Parenting & Family

How to Help a Shopaholic brother?

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  • Jan 17th, 2018 1:01 pm
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[OP]
Jr. Member
Nov 26, 2015
116 posts
175 upvotes
Winnipeg

How to Help a Shopaholic brother?

My 16 year old brother is a Shopaholic. He has been spending thousands of dollars a month on what it essentially junk. This boxing day he bought close to $1000 on various items like a Google Home for $110, Jaybird headphones for $200, different accessories like cases and cables for his iPhone totalling $300 (all official apple products that could be purchased for cheaper elsewhere), A pair of Beats wireless headphones for $250, and a bunch of different clothes from Gym Shark like a t-shirt for $50, etc. I have no idea why he needs these things as he essentially has all of this technology by birthday gifts etc. He has a pair of Beats pro headphones which work fine. He already has a pair of Jaybird headphones. He has an expensive gaming laptop. He has an iPhone 7 Plus and Apple Watch. He already has nearly everything a child could dream for and yet he is spending thousands a month on repeated technology. He always throws the old ones out afterwards saying its not worth the effort of reselling them. He buys very, very expensive gifts for all of his friends. As an example, he bought his friend Destiny 2 for $90. What did his friend get him? Three boxes of poptarts.

His room is a mess, he hasn't cleaned it in two years. All of the clothes and items he buys never go onto a shelf or rack. He throws them onto the ground and tramples all over them the second he buys them. This morning I tried to get an iPhone charge cable out of his room and stepped on a bunch of poured lotion on the ground by accident. He got mad at me and told me to leave his room immediately.

I myself am in university and always trying to get the best bang for the buck. I try and resell my stuff so I can get most of my money back. I never buy new and always buy used. I have to pay for bills, tuition etc and I usually have a few dollars to spend here and there. When I come visit home, seeing my brother's shopping habits makes me feel really bad... alot of times I make big sacrifices to that I can afford to pay rent or whatever.

He works at dominoes 56 hours per week usually until 1am in the morning and his grades have been very negatively suffering over working so much. He spends his entire paycheck by the time he gets the next one so he has a zero balance. He buys food every shift at dominoes instead of eating home cooked meals. When asked about his shopping habits he either gets extremely angry and defensive. He says it is his money and he can choose to spend it however he likes.

When he was younger (around 12) he spent around $2000-$3000 on video game micro transactions, steam cards, pop figures, random DVD's and comic books. He didn't have that money, so he stole it out of my wallet. He stole my debit card and used it to make purchases. When I finally found out he had to use all of his birthday money and he had to sell everything in a garage sale and after 2 years I managed to get my money back.

What is there to do in this situation? Should I just ignore him and let him spend it however he likes since its his money? Every time I try talking to him I gets extremely angry, makes threats to call the police, etc and I don't want to deal with it.
Last edited by Mok122cobra on Dec 27th, 2017 7:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
47 replies
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Apr 7, 2012
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He’s so young. He’s experiencing his first cash flow ... let it go. He’s earning his own money.
Everyone learns, matured and experiences life differently.
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Aug 13, 2012
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He probably might need a professional help at some point if he continues to buy stuff at full prices. Nothing you can do.
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This line is heavy..
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Jan 9, 2011
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This kind of thing really isn't all that unusual for a teen who has the income of a 56 hr/wk job at a pizza joint, and essentially zero expenses. If he still does this kind of thing once he is on his own and has to pay for rent, food, utilities, and (god forbid) credit card debt, then it's time for a family intervention. Until then, let him throw his money away while he can still afford to.
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Nov 13, 2013
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Kiraly wrote:
Dec 28th, 2017 1:41 am
This kind of thing really isn't all that unusual for a teen who has the income of a 56 hr/wk job at a pizza joint, and essentially zero expenses. If he still does this kind of thing once he is on his own and has to pay for rent, food, utilities, and (god forbid) credit card debt, then it's time for a family intervention. Until then, let him throw his money away while he can still afford to.
Work is good but 56 hours a week is too much. I would also make him save at least 10% for university. All of this is parents job though. As a sibling not much you can do.
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Jan 13, 2004
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Op just let it go let him learn the hard way. BTW he's 16 where is yours parents on all this.
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As the other posters have said... Where are your parents in all this? There's nothing YOU can do.

For that matter, there's probably not much your parents can do either, at this point... He's making his own money, he's attending school (even if he's not doing well). If he's focused on screwing up his life, at some point he'll have to deal with the consequences.

C
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Jan 2, 2015
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Mok122cobra wrote:
Dec 27th, 2017 7:03 pm
1. My 16 year old brother is a Shopaholic. I have no idea why he needs these things as he essentially has all of this technology by birthday gifts etc.

2. He already has nearly everything a child could dream for and yet he is spending thousands a month on repeated technology.

3. He buys very, very expensive gifts for all of his friends. As an example, he bought his friend Destiny 2 for $90. What did his friend get him? Three boxes of poptarts.

4. His room is a mess, he hasn't cleaned it in two years. He got mad at me and told me to leave his room immediately.

5. I myself am in university and always trying to get the best bang for the buck... When I come visit home, seeing my brother's shopping habits makes me feel really bad... alot of times I make big sacrifices to that I can afford to pay rent or whatever.

6. He works at dominoes 56 hours per week usually until 1am in the morning and his grades have been very negatively suffering over working so much. When asked about his shopping habits he either gets extremely angry and defensive. He says it is his money and he can choose to spend it however he likes.

7. When he was younger (around 12) he spent around $2000-$3000... He didn't have that money, so he stole it out of my wallet. He stole my debit card and used it to make purchases.

8. What is there to do in this situation? Should I just ignore him and let him spend it however he likes since its his money? Every time I try talking to him I gets extremely angry, makes threats to call the police, etc and I don't want to deal with it.
This is going to be long because i think you Bros situation is complicated. I have a couple ofuestions? Where are your parents, what do they thinks of this, what have they done?

1. Often people who shop a lot do it to compensate for something else missing. It’s for the ‘high’ they get. It usually not about the stuff. Your brothers probably doesn’t know why either. Someone needs to explore with him why. This isn’t something to figure out over. Turkey dinner. Either some conversations with parents or outside helpful home to work it through.

2. What has you u brother been taught about money and consumerism? It looks like he have been over indulged. Again, where are your u parents.

3. Expensive gifts can be a sign of generosity, or compensation for something else usually a lack of confidence, or worthiness in the friendship or just showing off.

4.it is his room, and that is the one space teenager needs. Respect his room. However, parents should put some boundaries or rules. Some good one are no foods, no funky smells or mold, if you Can’t find your stuff/break it, you are not getting more and I am not helping.

5. This was telling paragraph. Are you really wanting to help your brother or do you just want him to be more like you? Teenagers are going through atime to find themsleve, the last thing they want is to be judged. Though you sound like you have a good head on your shoulders this actually has nothing to do with you. If you want to help him, then it’s irrilevant what you sacrifice. For a teenager that just sounds like a lecture. If you want to help him, someone needs to to truly listen and understand him. It is tough.

6. Again, it is his money. If what you say to him sounds like a lecture, he is going to be defensive and angry. Getting to his feelings is what is required.

7. How did your parents act when they found out? It sounds like this has been a problem for a while,.

8. If you can’t take YOUR emotion out, the. There is no point talking to him. Lectures, threats, nagging will just further damage your relationship and cause more frustration. If you want to help him, then understanding his motivation which he doesn’t understand himself. Teenagers need help navigating through the waters, but often people try to steer for them. If you can’t talk t9 him about this stuff without getting upset, then maybe just work on being a big bro that he can talk toand trust. If tha5 means ignoring it, then it’s not your job. Again, where are your parents?
Last edited by Macx2mommy on Dec 28th, 2017 10:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
On a 'smart' device that isn't always so smart. So please forgive the autocorrects and typos. If it brothers you, then don't read my posts, but don't waste my time correcting me. If you can get past the typos, then my posts generally have some value.
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Honestly this would make a great Hollywood movie.
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[OP]
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Nov 26, 2015
116 posts
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Winnipeg
Both of my parent have been asking him to save his money. Before he got his debit card, my parents made him promise to get permission for the expensive things he buys until he turns 18 years old. That promise has since been broken.

This Black Friday he purchased a microphone for $200 without permission. My parents found out and asked him to return it. He did return it, but he sneakily went and re-purchased the same item on Amazon using a $450 pre-paid Mastercard that he claimed he won in a lottery.

My parents also told him to return the Google Home that he bought this Boxing Day. He said ok, but when my parents left the house he quickly tore the packaging open and ripped up the receipt.

He also took a pair of scissors to his old pair of Jaybirds and cut them in half and claimed he got the new one from "warranty".

He bought a diamond necklace from the jewellers for a girl he just met on snapchat. Neither me or my parents know who this girl even is or what her name is.

He bought around $400 worth of new release xbox one games before he realized he didn't own an Xbox One.

My brother and I previously had a long engaging conversation on how overpriced gym shark clothing was and how I got the same quality stuff from Sportcheck for $8. Next thing I know he has spent $300 on a couple gymshark t-shirts, and he doesn't even go to the gym. This just an example and something similar has happened at least five times on different occasions. I just feels so fake talking to him now.

My parents are in the same situation as me, they are tired of lecturing him and just decided to give up. My mom is in Vancouver currently decided to give him a call to ask him how we was doing and also talk about his spending habits. My brother hung up on her while she was talking. My parents have been difficulty saving up for many years to pay for his entire university education and they also are in talks of purchasing him a condo unit for him to live in once he goes to university, so his spending habits probably won't change too much once he gets into university.
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If your parents insist on enabling his behavior, then nothing you can say or do will change it. Aside from trying to set a good example, you might as well stop beating your head against this brick wall.

C
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Mok122cobra wrote:
Dec 28th, 2017 2:33 pm
Both of my parent have been asking him to save his money. Before he got his debit card, my parents made him promise to get permission for the expensive things he buys until he turns 18 years old. That promise has since been broken.

This Black Friday he purchased a microphone for $200 without permission. My parents found out and asked him to return it. He did return it, but he sneakily went and re-purchased the same item on Amazon using a $450 pre-paid Mastercard that he claimed he won in a lottery.

My parents also told him to return the Google Home that he bought this Boxing Day. He said ok, but when my parents left the house he quickly tore the packaging open and ripped up the receipt.

My parents are in the same situation as me, they are tired of lecturing him and just decided to give up. My mom is in Vancouver currently decided to give him a call to ask him how we was doing and also talk about his spending habits. My brother hung up on her while she was talking. My parents have been difficulty saving up for many years to pay for his entire university education and they also are in talks of purchasing him a condo unit for him to live in once he goes to university, so his spending habits probably won't change too much once he gets into university.
Based on your last post, there is nothing you really can do. Your parents are enabling him and not teaching him anything. They are lecturing and telling him what to do which they can’t physicially control him. If my child was disrectful enough to hang up on me, there would be No financial support. Buying a condo for him or anything just reinforces that he can blow his own money while others bail him out. If I were your parents I would be charging him Rent based on a percentage of his income. I also would be putting some boundaries around his education like he must maintain a certain average and pay for a part of it unless he maintains his average.

As for you, you can just be supportive but not enabling. This isn’t your battle.
Last edited by Macx2mommy on Dec 28th, 2017 3:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
On a 'smart' device that isn't always so smart. So please forgive the autocorrects and typos. If it brothers you, then don't read my posts, but don't waste my time correcting me. If you can get past the typos, then my posts generally have some value.
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I was half expecting that Michel Trudeau registered for RFD looking for help with his brother.
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Your brother is a dumbass and his behaviour of lying, stealing, denial, anger, concealing, etc..., goes far beyond a kid with his first job having money for the first time. He has an addiction and needs professional help.
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Having looked over all of this; he needs an intervention. Really no one here can really tell you what will work, but someone in your needs to figure out this odd behaviour.
Seems though part of the problem was how he was raised in an environment where money flowed pretty freely. And obviously he's not a happy kid, otherwise he'd not be making these purchases.

One thing you could suggest -- tell him to join a gym. He has the clothing. Working out will improve his emotional attitude. It'll give him less time to waste his money, less time to work at Domino's. Tell him to blow his money on healthy foods. If you can manage that, it might be enough to "fix" him.

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