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'AITA for not paying off my daughters debt from Amazon and fine dining? She's planning vacation!'

'AITA for not paying off my daughters debt from Amazon and fine dining? She's planning vacation!'


My daughter is in crippling credit card debt and I refuse to bail her out. Is that wrong?

Antique-Duty-9547 writes:

My daughter is 24 and living on her own. She has a job that supports her well, but she is living beyond her means. I have told her so many times to cut back and even offered to help make a budgeting plan. Every time she tells me she knows what she is doing.

I got a call from her and she is $3000 in credit card debt and was panicking since she didn’t have enough to make the minimum payment. She asked me to lend her the money to bail her out. I told her I want to see her credit card transactions.

I was going to help her if she was making essential purchases. She wasn’t; it mostly consisted of Amazon shopping, eating out, and clothes stores. I told her I will not bail her out of that debt since she is living beyond her means.

I also brought up that she is planning a vacation that she can’t afford. Instead, I told her that I will help her make a budget, and though it will be tough for a few months, we can probably fix her debt.

She got pissed at me, and this started an argument. I won’t bail her out, and she thinks I am a huge jerk. I told her it’s her own fault for living beyond her means and that a few sandwiches would drastically cut down on what she spends.

OP responded to one comment:

KalitheBlaze says:

INFO: What did you teach your kid about budgeting and money-management when she was a kid and acbrand new adult? I got my first bank account that I was really in charge of at 15. My first credit card when I was 16.

My mom sat down with me and talked about how to budget and balance my checkbook and how I should treat credit - convenience purchases that I could pay off when I got my statement were okay as long as I kept track of them, and I should use it to buy agreed-on things like my textbooks so I could just get it done and my parents would pay me back after, but otherwise, I shouldn’t really be using it.

If I didn’t have access to cash and needed it for an emergency, that was okay as long as I re-wrote my budget to pay it off as soon as I reasonably could. If you send your kids off into the world without thoroughly grounding them in solid fiscal sense, you can’t be surprised when they don’t just magically develop it. If you teach them and they decide you’re silly in your caution and YOLO, then that’s on them.

OP responded:

I’ve taught all my kids how to manage money, she was fine in college. The problem started when she was earning adult money. I haven’t touched their money since they have turned 18. She knows how to do it, she did it in college just fine.

Here are some of the top comments:

NTA (Not the A%@$ole). Your daughter needs to learn, apparently the hard way, that she must be more responsible with her money. In the long run, it will be a good thing if she does, although she will have some big problems before she gets there.

She is an adult, but still acting like a teenager. Credit card debt is a major trap for some people, as you have pointed out to her. It will take next to forever to repay that debt by making only the minimum payment, even if she cuts up the card and doesn't use it at all from now on.

You offered to help her budget and she apparently thinks you will still bail her out, but I urge you not to, unless she actually cancels the account and cuts up the card. Sometimes a credit card is as bad as drug addiction.

If she messes up her credit score, the card issuer will radically decrease her spending limit and begin to charge her a very high interest rate on purchases she makes from then on. The only way she can avoid those charges is not to use the card any further. And she will not be able to get another card, because that will go on her credit report.

It might take her a while to get the message, and to make her believe it, but if that's what it takes, that's what it takes. I see no reason to bail her out, now or later; she messed around and will find out.

kurokomainu says:

NTA This absolutely needs to be nipped in the bud. She needs to know the cold, hard pain in her a%@ truth hitting the ground so that she associates that result with this kind of irresponsible behavior. If you bail her out she will go on living as if there is always a comfortable cushion to land on -- as if the trouble always disappears into thin air and isn't to be taken seriously.

Some people live decades like this, getting into deeper and deeper ruts, never growing as people. leading small, miserable lives while financially ruining their parents. It's not good for anyone involved.

Dark54g says:

NTA. I really really like your plan. There is an old book called “the wealthy barber”. I bought it years ago, I gave it to my son about five years ago. It is a very helpful book to learn how to plan and budget. I think what you did not bailing her out was essential. Good for you. Because if you bail her out, she will continue with her behaviors.

What do you think? Should OP bail out their daughter?

Sources: Reddit
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