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Farnoosh Torabi helps mom deal with spendaholic son

Farnoosh Torabi, a recurring Money 911 panelist and author of "Psych Yourself Rich," joined us for a live Web chat Wednesday morning after the show's Money 911 segment.Here are two of her answers to questions from the live chat. See below for the full Q&A and video of the Money 911 segment. Margaret's question: My son is 16 and in 10th grade and I don't have a college 529 saving plan for him. I

Farnoosh Torabi, a recurring Money 911 panelist and author of "Psych Yourself Rich," joined us for a live Web chat Wednesday morning after the show's Money 911 segment.

Here are two of her answers to questions from the live chat. See below for the full Q&A and video of the Money 911 segment

Margaret's question: 

My son is 16 and in 10th grade and I don't have a college 529 saving plan for him. I do have $10,000 saved to go toward his college and currently save $500 a month to put with this money. My question: Should I continue to keep this money in my savings or should I transfer it to some other account? 

Farnoosh's answer: 

Sounds like you're doing a nice job of saving for your son's college. With college two years away, I'd just stick to what you're doing. If you can afford to tuck away more each month, great. 

I would also advise that you discuss financing college with your son. Talk about what you can realistically contribute and the best way to make up for the rest. 

Encourage him to start applying for scholarships, grants and any free money that's out there. Check out Mark Kantrowitz's new e-book on college scholarships: Secrets to Winning a Scholarship.

Mary's question: 

I have a 32-year-old son who just keeps going from one institution to another getting loans - two cars, one motorcycle, all the latest sports outfitting. He has school debt, three loans and has been borrowing from the "Cash your check before you go" places. First, where do you find a financial advisor to set up this out of control life? I can tell he is very depressed about the situation so he just keeps spending to buy something to make him feel better. From what I can figure out, he is $15,000. in debt and brings home $300 per week. He has no management skills at all. Secondly, how can his father and I protect money he will receive from our estate? 

Farnoosh's answer: 

I wish I could come to your house and stage an intervention. He doesn't need a financial advisor. He needs a wake-up call! 

As parents, this is where you can really help. Have you actually sat him down and made him face his financial reality? You think he's $15,000 in debt, but how certain are you? It may be worse. 

Credit counseling centers may be able to offer him some help, but psychologically he needs to get to a better place - to find a better paying job and realize why he's spending recklessly. I would suggest some therapy sessions, as well.

To protect the money he will receive from your estate you want to work with a reputable estate planning attorney. You can find one in your area at The American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys.

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