Who decides how to spend their money?

The best of times or is it the worst of times…

How many hours is it since I was celebrating Linda’s first paycheck?

As a Williams Syndrome adult, payment for work is certainly an unexpected bonus but I’d totally failed to anticipate the consequences.

Yes, she was pleased and proud. She was certainly the proud owner of more money than she’s had for a long time.

We tend to limit the amount she has on any one occasion. Now don’t get me wrong, we don’t stop Linda having money, we just spread it out a bit. Experience has shown us, time and again, that money gets spent – mostly on books, keyrings and lapel pin badges. Do you have any idea how it feels to have someone walk home and proudly brandish 25 new keyrings purchased on a binge when they were out with a carer?!

Anyway, with the arrival of a paycheck, Linda has money and it’s burning a hole in her piggy bank.

I’ve had 3 solid days of “Can I buy…?” She’s got an iPad, an MP3 player and a phone… and she’s spent 3 days using the iPad to browse the internet to look for MP3 players and phones.

Now I know we all like to upgrade every now and then, but she doesn’t have enough money to UPgrade so she’s DOWNgrading – the only difference is whatever she buys will be new.

It’s breaking my heart. She’s determined to spend her hard-earned money buying something that will perform less well than what she has already. And she wants to spend it now. I so understand the meaning and the pain of “pester power” and it’s really giving me a headache.

What do you do? When you’ve given your best advice, when you’ve explained it slowly and rationally, when you’ve tried every trick you know how, do you forbid someone to spend their own money or do you give in?

Thoughts please…