When Daughters’ Financial Emergencies Cause Financial Strain

Written by Tawra Kellam

Susan from Texas asks: “As a single mother of two grown daughters, scratching and clawing my way out of substantial credit card and other debt, please give me some ideas about dealing with daughters’ emergencies, specifically health issues, not life-threatening but urgent never the less. My daughters work full time and dabble in college. Both have health insurance but the one who needed assistance (I volunteered) did not think that it was in effect at the time of the incident. I was going to have the cost of the dental problem put on a credit card but her Dad intervened and paid for it so I was off the hook.”

I think the bigger question here is one that I have dealt with for many years and that is, living very sparingly, never having enough to cover unexpected expenses and then putting those unexpected and sometimes living above my means expenses on credit. Now that I live alone I am trying to remedy that as quickly as possible. Guilt as a single parent ends up being very expensive.

Tawra: You said “Guilt as a single parent ends up being very expensive.” I would say that sounds like it right there to me.

You don’t need to worry about your daughter’s expenses. I understand being a parent you want to help out but if they are working adults it’s not your responsibility. They need to be responsible with their money and save back money each month to cover what their insurance won’t . If that means cutting the cell phone, eating out or whatever then that’s their responsibility to do it. If you are paying for your own stuff then start living below your means ASAP and try and get that debt paid off.
It’s not always easy or fun but it sounds like you need to worry about your expenses and not theirs right now.

I’m not saying to be unreasonable. If they get $50,000 in medical expenses and need to live with you or whatever to pay it off, of course help them out if you can. But if it’s minor stuff then let them take care of it.

Susan: Thanks so much. Sometimes we answer our own problems when we put pen to paper and it jumps right back at us! I will always be there for my kids; however, I want them to grow up and become accountable and learn from their mistakes and life, etc.

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