Trying to advise and guide our 20 year old son, rather than just telling him how it's going to be. It's hard to steer them in the direction of keeping their priorities straight when they see so much frivolous spending going on around them. It's hard to tell them what to do at that age without coming across as killjoy's and controlling.
We've been getting some hints that Ds's girlfriend wants to go on a spring break vacation...a drive south to somewhere warmer and sunshine and of course she's doing everything she can to talk Ds into doing it. At first I thought it was a weeklong trip with her family, so it wouldn't cost him too much (but still money he should not spend) but I'm learning more it would just be the two of them..and get this...they thought they could take MY car! Ummm, how do I say this? NO, big fat NO! I don't even get to take my 1.5 year old car on a vacation, they sure aren't.
There are lots of negatives, in my opinion, to this idea of a vacation. One, he has a part time job that does not pay when he is not working, so he'll be giving up a weeks pay of probably $400. Two, he has a responsibility to his job and this is their busy time. Three, it's going to cost him for the trip and any activities they want to do, so what he has saved up will be used up.
The main reason is he is one quarter away from getting his IT degree and it's unknown how long it will take him to find a full time job and his current part-time job is seasonal for only another 6-8 weeks. He may have to go awhile without a job, who knows, and cover his gas and insurance with that money saved. Spending what money he has saved on a vacation is just not responsible.
Dh had a talk with him on their drive home from our friends Saturday (we ended up with 2 cars there because Ds came from his friends house, so he had his car) and basically said all this, without trying to alienate him and make him feel like Dad is controlling his life. I think he must have went over to his girlfriends that night and told her he wasn't going to go on the trip, because her mom made a facebook comment on a post my dh made (about something totally unrelated) that they "are trying to talk Ds into going to the sunshine". This morning I told my Dh that I was so close to adding a comment that "I would love to go on a vacation, but all my vacation money is out in our shop (son's race equipment)". I didn't, but boy it was tempting. Later we found out that they were having a St. Patrick's Day party at their house and she'd had a few Irish Whiskey's, so that's where the post came from, so I'm glad I kept my lips zipped.
I know he's going to have to learn on his own what to spend his money on and unfortunately, I think it's going to be a struggle for him to prioritize it all. Especially with the lifestyle his girlfriend wants to have....she has a part time job, still has 2 years or more of college and she wants to buy a brand new car. She spends more in a month on clothes and accessories than I spend in a year. I'm not sure how she's going to support her wants on a teacher's salary, with lots of credit cards most likely. Her parents are super nice, but they have different priorities with their money than we do. They like to buy stuff - lots of stuff. At some point, I know we will have to let go and let him do his own thing with his money and life, but while I'm still supporting 95% of his life, he's going to have to live by our rules and expectations.