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Moonaa's avatar

Am I really spoiled?

Asked by Moonaa (134points) December 25th, 2012

I’m only 16 but I’ve run into a financial issue. And before you say I need to get a job, the problem with that is transportation. I live in a small town and the nearest city with available jobs is 30 minutes away.

My parents can’t drive me, my friends won’t drive me, I don’t have any family except my parents, no public transport, and obviously no vehicle.
I asked my parents for one, even a cheap one, but they said not until graduation.

So basically I got $300 for Christmas because my parents ordered a new lens for my camera as a present, but it was out of stock, so they gave me the money for when it’s available to order again.
That was the entire reason for the money.

But I reminded them that I have gym this approaching semester and that my gym shoes that I’ve had since 7th grade are now too small. I also need track shorts because only two of my pairs actually fit. We don’t have a gym uniform. So I need these things.

I thought they would see it as a school expense, but (they haven’t said no yet) it looks like they’re expecting me to use my camera lens money to buy my gym clothes.

This is frustrating because the money was a gift intended to buy ONLY the lens that was out of stock.
And I really need the lens as photography is basically the only hobby I have and it keeps me sane.

Several people have told me that I’m acting spoiled, that I need to use the Christmas money to buy my sneakers and to stop being a brat.

But I NEVER ask my parents for anything. Ever. Everything I have I have purchased myself, minus my computer which was a surprise because I saved up for it myself, but they ended up buying it for me.

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23 Answers

augustlan's avatar

I wouldn’t expect my 16 year old to buy her own sneakers and gym shorts…that’s an expense we, as her parents, would cover. However, it depends on what your parents’ money situation is. If they are strapped, and that $300 gift makes it impossible (or very hard) for them to afford your basic school necessities, then I can see asking you to use that money (for now).

Also, welcome to Fluther!

Moonaa's avatar

No, my parents make 200k a year. But they’re trying to teach me how to be “independent” and know the value of a dollar.

augustlan's avatar

Hmm, I see. I can understand the value in that lesson, but I would limit it to ‘wants’ not ‘needs’. Every parent is different, though. Do you get an allowance? Could you maybe negotiate and pay for half the cost?

Judi's avatar

How did you purchase things yourself if you dont have a job? If the money was gifted to you you didn’t purchase it yourself.
Can you babysit for locals? My daughter pays $10 an hour. Not bad for tax free income with Parents paying all your bills.

CWOTUS's avatar

There are any number of lessons you could be learning here.

The first one, I’d say, is that you don’t have to find “a job” that someone else is willing to offer you at a location that’s not already convenient for you. Make your own job. If you live in the country or in the suburbs there are any number of things you can do – without requiring transportation to be provided by friends or family – and which can generate income. That’s one.

The other one, I think, is to not have money lying around burning a hole in your pocket. Even though this isn’t a case of you spending the money impulsively, you also didn’t have it committed. You probably could have paid for the lens up front, allow it to be backordered, and then just waited for it. You wouldn’t have had the money available then.

You might also find either a better buy on the lens (since you have time to shop for it, apparently), a used lens, or a suitable lower-priced substitute.

The other thing you’re learning is prioritizing, which is the simplest (and sometimes the hardest) lesson in personal economics.

jaytkay's avatar

Hi, @Moonaa, welcome to Fluther

When I was 16, photography was my passion. I had an OK camera and one lens. Because I had no money for equipment, I was forced to ask and beg and cajole and persuade people for opportunities.

“Excuse me, I need to climb up there for a photo, thanks”

“Everybody has concert photos, let’s walk around the neighborhood for some really good portraits”

Hope this helps.

jerv's avatar

When I first moved to Seattle for years ago, I had a similar issue; no car, and all of the jobs were elsewhere.

My wife, supreme huntress that she is, found a 1985 Corolla in good running condition for $300 on Craigslist. It has required little work over the last three years, and still runs like a champ. Over the years, I have had many cars that cost under $500.

Good, cheap cars are out there, and once you get a job, you can buy your own lenses the way my wife and I buy the shiny objects I enjoy (computers, computer parts, tablets, smartphones….). I know all about expensive hobbies, which is why I am so keen on always having a car in good repair; without that, I cannot afford what I enjoy.

Think of a hoopty as an investment.

Self_Consuming_Cannibal's avatar

You don’t sound spoiled to me. You’re not 18 yet so I think school expenses should definitely be covered by the parents. Even if you were 18 or older, it’s wrong for the people who gave you Christmas money specifically for a gift that they told you to spend your money on, to turn around and tell you to spend your gift money on something else.

In short I don’t think you’re acting spoiled.

JLeslie's avatar

I would not say you are spoiled. What I guess is your parents gave you $300 for you to spend, and you wanted to spend it on the camera, but they were thinking the money was for whatever you might need. There might have been some sort of miscommunication, misunderstanding between you and your parents. I also would feel like you if I thought the money was intended for the lens, and I would expect my parents would buy whatever clothes I need for school. By 16 I had a job and could afford many things on my own, but I lived in a place with many more job opportunities close by, although my parents did need to take me back and forth until I finally got my driver’s license. I worked in the evening ajd weekends, so I could use one of their cars to work.

I assume your parents give you all the money you spend, whether it be something you want or need, so they might not be differentiating the same way you are. Someone suggested you might be able to babysit, I hear that pays pretty well now. $5—$10 an hour. Another idea is if you have a birthday coming up, ask your relatives for money rather than gifts.

At 16 I would think you have some savings? What about using some of it for the lens? Or, maybe rethink if that lens is necessary right now.

bucko's avatar

Your parents are cheap, it’s not your fault. I would isolate myself from my parents until they realized they need to stop being so cheap.

JLeslie's avatar

@bucko What does isolate mean? Silent treatment?

bucko's avatar

Yes. I would deprive my parents of attention and merit until they stopped being cheap.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I would say that you are now learning the difference between a WANT and a NEED.

You want the camera lens, but you need the gym clothes. Parents are supposed to take care of your needs if possible, and based on your attitude of gratitude, help with your wants if they can. Now it is up to you to decide – which is more important? What do you need right now the most?

When I was young, about age 12, I started working the concessions booth at our local fairgrounds for horse shows and other events to earn my own money until I was 16 yrs old. After that I have worked all my life except a month between jobs one time. You can offer to help neighbors or friends with yardwork, housework, doggy poo scooping, or babysitting, etc…

Remember, the lesson your parents are teaching you are very important. I have had to choose between paying a bill or buying food as an adult. Most people will tell you that being spoiled is a good thing, but take it from someone who has been there and done that, it makes real life more difficult because the people spoiling you may not live as long as you do, and eventually you have to take care of yourself.

*PS I think the silent treatment to the parents is the worst idea yet. If anything, you should discuss with them the dilemma you’re having (want versus need) and how you’re feeling about it, and see what they say.

bucko's avatar

@knowitall Good luck getting her to scoop up the neighbors dog crap for gym clothes.

Judi's avatar

@bucko, if she is not willing to work and wants everything handed to her she IS spoiled.

bucko's avatar

She’s not spoiled. She’s deprived.

bucko's avatar

I guarantee if either of her parents were into photography she would have 10 lens right now.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@bucko That’s really her problem, I was just offering possible solutions. If she doesn’t want to scoop dog poo for her gym clothes, she can make do like the rest of the world’s poor.

Also, at 16, she hasn’t even had any college photography classes yet, I’m sure, so better she learns now that it’s an expensive hobby.

Judi's avatar

I think YOU must be spoiled @bucko. Her parents provide her with a home, food clothes and gave her a generous gift of $300 for christmas. That is NOT deprived. They are teaching her to make her own financial decisions and that is parenting, not deprivation.

bucko's avatar

Her parents need to go out and buy their kid some DAMN gym clothes.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Bucko must be in love since their Avatar’s are similar….lol

Coloma's avatar

I’d say that unless they specifically SAID that you need to use a portion of the gift cash for gym supplies/‘clothes that they are not being very forthright in their communications.
If they gave you $300 for a camera lens why in the world would they not provide you with another, maybe $100 for your gym shoes and shorts? Doesn’t make sense to me.
They could have said, here is $200 TOWARDS your camera lens and the rest is for you to get your gym shoes and shorts, or, they could have just gifted you and then bought you the few things you need.

You haven’t had new tennis shoes since 7th grade and you are 16?
Bizarre if you ask me.
I dunno…I’m surprised your folks make as much money as they do considering their off the wall “reasoning” if you can even call it that. lol
I would never give my daughter a “gift” for something specific and then expect her to buy her own school supplies. Call me crazy, but, I believe in being generous with your children as long as they are productive and don’t have an attitude of entitlement, which it doesn’t seem you do.

JLeslie's avatar

Well, the thing is we don’t know anything but this one situation really. We don’t know if she has a history of being spoiled and just wanting everything she wants, or if she usually is very frugal with money and rarely asks for a thing. No matter what if her parents told her the money was for her lens, but didn’t mean that exactly, just meant she could use the $300 towards her lens, but if other expenses pop up she needs to budget the money, then it seems like they were not very clear. Although it is possible the OP just heard what she wanted to hear.

If it is the former the parents were not clear or that she has been spoiled in general, that is the parents fault, not the OP’s.

@bucko Silent treatment in my opinion is spoiled and passive aggressive.

@Moonaa How about tell your parents you want to be more responsible for how you soend money and ask them to give you an allowance for everything you spend? I did that for a while in Jr. High. I asked my dad for $20 a week and he agreed. It paid for my school lunches, after school treats and clothes. I never had had an allowance before that. I don’t know how much would be the right amount for you. I am 44 years old, so Jr. High was a long time ago.

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