Originally Posted by choli
I kind of doubt that the most likely outcome would still be "new guitar, no camp" judging by the attitude displayed by DD2 thus far.
Well, it sure seems like it will be one of those decisions that is not a decision. If you have an outstanding debt to pay, like a long overdue bill, and you get back a big tax refund, if you decide to take a vacation to Hawaii, you end up being sued, judges ordering money taken from your paycheck or savings, things repossessed, or going bakrupt because you had money that you did not spend paying what you owed. It is a decision, but anything less than paying your debt is a bad one with much more uncertain, painful and long lasting consequences, so there is really only one option.
If dd1 wants her money now, dd2 will de facto end up without a "choice" per se, but she will feel "her money" going to repay her debt because she will be active in trying to find another solution and will very directly feel why and how she is missing out on camp. If you want to play out the scenario, mom is bill collector and if dd2 refuses and says "screw it I'm going to camp" then I guess mom must start repossessing things to sell or deny her in the near future make up $200 ASAP... And dd2 will become supremely unpopular with dd1 (which should be explained to her). Mom could even have grounds to over-rule that decision by "freezing dd2's assets" until the debt is paid (which would mean no camp because she couldn't spend the money to pay for it). The $ is dd2's, but like adults, our money is sometimes not really ours to do what we want with, especially when we have a large, outstanding debt.
Really this is a kid version of how the world works. Set it up that way and the answers and options we as adults have are the same.
This is how the world works.