accident.

Yes, the $12k is credit card debt so this is my first priority.

Thanks for the buying vs renting feedback. Thats what I've been thinking as well- keep renting.

The feedback on my daughter is harsh but I need to hear it as it seems to be a pattern for me. Thanks.

Frankies Girl

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Re: Reader Case Study- Post Divorce Financial Recovery
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2013, 09:31:38 AM »
Never, ever EVER co-sign a loan for anyone. If the banks consider the person too much of a risk, then you putting yourself on the line for them is just lunacy. If you were nice enough to co-sign a car loan to allow your adult child to have a vehicle that she needs for work and then she paid late or wasn't paying at all, which you probably knew was going to happen... that's kind of a facepunch right there. (sorry)

Repossess the car, sell it or turn it into the place it was purchased and pay off the remainder if the loan is upside down. Refinance it if you have to so you can take possession of it to get rid of that loan.

You need to start practicing some tough love on your daughter and separate yourself from this fiasco ASAP. DO NOT PURCHASE TIRES for her as a christmas present either - the whole car should be gone, and she can take a bus or bum rides from friends since she apparently isn't able to pay for a car herself (or maybe she is, she just thought it would be easier on her if you took over so she doesn't have to think about it). Your daughter's taken serious advantage of you and if she really doesn't deserve a present - christmas or otherwise - from you again unless she makes this right (paying YOU back for the money you're out on HER car). You should not loan any more money to her - ever.

And I'll just say that the fact that she is taking advantage of you, has either no/lousy credit so mom helped buy her car, and instead of being grateful and building up her credit by being responsible, she is neglecting the vehicle and behind on the payments - forcing mom to come to her rescue again... PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF PETE STOP DOING THIS! She will never learn that her actions have serious consequences if you keep swooping in and fixing things for her.

I get that she's your kid and you love her, but family members taking advantage is a huge sore spot to me - you are teaching her to be irresponsible and dependent on someone else to take care of her, and she has no respect for what things cost or taking care of them to make them last.  (and yes, I've personally had that happen in my own family, which is why I feel so strongly about this - all done out of love - but the crippled personalities and the horrible things I've seen as this progresses... just don't keep going down that road for both your sakes!)


As far as the rest...

You have a great monthly income and a good chunk of change in your 401K, so you could dig out of that debt and build up a decent nest egg pretty fast if you buckled down on some of the spending leaks.

Your grocery bill is crazy high for one person - should be close to half that even if you're buying organic. Your phone is crazy high (see the phone superthread for suggestions) but I'd do a buyout if you are in a contract and go to something like Republic or the like for MUCH cheaper. If you work from home, how are you spending $300 a month on gas?

I'd focus on reducing those and clear your debts in the first half of 2014, and then take a good look at upping or even maxing your 401K contributions and take a good look at what you're invested in (low cost index funds are the gold standard).

If you want to buy a house, I'd suggest you figure out what your price range is (and it should be less house than you would be approved for if you want to keep more of your money for yourself), and then set the goal of saving the 20% minimum (to not pay PMI) of that before purchase. If you can get that figured out, then that tells you how much to save and how much to send into your 401K. And when you are nearing the 20% house savings, then start looking.

Good luck! You are actually in decent shape to still do an early retirement - maybe not in the next 5 years, but you could push those expenses down and up your savings and be done in 10 years easy.

JPinDC

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Re: Reader Case Study- Post Divorce Financial Recovery
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2013, 09:43:35 AM »
If you pay off your daughter's car loan, you can still bill her for the monthly payments. Tell her you've refinanced and lowered the payments, but continue to ask for them. If you get nothing, expensive lesson learned, but you don't want to totally let her off the hook.

CommonCents

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Re: Reader Case Study- Post Divorce Financial Recovery
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2013, 10:09:52 AM »
If you pay off your daughter's car loan, you can still bill her for the monthly payments. Tell her you've refinanced and lowered the payments, but continue to ask for them. If you get nothing, expensive lesson learned, but you don't want to totally let her off the hook.

This was my suggestion as well.  Go ahead and refinance or pay it off, but then continue to ask her for payments.  Sit her down and explain at the next late payment you are repossessing the car and selling it to recover the cash you are in it for.  Give her a list of $1000 beaters and tell her she can purchase one of those instead to get around.

Why are groceries $400 for one person?  That's way too high.  My husband and I don't even spend that much.  That's $13.15 a day.  You can eat way cheaper than this.

Build up an emergency fund before you do anything else.  You are making pretty good money so you should be able to have one in about 2 months.

NewDay2

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Re: Reader Case Study- Post Divorce Financial Recovery
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2013, 10:47:34 AM »
Would you recommend the emergency fund before debt payoff? How much of a starter emergency fund do I need?

My plan was to aggressively eliminate that debt and throw as much as possible at it then build the emergency fund. If Im saving 50% I should be able to pay off the debt in ~ 4 months.


_JT

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Re: Reader Case Study- Post Divorce Financial Recovery
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2013, 11:15:03 AM »
You should save as much as possible and pay off the debt in two months. Then build an emergency fund (lots of advice out there, but an easy way is 3 months expenses [or however many months you feel good with]). Deal with the daughter, and stop enabling her bad habits. Then find an equilibrium you're comfortable with for spending/saving/investing.

Exflyboy

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Re: Reader Case Study- Post Divorce Financial Recovery
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2013, 11:24:21 AM »
Sorry I'm going to sound even more harsh.

Get the car back pay it off and sell it.. Your Daughter is an adult and its time to start behaving like one.

Cut her off immediately and don't ever loan her (or cosign for) as much as a ball point pen in the future.

She is a cheeky bitch and you've let her do this to you.

Bring the hammer down right now!

Frank

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Re: Reader Case Study- Post Divorce Financial Recovery
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2013, 11:45:49 AM »
You only co-signed the loan, so you are not the owner of the car.  However, it's time for the tough love approach.  Given that you do not currently control the car, you will have to become the owner of the car to dispose of it.  In your shoes, I would refinance the car into my name and remove her from the title.  She does not need to know why, she just needs to agree.  Once that is accomplished, I would tell her the car is going to be sold in 30 days.  If she is able to buy from you in cash, that's fine, otherwise the car is sold and you are off the hook.  She has 30 days to figure out how to solve the transportation problem.  In the meantime, starting right now, you make sure the insurance is paid in case she totals it.

I'm not a huge fan of Dave Ramsey, but I like his way of dealing with spoiled/enabled children and you have got a prime example of that.  After the car issue is resolved, sit her down and apologize for raising her with incorrect expectations.  Tell her you will no longer assist her financially, she is on her own.  As an adult, she is responsible for managing her money.  Your advice is available if she would like it, but she will need to solve her financial problems herself.  If she loses her job because she does not have proper transportation, that has to be her problem.

Once you get your daughter's hand out of your purse, you will be in a good position to fix your finances.  You make a good income, you can fund your emergency fund and ramp up your savings and investments in short order.




Eric

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Re: Reader Case Study- Post Divorce Financial Recovery
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2013, 11:51:00 AM »

4) I'm claiming Single 1 on my taxes. Maybe I need to change this to avoid a tax bill for 2014 as I have only standard deductions. Change this (I think it's obvious but want to throw it out there)?


The best way to bring that tax bill down is to contribute more to your 401k.  With your income, you should easily be able to reach the $17.5K limit.  This will also lower your taxable income.  Win/win.

So I would make your 2014 goal to pay off that debt and establish an emergency fund while contributing enough to max out your 401k.  You'll have money left over to make other investments before the end of the year too.  But you need to seriously consider your expenses.  Food is high.  Is that $98 cell phone plan for just you?  Holy crap!  Where is all that gas money going? etc.  However, with your income and savings amount already in your 401k, you're still in a pretty good position.

Good luck.

melalvai

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Re: Reader Case Study- Post Divorce Financial Recovery
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2013, 11:59:36 AM »
It's good everyone is being honest about the enabling of the daughter, but it's so harsh that I want to temper it with some praise. We all do the best we can with what we've got. You're learning tons right now and one thing you're learning is that enabling isn't the kindness it seems. I don't know how old your daughter is but maybe what's best for you & her isn't to cut her off without a dime-- or maybe it is. You are surely a better judge of that than us strangers on the internet who don't know your situation.

There are options that are less extreme than take her car away and stop supporting her. I've heard some pretty judgmental remarks from people (on this forum and elsewhere) that no parent should support a child in any manner after their 18th birthday. What is so magical about 18? I'll support my daughter for quite a while after that. (Mine is 18 at the moment.) It's not anyone else's decision but her & her parents. If my daughter had been out on her own, but fell on hard times for whatever reason, bad luck or bad decisions, I'd help her out or take her in. The grandkids too, if there are any. There's nothing wrong with you for wanting to support her, and it doesn't necessarily mean you are enabling her (although, from what little you said, the car thing does sound like enabling).

I like the approach of "apologize for raising her with incorrect expectations". We can accept our own role without beating ourselves up. We just make the correction and move on.

Even if her car is upside down, or for whatever reason you don't want to sell it, that doesn't mean the best option is for her to continue driving it, especially if you're the one making the payments. Store it instead of drive it, so you can drop the insurance & not have the maintenance expenses, until you have paid enough that you can sell it. She should drive a used car that is paid for in cash. Preferably her cash, but whatever. At least something that doesn't mangle your own financial path.

You don't have a huge debt, and with your income, you should be able to get turned around and financially independent pretty quick and still be able to claim "early" retirement--48 isn't all that close to 65.

Renting vs. buying-- how geographically mobile do you want to be? I've been thinking about this because I'd like to have the option of living near my daughter (and possible future grandkids) and we don't know where she'll end up. That doesn't mean we won't ever buy, but I'd want to make sure that if we did want to move, we wouldn't be in trouble if we couldn't sell right away (ie no mortgage or nearly no mortgage).

Good luck, and I'm interested in hearing what you decide about your daughter & her car.

marty998

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Re: Reader Case Study- Post Divorce Financial Recovery
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2013, 01:39:44 PM »
Good post melalvai. I too agree that the responses on this thread are a bit harsh (feeds into the "forum tone" threads perhaps?)

It's quite unusual for women (in Australia anyway) to have $200k in retirement accounts. Generally because women spend a lot of time either out of work raising kids or working part time lower wage jobs.

I think the OP has done a wonderful job getting herself to this position, especially considering the financial impacts of a divorce too.

You know your daughter best, and I'm sure you'll make the right decision regarding the car loan. But try and understand it's only $9k we're talking about. A mother/daughter relationship should not be destroyed by such a small amount in the grand scheme of things.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2013, 12:24:51 AM by marty998 »

Argyle

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Re: Reader Case Study- Post Divorce Financial Recovery
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2013, 02:10:01 PM »
Or... We're talking about letting everyone feel the consequences of their mistakes.  Your daughter needs to feel the consequences of her mistakes, i.e. of not paying her car loan bills on time.  So far she is not feeling any consequences except the exasperation of her mother, which is having no effect on her.  If she really needs that car, she needs to step up and be responsible for it.

Another consequence is the consequence of paying for other people's things when they should be paying on their own.  (Enabling is classically defined as "doing for someone what they should be doing for themselves.")  That was an issue in the marriage, and it continues to be an issue.  Right now the consequence is paying $335 per month, or $4020 per year, or $12,060 over a three-year-period, not counting the payoffs lost because that money isn't going into an IRA or into paying off that debt at 7.9%.  Basically it's costing you $12,000 at 7.9% to enable your daughter this way.

I suggest you stop making the car payments and let the chips fall where they may.  Your daughter will either start paying or will suffer the helpful consequences of her own failure to pay.  Your credit score may well take a hit.  That's good.  That will remind you not to enable other people financially.  That's what we call "tuition."  We never change until the consequences of not changing are high enough.  Right now you are making a potential payment of $12,000 at 7.9% just to keep your credit score at a certain level.  That rate is too high.  I suggest you let go of that, plow through the consequences of enabling your daughter's responsibility, and free yourself from entanglements and your own debt.

Beckyemerson

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Re: Reader Case Study- Post Divorce Financial Recovery
« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2013, 02:27:53 PM »
Hi I think many of the people who posted harshly either are not parents or they raised their children to be responsible with money so this type of behavior is appalling. You daughter is acting this way because she can and she hasn't ever been taught otherwise. I would start by refinancing the car into your name. Explain to her that you are doing this to lower her payments. Work out a plan together. Instead of her paying you once a month have her pay you as soon as she gets a paycheck. Her problem may be that she isn't paying you because she herself is in debt and can't keep up. You may need to help her make a plan for the rest of her finances as well. If she refuses to be transparent and doesn't pay you then you will be left with no choice but to sell the vehicle. However you really should work with her first. She wouldn't have gotten the vehicle in the first place if you hadn't approved her decision by co-signing. As awful and hard as this situation may be this may turn out to be a teachable time that positively impacts the rest of your daughters financial life.

StarryC

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Re: Reader Case Study- Post Divorce Financial Recovery
« Reply #16 on: December 05, 2013, 06:01:11 PM »
Yeah, I'm an adult child who's parents cosigned my first car loan.  It seems reasonable to me to allow the child to establish credit, get a better rate, etc.  If your parents don't do this stuff for you, your life is much harder.  It also depends on her age.  A 30 year old is much different from an 18-23 year old. 

However, I think it gives you a right to talk to her in detail about her budget and her plan.  I'd make your plan, and then sit down with her and say "Here is my plan and budget, and I want to see yours, because this has been a problem.  Let's talk about what can be done to make sure you pay the car loan.  Auto Pay?  Budgeting? Unpredictable income? What is getting in the way?"

It looks like your expenses are $1,200 a month (including the car), and your income is $6,500 a month.  Where is the rest of your money going?  Car insurance? Clothing, eating out, etc? At the current rate, you'd have more than $5,000 a month accumulating somewhere.



englyn

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Re: Reader Case Study- Post Divorce Financial Recovery
« Reply #17 on: December 05, 2013, 06:23:10 PM »
As awful and hard as this situation may be this may turn out to be a teachable time that positively impacts the rest of your daughters financial life.
^^ Remember this. Great point.

CommonCents

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Re: Reader Case Study- Post Divorce Financial Recovery
« Reply #18 on: December 05, 2013, 07:08:58 PM »
My parents cosigned my first credit card my freshman year in college.  I was told not to expect them to pay it, because that would happen only one time and then the card would be canceled.  I never needed their help.

I appreciate she's trying to help her daughter out, but her daughter is taking horrific advantage of her by not paying it back on time - the daughter doesn't believe there are any consequences.  Another way to look at it is she poorly supported and advised her daughter on selecting the car in the first place if the daughter couldn't afford the payments.  At the end of the day, the advice is the same either way - figure out how to extricate yourself from this situation and give your daughter some grounding with 1) financial advice and 2) life lessons.

Regarding the emergency fund first I suggested above, you do not necessarily need to bring it up full immediately, but yes, I would recommend having at least something on hand, or if you have something break in your house you'll be paying off at your credit card rates.  That said, I'm reading your thread and it seems the $12K is already the credit card, so if that's the case and the same rate, then go ahead and pay it off first.

_JT

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Re: Reader Case Study- Post Divorce Financial Recovery
« Reply #19 on: December 05, 2013, 07:21:37 PM »
She's a renter, so nothing in her house that breaks will require her to go into debt to fix.

CommonCents

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Re: Reader Case Study- Post Divorce Financial Recovery
« Reply #20 on: December 05, 2013, 07:46:51 PM »
She's a renter, so nothing in her house that breaks will require her to go into debt to fix.

Ok that was simply an example, but if you don't like it, I can give more.  Emergency medical care or dental care.  Her car breaking down.  She hits a fire hydrant.  Or even her daughter has an emergency.  Basically, life.

_JT

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Re: Reader Case Study- Post Divorce Financial Recovery
« Reply #21 on: December 05, 2013, 09:44:57 PM »
Note that I already advised she have an emergency fund, so I don't disagree with the notion. Just pointing out that she's not gonna need it for a house problem, most likely.

nikki

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Re: Reader Case Study- Post Divorce Financial Recovery
« Reply #22 on: December 05, 2013, 10:00:16 PM »
I'd just like to chime in with a Christmas future nightmare for you:

If you continue to baby your daughter financially, this could happen to you.

My aunt, age 39(?), has always relied on my grandparents. Always. She was married once upon a time and lived with her husband, but then she moved right back in with my grandparents. They've bought several of her cars. They've paid some for a degree she never finished. She's 39. She lives with her parents. She pays them $300 a month to cover rent and utilities and some food (actually she DOESN'T always pay this, but she's supposed to), and my grandmother takes that money, puts it in an envelope, and uses it for covering her ass when she screws up the next time. Because she always will.

Don't let this happen to yooOOOoooOOoouuUUUUuu! (ghost of Christmas future voice)

dude

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Re: Reader Case Study- Post Divorce Financial Recovery
« Reply #23 on: December 06, 2013, 06:57:23 AM »
+1 for those calling some comments here too harsh.  "cheeky bitch"?  C'mon, that's over the top.  You don't know this woman or her daugter, and comments like that are really unhelpful.  The general theme, articulated with decency by most people here, is that mom is enabling her daughter and the consequence's of said daughter's behavior is affecting mom's financial well-being.  'nuff said.  Suggestions as to how to address the issue have been generally good and helpful, without any need for name calling.  I don't have any kids, but I'd be pig bitin' mad if someone called my daughter a "cheeky bitch," and probably immediately tune out.  Hopefully the OP can separate the wheat from the chaff here.

NewDay2

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Re: Reader Case Study- Post Divorce Financial Recovery
« Reply #24 on: December 07, 2013, 06:30:13 PM »
Update:

Thanks to all that replied.

As a first step I've now taken over my daughter's loan in my name only at an interest rate of 2.49%. This lowers her monthly payment to $249. I sat her down and explained my three strikes your out rule. She must pay me every month. If she misses it 3x the car gets sold and that's it. This first step accomplishes 1) eliminates me constantly worrying about her being late and impacting my credit, 2) gets the loan and car in my name allowing me to sell it and 3) lowering her payments as a possible incentive to pay.

Since she has learned no hard lesson yet I'm expecting she will miss 3 and I will end up selling it. By then she will at least be accountable for paying into it more as it will be a loss for me to sell it right now.

I found out from her bank since she had many late payments they jacked her interest rate up to 19.24% some time ago. Insane!!


SunshineGirl

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Re: Reader Case Study- Post Divorce Financial Recovery
« Reply #25 on: December 07, 2013, 07:07:41 PM »
Nice job, Mom!

Another Reader

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Re: Reader Case Study- Post Divorce Financial Recovery
« Reply #26 on: December 07, 2013, 07:15:17 PM »
Good job, mom!

nikki

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Re: Reader Case Study- Post Divorce Financial Recovery
« Reply #27 on: December 08, 2013, 02:34:23 AM »
Bravisimo! I wish my mom acted so responsibly toward my sister, and my grandmother toward my aforementioned aunt.

I'm seriously so excited for you :-D

happy

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Re: Reader Case Study- Post Divorce Financial Recovery
« Reply #28 on: December 08, 2013, 04:33:52 AM »
 Good job mum!: this seems to strike a good balance between helping out and expecting some responsibility. As a single mother of 18 and 16 year olds,  especially with the 18 year old I'm starting to realise this is not so straightforward. You need to set some sort of safety net as they leave the nest, but  still give a bit of a push for them to fly unaided.

Do the numbers for rent vs buy and don't rush to buy if renting is cheaper. If you can follow the way of the mustache, with your income you should be done in 10 years.




turboseize

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Re: Reader Case Study- Post Divorce Financial Recovery
« Reply #29 on: December 10, 2013, 01:43:40 AM »
[...]

Shocks? Give strong consideration to this.  I have 160K miles on my car and have never replaced the shocks.  I've replaced them in previous cars and honestly barely noticed the difference.  I don't think they are worth the money.

[...]

I concentrate on this bit, as everything else in this thread is very sound advice (and has already had some great results - congrats, NewDay2!).
But here I have to disagree. Worn shocks may hardly be noticeably during everyday driving, but can render the car uncontrollable in emergencies. Besides leaving you skidding around uncontrollably after an evasive maneuver or a fast corner, they also elongate your braking distance.
Worn shocks are a safety hazard! To you - and everybody else on the road. Just as worn bushings or worn brakes...
« Last Edit: December 10, 2013, 02:04:37 AM by turboseize »

markbrynn

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Re: Reader Case Study- Post Divorce Financial Recovery
« Reply #30 on: December 10, 2013, 04:55:57 AM »
Regarding your car (the SUV with 296k miles on it), I would sell it and get a nice second hand car (not SUV) with much better gas mileage. You're already planning on putting $800 into the old one for shocks. Put that $800, plus what you can sell the SUV for and maybe a bit more into getting a more efficient car (and slightly newer) and you'll end up with a car that will last you longer and cost you less with the reduced monthly gas bill.