When it comes to their children, Marnie and Mark have a problem many parents can relate to—the disease to please. While Victoria, who's starting college in a year and a half, has no college savings, she does drive a brand new car. "It's newer than both of my parents' cars and I love it," she says.
Marnie and Mark admit that they are easily manipulated by their teenage daughters when it comes to spending money. "My love for them probably clouds my judgment," Marnie says. "I think I'm very overindulgent with them. I give them everything I possibly can, to the detriment of my husband, my marriage and our finances."
On one window-shopping excursion, Marnie ends up giving in to the girls' pleading—using bill money to purchase clothes. "I have her wrapped around my finger," Victoria says with a smile.
Tensions reach a boiling point over the holidays when Marnie and Mark's checking account dwindles down to $235, and payday is a week away. "Christmas couldn't come at a worse time," Marnie says. "But, as usual—no matter what—the girls are not going to suffer." To help pay for gifts, Marnie borrows money from Victoria. "It's bad enough to borrow money from my mom and dad, maybe my sisters, but from your children?" Marnie says. "It's pretty deplorable."