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Adult stepdaughter cannot grow up and stop asking for $$$$

leather64's picture

My stepdaugher is 23 and studying abroad in Paris.  She completely wasted her time and our money on college in the states to the tune of $75K, and walked away with nothing.  Now she is in Paris at a fashion school for 3 years, still trying to "launch" and become a productive responsible adult.  My DH and I did not support her taking off to Paris, and encouraged her to finish college in the states. 

Her biomom is unable to give her daughter any life lessons, and only coddles her every whim.  We explained if she went to Paris, she's on her own for room and board, and monthly expenses.  Beyond tuition, we were not contributing to this whim, and once her 529 college savings plan was depleted, so was our financial support.  She was told, do not ask us for money since you know where we stand.  To our knowledge, she is being supported while in Paris by her mother, grandmother and greatgrandmother.

Since January, she has asked my DH periodically for $150-200 and her reasons for the need of the money as at best sketchy.  Especially, when all I see is her "black out partying" in the bars on Instagram.  Yesterday, my DH says to me..."I need you to put $150.00 into (stepdaughters) account tomorrow.  I respond, "why now?"  He says, "because she asked if I could send her $200 because she has some friends visiting this week and wants to be able to go out do things while they are there."  "Then, he says...I get it, I don't blame her and she doesn't ask us for money often."  

I respond with, oh really..well I beg to differ.  She has asked for money 3 times since January and you cave in everytime.  What message do you think you're sending her other than "if I ask Dad, he will send me money?"  He gets all defensive and flustered because I know he's uncomfortable.  I then ask him, "why hasn't she found a job yet?"  I can tell you if I had no money to do anything, I would be either living within my means, or find a job to fund my incidentals.  This just really unnerves me, and it's not about the money but the principal and the fact that she is very good a using "guilt" as a manipulation to get what she wants.  

What are your thoughts about this?  




SacrificialLamb's picture

She keeps asking for money because she keeps getting it. My OSD was still spending over her credit card limit at 27 and crying to daddy to bail her out....because he kept doing it. When he stopped giving her money, she stopped asking.

Your DH is taking the easy way out because he is uncomfortable and is afraid to say no.  If he were actually being a parent, he would tell his daughter NO, she needs to make a budget, get a job and learn how to manage her own money.  Tell him he is preventing his DD from growing up and becoming self-sufficient. If he continues to give her money, make sure all of your finances are separate.

Aniki's picture

Why do YOU have to put money into her account?? If your DH wants to fund his spoiled Paris princess, then HE can take care of it. And if you have a joint account, well... I'd switch to separate accounts. Then as long as your DH is paying his share of your household bills, let him throw away his money on SD. Ish.

sandye21's picture

Yes.  Split the finances now if you can.  Is your SD an only child?  It really sounds like it - my SD is and she has always been obnoxious and entitled.  For years into our marriage DH would place money into adult SD's checking account every month from our joint checking account - and she was making more than he was.  The fact that I was paying for part of this had no effect on the way I was treated by SD. In fact, I supported DH while he was paying for college for SD.  I never received any appreciation for it.  

When I split the finances, and we both contributed equal funds to a joint checking account which is used for household expenses only, DH's generous nature suddenly changed.  Odd how that happens isn't it?

The thing I failed to do in time was to insist DH put money into a retirement fund.  Now he lives off of Social Security.  If anything catastrophic came up I don't know if he would have the funds to take care of it.  And I am positive SD would not contribute to his existence if he needed it.  Your DH has to be in his 40's at the very least so there is no time - or money to waste.

Curious Georgetta's picture

As long as they choose to do so. What your husband should not be doing is using your money to gift his daughter. If he is using funds that he works for or other wise generates and is meeting his financial obligation to your household, then it should be his prerogative to provide funds for as long as he is both able and willing.

What he should never do is expect you to fund his gift giving.

Most parents work hard in part to be able to do more for their children and are not overly troubled by the notion of giving to their children.

Last night while listening to the documentary on the Kennedys, the patriarch, Joseph Kennedy, said that the worked hard to earn a lot of money so that his  children would not have to work so hard. The abi!ity and willingness to give money to your children is not what creates lazy or entitled children. 

Children who are not taught proper values and expected to perform well in school often become irresponsible adults. It is not the gift giving or the privileged background that causes the problems. It is the failure to teach proper values and have appropriate expectations of one's children that created the problems. There are very many indulged children who become very successful adults because their parents instill proper values and have appropriate expectations.





Kes's picture

Like you, I have an SD23.  She did a first degree in one subject, at a cost of £60k to my DH, she did not take out a student loan. She then decided she wanted to do a 20 week course in another subject - DH did not finance this, but lent her living expenses.  She now wants to do a full degree in the 2nd subject.  I have left DH in no doubt as to my views on this, and he will not be lending nor giving her any more money.  She just wants to be a perpetual student, bankrolled by someone else.  

My view is that you should certainly not contribute any more of your own money, and be clear with DH about what your views are as to any more finance being given to her by him. 


leather64's picture

Let me clarify one thing to all who have replied.  Our household has "1 shared account." There is no "hers & mine," we do not seperate our money because it makes no sense to do that when you are a married couple.  It creates a sense of  distrust that we don't wish to bring to the marital table.  We both have complete access to the joint account, he simply asked me to make the transaction, because he would not have the time to do so.  

Aniki's picture

Some have separate accounts because their other halves will spend waaaaaay too much money on the skids - and they themselves end up in a financial hole.

Your SD asks for money because your DH is willing to supply it.

sandye21's picture

It is your choice to separate the finances or not.  Have to say though that there is a heck of a lot more financial trust in my marriage than there used to be when expenses for SD was coming out of my pocket.  Guess it depends on your relationship with SD.  If my SD had practiced mutual respect with me I would have had no problem giving money to her.

Since you want to continue with one shared account, perhaps you and your DH could make an agreement on financial limits for SD.  But you wouldn't have posted if this did not bother you so maybe the answer is as notarelative suggested - take an equal amount of money and put in it a private account.  Maybe save up for a vacation you both would enjoy.

Curious Georgetta's picture

But we are both free to spend nominal amounts without having to explain or justify.  A man or woman who makes substantial contributions to available resources should have the flexibility to spend  without having to be accountable for every expenditure particularly if said expenditures are not causing financial problems in the household. I would not get up and go to work everyday if I lived with someone who thought that they were my financial mimder.  If I am capable of producing substantial income, I am probably capable of determining how I should reasonably spend some if those resources. A partner is not a possession; they should have some autonomy in areas that have no direct impact on the household or relationship. 

It only causes problems to try and come between parent and child in areas that do not significantly impact the complaining party. I am sure the OP is probably free to spend a few hundred dollars without her husband complaining.  She says that money is not the issue.


shamds's picture

excessive/luxirious lifestyle.

in a normal marriage whether well of or not, sole income earner or dual income earner, any spouse would have issues if unnecessary money is being given to bio/step kids to spend irresponsibly when there is savings, retirement and other younger children for example that this money can go to.

you can teach children all the values you want but when they can always mummy and daddy their way to money, they’re smart enough to know they will easily get money and have no motivation to get a job and self support themselves. All the values in the world mean bugger all in that situation

my husband is a sole income earner, much older than me and we have 2 toddlers. You bet i have an issue with him giving money to stepkids every month that he calls pocket money and they treat us all like crap, act as privileged self entitled spoilt brats when we have 2 young kids yet to go to school that won’t get the same funding through adulthood or early 20s. So whats more important? Giving allowance money to adults who can get a job and self support themselves at the potential detriment of there being not enough financial support for minor children or to cut the adult kids off and put money towards savings/retirement and for minor children’s education and maintenance?

as you are not a stepparent, you also haven’t factored in with self entitled sk taking and asking for more more more money and not caring about anyone but themselves, these individuals are they likely to care for their bio parents in old age? Also sk by nature very rarely have any concern for half siblings welfare so yes it is important to wisely spend money when you’re in a very likely messy situation where bio parent passes away, minimal savings, no will done up and spoilt sk only care about their inheritance but no concern about others like the stepparent (how they will survive till old age) or their half siblings (do they have enough money to put them through primary and high school and basic maintenance costs) because a sk very rarely will say “hmmm daddy or mummy gave me so much money, i have a young minor half sibling yet to finish primary school who can’t work while i can, so its fair this money i should inherit goes toy half sibling”. You are not a stepparent so you do not understand this concept at all.

op sd has her bio mum, grandparent and others financing her so-called overseas education/holiday to become a fashion designer, the fact that an adult has no shame putting those senior family members financially liable for her irresponsibility is just shocking. I say irresponsible because she has already amassed a massive university debt already, not paid it off but is now on a new career choice/holiday having senior family members fund her lifestyle instead of that staying for their retirement 

notarelative's picture

Why hadn't she found a job yet?

Can she work in France on the type of visa she has? I'm not a visa work expert, but I believe that your ability to work depends on the type of visa you have.

Dad needs to keep a tally of the amounts he is sending. A hundred here, a couple of hundred there, and pretty soon it's a few thousand total. Three years of this can add up.

If both of you are ok with doing it, no problem. I wouldn't be fine with it. I'd think about withdrawing an equal amount and putting it in an account DH did not have access to.





Kes's picture

You said "There is no "hers & mine," we do not seperate our money because it makes no sense to do that when you are a married couple. "

Fair enough if that is your view, but I totally disagree that it makes no sense.  I think it is eminently sensible. 

Rags's picture

We cut my kid off at 18.  Granted, he enlisted in teh USAF and has been doing great for the past 8 years.  But... we have not supported him at all since then.  And  he would not expect us to.

To get him to launch we worked his ass off until he did launch.  He was our live in beck and call boy/chore bitch, sous chef, maid, laundry service, lawn service, etc, etc, etc.......  He learned to suffer or launch.

Time to create a burning platform and cut this kid off... cold turkey. Not that $75K is cold turkey by any means.

notasm3's picture

 Nobody is living off of me without my consent.  Neither DH nor I earn any money outside of social security as we are retired. I do have substantial IRA assets.   DH has none.   I do not mind sharing with DH but SS doesn’t get one penny of my money. 

DH’s lack of retirement assets does not have to do with SS.  It has to do with ex #2 being a reprehensible person and DH being too trusting.