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I can't stop thinking about this and I don't know where to get answers, my dad used to be the breadwinner of the family- until his contract ended. He went to find jobs immediately but then he turned them down because "he didn't like the place".

He thinks we can all live off his savings but I'm worried about the financial situation in my family. My dad is a big spender and he doesn't let my mom work. Basically, we have zero income and tons of expenses to be paid.

I'm worried because January is basically the expense month of the year and he has to pay a lot of fees, etc. my mom tried persuading him but he just kept ignoring job offers so he can wait for his old company to hire him back- but it's obvious they didn't want him there anymore.

I'm just worried about the whole financial situation and my dad suddenly being like this, someone please help me? I couldn't get my dad to explain why and I don't know how to approach him. I am just worried about this zero income family- they're all big spenders and they are still spending "a lot" - my sister my dad and my mom they ignore the fact that we don't have income and waste money.

  • 2
    How old are you? A lot depends on the extent to which you are dependent. – Paul Johnson Nov 20 '16 at 17:59
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I commend you on being mature enough to recognize what is going on and to be worried about your family's financial situation. That being said, finding a job can be a lot more complicated than it seems and "not liking the place" can (sometimes) be a valid reason not to take a job.

Don't be too harsh on your dad for not taking a job just because he didn't like the place. Finding a job as an adult is a bit different than finding one as a kid. As a kid (at least in my experience), you pretty much take any job offer you get, because getting one can be tough. As long as the place isn't horrible and it works with your schedule, you take it because it's a source of income. And even if the place kinda sucks, those jobs usually won't last more than a few months (or years if you get a decent job), so it's no big deal if you have to suck it up a couple days a week and go to that job. It's also not a huge deal if you end up quitting because that income isn't vital to your survival. Finally, unless you habitually do some dumb things (like get fired or job hop a lot), most of your teenage jobs aren't going to matter that much in the long run.

For adults, finding a job is almost entirely backwards of what it is for a teenager. When adults get jobs, it is usually a job you will be in for a long time. It doesn't look good to future employers when you get a new job frequently. Doing so would make it hard to get new jobs, so your dad needs to think about this in the long term.

First, your dad needs to find a job somewhere that is at least tolerable. Remember he will be working there (probably) 8 hours a day 5 days a week. If it sucks there, that's a whole lot of suck he has to look forward to for a long time. And that can be very draining, mentally, emotionally and sometimes physically. Also, if he doesn't like the place, it can be hard to get along with people there, which can make it hard for him to keep his job. And if he can't keep his job, it just means he'll be starting over again with the job hunt, but in worse shape than he is now.

Secondly, your dad has to think about his career too. A career evolves over time such that as you gain more experience, you move into different positions with different / more responsibility (which usually means bigger paychecks). Your dad has to consider if any job offer he gets is going to be good for his career long term (and as such, good for your family long term).

Third, your dad doesn't really have the option of quitting if it doesn't work out. He needs that income to be able to support your family, so he can't just quit if the job starts to become unbearable. As such, it's worth putting in a little extra time now to find a good fit rather than take the first thing that comes along.

(Note: I know I've made a case here for waiting and trying to find a good job and that is usually the best thing to do. However, sometimes as an adult, you do have to suck it up and take a less than ideal job because you need the income. But that's not where you are aiming at the beginning of a job hunt. That's what happens much later. And it doesn't sound like your dad is at that point yet.)

All that being said, you do have a right to have your concerns and fears heard. You can certainly go to your parents and tell then that you are scared you are going to run out of money. That you are scared you won't have food to eat or a place to live. Then just see what they say. They may have more saved up than you realize. Their bills may not be as bad as you think. They may have backup plans that you have no clue exist in case your dad can't find a job. They also might not. But you can ask and let them know how you feel.

Remember that while you have a right to express your feelings and concerns, you don't have any sort of final say on what your dad should or shouldn't do. Things are probably way more complicated than you realize (because there are a lot more things your dad has to consider) and you just aren't getting a complete picture. If you try to dictate what your dad should do, it's not likely to make your dad feel good and he will probably either be dismissive or angry at your suggestions. You can tell him that you think he should take the job, but don't push it any harder than that. You aren't privy to all the information about how the family is run and only have a perspective of someone on the outside looking in. As long as your dad is trustworthy, trust in his judgement and be supportive.

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There's almost nothing a child can do to convince a wayward parent their behaviors are ill advised, regardless of your or your parents' age.

So what I'm saying is, there is no "how."

It's not fun, but take account of reality around you.

So long as you and your family are not:

1. Starving
2. Homeless
3. Direly ill 

Then you're, at the very least, surviving.

It may seem cold, but in practical terms the debt is on your father's credit history, not yours. (At least in American law.)

I would encourage you to speak up in a non-confrontational manner and express your fears, staying focused on how you feel and why, and avoid entirely telling your father what to do and how to do it, otherwise he will feel ashamed and you will feel remorseful.

Again, definitely express your fears. It's unlikely you'll receive a satisfactory result immediately in that conversation, but pay attention to your father's actions, regardless of his words in the coming months.

Ultimately, you have to look out for yourself as a self-sufficient adult, which is what most parents intend. So listen, observe, and as long as you aren't starving, homeless, or sick from your parents' decisions, you're okay; even if that means you're not comfortable.

1

With a big, amorphous worry, it can help to break the big worry down into all its sub-worries. Can you make a list of all the minor and major disasters that could strike you, and your family, if this no input coming in situation continues?

For example, I wonder if some of the following would end up on your list:

  • My siblings and I would have trouble going to college due to poor financial health of my family

  • With no regular job to go to, my father might get a bit mentally unbalanced. If he waits too long, prospective employers might get a whiff of desperation and not hire him.

  • We might lose our health insurance.

  • My mother might look for a job and be unsuccessful; or she might be poorly paid; or my father might find her working unforgivable.

  • We might lose our house.

I'm not saying that any of these things are or are not going to happen. I just think that writing down your worst fears can help.

Then find someone you trust to look at what you've written. Perhaps your mother, perhaps a trusted adult at school, perhaps the parent of a friend, perhaps your doctor, etc. Not for that person to wave a magic wand and solve everything -- but it can help to have someone you can talk to, with whom you can be completely honest.

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