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Am I wrong?



Am I wrong?


My Dh and I have gotten in to our first real argument when it comes to the kids and money. I feel bad as I am not sure if I am being hard on her like he says I am.


So my Step Daughter 23 asked for help with her student loan interest payment a few months ago. We have been helping every so often. Well after not really wanting to I agreed to put the $50 a month in the budget. This is divided between her mother, us, and her. So the other day she messages my Husband and says she doesn't have her amount and its due Oct 1. So what does hubby do, he asks me if we can pay $210. I don't agree with this but he is taking the extra out of his blow he has saved up. So what we argued about was that I told him she needs to show us all her expenses and why she can't afford this. I wanted her to do it before we agreed last time but I lost that argument. He doesn't think that it is fair that we pay for 2 kids phones bills and 1 kids insurance while they are in college and don't help her out. I will break it down for you.


DD1 married no help with $$$

DS1 On own, out of college full time job no help. Have helped in past, he paid back.

DD2 out of college since May working part time (Daughter in issue above)

DS2 out of college (completed 2.5 years then quit) works full time live at my parents but helps with bills

DD3 in College pay cell phone bill (have paid 1 month car loan) she is paying back

DD4 in college Pay cell phone and insurance (first year once she knows more on her $$ coming in will start paying insurance)

DS3 in high school so gets money clothing and extra, he does have a job so anything above his normal allowance is on him (his father pays cell phone bill and insurance is between those 2 as its his vehicle he drives)


So am I out of line that she gives us her budget?


I am sure I was out of line saying she needs to get a full time job but honestly I don't feel that way. The DD3 works 2 jobs, lives on her own and goes to college. Other 3 kids out of school work full time.


Ok so his reasoning was,

We have helped the other (they have paid back)

She has not asked for much (she lived with her mom and never asked him for help). Once she got to college we have been sending checks about every 3 months for some reason (needs food, interest payment due, and car needed tires ($400).


Ok maybe its cause she is not my blood and if this was DD3 or 4 or DS 2 or 3 I might feel different but I don't think so. We have made them pay us back too.


UGH!!! I am so torn and I thought posting this here I would feel better about it. I am just as torn as before.


Thought please? Anyone else have this problem?


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IF you have required your own children to submit budgets before offering assistance, and are simply expecting the same from ALL the children, then no, you are not being harder on her.  IF however you did not require this from the other children, then yes, you are being harder on her.


BUT...Understand that you are most likely dealing with years of guilt (of Dh's).  Even if he understood what you are talking about, it wouldn't matter a bit.
IF I understand this correctly.... the DD concerned is OUT of college, having graduated?!?  And can not afford to live where she is living or do what she is doing or work as little as she is working?  So what we are talking about is a FULLY GROWN COLLEGE EDUCATED ADULT.  (sorry, I just caught that from your post.... what college did she go to?  I'd like to know so that I do not send my own children there.)
Is she asking for a LOAN or a HANDOUT?
No, you were NOT out of line saying that she needed a full time job.  She is no longer a child.  WHY does she only have a part time job?
When my DS2 moved into his own place and had a difficult time finding his legs, I offered up food.  *LOL*  For about three months he never left without a box of things to cook later and some leftovers.  I did not treat him like he couldn't make it, and after about 6 months on the edge, he decided that he needed full time employment and got it.   Much to ALL our relief.  =0)
Ah.... but then there's the guilt.... Dh's guilt is going to be a ferocious thing, and since she spent so long without asking for anything..... it's going to be tough.  I think that the $50 a month is likely a fair trade for peace in the house, and having him pay whatever else he wants to pay out of his blow money is reasonable.  Although I would probably want to know how long he anticipated paying this child support.   6 months?  A year?  Two?  Longer?
But as we had to do.... there's a fine line between helping and enabling.  Are you helping her find her legs?  Or enabling her to remain a child?  It's really tough tossing those little birds out of the nest....  Some soar immediately, some hop from branch to branch for awhile first.  It's difficult watching ALL of them go.
Good luck.  And no, I don't think you are wrong, but I do think you are fighting an uphill battle.  Daddies want to save and protect, even when in the long run it would be better for HER to allow her to struggle a bit herself.  
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JMO as someone without kids.  College graduate = no financial support from parents.  They could live at home for a few years IF in graduate school or working FT.


It's probably no secret on these boards that I'm also not of the mindset that cell phones are necessities or entitlements.  I would not be paying HS or college student's cell bills.  I would probably gift them pay as you go phones supplemented with time cards for BD's and holidays.  If they needed more minutes or more premium services they would need to pay for those themselves.  That's probably not a mainstream opinion.


I would also pay a set amount for tuition for all the children regardless of who the bio-mom is but that would depend on how much our budget could bear.

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My son moved out a year ago.  I helped him a bit and he paid me back as agreed.  He wasted lots of $$$ on a car that is now in the scrap heap, ran up a credit card bill, and felt financial pressure.


Good that happened when he was 18. He has moved back home, pays a small amount of rent, buys food, saves his money-well some of it!, and is working on getting that credit card paid off.


Am I enabling by letting him live at home?  No, he has a plan and goals that he is working towards, which includes moving out in a timely manner.


That is the difference for me-he needs a bit of help to go out and re-start.  I would certainly have a problem if he had no job, no plans, and no goals. 


Does she have a plan or goals?  And I don't get the part time?   Can' she work two part time jobs if need be?


I know there have been times in my life that I needed help-a hand up-and would not have progressed towards independence without that help.


Maybe you and your husband can help guide her by knowing more about her expenses, etc. in order to help her set goals, etc. but not in a demanding way.

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Aren't you in BS2 with 3 jobs already?  Your DH's blow money is his to spend, really, but I would sit down and have a talk with him about how helping her out (an adult with only a part time job), without a clearly defined way for it to end, is going to put a huge strain on your own budget.  I really can understand a hiccup here and there, but it doesn't sound like she has a plan (and why does she have loan payments already if she graduated in May?  There's usually a 6 month grace period).

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Thanks everyone for you comments.


I am sure DH does have guilt with her. They don't have as close as a relationship has he does with the oldest 2 and even my kids. She only calls or Text him when she needs something (usually money). The other call or text him pretty much daily. So in a way I think he is trying to buy her love.


She went to a great school. She graduated Pre-Med but didn't get into a Med school this fall so is trying again for next fall. She was only a bit short on 1 of the test I guess. She took a First Responder coarse this summer but that is done. She only works Part Time at Target. I guess all last winter her mother paid for her rent so that she could put all her extra time (work less) to her studies.


I have not asked the other to submit budgets but we have talked about them and DD4 (18) does have to show me or tell me after the first of Oct (she gets her first workstudy check then) what she is making and what her expenses at school will be. We will then figure out her insurance. From now on if a child needs money I am going to want to see a budget before we give any or at least tell us the numbers.


I know alot of people don't believe in paying for the kids phones but this is something we do. We don't want them to not have them. It really is cheaper for me to have them under me then to get other plans. They are $9/month + tax. Oh DD2 does have her mom pay for her phone.


I do want to help her I just don't want to be a person she depends on. I remember asking my mom/dad for help ALOT even while married to EXH. I wish they would have told me no or asked to see the ##s before they gave us any. We would not have been as bad as we were if we had to explain were it all went before we got help.


I really don't know if she has plans or what her goals are since she doesn't talk alot to us about that. Well like I said she really only calls when she needs help. She is 60 miles away and we don't see her much.


Again thanks for making me feel that I am not the only one who thinks this is wrong. I just wish DH would see where I am coming from.


I did mention to DH that she needs to work more. This really set him off. We don't have much issues with kids being step or not until now.

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I think it matters a little that she is not your daughter.  I don't mean to imply that you don't care about her or anything like that, just that ultimately I feel that if you and Dh disagree that this is more his decision than yours.  I feel you should defer to his choice on this.  If we were talking about thousands of dollars, it would be different but I can't imagine my husband coming to me and saying he wanted to gift one of his adult children $200 and me refusing or making it an argument.  And I am a step parent, so I am in your position, I get it.  I just think this would not be my hill to die on.  It's a different dynamic when it's your step child, and I would hate to see your husband or step daughter resenting you because you were the "bad guy" that said no.  I would not even get involved unless it started to be an ongoing problem or really upset your budget.  Since it came from your Dh's own spending money, I don't see how it even affects you.  Let your Dh handle his relationship with his adult daughter the way he sees fit when it won't even affect you. You won't get anywhere trying to convince him how he and his ex "should" parent her.

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I can understand why you telling your Dh that she needs to work more didn't go over well.  I feel that way about a lot of adults I know, but that doesn't mean it's going to go over well coming from her step mother, unless you have a really great relationship with her.  She will figure out soon enough that she needs to work more . And I agree with you that she needs to work full time, I would just give your husband some time to come around instead of going on the attack and causing him to get defensive.  We all get a little defensive when we feel like someone is criticizing our children.  Let HIM realize it for himself, otherwise he will dig his heels in because he's feeling like someone is attacking his daughter.  Give them both a bit of time.  I bet she will work more when she realizes she needs more money.

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Another blended family.  While the subject has to be approached much more delicately, I don't think it's fair to treat children differently.  I would go into it asking more questions rather than telling DH what should happen.  Is this going to be an ongoing thing?  What is DD doing to remedy this?  Also, if DD is busting her tail to find a job & has been unsuccessful, I would be much more willing to cut her some slack than if she is happy sitting on her tail eating bon-bons.  One thing we do when our kids need extra money is offer for them to work for it at $10 an hour.  I can come up with 10 hours of work easily!  lol  It shows them that they aren't getting a handout, but it gives them a way to get the extra cash they need.  


DH also had a big blow up with MDD last week about money.  Bottom line was I told DH I couldn't make the decision for him.  The decision he made wasn't the one I would have made, but he did ask LOTS of questions before he made his decision.  


He tells me I treat my kids different.  I do things for them that I have suggested he do for his kids.  He didn't do them.   That was his choice.  Just because he chose not to do things for his kids does not mean I am forbidden to do them for mine.  (Example, when they are home from college, take them to walmart & let them buy a reasonable amount of personal products & groceries.)

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A different perspective... the 'problem' isn't getting Adult, working DD to show you her budget and trying to tell her what to do or not do.

The problem is... when someone asks for money, when do we say 'No'.


We don't have children, but I have family that asks for money. I have to work hard at thinking through what it means to be responsible 'For' another person vs. what it means to be responsible 'To' another person. 'Boundaries' is a great book that sorts through this concept.

My family would ask to 'borrow' money, but then never pay it back. Talk about annoying. Not even an attempt to pay it back.

I think in all, we've 'helped' with several thousand dollars.... It's not like $20 - it's usually a few hundred at a time.

Finally, I just had to tell them - from this point forward, when you ask for money - I won't send you any more when you reach $x dollars.

It's your choice to pay it back or not.


So in the end, we set a 'gift' limit without calling it that - not expecting to be paid back.

The family doesn't ask, knowing that a limit has been met. I would of course reconsider my position based on circumstances - but generally, when they run out of money because of poor management on their part, I am no longer the bank. In fact, now that I am not a funding source, I hardly ever even get a phone call.

I'm just the rich ***** because I work at taking some personal responsibility in my life.

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When I was a younger, I used only talk to my dad when I needed something. We didn't have a great relationship and I was very shy/awkward around him, asking for something was the only way that I knew how to connect with him.


I worked for him the summer after high school, and we slowly built a relationship. Now, the only time we discuss money is when I try to give him financial advice. (not that it goes over very well haha).


So my suggestion is that your DH should find something in common with her, and start to build a relationship. The requests for money will stop soon enough.

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I am not from a blended family but dd18 worked 2 jobs this summer to save for school expenses for the coming year.  I'm sorry, she can find something else especially now that places are hiring for Christmas help. 


I would stipulate that you will help more if she puts in more effort and time.

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4 careers and about a thousand years ago, I graduated pre-med with mediocre test scores and a similar failure-to-launch type of story.

One of my regrets was my casual job approach just after college.

Light the fire under her. At her interviews, they will be very interested in what she did with her BS degree. I got on as a med tech, then got into a big pharma company before my career took a different direction.

Lose the battle, win the war, you need to get her career minded.

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She should be strongly encouraged to get a job that will help her get into med school, in a lab, at a hospital, EMT training, even outside of the health fields working with the disabled, with children, something that shows commitment and a hook for the admissions committee. Just bringing up her test score isn't going to do it. Plus she needs to be saving for applications and interviews, I remember that was an issue last year. Med school and residency are crazy hard work, time to show that commitment.

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