Teenagers can be the worst at times. It’s OK – I can say it because I used to be one. They’re moody, selfish, unpredictable and figuring out who they want to be in life – a very dangerous cocktail when you think about it. The last thing anyone wants is a teenager with any sort of entitlement or soapbox, because things get out of hand quickly, as demonstrated in the stories we have in this blog. This week in financial blunders we show how teens can cost you much more money than just child-rearing costs.
The Kids Aren’t All Right
It may sound like a rejected plot from Ally McBeal, but an 18-year-old New Jersey teen has sued her parents for “immediate financial support and to force them to pay for her college education.” According to an article in USA Today, the only indisputable fact about the story is that Rachel Canning has a rocky relationship with her mom and dad and she’s suing them. Rachel claims her parents decided she would be cut off from support (“financially and emotionally”) at the age of 18, and also alleges her parents abandoned her, leaving her to live with her best friend’s family.
Rachel’s parents claim the opposite: They claim Rachel moved out when she refused to abide by family rules like curfew and chores, and after they pressured her to break up with a “bad influence” of a boyfriend. Her parents also say they kept her car because it was their money that bought it, and stopped paying for her school’s tuition after she moved out. The she said/they said goes back and forth (and likely will continue to), and so does the amount Rachel Canning is suing her parents for: She’s asking for $5,306 for her high school tuition bill, $12,597 in legal fees so far, and whatever else she needs for her college education after she graduates. Rachel has been accepted by four universities so far.
Throw the Facebook at Them
An opportunistic post on Facebook or Twitter can be priceless, and at times extremely costly, as one teenager discovered. In the case of Dana Snay, her dad, a 69-year-old teacher, won an age discrimination case against Gulliver Preparatory School in Miami in a settlement that awarded him approximately $90,000 in awards and back pay. Mr. Snay was awarded this money with the understanding that he would not speak about the case or the settlement, which he never did. His daughter, on the other hand, didn’t know about this agreement and was incredibly excited that her family was taking a European vacation with their newfound fortune. She went to Facebook and posted, “Mama and Papa Snay won the case against Gulliver … Gulliver is now officially paying for my vacation to Europe this summer. SUCK IT.” Her 1,200 friends saw this and eventually so did the school, which promptly asked for its money back. Mr. Snay tried to keep his money in court, but the judge sided with Gulliver Prep.
Those are the biggest blunders we’ve found this week, but comment below if you find something we missed!
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