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  1. #1

    Default Family members with poor financial habits

    How much financial help, if any, would you be willing to give family members that have made consistently poor financial decisions?

    My sister and family, and DH's Mom and husband, have all lived far above their means, and for many years. They are feeling the repercussions now. MIL is basically homeless, living in hotels until the credit card runs out, then on to the next hotel/credit card.

    Sister has to live in an expensive area, never buys anything on sale, has to have the best of everything.

    There have been comments made that my DH should help bail them out. Our policy is never a borrower or lender be. Now we are considered selfish.

    We lived well within in our means, keep our debts down to a minimum, and pay any credit off as quickly as possible. DH has a chance of retiring at 60 if we watch ourselves. Note that we do not have children of our own to fall back on when we are older.

    Are we selfish, or smart?



  2. #2
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    Feb. 23, 2005
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    No.
    Especially do NOT let them move in with you.

    Ask me how I know this
    Smurf
    Penmerryl's Sophie RIDSH
    "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
    The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.



  3. #3
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    Smart. But you knew that already
    I'm not arguing, I'm just explaining why I'm right
    Violence doesn't end violence. It extends it. Break the cycle.



  4. #4
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    Jun. 24, 2006
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    You're smart. It is one thing if they had made one mistake, or something awful happened and they were in this situation. That does not seem to be the case, it seems to be over the top spending that has resulted in the financial situation that they are in... That is unlikely to resolve itself, which means it will be squandered in short order.

    They need to seek help from a financial advisor, and change their lifestyle. Perhaps if they succeeded in that, you could then help them. But that would be your preference.

    Just remember... Never loan more than you can afford to give away.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct. 18, 2000
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    22,379

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    Quote Originally Posted by hAlteredandbridled View Post
    How much financial help, if any, would you be willing to give family members that have made consistently poor financial decisions?


    None.

    Caller ID is your friend.



  6. #6
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    Sep. 9, 2007
    Location
    Charleston, SC
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    My older brother is like that. He is 40 years old and still acts like he lives with mom and dad.

    He bought a car and didn't have enough insurance on it. He rear ended someone on the way home. He had to borrow from my dad to get it fixed. He better get better insurance.

    He has been living in a house that is going to get foreclosed on for two years. He hasn't paid any rent becuase of that agreement. Now...he had to move to a place that he has to pay rent. All that extra money he had..has to go towards RENT now.

    I don't lend him any more or help him anymore. He lived with me for a short time and ran up tons of bills.
    OTTB - Hurricane Denton - Kane AKA Bubble boy
    Boxer - Tugger's - outlasted my marriage



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec. 4, 2005
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    washington state
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    Of course you should help your family members in financial crisis!

    Give them this link--

    http://www.daveramsey.com/
    The Knotted Pony

    Proud and upstanding member of the Snort and Blow Clique.



  8. #8
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    Feb. 20, 2010
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    Definitely smart. If you let them "borrow" money you'll never get it back, and then you'll be poorer and still considered selfish when they come a-begging once more.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug. 21, 2007
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    Well, if they want help, you are in a position to do so, but not in a way that would make them happy. In order for you to help them they have to:
    1. Cut up all credit cards and they can't get any more;
    2. Have their paychecks deposited directly into an account that you have control over.
    3. You will pay their bills from the above account, and give them a weekly allowance for spending money;
    4. You are now in charge of their retirement funds and they are now putting 10% of their pay aside.
    5. If they cannot afford their house, car,etc. they are to sell it and find something more affordable.
    6. When they are finally on firm financial footing, they can have control of their lives again.

    If they don't want this "help" from you, then you don't owe them anything. (And btw, no whining would be allowed while you are in charge.) (Maybe this is why my children moved far away from me. But on the plus side, they are on their own and can afford it.)



  10. #10
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    Jul. 14, 2000
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    Quote Originally Posted by JSwan View Post
    None.

    Caller ID is your friend.
    Ditto JSwan.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov. 30, 2006
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    CA
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    What, they spent all they had and now they want yours? I don't think so.

    In my experience watching friends bail out family, and watching a family member get bailed out, I have never seen it end in a positive relationship. In the situation with my brother, my parents have been waiting 4 years to see a dime of their money. It has put a huge strain on their relationship and I have felt very caught in the middle.

    IMHO, you are going to strain the relationship with these people with either decision you make. If I were you, I would hold onto my retirement. You've earned it, you have been prudent. Offer advice or referrals to financial counselors, but not financial assistance.



  12. #12
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    Jun. 24, 2005
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    The best advice of all is from JSwan. If you feel yourself weakening then watch Suze Orman tonight-I'm sure there will be at least one husband, or parent, or other relative that has spent their entire life sponging off of people and now wants money from others--the only sensible answer is NO!!!-and that's to money, co-signing, moving in, and using anything (car, etc) that you are legally and financially responsible for-and especially for student loans (those never go away). It's like the instuctions for drowning people-if you jump in the water with them they'll probably drag you down too. After all, it's not your fault, but theirs that this is happening to them.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White



  13. #13

    Default

    I'm watching this same train wreck unfolding between my brother and his wife and my parents. SiL has already borrowed a large 5 figure amount from my parents and STILL owes a large 5 figure amount on all her different credit cards ... and continues spending money like she has it. SiL has refinanced the house, which brother had basically paid off in full before they married and is having trouble making those loan payments as well.

    Where is brother in all this? He had a stroke a few years ago. His cognitive functions are impaired and he is fully disabled. SiL has full control of all the money. He is not able / not interested in making the effort to even discuss this issue.

    They have not yet asked me for money, but I have to listen to the stress this is putting on my parents ... they are already horrified at what happened to my brother with the stroke and its related complications and are already doing bunches to help him. Having SiL beg them for money puts enormous pressure on them.

    If all the money issues were related to brother's medical bills, I might be more understanding and willing to help make specific medical bill payments. But they are not; all these problems come from SiL's spending and general poor money management skills. There are days when I just want to slap her.



  14. #14
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    Dec. 21, 2005
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    Don't do it. I've helped 2 members of my family. One turned into an entitled monster who never thanked me for anything. The other still owes me over $13,000 and has missed payments on the loan, putting a ding on my credit score.
    "Is it ignorance or apathy? Hey, I don't know and I don't care." ~Jimmy Buffett



  15. #15
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    May. 4, 2003
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    Canada
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    Until he met me my husband was the only member of his family to go on after school and get a good job, etc. He was his family's bank manager, but never got a penny back. He loaned money to almost all of them. I put a halt to it and was named the awful one....none of them ever improved their lives or got on with it on their own, preferring to sponge. You are not doing them any favours.

    OTOH: we are the first to come to the aid of anyone in serious need of help.
    We can even offer employment ...



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by hAlteredandbridled View Post

    Are we selfish, or smart?
    Smart.

    Let them live in the graves they have dug.

    That said, personally, I probably would help "mom" out IF I were in a financial position to do it comfortably. I would set up a trust (gift, not a loan, so no expectation of the money being paid back), that paid out income and didn't allow the capital to be touched. That, of course, assumes that my standard of living wasn't diminished with the loss of that capital.



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by hAlteredandbridled View Post
    How much financial help, if any, would you be willing to give family members that have made consistently poor financial decisions?

    My sister and family, and DH's Mom and husband, have all lived far above their means, and for many years. They are feeling the repercussions now. MIL is basically homeless, living in hotels until the credit card runs out, then on to the next hotel/credit card.

    Sister has to live in an expensive area, never buys anything on sale, has to have the best of everything.

    There have been comments made that my DH should help bail them out. Our policy is never a borrower or lender be. Now we are considered selfish.

    We lived well within in our means, keep our debts down to a minimum, and pay any credit off as quickly as possible. DH has a chance of retiring at 60 if we watch ourselves. Note that we do not have children of our own to fall back on when we are older.

    Are we selfish, or smart?

    Non, nada nothing.

    Been there, done that, got the T-shirt and the attitude to go with it.

    You and your husband have to take care of yourself first, it's not your fault you make sound decisions and have money while the poophead is broke.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.



  18. #18
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    Mar. 4, 2010
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    7

    Default

    Thank you all for your input. It's one thing to know you are doing the right thing, and another to be called selfish and sent on a guilt trip. I'm never packed for those things.

    ChevalConvert, with DH's Mom, that is where we are headed. She refuses to believe anything is wrong, is mentally sound, so we are waiting for things to hit rock bottom. Only then will there be any help, and that will be in the form of research for support she can apply for.

    JanM - that is exactly what I have told my DH in relation to his Mom - she is a sinking ship, she just doesn't know it yet.

    My sister has said, in her sanctimonious way, that she feels family should be there to help out, even monitarily. Interesting opinion when one is without any money to lend. I guess I could loan out imaginary money too! She and her husband owe my parents $15,000, haven't paid on it in years, and my parents could really use it now.

    Well, thank you all again! I'm going to work on making by back bone stronger.



  19. #19
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    Jun. 24, 2005
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    And if you are so foolish as to loan money to anyone get a promissory note, then when they default you can write it off on your taxes as a bad debt (at least it's something like this thanks to Suze Orman) and they have to pay taxes on it (or at least will be liable for taxes). And never let someone like this have a key to your house-if they move in for a certain amount of time (with or without your consent) they could have rights as a legal tenant depending on local laws. A friend let her brother move in for a while, and then when he became a big problem and a bad influence for her kids she tried to get him to leave. She was shocked when the cops refused to let her kick him out, saying it was a civil matter and he had tenant rights -- even though he never paid a penny for anything.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White



  20. #20
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    Nov. 2, 2001
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    Quote Originally Posted by hAlteredandbridled View Post
    Thank you all for your input. It's one thing to know you are doing the right thing, and another to be called selfish and sent on a guilt trip. I'm never packed for those things.

    ChevalConvert, with DH's Mom, that is where we are headed. She refuses to believe anything is wrong, is mentally sound, so we are waiting for things to hit rock bottom. Only then will there be any help, and that will be in the form of research for support she can apply for.

    JanM - that is exactly what I have told my DH in relation to his Mom - she is a sinking ship, she just doesn't know it yet.

    My sister has said, in her sanctimonious way, that she feels family should be there to help out, even monitarily. Interesting opinion when one is without any money to lend. I guess I could loan out imaginary money too! She and her husband owe my parents $15,000, haven't paid on it in years, and my parents could really use it now.

    Well, thank you all again! I'm going to work on making by back bone stronger.
    I feel with you, not a good position to be in. While I do believe family should help each other out, I don't believe in enabling idiotic habits, like spending what one does not have.
    Husband's little sister is working a shtick like that, you think you help folks out and get raked over the coals. Thanksgiving won't be fun, I know, but it will be a lot less if you are broke due to no fault of your own.

    You can always buy them a cheap a$$ travel trailer/RV to park in mom's drive when things really hit rock bottom.

    Carry on on your chosen path, retirement comes soon enough.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.



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