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November 10th, 2010 at 02:50 am

My younger brother lent my sister some money (when she didn't have a job - months ago). She ended up owing him $130, which is kind of a lot of money when you're 15 years old. Anyway, she said she would pay him back $20 a week when she got a job. She has been working 8-10 weeks now, and up until three weeks ago hadn't paid him a cent. When they started to stay with us, I told her she would have to pay him back larger amount per week. On payday, she came home with $4.50 to pay him back - all she had left. The next week, $15. Last week, I took her ATM card off her the day before payday, and made her transfer $35 after school when she got paid. This week, she wants to buy some frilly socks (because they're 'cool') for $9.99 online and go to see a movie with friends ($20). I told her no, and she started to argue with me about it.
She said it was unfair that she had to pay back such a large amount, seeing as her brother still had money leftover when he lent it to her. I said yes, but you said you would pay back $20 a week and you didn't pay him back ANYTHING for several weeks, which is why it has come to this. I also reminded her that she owed DF and I $15.
To make things worse, I tried to explain to her that sometimes you have to make sacrifices to do what is right. I used them staying with us, as an example. I said that yes, I had to do a lot of driving around, a lot more cleaning and cooking to have them stay. She then stormed away saying that DF and I didn't want her here, and sulked in her room for an hour. *sigh*
When she'd calmed down, I explained that wasn't what I was saying, and that the point of my conversation was to say that YES she borrowed money, YES she made an agreement to pay it back, and that because she didn't do what she said, she's going to have to sacrifice the wants she has now and forgo movies and clothes for a couple of weeks in order to make good. I went on to say that things are not always going to work out how you want them to, and you are NOT always going to get your own way. Sometime in the future a friend or family member might ask HER for help and she might see then what it involves. At the moment she's been on the recieving end from not only DF and I, but her brother, who lent her money, and he deserves to be paid back. DF and I also deserve her respect in return for what we are giving to her as well.

*sigh* Teenagers! It seems to be their way or the highway.

Am I being unfair? It is not as if she actually NEEDS money for anything. She walks to and from school, and has her lunch provided to her, and has clothes to wear. She earns $45 a week and DF and I are only trying to make her pay back $35 or $40 each week so that it doesn't drag on forever - and because we know that once she goes back to live with our mum, the paying back $$ won't continue. Grrr.

Something else that annoys me: I mentioned this to my mum, who said SHE would pay back DF and I the $15 my sister owes us to help 'clear her debt faster'. How does that help the situation? She's just being bailed out, and it will probably set the tone for the rest of her life. She will continue to expect help from our mum for life after this. I think it's ridiculous.
Also, I get the impression that my mum is trying to make DF and I look like 'baddies' for not allowing her to go to the movies with her friends. My brother and sisters stay at our home is drawing to an end, and I am beginning to get the feeling that my mums plan is to make it seem that we're the bad ones that don't let them do anything, and when they go back, my mum will be all 'cool' about everything and let them do what they want. (my mum is like that, overly manipulative and always trying to make out like it is someone elses fault.) The problem with this is, that was exactly how it was before, except my mum had no control over them in the end and they just did whatever they wanted. Then a few times she said 'No' and they disregarded her - and she was shocked. It turned into a big argument a few times, which is why they ended up staying at our house, because my mother was 'afriad' of them. I don't know what she expected???

Anyway, I have no sympathy for her if this is what she is doing - there will be no 'next time' at our house if this is the way she wants to play.


8 Responses to “WWYD???”

  1. Thrifty Ray Says:

    I dont think you can go wrong teaching a young person financial responsibility. Do they want that lesson? NO...but will they benefit from it in the long haul? Absolutely. You did the right thing. Stick to your guns..this is a VALUABLE lesson for your sister.

  2. PNW Mom Says:

    Stick to your guns! No, you are not being unfair.....she needs to learn that lesson and I think you did a great job explaining it all to her even if it sounds like she didn't get it. Hopefully someday she might actually thank you!

  3. miclason Says:

    in the Real World, the bank could seize her salary to pay for her debts... unless she got the loan through some shady character, in which case she could be a lot worse off than not being able to go to the movies and buy cool socks for a couple of weeks!
    I think you are doing the right thing! And, yes, I think if things go back to the way they were, they shouldn´t get a "second time" at your home (if your mom is afraid of the monsters she{s creating, you shouldn´t bail HER out!)

  4. miclason Says:

    oh, and from experience, whatever you don{t learn at home, Life will teach you...and it doesn´t pull any punches! OUCH!

  5. baselle Says:

    My mom used to say, "I am not your friend. I am your mom." I've had my issues with my mom, but not an issue with that statement. The socks will still be there next week, or when ever. Heck, they might even go on sale. Being able to hold off for 1-2 weeks not going out with friends because you have no money represents control of your impulses. Its a teen version of the marshmallow test and far better use of time than any 2 hr movie.

    Stick to your guns. If nothing else, remembering what goes on here will help you 20 years from now when you will have this same discussion with your child.

  6. Whitestripe Says:

    Thanks guys for the support. Smile in the end we had another discussion about it and df was there. He doesn't take much crap so in the end she listened to what we had to say. Begrudgingly, but still listened. Lol.

  7. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    How did you get to be so wise while yet so young, whitestripe?

  8. Jane Says:

    It's great that your DF was so quick to back you up with the discipline - that's a very good sign if you plan on having kids in the future!

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