How do I teach my son the value of money and to differentiate between a need and a want?
The problem I am facing is that he is 19 years old, not 5 years old. He is my youngest son and to be honest I do not get along well with him due to personality differences and his stubborness.
Whenever he sees his friends have something, he wants it also -- ranging from clothes, latest smartphones etc. Due to his exposure to friends from high school and university that come from high income families, he always tries to fit in and dress nicely like them, buying expensive clothing and accessories when my family is just a middle class family; we can occasionally pamper him a bit but his spending is just outrageous. He always pesters my wife for more money, her being too loving of a mother she always gives in to him and gives him additional pocket money.
Recently I had another arguement with him. He is in university now and he sees some people in his university driving cars to class (he takes public transport). He calls me up and asks me to buy him a car. His thinking is: If other families can buy their children cars to drive to university, if my parents can afford to get me a car, why can't I have a car?
I do not think that a car is necessary in a city that has a good public transport system and it is only a short ride from where he is staying to the university. I explained it to him, telling him it is spending money unnecessarily and what I have written above. He refuses to listen (showing his stubborness), getting angry on the phone and we will not be talking to each other for a few days.
This kind of situations have happened frequently whenever he does not get what he want. All the times I have denied him what he wants, is because it is for his own good and it is a want and not a need. And additionally, we are not rich as his friends are so we can't be splashing cash so freely. It fustrates me because his thinking and mindset is too "straightforward", he refuses to look at things in life from another angle.
How do I deal with him? Because I am always trying to talk some sense into him, but it seems like I am hitting a brick wall whenever I speak to him. I have four other kids and none of them caused me these problems before! I never really needed to educate them and they all know the value of money!