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    • MSE Martin
    • By MSE Martin 13th Mar 07, 1:42 PM
    • 8,115Posts
    • 42,285Thanks
    MSE Martin
    MONEY MORAL DILEMMA. Is it time to cut Tracey off?
    • #1
    • 13th Mar 07, 1:42 PM
    MONEY MORAL DILEMMA. Is it time to cut Tracey off? 13th Mar 07 at 1:42 PM
    Here's this week's hypothetical situation for you to cogitate on:

    Deirdre and Ken have a daughter called Tracey. While she's now in her 30s, they still support her. While Tracey is fiercely independent, her judgement is poor and she casually racks up bills and debts, often for drink and recreational drug use.

    Deirdre and Ken are at the end of their tether; they don't approve of her lifestyle. She won't listen to them and they've tried everything. They are considering cutting off their support, yet as Tracey's a single mum and has a young son, and they are worried that without their money their grandson may not be looked after properly.

    Enter the Money Moral Maze: Is it time to cut Tracey off?

    Click reply to enter the money moral maze (please remember, be polite to other MoneySavers, even if you disagree with them).

    Past MMDs:
    Last edited by MSE Martin; 13-03-2007 at 5:53 PM.
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.

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  • 27smith
    • #2
    • 13th Mar 07, 10:02 PM
    • #2
    • 13th Mar 07, 10:02 PM
    of course its time to cut her off. my god, she says shes independent but still takes money from her parents!
    just because she's a single mum, this doesn't make it right, her parents seem to be basically paying child support.
    She needs to grow up and get a grip of her life, before her child grows up to need other people as much as she needs her parents.
  • silvercarmel
    • #3
    • 13th Mar 07, 10:12 PM
    • #3
    • 13th Mar 07, 10:12 PM
    Hi There,
    They need to cut off tracys supply of money, but can still support the grandson by buying clothes for him and food parcels.They could also help tracy by suggesting other things for her to do i.e local colleges for relaxation courses, learn something new, volunteer to gain some self confidence and give something to the community?Maybe even a living on a budget course?
    • Mics_chick
    • By Mics_chick 13th Mar 07, 11:40 PM
    • 11,689 Posts
    • 11,568 Thanks
    • #4
    • 13th Mar 07, 11:40 PM
    • #4
    • 13th Mar 07, 11:40 PM
    Yep! If they're at the end of their tether then they definitely should - there are other ways that they can look after her son. If he needs clothes or any other necessities then they can take him and buy them for him rather than giving their daughter the money who will probably spend it on something else and they will still end up buying him whatever he needs...!!!!!
    You should never call somebody else a nerd or geek because everybody (even YOU !!!) is an
    "anorak" about something whether it's trains, computers, football, shoes or celebs
    • farang
    • By farang 14th Mar 07, 5:50 AM
    • 11 Posts
    • 18 Thanks
    • #5
    • 14th Mar 07, 5:50 AM
    • #5
    • 14th Mar 07, 5:50 AM
    Cut her off now Their child or not she is a waster. Support the grandchild but not with money only with items that are no good to the mother.
    She is probably sponging off the state too so will have some form of income.
  • georgiasmum
    • #6
    • 14th Mar 07, 5:55 AM
    • #6
    • 14th Mar 07, 5:55 AM
    cut her off and the grandchild (financially I mean not emotionally) she needs to take care of them both without running to mum and dad.
    • PeteM
    • By PeteM 14th Mar 07, 6:21 AM
    • 493 Posts
    • 155 Thanks
    • #7
    • 14th Mar 07, 6:21 AM
    • #7
    • 14th Mar 07, 6:21 AM
    This sounds quite like a story line from a popular soap.
    However, in the soap, Tracey has a daughter, so it can't be based on that!!

    But it's time to cut the funding - they wont be around for ever.
  • fififofum
    • #8
    • 14th Mar 07, 6:52 AM
    • #8
    • 14th Mar 07, 6:52 AM
    Cut her off! They are enabler's who if she hadnt had them supporting her all this time 0 - 30, she would have learnt the lesson about money and being truly independent. This type of set up is happening all over the country - latest edition of "Beat the bailiffs" had a girl of 22 on, her parents had bailed her out 4 times to the tune of £20,000!! And yet she was back into financial difficulties and the bailiffs had already been round to her friends house where she had been living for two weeks. She had nothing to show for the money and they were ready to take all her friends stuff from the house as her friend didnt have any of the receipts.
    are you sitting comfortably?, then I'll begin.....
    was at 01/01/07 now 03/07/07

    overdraft was 1500 now 1360 must try harder.

    loan was 13705.24 now 9791.62 due to be paid off 01/02/2011 but gonna aim for 01/05/2009!!

    amex cc was 4210 now 3650.48 lobt at 4.9% due to be paid off in 01/02/08
    total owed was 19415.24 now its 14802.10 going down!!!
    I am proud to be dealing with my debt!
    just one day at a time, dont take on ANY NEW debt.
  • sarahbrand
    • #9
    • 14th Mar 07, 7:11 AM
    • #9
    • 14th Mar 07, 7:11 AM
    We would all like help financially at times, she has been really lucky to have had this for so long. My parents have neer been in a position to support like this and I live too far away for the babysitting etc. If they want to continue to help out financially strings should be attached. She has sponged too long time she helped herself.
    Sarah x
    • ringo_24601
    • By ringo_24601 14th Mar 07, 7:16 AM
    • 17,148 Posts
    • 27,896 Thanks
    So, now in her 30s, she's learnt this lesson: i can make my wild choices in life, i can live how i want to because there are no consequences - mum and dad will bail me out.

    Frankly, she'll go off the rails if cut loose, they've done such an irresponsible job of raising a child the best they can do now is to 'ease her into reality'.
    • billinge
    • By billinge 14th Mar 07, 8:03 AM
    • 75 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    Yep, cut her off, but it has to be done carefully, especially if she IS using 'recreational drugs'. It sounds like she would need rehab to change her ways.

    Frankly, the parents should've cut her off a long time ago. Where's the father, and his support?

    If you are old enough to live on your own, and have a child, you should be old enough to support yourself, and it is down to you to get the job that funds your child. All parents' priorities should change once a child is in the equation, the child should become the priority, even above the parents own desires.

    It sounds like a few hard home truths are needed;
    1 - you should support your child
    2 - you should support yourself
    3 - if you cannot do these, you will lose your child!
  • lizzie12
    Sorry youve lost me...... who are you talking about?
  • Daisies
    Can't they stop providing Tracy with money, but explain that they would like to support their grandson. That could include buying him some clothes or paying for him to go on school trips, which plenty of grandparents help out with.

    I think it's important that they make clear to Tracy that they can provide emotional support and help her learn how to live independently, but that they can't keep bailing her out financially.
  • luwpergwin
    They could cut her off. If they don't want to see the child anymore that is.

    Because the first thing she will do is stop all visits, calls, days out etc. So really its about cutting her and the child off. It appears they are in a position to be easily manipulated if they have strong emotional bonds with the child.

    If they didn't have any bonds with the child and did cut her off she would either get her life together.... or ......end up losing everything and perhaps even have the child taken into care.

    The fact that they are supportive albeit misplaced suggests they are really caring parents.

    So personally I think I would go down the avenue of cutting out her allowance until she can prove to me that she can get her life in order. And she would have to attend some form of debt councilling. No ifs or buts that would be all I would bring to the table and stick to it.

    If she couldn't do that then she's on her own. Well not exactly on her own. After all I'm sure she is so fiercley independant she will manage to find a way for the state to support her.
  • rogi
    I have to agree with the majority of emails about Tracy. Cut her finances off but not the grandson. Review the situation often and be prepared to step in if there is a change in Tracy's attitude. Anything else seems doomed to failure. At least this way something positive might result.
  • julesnye
    why isn't the father of the child helping?
    • Mrs Optimist
    • By Mrs Optimist 14th Mar 07, 3:02 PM
    • 1,089 Posts
    • 1,259 Thanks
    Mrs Optimist
    My parents have done exactly this with my sis, who has a heart of gold but isn't the sharpest tool in the box. We buy things for her son (my nephew) when he needs things for birthdays etc (as well as a present) but my sister is on her own two feet, if she has squandered her rent money she faces the consequences. It seems to have worked too.
  • kikibee
    They should just do what grandparents do - spoil or treat the grandchild when necessary and let her be 'independent'. Has she no morals?
    • Mary_Hartnell
    • By Mary_Hartnell 14th Mar 07, 3:22 PM
    • 857 Posts
    • 567 Thanks
    Every Grandparent's Nightmare
    The status of the grandparents is not clear, but they are most likely heading towards retirement. If we are not careful all three generations will be living on benefits.

    Lay it on the line to Tracey, NO MORE MONEY.
    Offer to support the grandchild with goods AND CHILD CARE, while Tracey gets her act together. I think it was that chap Adam Smith who is appearing on the new 20 GBP note that said "someone is rarely more innocently employed than when trying to make a living".

    We don't know all the inns and outs of the personal lives, but it looks like they have been far too soft for far too long.

    I put my two on a strict allowance, with which they had to buy everything, at the age of 14 & 16 and it was the best thing I ever did 14 years ago. They stood on their own feet and got on with a debt free life.

    Support them with your time, your advice, help them decorate and furnish that first flat etc. make it clear that you are on their side come what may, don't be judgemental BUT DON'T GIVE THEM MONEY.

    The last thing you want is a boomerang kid with a baby.
    • Primrose
    • By Primrose 14th Mar 07, 3:28 PM
    • 8,582 Posts
    • 30,228 Thanks
    I think her parents should sit down with her, point out that she is a single parent with huge responsibilities for the welfare of her child and that it is time she grew up and took those responsibilities seriously. That means reining in her expenditure and adopting a lifestyle which she can afford on her own income. Her parents should tell her that the constant "bailing out" will now cease and they should be prepared to stick to that arrangement. If their grandchild is suffering then obviously they can help out with clothes or other basic essentials but not another penny should be spent on their daughter's extravagant lifestyle. She's not independent at all. She's just a sponger who is taking advantage.
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