I just *need* to get this off my chest.
I love my parents, but they terrify me. We grew up poor. Mom had very poor health and had multiple surgeries before she was even 30. Dad is a teacher - a wonderful one that everyone adores, but he also does way too much work for free because schools don't place value on employee's extra time. Mom eventually taught as well until she retired about four years ago (medical retirement on disability she put in for because of her health problems). I fought and fought for her to keep working, as she was barely 50, but she had missed so much work over the past couple years, she couldn't face it. Dilemma now - she can work but loses disability, which isn't much but enough and steady. If her illness gets worse, then that job becomes much less plausible - and she doesn't have the best work ethic, in part because of being sick all the time.
Growing up, they were the most loving/fun parents. We never had much, but we never felt like we were missing out. My parents were hardly the types to be spendthrifts; there just wasn't enough money to be that way. In fact, I remember walking away from the cash register whenever we bought anything - the stress of spending anything was too much. For years, we rode around in a car someone from church gave us - it was painted five different colors, but it was free.
Now we are all grown and out of the house. I have made financial mistakes but am on the MMM path. I need to make more money to truly be on my way, but putting nearly half your paycheck in savings ain't bad.
But you guys? Dad's health has gotten worse, but he still has to work. If he ends up needing a heart transplant, I have no idea how you will make it. You take on embroidery projects on your home machine and work so hard to make such little money with it. It can't sustain you, but you want so much to contribute to my and sister's wedding fund and proudly told me you had saved $300 for it last week. Neither of us will EVER take that money and want you to put it in savings.
But you are in this position because you got used to being poor and have never left that mindset. You no longer have three kids at home and haven't in ages. I'm 33. Brother is 31. Sis is 28. We've been out roughly 10 years. Yet your financial position isn't better. Your friends all have husbands who worked at high-income, blue collar jobs. You don't, but you hang out with them and feel you must keep up with the joneses, hosting monthly birthday parties and buying gift after gift for these people who don't need anything. You host parties and go all out - even if you feel you aren't spending much. You bring in such little money, and Dad says nothing. You buy here and there because you feel you "deserve" it after living a life of hardship. That isn't how it works. When we go places together, you want to buy me or sis something. We tell you no because you have no money. We aren't trying to be rude, but your insistence at affording things you can't kills all of us. All three of us worry about having to take care of you because you spend mindlessly. Last week you went to lunch twice in a town 20 minutes away. You can't afford that!
And Dad. You aren't paying attention to what you spend daily. Mom told me she gives you several hundred dollars EACH WEEK for gas and such. Where is that money going? You are diabetic and have a heart condition. You should not eat out ever. She makes you lunches. Eat them. Are you gambling? What are you doing with that money? You are such a good man, but I don't trust you on this, and I hate it.
Together you have never communicated well about any of this. If YOU don't know where your money is going, no one will.
When MawMaw died, I gave up months of my life to help get the house in order, to organize the estate sale, to get the bills in order, to itemize what needed to be paid, what you needed to be paid out of bills, etc. Your attorney that you hired to do this (because HE WAS A FRIEND) should have done this last part but did not. You still paid him way too much money, but you felt you needed to help him because he isn't in good health. No! You need to help yourself. You are in horrible financial health. You must come first. That inheritance amounted to about $10,000. Have you invested this? Have you spent this? I don't know. It is a continual source of stress for me.
All I really want is for my parents to, at one point in their lives, not have to worry about money on a daily basis. This weekend, after volunteering at the local food bank, I asked if they wanted to go to Dunkin Donuts, a rare treat. They said they were tight on money and couldn't. I've been so sad ever since. At this point, I don't know that it will ever happen, and it devastates and depresses me.