Author Topic: suck it up? or stop enabling?  (Read 22125 times)

willn

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Re: suck it up? or stop enabling?
« Reply #50 on: October 21, 2013, 01:41:34 PM »
It might be worth pointing out to them that stuff like credit card bills can actually be skipped if it's between that and formula or the water bill... Those things should come first, debt repayment second.  Maybe if their credit get's shot enough, they won't have the credit cards anymore and will at least have to just spend what they bring in.

Right on.  Are they really so stupid they'd pay for their credit card bill before paying for water?  No, I smell an addiction going on here.

This is going to end badly, question is, do you prolong the end or do you hasten it so they can get on with becoming adults?

Zamboni

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Re: suck it up? or stop enabling?
« Reply #51 on: October 21, 2013, 01:47:41 PM »
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he did however tell my mother that i was be "bitchy" about money again. 

You are doing the right thing and you need to not worry about it or let this type of comment bother you.  It sounds like your parents see your side of the matter anyway, so what he says doesn't affect anything including your relationship with your parents.  Anyone else will just think he's immature for expecting family to pay his bills.  He will get over it, and he's an adult so it's absurd that he expects you to give him any money in the first place.  Once you're reset their expectations, they might be mad for a bit, but it will pass.  The 529 is quite generous of you, and will win you points with your nieces and nephews someday no matter what their parents say in the interim. 

Mr.Macinstache

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Re: suck it up? or stop enabling?
« Reply #52 on: October 21, 2013, 02:13:02 PM »
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he did however tell my mother that i was be "bitchy" about money again. 

You are doing the right thing and you need to not worry about it or let this type of comment bother you.  It sounds like your parents see your side of the matter anyway, so what he says doesn't affect anything including your relationship with your parents.  Anyone else will just think he's immature for expecting family to pay his bills.  He will get over it, and he's an adult so it's absurd that he expects you to give him any money in the first place.  Once you're reset their expectations, they might be mad for a bit, but it will pass.  The 529 is quite generous of you, and will win you points with your nieces and nephews someday no matter what their parents say in the interim.

The cynical side of me suggest that parents have favorites and no matter how horrible that favorite acts out they're always defended. Nieces and nephews are raised by those parents and their attitudes are formed by them as well.

Exflyboy

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Re: suck it up? or stop enabling?
« Reply #53 on: October 21, 2013, 03:01:36 PM »
Yeah been there done that.

This is a one way trip to avoiding them ever having to deal with the consequences of their own poor decisions. My family know better than to ask.

Sure if there was some kind of financial disaster happend and the genuinely needed help one time thats something I would consider.. And I'd expect it paid back.

As they would never pay it back it means the help is limited to a single event. Them using their kids as a bargaining tool is appalling.

There are food banks and shelters. They got themselves into this its their job to get out of it.. Or have the kids taken away if they can't get it together.

impaire

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Re: suck it up? or stop enabling?
« Reply #54 on: October 21, 2013, 07:32:11 PM »
i did open a separate 529, i told my parents about it since i made them the beneficiaries and they completely agree with me.  other than that its kind of a waiting game.  i did send formula and a couple of packs of diapers via amazon but i told them it would be the last time.  since i've said that before not too much has happened yet.  it will be more of a thing in the next couple months.


That takes courage--but you're doing your best, and I think it's the right thing. Oh, and I also totally wanted to give you badass points for being honest about maternity--I never thought it meant anything about your love for your kid. Respect.

ace1224

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Re: suck it up? or stop enabling?
« Reply #55 on: January 24, 2014, 10:44:19 PM »
This is a bit of a necro post but I wanted to update.  I have small automatic contributions going to the 529s.  I gifted fpu class for Xmas and a fun gift they wanted. I did give the kids lots of stuff like clothes and diapers and things that could be necessities. I wasn't asked but I thought of it like a pre-emptive  attack.  The first phone call for money came a couple hours ago, they were a little short for the daycare bill. I said no, he whined, I said no but I was looking for a laptop for my son and would be willing to buy one of theirs if he wanted to sell stuff for cash.
He said maybe, he called my parents, they said no.  I got a text saying that if his in laws couldn't lend it to them he's call me back and talk about the laptop if I was going to "be like that"
It surprisingly wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.  I really do need to get my son a computer since we don't have a house one so I don't mind buying my brothers. Plus it will be the first time he's had to part with something to make ends meet. I could have been tougher I guess but I feel good about how it went down.
So thanks again everyone, I needed to stop a long time ago.

Kaminoge

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Re: suck it up? or stop enabling?
« Reply #56 on: January 25, 2014, 03:09:03 AM »
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thanks, because that's totally what i was looking for advice about and makes me feel even more awesome about myself than i do.

You should actually feel pretty awesome about yourself.  Firstly because it sounds like you've gone way above and beyond what you could reasonably be expected to do for your brother (I mean it would be different if they'd lost their jobs or something but given the circumstances) and secondly because you're self aware enough to realise that kids aren't your thing. And honest enough to admit it (in my experience most people are too afraid to admit that kind of stuff even to themselves).

And by the way that doesn't mean you won't do an awesome job of bringing your kid up. Being into kids is not a requirement of being a good parent.

My brother and his wife are completely crap with money (in my opinion) which I find totally bizarre given that he had exactly the same mustachian upbringing as me. Thankfully they're not to the point of asking anyone else for money or not having food/utilities but they do make really bad choices. My response is that I refuse to buy them or the kids any gifts at all. The kids have way more crap than they need already. What I do do is every Christmas/birthday deposit a few hundred dollars into accounts I've set up. The account is in my name. If the kids turn out decent humans I'll give them the money at some point. If they don't turn out decent people I'll keep it for myself. I've told my brother and sister-in-law this.  When they're older I may tell the kids so they know why I don't ever send gifts or I may not. We'll see.

quilter

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Re: suck it up? or stop enabling?
« Reply #57 on: January 25, 2014, 04:34:37 AM »
Just read your story and I am glad that you have found a solution. My brother, age 68 still lives on the edge of disaster, in a run down trailer in a park but had a masters degree and good state job and a working wife.   He always drove nicer cars than me, went out to eat etc.  yet is always the victim.   He declared bankruptcy twice when it was easier to do so, once wiping out $60,000 of credit card debt.  When he or his wife dies I don't know how the remaining one won't be on the street when they lose one social security.
I hope you find peace with yourself and congrats on finding ways to help the kids. It was hard for me, but no matter what I did I was not going to stop a myriad of habits that led my brother to where he is now.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2014, 04:36:48 AM by quilter »

Self-employed-swami

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Re: suck it up? or stop enabling?
« Reply #58 on: January 25, 2014, 05:59:23 AM »
I think your response to him, about buying the laptop is great.

I hope it starts to get them thinking.

SwordGuy

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Re: suck it up? or stop enabling?
« Reply #59 on: January 25, 2014, 06:17:52 AM »
It might be worth pointing out to them that stuff like credit card bills can actually be skipped if it's between that and formula or the water bill... Those things should come first, debt repayment second.  Maybe if their credit get's shot enough, they won't have the credit cards anymore and will at least have to just spend what they bring in.

But if they don't pay something on the credit cards they can't buy anything else with them!   I'm sure that's what they are thinking.

Greg

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Re: suck it up? or stop enabling?
« Reply #60 on: January 25, 2014, 10:59:32 AM »
ace1224, nice to read this "necro" post.  I read the whole thread and agree with much of what has been written.  Sounds like you made the right decision and are implementing it carefully and well.

It's very telling the reaction you got, "being like that" about giving them your money.  But your offered solution is great.  Not sure I would do any better, and would likely do worse, in your shoes.

Be careful about buying stuff from them to help them pay bills, you don't want to become a personal "pawn shop" for them.  Be very clear that anything you buy will not be returned even if they come up with the money.

pipercat

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Re: suck it up? or stop enabling?
« Reply #61 on: January 25, 2014, 11:24:44 AM »
I'm fairly new to the forum, and I just found this thread.  Bravo to you for saying no!  I suspect that it will get easier each time you do it.  Interesting that both sets of parents also said no.  Seems like they actually think the way you do about lending him money.  Keep us posted on how things go.

FWIW, you are a good uncle!

Cassie

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Re: suck it up? or stop enabling?
« Reply #62 on: January 25, 2014, 11:40:05 AM »
I am also fairly new & just read this whole thread. I think you handled this really well!  Also I agree that you don't have to love kids to be an awesome parent and I think because you are self aware in this area that will make you a better parent. BTW to continue to give money/things to people does not help them in the long run when they don't help themselves. I learned this the hard way with one of my adult sons. As hard as it may be sometimes you just have to let the train wreck because there is no way to stop it.  I really feel for you because having to remain strong in these situations is hard but the more you do it the easier it gets.   

sheepstache

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Re: suck it up? or stop enabling?
« Reply #63 on: January 29, 2014, 07:55:13 AM »
Don't forget you're giving your nieces and nephews a wonderful gift in the form of a role model of responsible adulthood, which appears to be lacking at their house.

mrsggrowsveg

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Re: suck it up? or stop enabling?
« Reply #64 on: January 29, 2014, 08:45:51 AM »
Don't forget you're giving your nieces and nephews a wonderful gift in the form of a role model of responsible adulthood, which appears to be lacking at their house.

^This

I am so sorry they have put you in this situation.  Like others have said, I would help them find resources such as WIC to help get the formula and food for the other child.  There also may be other services in their area, such as diaper services that they could qualify for.  I would stay strong about giving more money, but without being too hard on them if you would like to maintain relations. 

AccidentalMiser

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Re: suck it up? or stop enabling?
« Reply #65 on: January 29, 2014, 09:24:56 AM »
Well played, Ace!  Glad it's all working out.

DeepEllumStache

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Re: suck it up? or stop enabling?
« Reply #66 on: January 29, 2014, 10:49:56 AM »
You're definitely doing the right thing and it's good that both sets of parents are doing the same.

Had a situation a few years ago where a family member was always borrowing money with the intention of paying it back.  It got the point that she only called to talk when she needed money.  I finally stopped giving the money and told her I wasn't a bank.  Not a pleasant conversation, especially when I said not to call unless the conversation didn't involve borrowing money.

Took about a year before she called again and since then both our relationship and the financial side of things have gotten amazingly better.  Within 2 years of the "not a bank" conversation she had paid back everything she had borrowed. 

People can change for the better, but they have to be the ones deciding to make that change.  What you've done will hopefully encourage them towards that path.

happy

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Re: suck it up? or stop enabling?
« Reply #67 on: January 29, 2014, 05:10:22 PM »
Thats a great story, sporksociety. Its impressive that she not only stopped abusing your generosity, but made amends financially. I guess the upshot is that your relationship has improved no end.




Spork

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Re: suck it up? or stop enabling?
« Reply #68 on: January 29, 2014, 05:56:50 PM »
Thats a great story, sporksociety. Its impressive that she not only stopped abusing your generosity, but made amends financially. I guess the upshot is that your relationship has improved no end.

great story?  No, that's a great nick.  We need a spork society!

happy

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Re: suck it up? or stop enabling?
« Reply #69 on: January 29, 2014, 06:13:04 PM »
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No, that's a great nick.  We need a spork society!

Sorry, don't get this...colloquialisms too thick for me.

G-dog

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Re: suck it up? or stop enabling?
« Reply #70 on: January 29, 2014, 08:31:09 PM »
i was called selfish and mean and "unfamily" like since i had it and they didn't.  pointing out to them that i live in half the house they do with way more conscientious spending fell on deaf ears.

This is a red flag.  Making their problems someone else's fault is a sign of huge dysfunction.  (I'm going to guess there is some addiction involved here... but... I'm a little biased in that regard.)

Bottom line: it is very unlikely you'll be able to reason with them.  In fact, any calm/rational argument will be flung back at you (usually twisted somehow) with an "I cannot believe you would say/do that!"

 

Your best friend here is:  "I disagree with you, but I do not want to argue."

Yes - this is a trigger for me (judgie judgie pants) - they are not the victims of circumstances out of their control, they are selfish and make bad decisions.
How would a trust fund stack up vs. 529 plan for financial and legal control options?  I've got no idea, but there are so many others here that might!

This isn't a democracy, but I too vote to cut them off.  I don't think you said anything about other family members? Are they being tapped for help too?  If so, you have more power as a unified group = intervention...

Rural

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Re: suck it up? or stop enabling?
« Reply #71 on: January 29, 2014, 08:31:47 PM »
Thats a great story, sporksociety. Its impressive that she not only stopped abusing your generosity, but made amends financially. I guess the upshot is that your relationship has improved no end.

great story?  No, that's a great nick.  We need a spork society!

I wondered if you'd forgotten your password and had to start over.

Dr. Doom

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Re: suck it up? or stop enabling?
« Reply #72 on: January 29, 2014, 09:09:37 PM »
they both have just crazy amounts of debt and student loans.  they are the type of people that took out more than they needed to fund vacations and furniture without regard to paying it back in the future. 

Really sad situation.  I feel for you.

I agree with folks who have said that you need to be 100% clear that you will never help out again.  This will stop this pattern of behavior.

But you can attempt to help in other ways as folks have mentioned.  So long as you're not directly enabling them, but rather helping them to help themselves. 

One of my thoughts was to suggest they look into reconsolidating their student debt.  Check out
loanconsolidation.ed.gov

This is a legit government program -- note the .gov extension, there is no funny business here.  They can get their monthly payment adjusted to a % of income which in many cases can reduce the payment significantly.  It worked for my brother who owed ~100K but only made 30.  After his reconsolidation he was paying only $180 a month (down from $600 something.)  It basically saved his life.  Took about 6 weeks to get all of the paperwork to go through.

Best.