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Ask Dave

Rude Awakening

Lynn wants to prepare her daughter for the real world, but her spending problem will be hard to fix.

QUESTION: Lynn’s 19-year-old daughter has a spending problem. She spends half of what she earns, along with some of Lynn’s money. How can they fix this overspending to send her into the real world with good habits?

ANSWER: I think you’ll have a negative reaction when you cut this kid off. It’s what best for her, though. Just sit down and tell her that. Tell her you’ve participated in her misbehaving, and apologize. Now you’re going to have to go through some pain for your own good, because you won’t be able to maintain this lifestyle. We’ll give you a little bit for college, and you earn the rest. Show her how to put together a budget.

If you call home and ask for money, we’ll say no. The talk needs to be very firm, and you need to give her some tools to win with, and then you need to check up on her.