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Around the Internet => Antimustachian Wall of Shame and Comedy => Topic started by: Steeze on June 29, 2019, 09:13:50 PM

Title: Family Member Fails
Post by: Steeze on June 29, 2019, 09:13:50 PM
My parents are in their 60’s, no savings, no retirement, and owe as much on their home as they did when they bought it 20 years ago. They are unable to save and often complain about their high utility bills, nearly 450$/mo for electric and gas.

I am up visiting them this weekend and was stunned to find their AC set to 67F! Not only is that insanely low, but they live in the mountains! It is a beautiful 75F during the day and 65F at night! It’s colder outside than inside and they are running the AC! Not only that, but they insist on cooling the living room area while they sleep in their room with the door shut! Such waste. These are people getting ready to live on fixed income Social Security at an income less than 1/2 what they make now. Doomed.

I am very likely Mustachian because my parents suck at money and always have.

What ridiculous things do your family members do to waste money while also complaining about the cost!?

Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: RetiredAt63 on June 30, 2019, 05:30:14 AM
Ooh that hurts just to read.  I am sitting here in my 20C house (25C last night) with all the windows open  enjoying the cool 16C breeze.  Sorry but your parents are nuts.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: 2microsNH on June 30, 2019, 06:10:40 AM
My mom and step-dad are in the same boat: no savings, very little income, very small monthly SS check -- he's an ex-con and transports rental cars for $10/hr three days a week, my mom isn't working because (initially) she couldn't find a job and now because of ongoing health problems. In the past five years, they have:

Bought and sold a small boat after using it for two years
Bought and sold a motorcycle after using it for two years
Moved to a more expensive (but warmer) city with tons of retirees, making it harder for them to find work at their skill level / age
Taken all their money out of the stock market when they saw a slight downturn
Taken a $3000 loan to pay for an elective surgery
Purchased a life insurance plan from a door-to-door insurance salesman

They also eat out for every dinner --- not quality food as "foodies" would do, but rather Village Inn, Denny's, Taco Bell, and other crap like that.

When I comment on this, my boyfriend says, "They're old and should be able to spend their money however they want. If they want to eat out, they should be able to eat out." That's easy for him to say -- his parents are loaded and he doesn't have to worry about bailing them out. My mom is one crisis or one stupid spending decision away from homeless.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: Gail2000 on June 30, 2019, 06:41:28 AM

When I comment on this, my boyfriend says, "They're old and should be able to spend their money however they want. If they want to eat out, they should be able to eat out." That's easy for him to say -- his parents are loaded and he doesn't have to worry about bailing them out. My mom is one crisis or one stupid spending decision away from homeless.
My grandmother is lucky she has a pension from my grandfather. All her savings squandered and she was homeless technically until her oldest intervened. She now lives in a one room apartment in an old folks home. A tajma hall compared to some of the others there who have to share a communal bathroom. She does not acknowledge how close she was to being on the streets and now my father is out 5000$ he needs to put away for his own retirement. Shut up she said. I know what Iím doing she said. Now sheís whining until she gets a tv.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: six-car-habit on June 30, 2019, 03:42:10 PM
  ***When I comment on this, my boyfriend says, "They're old and should be able to spend their money however they want. If they want to eat out, they should be able to eat out." ****

Klaxon sounds, Warning lights, Alarm bells.......boyfriend future spending alert !
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: Just Joe on July 01, 2019, 09:50:20 PM
Elderly relatives discussing replacing their second car with something new or nearly new. Just did the same with their first car a year or so ago. The thing is that they don't drive the second car. Ever. One half of their marriage is nearly unable to walk across the house let alone drive. Why do they need a second car for anything? Must be some version of optimism.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: Bloop Bloop on July 02, 2019, 12:24:36 AM
I'm sad that people have dysfunctional families. I'm happy that my family is mostly good at finances. The most I can add to this thread is an annoying cousin who tries to show off her wealth by talking about her business and her expensive cars (which she bought on her husband's dime, mind you - she married into money). I have no issue with buying expensive things if you have a lot of money, but I think it's crass to mention it in public, particularly if you didn't earn it yourself.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: JestJes on July 02, 2019, 08:19:48 AM
  ***When I comment on this, my boyfriend says, "They're old and should be able to spend their money however they want. If they want to eat out, they should be able to eat out." ****

Klaxon sounds, Warning lights, Alarm bells.......boyfriend future spending alert !


This was so what I was thinking! RED ALERT
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: OtherJen on July 02, 2019, 09:07:18 AM
Elderly relatives discussing replacing their second car with something new or nearly new. Just did the same with their first car a year or so ago. The thing is that they don't drive the second car. Ever. One half of their marriage is nearly unable to walk across the house let alone drive. Why do they need a second car for anything? Must be some version of optimism.

Are we related? You just described my in-laws.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: BlueHouse on July 02, 2019, 11:21:37 AM
I'm so grateful for monthly payouts like SS because otherwise my mother would be broke.  She spends money on stupid things that no one needs because "she likes the people".  She does a lot of volunteering and one of the things she does is farmers' markets.  She buys so much overpriced stuff and the majority of it goes bad because she buys too much.  Boston lettuce at $6 for a quart size baggie?  Jeez!  It makes me crazy. 

the only thing I can tell myself to calm down is "at least she doesn't have a drug problem"
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: A Fella from Stella on July 02, 2019, 11:33:52 AM
I'm so grateful for monthly payouts like SS because otherwise my mother would be broke.  She spends money on stupid things that no one needs because "she likes the people".  She does a lot of volunteering and one of the things she does is farmers' markets.  She buys so much overpriced stuff and the majority of it goes bad because she buys too much.  Boston lettuce at $6 for a quart size baggie?  Jeez!  It makes me crazy. 

the only thing I can tell myself to calm down is "at least she doesn't have a drug problem"

Took my daughter to a farmer's market when I thought we were going to split a giant ice cream sandwich for $6; turns out it was half the size I thought, which was actually an appropriate serving.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: A Fella from Stella on July 02, 2019, 11:47:03 AM
A relative bought a home that in-laws wanted to help a friend sell.

The result? They spent too much on a home that's too small that needed to be completely updated in a school district they didn't want.

A month later, after much careful shopping, and not listening to that my relative's in-laws about another property, I spent the same amount for a one twice as large in a more desirable school district.

According to Redfin, my relative's home went up $60,000, and mine went up $137,000 in about the same time period.

To be fair, I've bought a number of homes, but also to be fair, this relative knows I've bought more homes than most people, and could have asked me even for the most basic advice.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: mm1970 on July 02, 2019, 02:09:46 PM
Elderly relatives discussing replacing their second car with something new or nearly new. Just did the same with their first car a year or so ago. The thing is that they don't drive the second car. Ever. One half of their marriage is nearly unable to walk across the house let alone drive. Why do they need a second car for anything? Must be some version of optimism.

Are we related? You just described my in-laws.
Elderly people are a great source of lightly used cars though!
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: BFive55 on July 02, 2019, 04:14:24 PM
My parents are in their 60ís, no savings, no retirement, and owe as much on their home as they did when they bought it 20 years ago. They are unable to save and often complain about their high utility bills, nearly 450$/mo for electric and gas.

I am up visiting them this weekend and was stunned to find their AC set to 67F! Not only is that insanely low, but they live in the mountains! It is a beautiful 75F during the day and 65F at night! Itís colder outside than inside and they are running the AC! Not only that, but they insist on cooling the living room area while they sleep in their room with the door shut! Such waste. These are people getting ready to live on fixed income Social Security at an income less than 1/2 what they make now. Doomed.

I am very likely Mustachian because my parents suck at money and always have.

What ridiculous things do your family members do to waste money while also complaining about the cost!?

Wow, that is crazy. My dad and his ex-wife had a house that was usually set pretty low. But he didn't like it much and she always wanted it colder. Thankfully they could afford it.

My AC is set at 78 right now and was 77 while I was gone at work all day. The coldest I ever put it is 72 if I'm feeling bad for some reason but I usually have it at 75-77. Usually 77. Winter time I keep it colder at 67ish and put on a sweater and long pants.

I hate paying electric bills. I usually sit in the dark and just have little night lights and the TV on, lol.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: OtherJen on July 02, 2019, 04:16:08 PM
Elderly relatives discussing replacing their second car with something new or nearly new. Just did the same with their first car a year or so ago. The thing is that they don't drive the second car. Ever. One half of their marriage is nearly unable to walk across the house let alone drive. Why do they need a second car for anything? Must be some version of optimism.

Are we related? You just described my in-laws.
Elderly people are a great source of lightly used cars though!

True. We did buy my MILís car for a song when she decided she needed a new one (she doesnít drive and probably shouldnít for medical reasons).
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: marty998 on July 03, 2019, 02:31:54 AM
My parents are in their 60ís, no savings, no retirement, and owe as much on their home as they did when they bought it 20 years ago. They are unable to save and often complain about their high utility bills, nearly 450$/mo for electric and gas.

I am up visiting them this weekend and was stunned to find their AC set to 67F! Not only is that insanely low, but they live in the mountains! It is a beautiful 75F during the day and 65F at night! Itís colder outside than inside and they are running the AC! Not only that, but they insist on cooling the living room area while they sleep in their room with the door shut! Such waste. These are people getting ready to live on fixed income Social Security at an income less than 1/2 what they make now. Doomed.

I am very likely Mustachian because my parents suck at money and always have.

What ridiculous things do your family members do to waste money while also complaining about the cost!?

Wow, that is crazy. My dad and his ex-wife had a house that was usually set pretty low. But he didn't like it much and she always wanted it colder. Thankfully they could afford it.

My AC is set at 78 right now and was 77 while I was gone at work all day. The coldest I ever put it is 72 if I'm feeling bad for some reason but I usually have it at 75-77. Usually 77. Winter time I keep it colder at 67ish and put on a sweater and long pants.

I hate paying electric bills. I usually sit in the dark and just have little night lights and the TV on, lol.

Oh my god sorry not sorry for the face punch but you keep the AC on in your home while you are out at work??? Isn't it obvious to reduce your electric bill you should turn it off?

Lights use minimal power in comparison to AC......
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: BFive55 on July 03, 2019, 05:09:20 AM
My parents are in their 60ís, no savings, no retirement, and owe as much on their home as they did when they bought it 20 years ago. They are unable to save and often complain about their high utility bills, nearly 450$/mo for electric and gas.

I am up visiting them this weekend and was stunned to find their AC set to 67F! Not only is that insanely low, but they live in the mountains! It is a beautiful 75F during the day and 65F at night! Itís colder outside than inside and they are running the AC! Not only that, but they insist on cooling the living room area while they sleep in their room with the door shut! Such waste. These are people getting ready to live on fixed income Social Security at an income less than 1/2 what they make now. Doomed.

I am very likely Mustachian because my parents suck at money and always have.

What ridiculous things do your family members do to waste money while also complaining about the cost!?

Wow, that is crazy. My dad and his ex-wife had a house that was usually set pretty low. But he didn't like it much and she always wanted it colder. Thankfully they could afford it.

My AC is set at 78 right now and was 77 while I was gone at work all day. The coldest I ever put it is 72 if I'm feeling bad for some reason but I usually have it at 75-77. Usually 77. Winter time I keep it colder at 67ish and put on a sweater and long pants.

I hate paying electric bills. I usually sit in the dark and just have little night lights and the TV on, lol.

Oh my god sorry not sorry for the face punch but you keep the AC on in your home while you are out at work??? Isn't it obvious to reduce your electric bill you should turn it off?

Lights use minimal power in comparison to AC......

My AC unit, as it was explained, was cheaper to run at a constant temperature than to constantly turn it on and off.

I do usually raise the temperature 3-4 degrees when I'm at work to keep it from constantly kicking on. I live in a humid area so I'm concerned about humidity in the place. That may not be an accurate concern though, I don't know.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: Maenad on July 03, 2019, 07:43:59 AM
A tajma hall compared to some of the others there who have to share a communal bathroom.

[pedant hat on] Taj Mahal: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal). Which is darkly funny considering you're talking about an elderly lady and the Taj Mahal is a mausoleum. [pedant hat off]
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: Gail2000 on July 03, 2019, 05:09:15 PM
A tajma hall compared to some of the others there who have to share a communal bathroom.

[pedant hat on] Taj Mahal: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal). Which is darkly funny considering you're talking about an elderly lady and the Taj Mahal is a mausoleum. [pedant hat off]

Very red and embarrassed over the typo. Thank you for adding some dark humour to a sad situation. I like the layers it adds.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: StockBeard on July 03, 2019, 10:27:00 PM
My AC unit, as it was explained, was cheaper to run at a constant temperature than to constantly turn it on and off.
I find that hard to believe. A quick search on the internet will show you that "keeping my AC on is more efficient than turning it on and off" is a myth that is regularly and easily debunked by professionals.

I feel your concern about humidity might be valid. But whoever told you to leave the AC on for costs/efficiency reasons was most definitely wrong, and just sharing a myth.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: marty998 on July 04, 2019, 04:36:50 AM
My parents are in their 60ís, no savings, no retirement, and owe as much on their home as they did when they bought it 20 years ago. They are unable to save and often complain about their high utility bills, nearly 450$/mo for electric and gas.

I am up visiting them this weekend and was stunned to find their AC set to 67F! Not only is that insanely low, but they live in the mountains! It is a beautiful 75F during the day and 65F at night! Itís colder outside than inside and they are running the AC! Not only that, but they insist on cooling the living room area while they sleep in their room with the door shut! Such waste. These are people getting ready to live on fixed income Social Security at an income less than 1/2 what they make now. Doomed.

I am very likely Mustachian because my parents suck at money and always have.

What ridiculous things do your family members do to waste money while also complaining about the cost!?

Wow, that is crazy. My dad and his ex-wife had a house that was usually set pretty low. But he didn't like it much and she always wanted it colder. Thankfully they could afford it.

My AC is set at 78 right now and was 77 while I was gone at work all day. The coldest I ever put it is 72 if I'm feeling bad for some reason but I usually have it at 75-77. Usually 77. Winter time I keep it colder at 67ish and put on a sweater and long pants.

I hate paying electric bills. I usually sit in the dark and just have little night lights and the TV on, lol.

Oh my god sorry not sorry for the face punch but you keep the AC on in your home while you are out at work??? Isn't it obvious to reduce your electric bill you should turn it off?

Lights use minimal power in comparison to AC......

My AC unit, as it was explained, was cheaper to run at a constant temperature than to constantly turn it on and off.


Nope, not believable. The small additional effort your AC needs to work at after you turn it on is nowhere near the amount of power drawn during the 8-10 hours you have it running while you are away.

Please do not contribute unnecessarily to global warming by running your AC all day, thus requiring ever more AC to keep your place cooler.....
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: Cassie on July 04, 2019, 02:37:47 PM
We bought a car that had 2 elderly owners and it had low miles. With both of us retired neither of our cars get a lot of mileage. When one dies we will probably just have one. One thing about getting older is that you lose your tolerance for heat.  For decades never had A/C and now feel sick if too hot.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: The_Big_H on July 04, 2019, 11:33:10 PM
Oh boy, let me play this game with 60-something in-laws:

1) Cashed out pensions (were afraid the company would go bankrupt, it did not) not 100% sure how much but lets figure 600k +/-.  Now I thought you could roll over the pension tax free into a retirement account of some kind (in 2009, would have been a sweet sweet ride up the market) but from what Ive understood they ended up cashing it out and seemingly blowing through all of it, 30-40% went to the IRS of course (apparently via threat of a tax lein).

2) At least one known car repo, glossed over as a "it had engine problems so we sold it" (the phone calls the SO got from creditors looking for them prove otherwise).

3) currently 100-110 mile car commute for FIL.  MIL works odd jobs, often under the table.

4) $200+/mo full on bells and whistles channels-numbers-into-the-thousands cable TV.

5) Reverse mortgage, I mean they've been through many houses but I guess never have been able to actually get close to pay one off.

6) House full custom furniture ($5000 couch, for example, openly bragged about), 80" TV, smart fridge.

6) Ive heard from them essentially this more than once the following: "oh we were so tired after our $200 grocery run we went out / sent out for food".

7) its been all but proven they have stolen money from their own child (my SO).  Gifts of cash from relatives when SO was a minor seemed to have not made it.

8) SO did not receive 100% proper medical/dental care as a child the results of which are, though not disabling, are a bit embarrassing to this day. 

They've begged for money before, and as you might imagine, the answer is a rather simple but firm "no".  I suspect this will get worse over time.  Fortunately(?) there are other more gullible family that bail them out of other messes.  It will be a high-road/low-road battle for me (it may feel good, but its bad for the soul) to avoid deriving enjoyment out of watching their house of cards collapse .

Any one else quite prepared to tell family "no" even to the point of homelessness / cat-food-diet level desperation?  (SO is more or less on board with the "you reap what you sow" treatment, but its alot harder when its YOUR parents vs. in-laws).
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: SwordGuy on July 05, 2019, 12:38:16 AM
7) its been all but proven they have stolen money from their own child (my SO).  Gifts of cash from relatives when SO was a minor seemed to have not made it.
That's so absolutely scummy.

Any one else quite prepared to tell family "no" even to the point of homelessness / cat-food-diet level desperation?  (SO is more or less on board with the "you reap what you sow" treatment, but its alot harder when its YOUR parents vs. in-laws).

I was willing to tell my mom to take a hike if she didn't choose to be nice to the woman I was going to marry.    My dad figured that out and convinced her to be mannerly.   Otherwise, hasta la vista, mama.

I would have sent a fixed amount to take care of her if need be, even if she hadn't decided to play nice.  Wouldn't have had anything else to do with her, though.

But stealing from their kids?   Damn, that's low.   I would probably ignore it if it was just me, but if I had siblings who were stolen from, I would have told them to work extra hard to pay back my siblings before they got a dime from me.  And I would let other folks know why, if only so they wouldn't get sympathy from other folks.   

I have a friend whose dad stole from him.   I don't know how he puts up with his dad.   I don't want people in my home I know I cannot trust.  Why subject your young kids to that risk?
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: KathrinS on July 05, 2019, 01:04:47 AM
Seven years ago, my parents divorced, partly because my dad, who is self employed in a very prestigious profession, was giving away money to other people who came to him with sob stories. E.g. one lady came to him saying her plumbing was broken and she desperately needed to fix it and he just handed over a five figure sum in cash.
Now, he's in his 60s and earning well below average wage, while supporting his new girlfriend who is on disability. He's made several comments before to the effect of 'if I go broke, you'll have to look after me in my old age' and 'if I die, you'll have to support my gf'.

My uncle on my mother's side, who is wealthy through inheritance, has had a fitness studio built for his son. Literally all of the machines you'd have in a traditional studio, but for the sole use of one teenage boy. In a large hall that could otherwise be rented out, probably for thousands of dollars a month.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: Cassie on July 05, 2019, 10:45:27 AM
Some of these stories are unbelievable. The only adult I would support is my spouse. Others I would direct to services that can help.  We have always lived on a budget and continue to do so in retirement.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: AnnaGrowsAMustache on July 05, 2019, 05:48:47 PM
I'm not quite there on the MMM train - I have no debt, and invested savings, and a retirement plan, but that's about it. My best friend has a house he's doing up, makes double what I make, travels etc. His mortgage is the same as when he bought the house 10 years ago, house is valued the same despite improvements, he has no savings and no retirement plan. His life certainly looks better from the outside. He regularly reminds me he's doing better than me (not in a mean way) which I always have to bite my tongue about, because my net worth is much higher than his......
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: Parizade on July 05, 2019, 06:07:10 PM
I'm not quite there on the MMM train - I have no debt, and invested savings, and a retirement plan, but that's about it. My best friend has a house he's doing up, makes double what I make, travels etc. His mortgage is the same as when he bought the house 10 years ago, house is valued the same despite improvements, he has no savings and no retirement plan. His life certainly looks better from the outside. He regularly reminds me he's doing better than me (not in a mean way) which I always have to bite my tongue about, because my net worth is much higher than his......

Isn't that the weirdest feeling? When you know that someone's net worth is likely measured in negative numbers but they are strutting around with their new house/car/boat/whatever like Thurston Howell the Third and expressing sympathetic contempt for your old Toyota.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: AnnaGrowsAMustache on July 06, 2019, 12:36:03 AM
I'm not quite there on the MMM train - I have no debt, and invested savings, and a retirement plan, but that's about it. My best friend has a house he's doing up, makes double what I make, travels etc. His mortgage is the same as when he bought the house 10 years ago, house is valued the same despite improvements, he has no savings and no retirement plan. His life certainly looks better from the outside. He regularly reminds me he's doing better than me (not in a mean way) which I always have to bite my tongue about, because my net worth is much higher than his......

Isn't that the weirdest feeling? When you know that someone's net worth is likely measured in negative numbers but they are strutting around with their new house/car/boat/whatever like Thurston Howell the Third and expressing sympathetic contempt for your old Toyota.

It's like being in an alternate universe. He simply doesn't get it. He deliberately doesn't save now because he wants to pay off his mortgage first and then hammer some retirement savings. No grasp of compounding interest, and he's already having injuries that might seriously limit his income.

And I do have an old Toyota - 2000 and nearly three times around the clock
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: pachnik on July 06, 2019, 07:13:57 AM
I'm not quite there on the MMM train - I have no debt, and invested savings, and a retirement plan, but that's about it. My best friend has a house he's doing up, makes double what I make, travels etc. His mortgage is the same as when he bought the house 10 years ago, house is valued the same despite improvements, he has no savings and no retirement plan. His life certainly looks better from the outside. He regularly reminds me he's doing better than me (not in a mean way) which I always have to bite my tongue about, because my net worth is much higher than his......

Isn't that the weirdest feeling? When you know that someone's net worth is likely measured in negative numbers but they are strutting around with their new house/car/boat/whatever like Thurston Howell the Third and expressing sympathetic contempt for your old Toyota.

Ha!  I giggled when I read 'Thurston Howell the Third'!   
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: LilyFleur on July 06, 2019, 03:13:30 PM
I'm not quite there on the MMM train - I have no debt, and invested savings, and a retirement plan, but that's about it. My best friend has a house he's doing up, makes double what I make, travels etc. His mortgage is the same as when he bought the house 10 years ago, house is valued the same despite improvements, he has no savings and no retirement plan. His life certainly looks better from the outside. He regularly reminds me he's doing better than me (not in a mean way) which I always have to bite my tongue about, because my net worth is much higher than his......

Isn't that the weirdest feeling? When you know that someone's net worth is likely measured in negative numbers but they are strutting around with their new house/car/boat/whatever like Thurston Howell the Third and expressing sympathetic contempt for your old Toyota.

Ha!  I giggled when I read 'Thurston Howell the Third'!   

Hahaha! I will drive my Accord until it dies (I figure I have at least ten more years left on it.) I like to date the "millionaire next door." My current boyfriend drives a 20-year-old Lexus, is retired, and has no mortgage payment. I am retired as well with no mortgage payment. I have a friend with a house twice as big as mine, a beautiful back yard and pool, a new car replaced every other year, and a lot less in retirement savings and still working. Ironically, when I turn 59.5 and can get into my 401k, if I wanted to, my retirement income would be larger than his income from work (he just reached six figures a few years ago), and I was never a high wage earner. We call get to make our own choices.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: DeniseNJ on July 08, 2019, 11:18:09 AM
Re "stealing" money given as gifts from family members to minor children:  take other factors into consideration when you hear stuff like that.  Yes, I'm totally guilty of that.

The money people gave for the baptism of my kids went to pay for the baptism lunch everyone came to after church.  My SIL had to do the same, she was even in the bathroom opening cards for the cash after the check came in order to pay it.  We were broke.  If somone gave my kid a savings bond, I would have cashed it the next day to pay the gas bill.  Over the years when my mom has given me or my kids 100 bucks for "presents for the kids," I would give them the gift of heat and hot water and a roof over thier heads.  Years later when we had more money and were buying the kids more stuff than they ever needed, the grandparent money went right into the pile with our other money.  What could I buy my kid with grandma's 100 bucks when I just bought her a hundred dollar doll with clothes and shoes that cost more than my own?  Grandma would send them a card with 50 bucks, and I'd put it towards the hundreds I'd already spent on presents for them.

It's only now that my kids are older (late teens), DH and I are both working, we are making a decent living, and we've found MMM that we are actually putting away grandma's gifts into thier own accounts.  With our new MMM ways we are saving and maxing out retirement accounts and have a new outlook.  I told them last December, you know what g'ma is getting you?  Stocks! and I opened VG accounts for them.  But until then all of our money was family money that we used to support our family with and everyone got what they needed and then some. 

Off topic but still.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: BFive55 on July 08, 2019, 03:20:14 PM
My parents are in their 60ís, no savings, no retirement, and owe as much on their home as they did when they bought it 20 years ago. They are unable to save and often complain about their high utility bills, nearly 450$/mo for electric and gas.

I am up visiting them this weekend and was stunned to find their AC set to 67F! Not only is that insanely low, but they live in the mountains! It is a beautiful 75F during the day and 65F at night! Itís colder outside than inside and they are running the AC! Not only that, but they insist on cooling the living room area while they sleep in their room with the door shut! Such waste. These are people getting ready to live on fixed income Social Security at an income less than 1/2 what they make now. Doomed.

I am very likely Mustachian because my parents suck at money and always have.

What ridiculous things do your family members do to waste money while also complaining about the cost!?

Wow, that is crazy. My dad and his ex-wife had a house that was usually set pretty low. But he didn't like it much and she always wanted it colder. Thankfully they could afford it.

My AC is set at 78 right now and was 77 while I was gone at work all day. The coldest I ever put it is 72 if I'm feeling bad for some reason but I usually have it at 75-77. Usually 77. Winter time I keep it colder at 67ish and put on a sweater and long pants.

I hate paying electric bills. I usually sit in the dark and just have little night lights and the TV on, lol.

Oh my god sorry not sorry for the face punch but you keep the AC on in your home while you are out at work??? Isn't it obvious to reduce your electric bill you should turn it off?

Lights use minimal power in comparison to AC......

My AC unit, as it was explained, was cheaper to run at a constant temperature than to constantly turn it on and off.


Nope, not believable. The small additional effort your AC needs to work at after you turn it on is nowhere near the amount of power drawn during the 8-10 hours you have it running while you are away.

Please do not contribute unnecessarily to global warming by running your AC all day, thus requiring ever more AC to keep your place cooler.....

I've been turning it up to 80, which I think turns it off when I'm at work. I did screw up today and forget. It's not a smart thermostat and it's an apartment so I can't replace it with a Nest or something.  Hopefully my electric bill is lower for July....

I'm not the best at environmentalist stuff but I try. I even stopped using plastic bags and got the reusable ones. And actual containers for my sandwiches instead of using plastic sandwich bags.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: Cassie on July 08, 2019, 03:23:53 PM
When we were young and poor the money kids got for gifts went into a savings account for them.  When our kids got baptized we invited grandparents and aunts/uncles only  and had a lunch at our house afterwards.   We gave them the money when they were adults.   Itís called living within your means.   
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: pudding on July 08, 2019, 04:23:42 PM
My story's not a family member but a long time friend.

He bought an apartment with a nice view and lived in it for about 10 years.... so far so good.

Then he bought 10 acres of recreational land that he's owned for about 20 years now, paying an interest only mortgage, he visits it about once a year to see if it's been burned in a fire etc... It seems pointless to buy and hold it but his call.


Then he bought a house in the super expensive city that we live in, he kept his apartment and moved into the house but said this and that was wrong with it (bath tub facing wrong direction, stupid S*** like that)  At this point it all started to look very sketchy as he has a business in an industry that was/has become obsolete due to technology.

He still owned the apartment he lived in for ten years but it was empty now.

So he then for some bizarre reason, after owning this very expensive house for less than 6 months he bought another one!  In a very very expensive part of town!   and moved into that.... now leaving his apartment AND his first expensive house empty + his 10 acres of rec land sitting idle.

Then for god knows what reasons he decided that this house too had problems, the windows didn't show off the view... the kind of stuff that, ya know... you look at BEFORE you lay your money down.

Then...(drum roll) he rented a huge house on the water front on a street know as billionaires row!  AND left this 2nd house empty!!!  For about 2 years until something happened with the bank and he had to sell it.

So he rented out the first expensive house to the realtor that sold that 2nd expensive house for him, the rent he charged her was a token amount as he'd let the house go and refused to spend a cent on it, water poured into the bathroom when it rained simply because he'd never cleaned the gutters, and then had his elderly parent live in his apartment for free!

His business loses money hand over fist, so he borrowed all the equity he could from the banks on the properties he had/still has, and this city was in a crazy fast rising market here.  And used all he could borrow to prop up his business and live his inflated life on billionaires row.

Now his business was housed in 2 adjoining commercial properties that he'd also bought. Buying them was a savy move and he'd done well from that decision.

So when the banks wouldn't lend him anymore money, he then went to private lenders... at one point he had 1/4 million dollars at credit card interest rates! It was shocking just to know it, never mind to be in his shoes.

The private (break your legs) lenders reached their limit, so he sold one of the commercial buildings in order to prop up the business that loses thousands of dollars every month.

It's like monopoly in reverse! 

His accounting is a massive mess, he owes the taxman hundreds of thousands, his office is a joke amongst his employees as it's like a hoarders nest.. you can't get in the door hardly, it's just junk and boxes pile high.

I told his relative I was concerned about him, that it was almost like he needed intervention same as an alcoholic or drug addicted person would. But his relative is a bit 'odd' to....    So it goes on, and probably will until the kitchen silver is the last thing to be sold.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: Blue Skies on July 08, 2019, 04:44:10 PM
Re "stealing" money given as gifts from family members to minor children:  take other factors into consideration when you hear stuff like that.  Yes, I'm totally guilty of that.

The money people gave for the baptism of my kids went to pay for the baptism lunch everyone came to after church.  My SIL had to do the same, she was even in the bathroom opening cards for the cash after the check came in order to pay it.  We were broke.  If somone gave my kid a savings bond, I would have cashed it the next day to pay the gas bill.  Over the years when my mom has given me or my kids 100 bucks for "presents for the kids," I would give them the gift of heat and hot water and a roof over thier heads.  Years later when we had more money and were buying the kids more stuff than they ever needed, the grandparent money went right into the pile with our other money.  What could I buy my kid with grandma's 100 bucks when I just bought her a hundred dollar doll with clothes and shoes that cost more than my own?  Grandma would send them a card with 50 bucks, and I'd put it towards the hundreds I'd already spent on presents for them.

It's only now that my kids are older (late teens), DH and I are both working, we are making a decent living, and we've found MMM that we are actually putting away grandma's gifts into thier own accounts.  With our new MMM ways we are saving and maxing out retirement accounts and have a new outlook.  I told them last December, you know what g'ma is getting you?  Stocks! and I opened VG accounts for them.  But until then all of our money was family money that we used to support our family with and everyone got what they needed and then some. 

Off topic but still.

So, you feel justified in stealing your kid's money because you spent money on gifts for them already?  Did you tell them those gifts were from Grandma, or did you tell them Grandma paid your light bill that month?  Or did you not mention it and hope they didn't realize Grandma didn't ever get them gifts? 

If you can't pay your bills with your own money you need to budget better, not repurpose money that was given to your children as gifts. 

Not that I make a habit of it, but I will never be giving $ to children again.  I don't want any possibility that the parent thinks it is ok to use it for their own utility bills.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: Just Joe on July 08, 2019, 05:37:07 PM
Maybe you've had a gilded life but DW and I were paycheck to paycheck for a while early in our marriage and we used cash gifts to our kids to keep our collective ship afloat. These were babies anyhow - not like they could spend the money.

Later when we were able we returned every bit of that money and more to them. Gifts of our own to them.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: AlanStache on July 08, 2019, 07:03:39 PM
It can be hard to balance "your money-your life" with "I am the bank of last resort".
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: DeniseNJ on July 08, 2019, 07:44:39 PM
Re "stealing" money given as gifts from family members to minor children:  take other factors into consideration when you hear stuff like that.  Yes, I'm totally guilty of that.

The money people gave for the baptism of my kids went to pay for the baptism lunch everyone came to after church.  My SIL had to do the same, she was even in the bathroom opening cards for the cash after the check came in order to pay it.  We were broke.  If somone gave my kid a savings bond, I would have cashed it the next day to pay the gas bill.  Over the years when my mom has given me or my kids 100 bucks for "presents for the kids," I would give them the gift of heat and hot water and a roof over thier heads.  Years later when we had more money and were buying the kids more stuff than they ever needed, the grandparent money went right into the pile with our other money.  What could I buy my kid with grandma's 100 bucks when I just bought her a hundred dollar doll with clothes and shoes that cost more than my own?  Grandma would send them a card with 50 bucks, and I'd put it towards the hundreds I'd already spent on presents for them.

It's only now that my kids are older (late teens), DH and I are both working, we are making a decent living, and we've found MMM that we are actually putting away grandma's gifts into thier own accounts.  With our new MMM ways we are saving and maxing out retirement accounts and have a new outlook.  I told them last December, you know what g'ma is getting you?  Stocks! and I opened VG accounts for them.  But until then all of our money was family money that we used to support our family with and everyone got what they needed and then some. 

Off topic but still.

So, you feel justified in stealing your kid's money because you spent money on gifts for them already?  Did you tell them those gifts were from Grandma, or did you tell them Grandma paid your light bill that month?  Or did you not mention it and hope they didn't realize Grandma didn't ever get them gifts? 

If you can't pay your bills with your own money you need to budget better, not repurpose money that was given to your children as gifts. 

Not that I make a habit of it, but I will never be giving $ to children again.  I don't want any possibility that the parent thinks it is ok to use it for their own utility bills.

Puh-leeze. We were broke and they were little. We had one parent at home with them bc of some health issues, a stay home parent was our only luxury. As they grew we told them exactly what grandma gave them--she would usually give small gifts and some cash. As we started to actually make a living and splurged on them we'd hold on to grandma's cash gift and the next trip to the mall was on her instead of on us.  We didn't save their money bc we didn't save our own. We would say, this is the money grandma sent, and blow it.  If I spend 1200 on groceries and put grams 100 toward their iPhones or the other way around it's all the same. At that point it's just family money. "Stealing" their money doesn't make sense under the circumstances. Where's that fifty grandma's sent?  I used it toward your $900 laptop.

But last October I found MMM. Now they get small gifts and the rest goes into VG custodial accts. I still pay for everything but after we max out retirement accts, college tuition, etc.  And they can buy a small thing w grandma's dough, cause now I'm cheap as heck, and the rest into stock. I bought the boy a moto g.   

Eta: we were always honest with the kids.  Didn't gram send me fifty bucks?  Yeah, I put it towards that $200 video game.  Or, yeah, 3 of the ten toys I bought u are from gram. We totally told them gram bought these gifts but truth is we would have bought them anyway. 
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: BlueHouse on July 10, 2019, 08:38:28 AM
Re "stealing" money given as gifts from family members to minor children:  take other factors into consideration when you hear stuff like that.  Yes, I'm totally guilty of that.

The money people gave for the baptism of my kids went to pay for the baptism lunch everyone came to after church.  My SIL had to do the same, she was even in the bathroom opening cards for the cash after the check came in order to pay it.  We were broke.  If somone gave my kid a savings bond, I would have cashed it the next day to pay the gas bill.  Over the years when my mom has given me or my kids 100 bucks for "presents for the kids," I would give them the gift of heat and hot water and a roof over thier heads.  Years later when we had more money and were buying the kids more stuff than they ever needed, the grandparent money went right into the pile with our other money.  What could I buy my kid with grandma's 100 bucks when I just bought her a hundred dollar doll with clothes and shoes that cost more than my own?  Grandma would send them a card with 50 bucks, and I'd put it towards the hundreds I'd already spent on presents for them.

It's only now that my kids are older (late teens), DH and I are both working, we are making a decent living, and we've found MMM that we are actually putting away grandma's gifts into thier own accounts.  With our new MMM ways we are saving and maxing out retirement accounts and have a new outlook.  I told them last December, you know what g'ma is getting you?  Stocks! and I opened VG accounts for them.  But until then all of our money was family money that we used to support our family with and everyone got what they needed and then some. 

Off topic but still.

So, you feel justified in stealing your kid's money because you spent money on gifts for them already?  Did you tell them those gifts were from Grandma, or did you tell them Grandma paid your light bill that month?  Or did you not mention it and hope they didn't realize Grandma didn't ever get them gifts? 

If you can't pay your bills with your own money you need to budget better, not repurpose money that was given to your children as gifts. 

Not that I make a habit of it, but I will never be giving $ to children again.  I don't want any possibility that the parent thinks it is ok to use it for their own utility bills.

Puh-leeze. We were broke and they were little. We had one parent at home with them bc of some health issues, a stay home parent was our only luxury. As they grew we told them exactly what grandma gave them--she would usually give small gifts and some cash. As we started to actually make a living and splurged on them we'd hold on to grandma's cash gift and the next trip to the mall was on her instead of on us.  We didn't save their money bc we didn't save our own. We would say, this is the money grandma sent, and blow it.  If I spend 1200 on groceries and put grams 100 toward their iPhones or the other way around it's all the same. At that point it's just family money. "Stealing" their money doesn't make sense under the circumstances. Where's that fifty grandma's sent?  I used it toward your $900 laptop.

But last October I found MMM. Now they get small gifts and the rest goes into VG custodial accts. I still pay for everything but after we max out retirement accts, college tuition, etc.  And they can buy a small thing w grandma's dough, cause now I'm cheap as heck, and the rest into stock. I bought the boy a moto g.   

Eta: we were always honest with the kids.  Didn't gram send me fifty bucks?  Yeah, I put it towards that $200 video game.  Or, yeah, 3 of the ten toys I bought u are from gram. We totally told them gram bought these gifts but truth is we would have bought them anyway.

I see nothing wrong with using kids' birthday money towards utilities, clothing, food, etc. when you're poor.  All family members contribute when everyone's poor. 
This did set me back a bit:   
Quote
What could I buy my kid with grandma's 100 bucks when I just bought her a hundred dollar doll with clothes and shoes that cost more than my own?
but then I noticed that that was in your pre-mustachian days and you wouldn't do that now. 

I remember when I found out that the SSSI benefits we received after my father's death was sent in separate checks to each of the kids.  I asked my mom why I didn't get to keep the $100/month that was sent in my name?  She just about laughed me out of the house with the $100. 
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: DadJokes on July 11, 2019, 06:40:17 AM
We have been extremely lucky with family and friends giving for our son. At seven months old, we are still using Target gift cards from my wife's baby shower to pay for diapers.

As for cash, I think we have only received $50 from my grandmother that was intended to go toward his college. If we have to pay anything at all, it will be out of my retirement accounts, since I'll be retired by then anyway. I should probably keep a log of all the money we receive over the years, just to be sure that it all ends up in his hands if he doesn't have to pay much for school.

I do like the idea of "fiver" birthday parties, where people just bring $5 instead of a toy. That prevents them from feeling obligated to go out of their way to get a toy, and it prevents our kid from getting a lot more stuff than he will get use out of. Then we could just spend all of that money on 1-2 toys (or get toys cheap from a yard sale and put the money toward his college).
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: NinjaSalad on July 11, 2019, 10:11:12 AM
Man, I could have written many of these replies myself - it was like reading my autobiography.

My parents were in foreclosure not too long ago. https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/my-parents-are-in-foreclosure/

After I wrote that post, I bailed them out for $2500.
They were able to get out of foreclosure and have their mortgage payment reduced - but they are still broke. And they will never be able to pay me back...

About a year after I bailed them out, my mom had the nerve to call and ask me if I would turn on cable at their house in MY name since their cable was shut off for lack of payment.
I refused so she called and had a satellite company turn on cable instead. She just jumps from provider to provider every time it gets shut off. Same with her cell phone, doctors, etc. etc. Eventually she will run out of options.

I have such bad anxiety because of my family. I literally have panic attacks whenever they call me and for several days afterward. It sucks...
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: Wrenchturner on July 11, 2019, 03:18:39 PM
My mother had a pretty rough life and doesn't make the best choices generally, but she's pretty frugal.  Her recklessness amounts to replacing her roof after 10 years without even getting it inspected, or paying to have her ancient buicks transmission rebuilt.

Her house is nearly paid off and she'll be eligible for retirement in five years.  I'm mostly worried about her mental deterioration which will probably be horrible from years of drinking.

However, my brother and I have talked about this, we talked about our grandmother's situation also.  We're both doing well financially and we're at least in touch now.

So there are problems, but I think this situation is the best it's ever been so I sleep okay thinking about it.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: AlanStache on July 11, 2019, 03:24:08 PM
NS - you might want to monitor your credit as your parents could take on debt in your name without your knowledge.  This would be illegal but best to catch it early.  Is shit this is even a thought but this forum has many bad stories. 
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: The_Big_H on July 11, 2019, 11:41:48 PM
Man, I could have written many of these replies myself - it was like reading my autobiography.

My parents were in foreclosure not too long ago. https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/my-parents-are-in-foreclosure/

After I wrote that post, I bailed them out for $2500.
They were able to get out of foreclosure and have their mortgage payment reduced - but they are still broke. And they will never be able to pay me back...

About a year after I bailed them out, my mom had the nerve to call and ask me if I would turn on cable at their house in MY name since their cable was shut off for lack of payment.
I refused so she called and had a satellite company turn on cable instead. She just jumps from provider to provider every time it gets shut off. Same with her cell phone, doctors, etc. etc. Eventually she will run out of options.

I have such bad anxiety because of my family. I literally have panic attacks whenever they call me and for several days afterward. It sucks...

This can be extremely hard to do. But there is no rule requiring you to talk to your parents, especially if they terribly stress you out.

Being family does not give someone a free pass to treat you poorly.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: NinjaSalad on July 12, 2019, 08:18:04 AM
NS - you might want to monitor your credit as your parents could take on debt in your name without your knowledge.  This would be illegal but best to catch it early.  Is shit this is even a thought but this forum has many bad stories.

I agree - it completely sucks that anyone would have to think about these kinds of things. DH and I have a credit freeze with everyone under the sun and definitely keep an eye on our reports. Unfortunately, my parents aren't the only ones in our families that we have to worry about - sadly, I could go on posting stories on this thread for days...
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: saguaro on July 12, 2019, 09:45:30 AM
NS - you might want to monitor your credit as your parents could take on debt in your name without your knowledge.  This would be illegal but best to catch it early.  Is shit this is even a thought but this forum has many bad stories.

I agree - it completely sucks that anyone would have to think about these kinds of things. DH and I have a credit freeze with everyone under the sun and definitely keep an eye on our reports. Unfortunately, my parents aren't the only ones in our families that we have to worry about - sadly, I could go on posting stories on this thread for days...

Yep, we set up credit monitoring on DH's credit report to keep tabs on his Dad who took out a credit card that appeared on DH's report.  Dad only did it once and went into some convoluted explanation when he got caught but it does suck to know your own parent will do this.   
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: Plugra on July 12, 2019, 11:08:01 AM
I've been turning it up to 80, which I think turns it off when I'm at work. I did screw up today and forget. It's not a smart thermostat and it's an apartment so I can't replace it with a Nest or something.  Hopefully my electric bill is lower for July....


I keep my AC at 83-84F during the day.  I was getting my routine AC service last month and the technician told me that the house was way too warm.  He said it costs a lot of money to switch the compressor on, and that it would be much cheaper in the long run for me to keep the house cool all day long.   I guess that is something they teach them at AC technician school. 

In any case it's nonsense.  And I have the low electric bills to prove it -- about half what my neighbors pay.  As Homer Simpson famously said, "In this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dc-m9dumEaw
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: BTDretire on July 12, 2019, 08:31:38 PM
 My sister, 62 yrs old, divorced at about 32, some years after, hooked up with another woman,
who she helped in this woman's one person technical service business. She never got an income or anything on record. They bounced around a lot, living in a van, did have some fun traveling. She let herself be used by this woman, and still is. About 7 years ago they moved into my now deceased mothers home.
 She now works 20 hours a week at a just a few dollars above a minimum wage job. Has no savings, has a spotty work history, can get more SS by claiming 1/2 of her ex husbands work record.  But still will get no more than $12k from SS, maybe $15k if she waits until 70, but I don't think she can or will. She has no savings, and I own 1/2 of the house she lives in, and I don't want it.
 In effect, I'm subsidizing her girlfriends housing, who pays nothing.
 Maybe I'm failing, except I can afford it. :-/
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: SwordGuy on July 12, 2019, 10:46:26 PM
NS - you might want to monitor your credit as your parents could take on debt in your name without your knowledge.  This would be illegal but best to catch it early.  Is shit this is even a thought but this forum has many bad stories.

I agree - it completely sucks that anyone would have to think about these kinds of things. DH and I have a credit freeze with everyone under the sun and definitely keep an eye on our reports. Unfortunately, my parents aren't the only ones in our families that we have to worry about - sadly, I could go on posting stories on this thread for days...

Yep, we set up credit monitoring on DH's credit report to keep tabs on his Dad who took out a credit card that appeared on DH's report.  Dad only did it once and went into some convoluted explanation when he got caught but it does suck to know your own parent will do this.   

Damn.   That really does suck.

One part of me says, "I would be a good son and remember to visit him in prison.   If he's scamming me he's bound to be scamming others so he's got to be stopped."

One part of me says, "Mom would miss him, I'll let it slide and never trust him again."

I can't honestly say which attitude would have won.   Thankfully I didn't have to find out.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: DadJokes on July 15, 2019, 06:10:10 AM
NS - you might want to monitor your credit as your parents could take on debt in your name without your knowledge.  This would be illegal but best to catch it early.  Is shit this is even a thought but this forum has many bad stories.

I agree - it completely sucks that anyone would have to think about these kinds of things. DH and I have a credit freeze with everyone under the sun and definitely keep an eye on our reports. Unfortunately, my parents aren't the only ones in our families that we have to worry about - sadly, I could go on posting stories on this thread for days...

Yep, we set up credit monitoring on DH's credit report to keep tabs on his Dad who took out a credit card that appeared on DH's report.  Dad only did it once and went into some convoluted explanation when he got caught but it does suck to know your own parent will do this.   

Damn.   That really does suck.

One part of me says, "I would be a good son and remember to visit him in prison.   If he's scamming me he's bound to be scamming others so he's got to be stopped."

One part of me says, "Mom would miss him, I'll let it slide and never trust him again."

I can't honestly say which attitude would have won.   Thankfully I didn't have to find out.

My father used to be a contractor for a bread company. He had one employee (that wasn't family). Employee's wife happened to steal a checkbook from my father and wrote several checks. It was discovered pretty quickly (not the smartest of crimes), and my father had the option to be paid back by his employee or press charges against the wife. He chose to fire the employee and press charges.

Good decision if you ask me.

If it were family, it would certainly depend on how you feel about that family member. And it is also important to know that you would probably be burning down a bridge with the entire family, unless they all feel the same way about that person.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker on July 15, 2019, 11:00:35 AM
NS - you might want to monitor your credit as your parents could take on debt in your name without your knowledge.  This would be illegal but best to catch it early.  Is shit this is even a thought but this forum has many bad stories.

I agree - it completely sucks that anyone would have to think about these kinds of things. DH and I have a credit freeze with everyone under the sun and definitely keep an eye on our reports. Unfortunately, my parents aren't the only ones in our families that we have to worry about - sadly, I could go on posting stories on this thread for days...

Yep, we set up credit monitoring on DH's credit report to keep tabs on his Dad who took out a credit card that appeared on DH's report.  Dad only did it once and went into some convoluted explanation when he got caught but it does suck to know your own parent will do this.   

Damn.   That really does suck.

One part of me says, "I would be a good son and remember to visit him in prison.   If he's scamming me he's bound to be scamming others so he's got to be stopped."

One part of me says, "Mom would miss him, I'll let it slide and never trust him again."

I can't honestly say which attitude would have won.   Thankfully I didn't have to find out.

My father used to be a contractor for a bread company. He had one employee (that wasn't family). Employee's wife happened to steal a checkbook from my father and wrote several checks. It was discovered pretty quickly (not the smartest of crimes), and my father had the option to be paid back by his employee or press charges against the wife. He chose to fire the employee and press charges.

Good decision if you ask me.

If it were family, it would certainly depend on how you feel about that family member. And it is also important to know that you would probably be burning down a bridge with the entire family, unless they all feel the same way about that person.

True. Sadly, by the time a sticky-fingered kid becomes an adult, or by the time an adult spirals into a situation that ends with them stealing from a family member who is also an employer, there have been years or even decades of dysfunction. Excuse-making and victim-blaming relatives are always ready to defend the person who's actually doing harm and to protect him or her from the consequences of bad behavior. A fair part of that involves dumping on, attacking, shunning, or punishing the person who is actually responding appropriately by asserting and defending reasonable boundaries or by requiring the problem person to act like a law-abiding adult. In those families, it's OK for a problem person to steal, but it's not appropriate for the victim to react appropriately to being stolen from.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: saguaro on July 15, 2019, 03:06:10 PM
Yep, we set up credit monitoring on DH's credit report to keep tabs on his Dad who took out a credit card that appeared on DH's report.  Dad only did it once and went into some convoluted explanation when he got caught but it does suck to know your own parent will do this.   

Damn.   That really does suck.

One part of me says, "I would be a good son and remember to visit him in prison.   If he's scamming me he's bound to be scamming others so he's got to be stopped."

One part of me says, "Mom would miss him, I'll let it slide and never trust him again."

I can't honestly say which attitude would have won.   Thankfully I didn't have to find out.

My father used to be a contractor for a bread company. He had one employee (that wasn't family). Employee's wife happened to steal a checkbook from my father and wrote several checks. It was discovered pretty quickly (not the smartest of crimes), and my father had the option to be paid back by his employee or press charges against the wife. He chose to fire the employee and press charges.

Good decision if you ask me.

If it were family, it would certainly depend on how you feel about that family member. And it is also important to know that you would probably be burning down a bridge with the entire family, unless they all feel the same way about that person.

True. Sadly, by the time a sticky-fingered kid becomes an adult, or by the time an adult spirals into a situation that ends with them stealing from a family member who is also an employer, there have been years or even decades of dysfunction. Excuse-making and victim-blaming relatives are always ready to defend the person who's actually doing harm and to protect him or her from the consequences of bad behavior. A fair part of that involves dumping on, attacking, shunning, or punishing the person who is actually responding appropriately by asserting and defending reasonable boundaries or by requiring the problem person to act like a law-abiding adult. In those families, it's OK for a problem person to steal, but it's not appropriate for the victim to react appropriately to being stolen from. 

To the bolded: and that is why DH opted not to take dear old Dad to account for it.   He knew it would be turned around on him for being "mean" to Dad because he just made a "mistake".   DH found out some time after the fact and by the time he knew about it the account had been closed.  Dad used the card for some home improvements and paid it off.   To hear Dad explain it, a credit card offer in DH's name showed up as DH was still getting some mail at his parents' home, and Dad could not resist because "it was a good deal".   He swears on a stack of bibles that he applied in his name, not his son's, it was the bank's mistake.   Because the account was paid off, there was no ding to DH's credit so we let it go.  However, we got the monitoring in case Dad tried this again and if he did, we would follow the dispute process and see if it nailed him then.   It never happened again but probably DH's parents failed attempt at insurance fraud around that same time scared them onto the (sort of) straight and narrow.

This was some years ago when credit monitoring was a fairly new thing and getting your free reports was still a thing of the future.  We occasionally pulled reports but it added up to do all of them on both of us. 
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: stashja on July 16, 2019, 12:50:30 AM
Parents are visiting, thankfully without a-hole 35yo brother. He lives with them rent free now, because he can't afford rent in their HCOL area. He has a job for now. (He usually gets fired for goofing off or obnoxious political inyerfaceness.) He will have some out of town loser longtime friends as guests in the house while they are here. He thinks I'm a loser because I teach "future Walmart workers" (his word for students less entitled than him who are not hipsters or trustafarians like the visiting buddies he emulates and because I live in a LCOL that's not cool and don't ski. (In a recently paid off house , also not cool. The suburbs are so bourgeois.) He has publicly tweeted about what a sellout I am because I was a consultant for an article in an "evil" newspaper. He hasn't spoken to my partner at the forced Christmases in years. Parents will be talking up his great job and how great it is to have him around. They are already saying they need to travel so he can have privacy with his friends. Of course alcohol isn't part of the equation and he will get his distance degree soon. Help me get through this.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: Just Joe on July 16, 2019, 08:38:49 AM
You get this morning's blue ribbon for patience... So sorry you are living in that reality TV show.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: EngagedToFIRE on July 18, 2019, 07:59:34 AM
If it's 65 degrees outside, then the AC shouldn't be working hard, if at all.  It actually doesn't make a lot of sense why their utility bills would be so high based on that alone.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: LiveLean on July 18, 2019, 09:15:51 AM
My in-laws provided sort of the opposite story. Despite large income for many years, they saved nothing and ultimately lost their home to foreclosure. We stayed with them for a family funeral in late December one year about a month before the home was taken and the thermostat read 58 degrees.This was a 5,000 square foot home and they couldn't afford to turn on the heat despite sub-freezing temps.

Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: iris lily on July 20, 2019, 09:48:42 AM
  ***When I comment on this, my boyfriend says, "They're old and should be able to spend their money however they want. If they want to eat out, they should be able to eat out." ****

Klaxon sounds, Warning lights, Alarm bells.......boyfriend future spending alert !
This is hilariously true. My laugh for the day!
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: RocketSurgeon on July 23, 2019, 08:58:34 AM
I've got one; Parents bought a vacation home ~five years ago, then just recently sold both the first and second home to pay for construction of a new home in a retirement community way out in the suburbs (11 miles from the nearest hospital). A week before close I get a surprise call from my mother who needs a $6,500 loan to pay off money she borrowed from her CU. She needs to pay that off because she took out a personal loan to cover the difference between the actual mortgage and what my dad was giving her to make the payments and he'll get mad if he sees the open loan when they close on the new house. (My dad works full time w/ whatever OT he can get, my mom works...sparingly.) Why wasn't my dad giving her enough to cover the mortgage? Dunno, but I'm guessing she lied about how much it would cost to get him to buy the (second, now sold) house, which I believe she wanted a lot more than he did.

Yeah, I gave her the money. That's my family story.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: AlanStache on July 23, 2019, 11:20:19 AM
I've got one; Parents bought a vacation home ~five years ago, then just recently sold both the first and second home to pay for construction of a new home in a retirement community way out in the suburbs (11 miles from the nearest hospital). A week before close I get a surprise call from my mother who needs a $6,500 loan to pay off money she borrowed from her CU. She needs to pay that off because she took out a personal loan to cover the difference between the actual mortgage and what my dad was giving her to make the payments and he'll get mad if he sees the open loan when they close on the new house. (My dad works full time w/ whatever OT he can get, my mom works...sparingly.) Why wasn't my dad giving her enough to cover the mortgage? Dunno, but I'm guessing she lied about how much it would cost to get him to buy the (second, now sold) house, which I believe she wanted a lot more than he did.

Yeah, I gave her the money. That's my family story.

Aaaaannnd precedent is set.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: Sibley on July 23, 2019, 07:21:49 PM
I've got one; Parents bought a vacation home ~five years ago, then just recently sold both the first and second home to pay for construction of a new home in a retirement community way out in the suburbs (11 miles from the nearest hospital). A week before close I get a surprise call from my mother who needs a $6,500 loan to pay off money she borrowed from her CU. She needs to pay that off because she took out a personal loan to cover the difference between the actual mortgage and what my dad was giving her to make the payments and he'll get mad if he sees the open loan when they close on the new house. (My dad works full time w/ whatever OT he can get, my mom works...sparingly.) Why wasn't my dad giving her enough to cover the mortgage? Dunno, but I'm guessing she lied about how much it would cost to get him to buy the (second, now sold) house, which I believe she wanted a lot more than he did.

Yeah, I gave her the money. That's my family story.

A sucker is born every minute.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker on July 24, 2019, 10:57:19 PM
Y'know, it's pretty easy to be a back-seat driver in another person's life and to say "just do this" or "just do that". It's easy to rip someone for setting a precedent or for giving in to extremely strong family manipulation, especially if you've never walked a mile in their shoes or tried to function in a family where someone's bad financial decisions are affecting you or someone you love. It's a lot easier to verbally kick someone when they're down than it is to help them build themselves back up.

Family ties are strong, especially when they involve someone who is helpless due to old age or disability. Asking an adult child to lend a large sum of money to help mislead the other parent is pretty manipulative. But there's so much other failure here because of the ongoing financial deception within the marriage. Once an adult child has been put on the spot this way there's no easy or clean way out. This probably isn't the first time RocketSurgeon has been played off by one parent against the other; stuff like this seldom just happens out of the blue.

The notion that the father is unaware how much the mortgage payments are doesn't sound reasonable to me because both halves of a married couple have to read and sign the mortgage as proof they're aware of it. More likely she borrowed the money to cover up other spending.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: AlanStache on July 25, 2019, 05:57:58 AM
TGS: I have been heavily subsidizing my parent for about 5 years now, even without any real physiological manipulation drawing down the support is hard.  Hell if they did play some games or borrowed money in my name it would be easier cut strings in one swoop. 
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: Sibley on July 25, 2019, 08:28:26 AM
Y'know, it's pretty easy to be a back-seat driver in another person's life and to say "just do this" or "just do that". It's easy to rip someone for setting a precedent or for giving in to extremely strong family manipulation, especially if you've never walked a mile in their shoes or tried to function in a family where someone's bad financial decisions are affecting you or someone you love. It's a lot easier to verbally kick someone when they're down than it is to help them build themselves back up.

Family ties are strong, especially when they involve someone who is helpless due to old age or disability. Asking an adult child to lend a large sum of money to help mislead the other parent is pretty manipulative. But there's so much other failure here because of the ongoing financial deception within the marriage. Once an adult child has been put on the spot this way there's no easy or clean way out. This probably isn't the first time RocketSurgeon has been played off by one parent against the other; stuff like this seldom just happens out of the blue.

The notion that the father is unaware how much the mortgage payments are doesn't sound reasonable to me because both halves of a married couple have to read and sign the mortgage as proof they're aware of it. More likely she borrowed the money to cover up other spending.

You are 100% right. But at the same time, I DO expect adults to at least try to think critically. Because if you don't expect it, it'll never happen.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker on July 25, 2019, 09:33:39 AM
TGS: I have been heavily subsidizing my parent for about 5 years now, even without any real physiological manipulation drawing down the support is hard.  Hell if they did play some games or borrowed money in my name it would be easier cut strings in one swoop.

Hmm. It sounds as though they know exactly where the line is and how to not cross it, but also how to go right up to the edge of that line. Because of long-term family dynamics it appears you don't recognize that behavior as manipulative. (It is.)

I've got a saying: never wipe butt unless you want to be treated like toilet paper.

For reasons that are probably a lot older than the 5-year subsidy, you have allowed your parent to draw the line in terms of setting your financial boundaries. It sounds to me like that isn't working for you. There are parents who *don't* expect ongoing bailouts from their children without having to be explicitly told not to expect them. In fact for most healthy parents it's a no-brainer. But as luck would have it, you were dealt a hand that includes a parent for whom that particular no-brainer isn't obvious. Your parent got to draw up your financial boundaries, and they did it in a way that was advantageous to them but kind of harmful for you. Unless you want that to continue forever, you're going to have to create what we call a healthy boundary. That's a limit on behavior you will tolerate from others. You will have to communicate this boundary and perhaps politely defend it, and you will have to alter your behavior so that whatever bad decisions your parent may continue to make (and you don't control these decisions) will not affect you.

Based on what you said, you're basically wiping butt financially. You're heavily subsidizing your parent's standard of living to compensate for some decision(s) that parent is making and to protect them from the highly predictable consequences. Because of the assistance you provide, the person you're helping is able to get by just a little bit longer without changing their behavior. There's a technical term for this behavior. It's called "enabling".

At the moment, your parent is taking advantage of you. You know it, but after five years you haven't been able to dial it down to zero. Surely by now you recognize that the pattern is going to continue the rest of your life unless you find a way to fix it. Change isn't going to come from your parent's side, unless of course the subsidy gets bigger. Your parent knows exactly how far they can go without gouging you in a way that provokes you to halt the gravy train, but they're perfectly willing to continue the smaller-scale chiseling and gouging right up to that point (without regard to the financial or emotional effect on you).

The solution, which I believe you already know, is a two-part one. First, you limit the extent to which your parent's budget imbalance affects you. You get your name off any leases, loans, or other financial commitments involving them. Second, you set an end date for the support that is reasonable. It should be one that allows your parent time to adjust his or her standard of living to something sustainable. Scaling down a standard of living isn't usually an overnight process. It takes time to sell a house or to finish a lease. Depending on what cutbacks have to be made you can set a time limit.

Part of you may believe that unless you give in again or continue to subsidize you will lose that parent or suffer irreparable harm to the relationship. Your belief probably has a basis in fact, however it isn't completely true. There may be a tantrum, there may be a meltdown, and there may be a change in how your parent treats you, but the parent/child connection will not actually be broken simply because your parent learns to wipe their own butt. The relationship will change and your parent will (necessarily) become more independent. If the reasons behind that parent's dependency have to do with illness or disability, it's reasonable for you to put forth the effort to line your parent up with social and charitable services that are set up to help. If your parent balks at requesting or receiving charity, you should probably point out that they have had no problem requesting and accepting it from you, but you can't carry the load alone anymore and it's time to spread the burden across a bigger group of people. Your parent will probably have a big emotional reaction to the fact that they ARE a burden to others financially because of their refusal to either pull their own weight or do what they can to make the load lighter... especially if you or others have been telling them for years that it's "no problem". It is a problem and it's time to say so.

TL;DR version: There needs to be another line drawn. By you, this time.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: RocketSurgeon on July 25, 2019, 10:54:02 AM
Astute observation TGS; It wasn't the first time, although previously it just took the form of hiding the occasional mail from my father when I still lived at home. I'm not saying that's a good situation, but I've also had four outpatient surgeries in the past three years (6 if we go back 10) and every time my Mom has been available to taxi me to the hospital and help me recuperate at her home. I don't have a g/f or wife to help me that stuff, so it's hard to refuse help when she asks. And she has been paying the $ back so far.

As for the other responses, well, I know what forum I'm on. I wasn't expecting any medals.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: AlanStache on July 25, 2019, 11:47:09 AM
TGS: You are spot on in places but 100 miles off in others.  Over all was a good message to hear.  At the start of it all I looked at my options and choose the least bad path - my expectations of the outcome were not that far off.  I have been gradually dialing up the pressure and getting results but there have been some significant externally caused setbacks that have prevented a full resolution.  My support has not meaningfully changed over time.  The situation with my parent has been discussed in detail with a therapist and they have drawn different conclusions from you or at least seen more grey area (or maybe they just tactically choose to focus on my other problems... :-)  )
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: JetBlast on July 26, 2019, 05:45:04 PM
Does my 48 year old brother in law buying a tanning bed for his home count as a fail? 
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: marty998 on July 26, 2019, 07:38:29 PM
Does my 48 year old brother in law buying a tanning bed for his home count as a fail?

He's not long for this world. Skin Cancer can be a quick and deadly killer.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: GreenToTheCore on July 27, 2019, 12:02:17 AM
Does my 48 year old brother in law buying a tanning bed for his home count as a fail?

On so many levels. Oof.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: TomTX on July 27, 2019, 07:40:01 AM
Hahaha! I will drive my Accord until it dies (I figure I have at least ten more years left on it.) I like to date the "millionaire next door." My current boyfriend drives a 20-year-old Lexus, is retired, and has no mortgage payment.

Old cars is one thing that I changed on. I still buy used, but newer cars are much safer.

In early 2016 I replaced my 1995 Saturn for a surplus 2009 Ford Crown Vic, net cost was $1,550 after selling the Saturn.

It doesn't get that many miles, but I do need it to get to work when I can't bike. And occasionally haul stuff like mulch from Home Depot. With the (full size) spare left at home, the trunk is cavernous. The loaders look at me funny when I pull up and tell them I bought 15 full size bags...
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: OtherJen on July 27, 2019, 08:05:26 AM
Does my 48 year old brother in law buying a tanning bed for his home count as a fail?

If he has severe psoriasis, maybe not. Otherwise, yikes.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: JetBlast on July 27, 2019, 10:18:02 AM
Does my 48 year old brother in law buying a tanning bed for his home count as a fail?

If he has severe psoriasis, maybe not. Otherwise, yikes.

No psoriasis, but he does have a new 26 year old girlfriend that moved in after one month of dating. Iím guessing that influenced his decision making.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: OtherJen on July 27, 2019, 10:34:25 AM
Does my 48 year old brother in law buying a tanning bed for his home count as a fail?

If he has severe psoriasis, maybe not. Otherwise, yikes.

No psoriasis, but he does have a new 26 year old girlfriend that moved in after one month of dating. Iím guessing that influenced his decision making.

That's a lot of yikes. Hopefully he doesn't get a tattoo with her name.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: six-car-habit on July 27, 2019, 02:46:08 PM
Does my 48 year old brother in law buying a tanning bed for his home count as a fail?

If he has severe psoriasis, maybe not. Otherwise, yikes.

No psoriasis, but he does have a new 26 year old girlfriend that moved in after one month of dating. Iím guessing that influenced his decision making.

 There is a guy at my work who waxes on poetically about how is wife is so "hot" .  They have a personal tanning bed and have for years.  I'm all for thinking your significant other is physically attractive, that's great.   So he brought her to a work function [ I was not there ] .  I heard from several people the next week that she looked " like an old dried up, wrinkly, leather purse" or some variation , key points being -- old looking compared to her actual age, wrinkly, and overly tan.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: JetBlast on July 29, 2019, 03:31:44 PM
Does my 48 year old brother in law buying a tanning bed for his home count as a fail?

If he has severe psoriasis, maybe not. Otherwise, yikes.

No psoriasis, but he does have a new 26 year old girlfriend that moved in after one month of dating. Iím guessing that influenced his decision making.

 There is a guy at my work who waxes on poetically about how is wife is so "hot" .  They have a personal tanning bed and have for years.  I'm all for thinking your significant other is physically attractive, that's great.   So he brought her to a work function [ I was not there ] .  I heard from several people the next week that she looked " like an old dried up, wrinkly, leather purse" or some variation , key points being -- old looking compared to her actual age, wrinkly, and overly tan.
Saw many women like this when I lived in Florida. In their 50s but looked 75+ because of all the sun bathing theyíd done over the years.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: Steeze on July 30, 2019, 04:49:03 AM
So Iím talking with my parents on the phone last night. My parents take care of a mentally handicapped person for which they are compensated. This has allowed them to pay the bills and stay in their home. This individual has extreme outbursts of anger and threatens to leave occasionally. My parents of course tell him that he is welcome to stay or leave as he pleases. However, this puts my parents in the situation that if he left they wouldnít be able to cover their overhead each month. As Iíve said before they have no emergency fund or retirement savings and are in debt with two older cars.

So what do they tell me? They went to the RV dealership and are considering buying a $20,000 RV so that if he leaves they can move into the RV, park at my uncles house, and sell their house (in that order). They also live in a place where houses sit on the market for years before selling.

I begged them not to buy one. Please, frugality god, please help my parents not suck at money so much.

Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: Cassie on July 30, 2019, 02:11:17 PM
Unless they live in a mild climate they will freeze in the winter. Sad that they are making such poor decisions at their age.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: RetiredAt63 on August 02, 2019, 11:12:17 AM
So Iím talking with my parents on the phone last night. My parents take care of a mentally handicapped person for which they are compensated. This has allowed them to pay the bills and stay in their home. This individual has extreme outbursts of anger and threatens to leave occasionally. My parents of course tell him that he is welcome to stay or leave as he pleases. However, this puts my parents in the situation that if he left they wouldnít be able to cover their overhead each month. As Iíve said before they have no emergency fund or retirement savings and are in debt with two older cars.

So what do they tell me? They went to the RV dealership and are considering buying a $20,000 RV so that if he leaves they can move into the RV, park at my uncles house, and sell their house (in that order). They also live in a place where houses sit on the market for years before selling.

I begged them not to buy one. Please, frugality god, please help my parents not suck at money so much.

Ouch.

If they can't really afford their home, is there some reason they are not selling it and moving into lower cost housing? I can see staying if there is nothing else that would be less expensive, but they are paying a high price for staying put.

Also, if they ever do decide to sell, paying attention to proper staging and time of year for listing can help a lot.  I sold my house fast in an area that is normally slow (my next door neighbour took 2 years to sell).  Hopefully this is something you can help them with when the time comes.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: Steeze on August 02, 2019, 12:14:14 PM
So Iím talking with my parents on the phone last night. My parents take care of a mentally handicapped person for which they are compensated. This has allowed them to pay the bills and stay in their home. This individual has extreme outbursts of anger and threatens to leave occasionally. My parents of course tell him that he is welcome to stay or leave as he pleases. However, this puts my parents in the situation that if he left they wouldnít be able to cover their overhead each month. As Iíve said before they have no emergency fund or retirement savings and are in debt with two older cars.

So what do they tell me? They went to the RV dealership and are considering buying a $20,000 RV so that if he leaves they can move into the RV, park at my uncles house, and sell their house (in that order). They also live in a place where houses sit on the market for years before selling.

I begged them not to buy one. Please, frugality god, please help my parents not suck at money so much.

Ouch.

If they can't really afford their home, is there some reason they are not selling it and moving into lower cost housing? I can see staying if there is nothing else that would be less expensive, but they are paying a high price for staying put.

Also, if they ever do decide to sell, paying attention to proper staging and time of year for listing can help a lot.  I sold my house fast in an area that is normally slow (my next door neighbour took 2 years to sell).  Hopefully this is something you can help them with when the time comes.

They live in a rural VLCOL area - they work for themselves, and live close to family. When they are ready I will definitely help them however I can. Hoping just a couple years when they can collect SS they will make the jump and move in with my grandparents permanently. Grandparents need help, and parents can provide that in home care in exchange for room/board. Plus why take care of some one elseís family when your own family needs help? Convinced mom to go to FL to be with her parents for 6 months this winter to try it out.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: Steeze on August 08, 2019, 04:00:49 PM
Momís car has been needing replacement - has bad rings and has been consuming a quart of oil every 600 miles. She recently spent upwards of 3-4K on repairing everything except the engine problem because they wanted another 5k for that. Tried to get her to trade it for a used Honda Fit before spending the money, but she didnít want to spend 10k on a new used car since she just paid her car off.

Fast forward 6 months and car has a major electrical problem needing additional repair. Again I suggest looking at used a Honda Fit since she is spending nearly 1k a month on repairs at this point. Today my parents went to test drive the Fit and hated it. Said it felt cheap and small and too low to the ground for snow. They traded the Subaru for $2k and put 10k down on a $22k CRV and now have a 310/mo car payment for 3 years.

Canít help these people. Sigh.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: Wrenchturner on August 08, 2019, 05:28:57 PM
Momís car has been needing replacement - has bad rings and has been consuming a quart of oil every 600 miles. She recently spent upwards of 3-4K on repairing everything except the engine problem because they wanted another 5k for that. Tried to get her to trade it for a used Honda Fit before spending the money, but she didnít want to spend 10k on a new used car since she just paid her car off.

Fast forward 6 months and car has a major electrical problem needing additional repair. Again I suggest looking at used a Honda Fit since she is spending nearly 1k a month on repairs at this point. Today my parents went to test drive the Fit and hated it. Said it felt cheap and small and too low to the ground for snow. They traded the Subaru for $2k and put 10k down on a $22k CRV and now have a 310/mo car payment for 3 years.

Canít help these people. Sigh.
If someone offered to give you several grand plus $310 a month for three years to drive a used Fit instead of a new CRV, would you do it?  I would.

But such thoughts are not considered, unfortunately.  People don't price their own decisions.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: Cassie on August 08, 2019, 06:05:53 PM
Your parents make my head hurt.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: Steeze on August 08, 2019, 07:12:56 PM
Your parents make my head hurt.

At least they had a 10k emergency fund! Maybe Iím getting through to them! I was under the impression that they got out of consumer debt and stopped saving the excess. Seems they must have been saving a few hundred a month.dad says he still has a couple grand left to pay taxes, cover insurance for the year and fill the propane tank for the winter. Trying to look on the bright side. I was pretty bummed out earlier when they told me.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: Cassie on August 08, 2019, 07:22:55 PM
Thatís a good point! I would have paid cash for a used car as most here would. We are older and recognize that we cannot recover from financial mistakes.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: El_Mariachi on August 19, 2019, 09:52:13 AM
ouch, I have a family member who both he and his wife are pretty high earners, yet they have little to nothing saved

they go out to eat nearly every dinner and they take these crazy vacations every 6 months

he was telling me that he has a 401k sitting with an old company and they are charging him a maintenance fee, but he hasnt done anything about it (2 years ago!) Im curious how much he has lost

its sad because he wasnt always like this, but when he got married its like he is carrying around a backpack full of lead
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: Steeze on August 20, 2019, 04:06:18 PM
ouch, I have a family member who both he and his wife are pretty high earners, yet they have little to nothing saved

they go out to eat nearly every dinner and they take these crazy vacations every 6 months

he was telling me that he has a 401k sitting with an old company and they are charging him a maintenance fee, but he hasnt done anything about it (2 years ago!) Im curious how much he has lost

its sad because he wasnt always like this, but when he got married its like he is carrying around a backpack full of lead

I am fortunate to have a wife who is generally very frugal and is working towards FIRE. However, I have a vacation budget that is triple what I need and own things like throw pillows, bath mats, and other decorations because Iíd rather have my wife smiling than a few extra dollars. Itís easy to justify her spending if itís something she thinks she needs even if I think it is a waste. I could see how this mindset could lead to a bad situation if your spouse is a big spender.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: magnet18 on August 23, 2019, 11:15:56 AM
Unless they live in a mild climate they will freeze in the winter. Sad that they are making such poor decisions at their age.
Not necessarily, but probably

I live in an rv in a very not mild climate (-20F is the coldest it got last year)

I do it for fun and had no problems.

But unless they know exactly what they're getting into and they're somewhat handy, they're not gonna have a good time, that's for sure

Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: Dicey on August 25, 2019, 11:12:37 PM
I'm a little late to this party, but I'm going to plunge right in.

Re "stealing" money given as gifts from family members to minor children:  take other factors into consideration when you hear stuff like that.  Yes, I'm totally guilty of that.

The money people gave for the baptism of my kids went to pay for the baptism lunch everyone came to after church.  My SIL had to do the same, she was even in the bathroom opening cards for the cash after the check came in order to pay it.  We were broke.  If somone gave my kid a savings bond, I would have cashed it the next day to pay the gas bill.  Over the years when my mom has given me or my kids 100 bucks for "presents for the kids," I would give them the gift of heat and hot water and a roof over thier heads.  Years later when we had more money and were buying the kids more stuff than they ever needed, the grandparent money went right into the pile with our other money.  What could I buy my kid with grandma's 100 bucks when I just bought her a hundred dollar doll with clothes and shoes that cost more than my own?  Grandma would send them a card with 50 bucks, and I'd put it towards the hundreds I'd already spent on presents for them.

It's only now that my kids are older (late teens), DH and I are both working, we are making a decent living, and we've found MMM that we are actually putting away grandma's gifts into their own accounts.  With our new MMM ways we are saving and maxing out retirement accounts and have a new outlook.  I told them last December, you know what g'ma is getting you?  Stocks! and I opened VG accounts for them.  But until then all of our money was family money that we used to support our family with and everyone got what they needed and then some. 

Off topic but still.

DeniseNJ, I loved every word of this response. It's like you and my parents lived a parallel life. (My mom was from Paterson, btw. Much later, worked (remotely) for a company based in Saddle Brook.)

When we were young and poor the money kids got for gifts went into a savings account for them.  When our kids got baptized we invited grandparents and aunts/uncles only  and had a lunch at our house afterwards.   We gave them the money when they were adults.   Itís called living within your means.
And Cassie, I find this response unnecessarily harsh. My parents made tons of sacrifices to have my mom be at home and to send all six of us to private schools, which were hands-down better than the local public schools. They didn't blow the money on themselves, they used it to make all of our lives better. I'll gladly facepunch ANYone who has the nerve to call that stealing.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: Cassie on August 26, 2019, 12:42:24 AM
I stayed home until the youngest was in school and ours went to private school also. Itís fine that the money went to school.  Thatís not stealing. I think what I said was misunderstood.   Stealing is spending the money on non kid related stuff. I would be fine with any of the money going to help the kids in anyway.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: Zamboni on August 26, 2019, 01:52:00 AM
Kids, cars:

Infants aside, I think most people who make a gift of a small bit of cash for a child have the idea that the child will actually be allowed to make some decision about how to use it. Perhaps the child wants to save it to buy a gift for their parent or a teacher? I remember using some birthday money once to buy a very small gift for my 3rd grade teacher. Another time I saved up some gift money and bought a Christmas present for each of my parents. Perhaps they want to blow it on candy? Or matchbox cars?

Regardless, the purchase decision is the child's decision for small amounts of money. That's the entire point! It's really a gift of a tiny bit of healthy autonomy for the child more than anything. Barring starvation level poverty, if a parent handles it another way, then to me that indicates that either the gift amount was too large (like giving a 2-year-old $100, which is silly and not age appropriate) or that the parent has serious control issues. If I found out that their parent was confiscating a $5 or $10 cash gift, then I would be pretty irritated with the parent, because the gift was to the child, not the parent, and I happen to think taking money from your children is shitty. Your mileage may vary.

Finally, I do recognize that some relatives have an unhealthy lack of boundary issues about what is a reasonable thing to do for someone's children. If Grandma has no common sense and goes way overboard with hundreds of dollars at a time for small children, for example, then I don't blame parents for intervening.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: economista on August 26, 2019, 07:40:33 AM
There was a recent episode of the ďThis is UncomfortableĒ podcast that talked about this on a larger scale. The woman in the interview had been given $20,000 for college by her grandfather when she was a child and she knew about it. It was always in the back of her head that she had a $20k head start on paying for college. When she got to her senior year and got accepted to college her father asked her how she was going to pay for it and she asked him how much the $20k in college money had grown to with interest. He stared at her blankly and told her there wasnít anything left - he had been using it to keep their standard of living the same for the past however many years since he lost his job. She was deeply hurt and it pretty much ruined their relationship for a long time. In her mind, he ďstoleĒ her college fund from her. In his mind (they interviewed him as well) that money was justifiably used to support her. Itís interesting because I can see both of their points of view.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: DadJokes on August 26, 2019, 08:37:12 AM
There was a recent episode of the ďThis is UncomfortableĒ podcast that talked about this on a larger scale. The woman in the interview had been given $20,000 for college by her grandfather when she was a child and she knew about it. It was always in the back of her head that she had a $20k head start on paying for college. When she got to her senior year and got accepted to college her father asked her how she was going to pay for it and she asked him how much the $20k in college money had grown to with interest. He stared at her blankly and told her there wasnít anything left - he had been using it to keep their standard of living the same for the past however many years since he lost his job. She was deeply hurt and it pretty much ruined their relationship for a long time. In her mind, he ďstoleĒ her college fund from her. In his mind (they interviewed him as well) that money was justifiably used to support her. Itís interesting because I can see both of their points of view.

I'll have to give that one a listen. In my mind, if the grandfather gave the money with the instruction that it was for college, then the father had no right to use it for anything else without permission from the daughter.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: AlanStache on August 26, 2019, 09:23:25 AM
There was a recent episode of the ďThis is UncomfortableĒ podcast that talked about this on a larger scale. The woman in the interview had been given $20,000 for college by her grandfather when she was a child and she knew about it. It was always in the back of her head that she had a $20k head start on paying for college. When she got to her senior year and got accepted to college her father asked her how she was going to pay for it and she asked him how much the $20k in college money had grown to with interest. He stared at her blankly and told her there wasnít anything left - he had been using it to keep their standard of living the same for the past however many years since he lost his job. She was deeply hurt and it pretty much ruined their relationship for a long time. In her mind, he ďstoleĒ her college fund from her. In his mind (they interviewed him as well) that money was justifiably used to support her. Itís interesting because I can see both of their points of view.

I think it depends on the level of "keep their standard of living the same"; but at least the spending should have been communicated prior to college applications being sent out. 
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: DadJokes on August 26, 2019, 09:36:56 AM
There was a recent episode of the ďThis is UncomfortableĒ podcast that talked about this on a larger scale. The woman in the interview had been given $20,000 for college by her grandfather when she was a child and she knew about it. It was always in the back of her head that she had a $20k head start on paying for college. When she got to her senior year and got accepted to college her father asked her how she was going to pay for it and she asked him how much the $20k in college money had grown to with interest. He stared at her blankly and told her there wasnít anything left - he had been using it to keep their standard of living the same for the past however many years since he lost his job. She was deeply hurt and it pretty much ruined their relationship for a long time. In her mind, he ďstoleĒ her college fund from her. In his mind (they interviewed him as well) that money was justifiably used to support her. Itís interesting because I can see both of their points of view.

I think it depends on the level of "keep their standard of living the same"; but at least the spending should have been communicated prior to college applications being sent out.

Recap of the episode:

Parents got divorced, and dad got custody of both kids. Both kids received $20k from grandfather for college. Older sibling is 10 years older and was able to use the money. Father lost his job when tech bubble burst and never got another job. He even said in the interview that he didn't want to take a lower paying job and instead decided to "borrow" from his child's college fund. There aren't a lot of details about their lifestyle, but I'm guessing middle class based on his prior profession.

She found out the money was gone when filling out her FAFSA.

Father has been paying it back to the tune of a few hundred per month over the last decade. Daughter has some pretty extreme money anxiety issues, likely because of what her father did.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: Cassie on August 26, 2019, 09:59:12 AM
My kids are long grown but would get 25 for baptism, etc and they were not shopping at that age. One grandfather gave them 100 in savings bonds twice a year with the understanding that it would be saved not spent.  If they were old enough to shop and got a small amount sure they could spend it. We gave our kids a weekly allowance to spend or save as they saw fit.  Each kid was happy to have 4K upon turning 18 which was not a insignificant amount back then.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: Zamboni on August 26, 2019, 08:06:52 PM

Father lost his job when tech bubble burst and never got another job. He even said in the interview that he didn't want to take a lower paying job and instead decided to "borrow" from his child's college fund.


He's an asshole. I'm sorry, but I just don't see his point of view at all. I've had some shitty jobs in my time and I would take absolutely any job I could get to keep food on the table instead of stealing money earmarked for my kid. How long would he have had to work to earn that $20K? One year, tops, in pretty much any kind of job? Probably more like a few months . . . . and he never really did make an effort to pay it back. Him claiming that is just a joke. JFC, that just really burns my shorts.

All of this reminds me that I need to take time tomorrow to get to the credit union to make them the trustee for my kids. My own Mom is losing her marbles and, while I have never trusted her for a number of good reasons, letting her have access to my estate at this point would be a catastrophe.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: ambimammular on September 01, 2019, 09:32:17 PM
We are struggling about what to do with dollars given to our girls from their grandparents.

Recently, they've gotten "responsiblities" (chores) and receive "privileges" (allowance), which they can spend on screen time, buy the things they want, but we wouldn't necesarily get for them, soda at a restaurant, stuff like that. One purpose was to help them save up over the weeks toward a larger goal. For our older, she was building up toward an ipad when Grandma found out and swooped in with a Kindle for her birthday. The same thing happened with the other grandparents when our youngest started saving for a mermaid tail. 

I appreciate that the grand folks love them and want to shower them with their hearts desires, but damn...I'm trying to instill some work ethic and patience and satisfaction in something self earned, and I'm being thwarted at every step.

DH feels uncomfortable putting their birthday money into their savings accounts, as that was not the expectation with which it was given. But without saving goals, our kids buy the first items they encounter until the dollars are gone. This runs contrary to the values we're trying to teach them.

I wish all the Grands would throw a buck or two into the 529s instead of funding the kids' crap collection.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: Dicey on September 01, 2019, 10:07:14 PM
I wish all the Grands would throw a buck or two into the 529s instead of funding the kids' crap collection.
I thought we had this figured out. We started a 529 and we throw money into it for birthdays, Christmas, etc. No shopping hassles, no gifts enjoyed ephemerally, no faded or broken plastic crap ending up in a landfill. Recently, I needed to access DH's Amazon account to handle a return on the last eligible day. With DH's knowledge, I did so. Hmmm, what's this? Someone ordered a Big Wheel three days before a certain someone's third birthday and never mentioned it? Lol, big talker, my DH. And apparently a doting grandpa too. We're going to have a fat payday soon, so we will dump a big slug into grandbaby's 529 anyway. Better to do it while she's young so it has time to grow.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: AlanStache on September 02, 2019, 12:34:18 PM
We are struggling about what to do with dollars given to our girls from their grandparents.

Recently, they've gotten "responsiblities" (chores) and receive "privileges" (allowance), which they can spend on screen time, buy the things they want, but we wouldn't necesarily get for them, soda at a restaurant, stuff like that. One purpose was to help them save up over the weeks toward a larger goal. For our older, she was building up toward an ipad when Grandma found out and swooped in with a Kindle for her birthday. The same thing happened with the other grandparents when our youngest started saving for a mermaid tail. 

I appreciate that the grand folks love them and want to shower them with their hearts desires, but damn...I'm trying to instill some work ethic and patience and satisfaction in something self earned, and I'm being thwarted at every step.

DH feels uncomfortable putting their birthday money into their savings accounts, as that was not the expectation with which it was given. But without saving goals, our kids buy the first items they encounter until the dollars are gone. This runs contrary to the values we're trying to teach them.

I wish all the Grands would throw a buck or two into the 529s instead of funding the kids' crap collection.

Could you double the the standard allowance (for the same chores) with the grandparents gift money until it is gone?  This might even make a good lesson in life style inflation. 
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: Cassie on September 02, 2019, 02:31:54 PM
Dicey, how nice that you set up a 529 for your grandchild. I think giving a physical gift is great also. Itís so fun at that age to watch them get excited over a gift.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: Dicey on September 03, 2019, 04:38:44 AM
Last Christmas, she was gaga over the just-her-size backpack we gave her. It was not pink and it came from a thrift store. She put it on over her pajamas and didn't want to take it off. Alas, her mommy and daddy live too many states away for us to be in the same place for every milestone occasion.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: Sugaree on September 03, 2019, 07:50:15 AM
Kids, cars:

Infants aside, I think most people who make a gift of a small bit of cash for a child have the idea that the child will actually be allowed to make some decision about how to use it. Perhaps the child wants to save it to buy a gift for their parent or a teacher? I remember using some birthday money once to buy a very small gift for my 3rd grade teacher. Another time I saved up some gift money and bought a Christmas present for each of my parents. Perhaps they want to blow it on candy? Or matchbox cars?

Regardless, the purchase decision is the child's decision for small amounts of money. That's the entire point! It's really a gift of a tiny bit of healthy autonomy for the child more than anything. Barring starvation level poverty, if a parent handles it another way, then to me that indicates that either the gift amount was too large (like giving a 2-year-old $100, which is silly and not age appropriate) or that the parent has serious control issues. If I found out that their parent was confiscating a $5 or $10 cash gift, then I would be pretty irritated with the parent, because the gift was to the child, not the parent, and I happen to think taking money from your children is shitty. Your mileage may vary.

Finally, I do recognize that some relatives have an unhealthy lack of boundary issues about what is a reasonable thing to do for someone's children. If Grandma has no common sense and goes way overboard with hundreds of dollars at a time for small children, for example, then I don't blame parents for intervening.

I do generally make my kid put half of any gift above like $5 in his savings accounts.  It's still his money, but he doesn't necessarily get to blow it all.  As a result, I probably give him a much higher allowance than is really necessary (he's six and gets $20 every two weeks).
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: BlueHouse on September 03, 2019, 01:36:09 PM
Kids, cars:

Infants aside, I think most people who make a gift of a small bit of cash for a child have the idea that the child will actually be allowed to make some decision about how to use it. Perhaps the child wants to save it to buy a gift for their parent or a teacher? I remember using some birthday money once to buy a very small gift for my 3rd grade teacher. Another time I saved up some gift money and bought a Christmas present for each of my parents. Perhaps they want to blow it on candy? Or matchbox cars?

Regardless, the purchase decision is the child's decision for small amounts of money. That's the entire point! It's really a gift of a tiny bit of healthy autonomy for the child more than anything. Barring starvation level poverty, if a parent handles it another way, then to me that indicates that either the gift amount was too large (like giving a 2-year-old $100, which is silly and not age appropriate) or that the parent has serious control issues. If I found out that their parent was confiscating a $5 or $10 cash gift, then I would be pretty irritated with the parent, because the gift was to the child, not the parent, and I happen to think taking money from your children is shitty. Your mileage may vary.

Finally, I do recognize that some relatives have an unhealthy lack of boundary issues about what is a reasonable thing to do for someone's children. If Grandma has no common sense and goes way overboard with hundreds of dollars at a time for small children, for example, then I don't blame parents for intervening.

I do generally make my kid put half of any gift above like $5 in his savings accounts.  It's still his money, but he doesn't necessarily get to blow it all.  As a result, I probably give him a much higher allowance than is really necessary (he's six and gets $20 every two weeks).
My college boyfriend used to have to split every paycheck 3 ways:  1/3 to his parents for "rent" (even when he lived on campus...they were paying his bills, so), 1/3 to "tax" which just got him used to paying 1/3 in tax.  Not sure who kept the overage.  1/3 for his spending money.  He seemed to be pretty good with money and had been doing this his entire life, so I guess it worked. 
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: DeniseNJ on September 03, 2019, 03:23:59 PM
My mom came to visit and gave my 19 yr old $200 "for college or to buy some things he needs."  But I pay for college and give him money.  I put money into his bank account weekly so he can use it when he needs it.  He doesn't work (reasons).  So he handed me the money and I put the money in my pocket and kept doling out money to him regularly as usual.  I guess I could say, hey that money I was going to give you anyway is from grandma this week, but he knows I give him money regularly which he blows on crap.

My daughter also got $200 and wanted to go to the mall with her friend.  I would never have given her more than 50 bucks, so I said, "Fine, here's the 200 gram gave you," and I let her and her friend roam the mall by themselves and spend what they wanted.

It really just depends.  If I give my kids money all the time then I guess I could say, and do say, this money is from gram.  But if I was going to give it to them anyway, then I think it's the same as me just keeping it.  But maybe that's bc my kids aren't on a fixed allowance--I just give them money as needed.  That was mistake number 1.

My mom gave the kids 10K a piece "for college."  But I pay for college, so I guess I could've kept it.  But it was so much money and it was after finding MMM, so I opened custodial accts for them with vanguard--Now they both have their own VTSAX accounts that I add too when I'm flush.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: DeniseNJ on September 03, 2019, 03:26:22 PM
Re the dad who stole the kids college money:  If he paid for her college anyway, then I'm fine with it.  If she was on the hook for her college costs and didn't have gram's money, then that sucks. 
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: cari8285 on September 05, 2019, 02:52:00 PM
Am I the only person reading this thread that definitely did not get money as gifts until I was at least a teenager?? (And even then, it was like $20 from my grandma once every two years.) Definitely not complaining because my dad paid for my college and just about anything that I needed. But this whole concept of giving a child money for things like a baptism or whatever is very strange to me.. Maybe this is why I seriously sucked at finances until like last month. Sheesh.

That being said, my mom was super poor (divorced parents) as I was growing up and I barely got to see her because she worked doubles just to keep a roof over her head. If she had ever decided to use some of my gift money (had that been a thing) and it meant that I could see her more often, I definitely would've loved that.

The dad using all his child's college money when he got laid off though? That's shitty.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: oldladystache on September 05, 2019, 03:33:25 PM
Am I the only person reading this thread that definitely did not get money as gifts until I was at least a teenager??

Me too. I've been wondering the same thing. Is it "normal" to give kids money? My parents were generous and supplied everything I needed and much of what I wanted.  Paid for college, etc. But other than 50 cents a week allowance I don't remember any cash gifts.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: ambimammular on September 05, 2019, 04:34:23 PM
Grandma taped a dollar bill and a stick of gum in my birthday cards.
Can't chew gum without remembering my grandma.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: jinga nation on September 06, 2019, 05:32:03 AM
Ah the memories y'all brought up. All cash gifts to me went to my dad.
I didn't need much as a kid/teenager, and he provided the family with what we needed. Which is probably why I don't have impulse shopping urges.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: SwordGuy on September 06, 2019, 06:41:47 AM
There was a MASH episode where the rich, obnoxious doctor gave a present of a bunch of really nice candy to an orphanage, then was mad as hell when he discovered the candy for sale in the local marketplace.   He confronted the orphanage about it.

They explained the money they got for the candy paid for food and blankets and such.   Case closed.  They were right.

Some cases of spending the money by parents are the exact thing they should have done.  Others are stealing from the kids.   It just depends.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: DeniseNJ on September 06, 2019, 07:22:02 AM
. But other than 50 cents a week allowance I don't remember any cash gifts.

Ha, that's bc you never got it.  lol
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: economista on September 06, 2019, 07:24:57 AM
I used to get $1 or $2 in a birthday card when I was little but once I turned 18 I didnít get any money anymore period. Itís odd to me when I see people post that they are in their 30s, 40s, etc and their parents send them hundreds of dollars on their birthdays. In our family once you are 18 you are on your own 100%. I donít even get birthday gifts from my parents or extended family members. I get a text or a phone call that says Happy Birthday and that is it. For Christmas I usually get a gift if I go home for Christmas, but if I canít afford to go home I just get a phone call.

My younger siblings who are over 18 but still live in the area get birthday and Christmas gifts - I think it is really an ďout of sight, out of mindĒ thing. If you are around you get a gift, but if they arenít going to see you then you arenít going to get anything.

*Disclaimer - just because this is how I was raised, does not mean this is how I will be with my children*
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: TomTX on September 06, 2019, 04:32:47 PM
I used to get $1 or $2 in a birthday card when I was little but once I turned 18 I didnít get any money anymore period. Itís odd to me when I see people post that they are in their 30s, 40s, etc and their parents send them hundreds of dollars on their birthdays.

I still get $50 from my parents for my birthday and Christmas, and I'm in my 40s. I really wish they would stop, but it makes them happy - so my pushback has been minimal.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: Just Joe on September 09, 2019, 08:03:10 AM
We still mail gift cards back and forth even for adult birthdays in my family. For my birthday, my parents gave me $40 and we happened to be sharing a meal at a family style restaurant. I spent half of the gift on the meal (paid for myself and my eldest to eat). So they gave me gas money and a meal. Fine my me.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: mm1970 on September 09, 2019, 11:12:23 AM
We still mail gift cards back and forth even for adult birthdays in my family. For my birthday, my parents gave me $40 and we happened to be sharing a meal at a family style restaurant. I spent half of the gift on the meal (paid for myself and my eldest to eat). So they gave me gas money and a meal. Fine my me.
This is nice.  I've gotten a couple of emailed gift cards (Amazon) from my FIL that were sent to the wrong email address, or I just never got them.

The most recent one (from 3 months ago), I still don't have.  He says he paid for it, but I haven't gotten the email (or it went to junk mail and is long gone).

I told my husband let's just pretend I got it, because it's a PITA.  But no.  So, several emails back and forth, still nothing.  It would have been better to pretend I used it (I mean, not that I want Amazon to get free money, just that it's taking up my time and brain space and it's not work 50 bucks to me.)
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: ender on September 09, 2019, 11:47:34 AM
I used to get $1 or $2 in a birthday card when I was little but once I turned 18 I didnít get any money anymore period. Itís odd to me when I see people post that they are in their 30s, 40s, etc and their parents send them hundreds of dollars on their birthdays. In our family once you are 18 you are on your own 100%. I donít even get birthday gifts from my parents or extended family members. I get a text or a phone call that says Happy Birthday and that is it. For Christmas I usually get a gift if I go home for Christmas, but if I canít afford to go home I just get a phone call.

My younger siblings who are over 18 but still live in the area get birthday and Christmas gifts - I think it is really an ďout of sight, out of mindĒ thing. If you are around you get a gift, but if they arenít going to see you then you arenít going to get anything.

*Disclaimer - just because this is how I was raised, does not mean this is how I will be with my children*

I think for my family (and my inlaws) this happens because others in the family are less well off and the parents want to be fair.

We're fine, have no need for money, it's nice but in many ways I don't like the "strings" associated with it. But I think the parents/inlaws feel like it helps some of our siblings, who are in much worse financial situations than we are... so I guess that is ok.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: Imma on September 09, 2019, 12:01:22 PM
I used to get $1 or $2 in a birthday card when I was little but once I turned 18 I didnít get any money anymore period. Itís odd to me when I see people post that they are in their 30s, 40s, etc and their parents send them hundreds of dollars on their birthdays.

I still get $50 from my parents for my birthday and Christmas, and I'm in my 40s. I really wish they would stop, but it makes them happy - so my pushback has been minimal.

We don't do Christmas gifts in my family but ever since I turned 18 I've received Ä50 for my birthday from my mother. I still also get her a gift for her birthday. She's super frugal so I like to get her a gift that she needs/wants but doesn't buy - often it's decent quality kitchen stuff as she loves to cook and the cheap crap she buys doesn't last.

I didn't know that was unusual until I graduated from college and friends asked what my graduation gift was - one got a KitchenAid, the other a trip for her and her partner. I graduated the same week as my birthday, received two Ä50 notes and considered myself spoiled. I actually opened the envelope, took out the Ä50, thanked her and wanted to throw away the envelope when she warned me that I should maybe check it again.

What I do feel a bit awkward about is that my inlaws gift me the same amount as they gift my s/o, but my family doesn't gift to children in law. Even though we couldn't care less about that Ä50 it feels a bit awkward - they also don't go to his birthday or special occasions. They really make a distinction between blood family and non-blood family that I feel uncomfortable about.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: SwordGuy on September 09, 2019, 12:42:48 PM
What I do feel a bit awkward about is that my inlaws gift me the same amount as they gift my s/o, but my family doesn't gift to children in law. Even though we couldn't care less about that Ä50 it feels a bit awkward - they also don't go to his birthday or special occasions. They really make a distinction between blood family and non-blood family that I feel uncomfortable about.

For the life of me I don't understand that crappy, heartless mindset.   My mom was the same way.   As far as she was concerned I never had children and she acted accordingly.   

Ignoring the kids was tolerable.  Didn't like it but that's their call.   Kids returned the favor so fair is fair.

If I had had a biological child and they gave presents to it but not to my other kids from my wife's former marriage, that would NOT have been tolerable.   I would have stopped that behavior.   You just don't treat kids that way, it's wrong.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: economista on September 10, 2019, 06:21:27 AM

If I had had a biological child and they gave presents to it but not to my other kids from my wife's former marriage, that would NOT have been tolerable.   I would have stopped that behavior.   You just don't treat kids that way, it's wrong.

This is the way it was with my step-dadís family a lot of the time. Sometimes they included me and my brother, and sometimes there were only gifts for my younger half brother and sister. And, there wasnít much of an age gap between us - each of us is 2 years apart.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: SwordGuy on September 10, 2019, 07:05:37 AM

If I had had a biological child and they gave presents to it but not to my other kids from my wife's former marriage, that would NOT have been tolerable.   I would have stopped that behavior.   You just don't treat kids that way, it's wrong.

This is the way it was with my step-dadís family a lot of the time. Sometimes they included me and my brother, and sometimes there were only gifts for my younger half brother and sister. And, there wasnít much of an age gap between us - each of us is 2 years apart.

That would have happened once and once only.  I would have explained why that was unacceptable.  If they did it again,  I would have sent the presents back (without the kids knowing they ever arrived).  I would have included a note that referenced our prior conversation.   

I had to have a number of unpleasant conversations with my mom about a number of things over the years.   It was never fun but it was necessary to set boundaries and enforce them.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: charis on September 12, 2019, 02:20:27 PM
What I do feel a bit awkward about is that my inlaws gift me the same amount as they gift my s/o, but my family doesn't gift to children in law. Even though we couldn't care less about that Ä50 it feels a bit awkward - they also don't go to his birthday or special occasions. They really make a distinction between blood family and non-blood family that I feel uncomfortable about.

For the life of me I don't understand that crappy, heartless mindset.   My mom was the same way.   As far as she was concerned I never had children and she acted accordingly.   

Ignoring the kids was tolerable.  Didn't like it but that's their call.   Kids returned the favor so fair is fair.

If I had had a biological child and they gave presents to it but not to my other kids from my wife's former marriage, that would NOT have been tolerable.   I would have stopped that behavior.   You just don't treat kids that way, it's wrong.

If I'm reading it correctly, Imma's post refers to her family not gifting to her husband, their son-in-law, who is an adult.  While it's still nice to treat everyone like family, I never expected my in-laws to give me gifts and celebrate my birthday with us. I recognize that some extended families are different and celebrate everything together.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: SwordGuy on September 12, 2019, 03:12:46 PM
What I do feel a bit awkward about is that my inlaws gift me the same amount as they gift my s/o, but my family doesn't gift to children in law. Even though we couldn't care less about that Ä50 it feels a bit awkward - they also don't go to his birthday or special occasions. They really make a distinction between blood family and non-blood family that I feel uncomfortable about.

For the life of me I don't understand that crappy, heartless mindset.   My mom was the same way.   As far as she was concerned I never had children and she acted accordingly.   

Ignoring the kids was tolerable.  Didn't like it but that's their call.   Kids returned the favor so fair is fair.

If I had had a biological child and they gave presents to it but not to my other kids from my wife's former marriage, that would NOT have been tolerable.   I would have stopped that behavior.   You just don't treat kids that way, it's wrong.

If I'm reading it correctly, Imma's post refers to her family not gifting to her husband, their son-in-law, who is an adult.  While it's still nice to treat everyone like family, I never expected my in-laws to give me gifts and celebrate my birthday with us. I recognize that some extended families are different and celebrate everything together.
I'm pretty sure you mis-read her comment, especially since she says they gift her significant other, but doesn't gift children-in-law.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: Imma on September 12, 2019, 03:31:15 PM
Yes, @charis is right, I'm talking about adults. My in-laws gift to their son as well as to me, the daughter in law, but my family doesn't do that to children-in-law (my s/o).

In @SwordGuy 's case it's about kids and that's particularly mean. Sounds like in the end she got what she deserved from them.

In older generations in my families, the entire extended family celebrated everything together. It's not a tradition in my family to exclude the children-in-law at all. I remember my paternal grandparents and aunts at my mother's birthday with gifts every year.

In my own nuclear family (is that the right word?) this has never been the case. My parents are divorced and I am not really close to my dad anymore but as far as I know he used to ignore my sibling's s/o until they got a job where they could get him freebies. My mother acts nice enough to my s/o and will sometimes ask for tech support from him, but hasn't showed up so far when invited to birthdays or special occasions (she's in our area quite often).

It's not a personal dislike as she's like that with all our partners. At least that part is a relief. I just don't get it, it's not polite, these are the people we choose to spend our lives with and to ignore their birthdays and milestones is not something you'd do to an acquintance, neighbour or coworker. Why would you act like that to the person closest to your child?

We're not super close to my in-laws but they always get me a card and a gift which makes me feel welcome in their family. It's not about the monetary value of the gift, a card, even a text from my mother would be a big improvement.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: Cassie on September 16, 2019, 12:40:58 PM
Anyone that doesn't treat all the kids the same regardless of blood relationship is a jerk. Ugh!
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: calimom on September 16, 2019, 06:39:04 PM
Anyone that doesn't treat all the kids the same regardless of blood relationship is a jerk. Ugh!

Could not agree more. When I married my late husband he came equipped with a seven year old daughter. My mother never skipped a beat in treating her exactly as her other grandchildren for birthdays and Christmas. She even ponied up a nice sum to contribute to DD1's junior year abroad in college. It's really not about gifts or money, but more about love and acceptance, which my family is pretty good at.

My MIL started a tradition of flying cross country for the month of August to help with the transition from summer to school year. It was a huge help when the kids were younger and I needed to work and daycare and camps had ended. But she still does it and it's welcome. She and my BIL have long had a budget of about $250 per child for back to school clothes and supplies. At first I resisted that but quickly shut up about it. MIL has patience I don't have for going to 5 stores for the perfect backpack or pair of shoes. This year I thought my 17 year old son would not be into this but he and MIL had a great day together shopping and having lunch. I'm grateful for my extended family and all the support over the years.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: Sibley on September 17, 2019, 08:10:59 AM
Anyone that doesn't treat all the kids the same regardless of blood relationship is a jerk. Ugh!

Could not agree more. When I married my late husband he came equipped with a seven year old daughter. My mother never skipped a beat in treating her exactly as her other grandchildren for birthdays and Christmas. She even ponied up a nice sum to contribute to DD1's junior year abroad in college. It's really not about gifts or money, but more about love and acceptance, which my family is pretty good at.

My MIL started a tradition of flying cross country for the month of August to help with the transition from summer to school year. It was a huge help when the kids were younger and I needed to work and daycare and camps had ended. But she still does it and it's welcome. She and my BIL have long had a budget of about $250 per child for back to school clothes and supplies. At first I resisted that but quickly shut up about it. MIL has patience I don't have for going to 5 stores for the perfect backpack or pair of shoes. This year I thought my 17 year old son would not be into this but he and MIL had a great day together shopping and having lunch. I'm grateful for my extended family and all the support over the years.

^^^^
That is what family is SUPPOSED to be.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: saguaro on September 17, 2019, 10:12:41 AM
Anyone that doesn't treat all the kids the same regardless of blood relationship is a jerk. Ugh!

Could not agree more. When I married my late husband he came equipped with a seven year old daughter. My mother never skipped a beat in treating her exactly as her other grandchildren for birthdays and Christmas. She even ponied up a nice sum to contribute to DD1's junior year abroad in college. It's really not about gifts or money, but more about love and acceptance, which my family is pretty good at.

My MIL started a tradition of flying cross country for the month of August to help with the transition from summer to school year. It was a huge help when the kids were younger and I needed to work and daycare and camps had ended. But she still does it and it's welcome. She and my BIL have long had a budget of about $250 per child for back to school clothes and supplies. At first I resisted that but quickly shut up about it. MIL has patience I don't have for going to 5 stores for the perfect backpack or pair of shoes. This year I thought my 17 year old son would not be into this but he and MIL had a great day together shopping and having lunch. I'm grateful for my extended family and all the support over the years.

^^^^
That is what family is SUPPOSED to be.

Agreed.  My aunt treats her DIL's 2 children from a prior relationship exactly the same as her son's child with DIL.  She considers them all her grandchildren. 
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: SwordGuy on September 17, 2019, 01:37:06 PM
Anyone that doesn't treat all the kids the same regardless of blood relationship is a jerk. Ugh!

Could not agree more. When I married my late husband he came equipped with a seven year old daughter. My mother never skipped a beat in treating her exactly as her other grandchildren for birthdays and Christmas. She even ponied up a nice sum to contribute to DD1's junior year abroad in college. It's really not about gifts or money, but more about love and acceptance, which my family is pretty good at.

My MIL started a tradition of flying cross country for the month of August to help with the transition from summer to school year. It was a huge help when the kids were younger and I needed to work and daycare and camps had ended. But she still does it and it's welcome. She and my BIL have long had a budget of about $250 per child for back to school clothes and supplies. At first I resisted that but quickly shut up about it. MIL has patience I don't have for going to 5 stores for the perfect backpack or pair of shoes. This year I thought my 17 year old son would not be into this but he and MIL had a great day together shopping and having lunch. I'm grateful for my extended family and all the support over the years.

^^^^
That is what family is SUPPOSED to be.

Agreed.  My aunt treats her DIL's 2 children from a prior relationship exactly the same as her son's child with DIL.  She considers them all her grandchildren.

Yay @Cassie , @calimom, @Sibley  and @saguaro!    You all rock!

My mom, to her dying day, never believed that I had any children.   My wife had children, but in her eyes those children weren't mine.   

So much so that she didn't want her parents farmland to "leave the family" when I died.   

It won't.  My kids will inherit it.   That's not what she meant but that's what's going to happen.   

If you ever see a post of mine on other threads, advising people that they will need to be brutally blunt to get the jackasses in their family to behave, now you know why.   

I learned this lesson the hard way.

If subtle hints or social cues would have gotten her to change her behavior then she would have done so long before a brutally frank discussion was in order.     
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: Zamboni on September 17, 2019, 02:29:06 PM
My brother and his wife have adopted children and I don't think that either of my parents really got on board with my nieces and nephews being their grandchildren. They are different races from us and my Mom still refers to them as the "Chinese children" every time she mentions them rather than referring to them as her grandchildren or even "Fred's" kids.

Which is quite sad, really, when you think about it, for everyone involved.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: caracarn on September 17, 2019, 02:40:17 PM
If I found out that their parent was confiscating a $5 or $10 cash gift, then I would be pretty irritated with the parent, because the gift was to the child, not the parent, and I happen to think taking money from your children is shitty. Your mileage may vary.
This topic has likely come and gone in this thread, but I could write a literal book on the amount of things my wife's ex does to his kids.  The latest is he has had my step daughter's car for nearly two months.  At this point she had admitted to my wife her only option is to call the cops on him, but she still will pull the trigger because it is her dad.  This is a guy who has no job, does not work, mooches off whatever women he can get in his life and has borrowed cars for the last eight years I've known him and usually they stop running in about a year because he does not even change the oil and the engine just dies.  She's likely headed the same way and will be in a world of hurt with no car, but she cannot get to the point to hold her dad accountable.  He is the epitome of your definition of "taking money from your children is shitty" that I have ever come across. 
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: mm1970 on September 17, 2019, 06:25:46 PM
My brother and his wife have adopted children and I don't think that either of my parents really got on board with my nieces and nephews being their grandchildren. They are different races from us and my Mom still refers to them as the "Chinese children" every time she mentions them rather than referring to them as her grandchildren or even "Fred's" kids.

Which is quite sad, really, when you think about it, for everyone involved.

This makes me so sad.

Quote
My mom, to her dying day, never believed that I had any children.   My wife had children, but in her eyes those children weren't mine.   

So much so that she didn't her parents farmland to "leave the family" when I died.   

It won't.  My kids will inherit it.   That's not what she meant but that's what's going to happen.   

If you ever see a post of mine on other threads, advising people that they will need to be brutally blunt to get the jackasses in their family to behave, now you know why.   

I learned this lesson the hard way.

If subtle hints or social cues would have gotten her to change her behavior then she would have done so long before a brutally frank discussion was in order. 

This too.

My parents are both dead.  They divorced in my teens.  My mom remarried when I was in college to a lovely man.  As far as we are all concerned, he's the kids' grandpa (and my sister's and my brother's kids' grandpa too).  It's maybe simpler for us because he didn't have children, but still.  He's been to visit us on the opposite coast many more times than my husband's father, who hasn't been to visit since 2006.


My only family member fail is my brother.  Apparently, he's depressed right now (not judging that, he's getting help).  One thing that is making his life more difficult right now is that he's having some sewer issues (he's in a rural area) and has to have major work done on his property, to the tune of $10k.  (Which is about what our lateral replacement was just this year.)  He cannot come up with the money.  He's in his late 40s, and he cannot come up with $10k.  I realize that is typical of most Americans, but all I can think about is all that shopping, the constant exchanging of older vehicles for newer vehicles (many many times over just a few years).  I think his family probably just woke up a bit too late on the financial knowledge spectrum.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: calimom on September 17, 2019, 08:47:31 PM
@Zamboni that's terrible about your mom. It's just hard to put into words. @SwordGuy it's interesting to read what you said about social cues. I'm guessing she's from an older generation and has very firm ideas about 'family'. Glad that you are circumventing those ideas and will do as you wish with the family land.

An obnoxious brag about my MIL: Once, we were at a campground at the Grand Canyon with the kids. The retired couple in the next campsite had been friendly all day. Late at night when MIL and I were sitting by the dying campfire they came over with a bottle of wine and tthe 4 of us chatted for awhile. The wife said, "Oh it's so nice to see a mother and daughter spending time together; I could never imagine doing this with my daughter." Not wanting to overshare or give the gory details, MIL and I said something like we just get along well. Later we takied about it and MIL said she enjoyed having a daughter in that moment and it was very sweet. A few months ago she emailed and wanted to know my social security #. I'm guessing it's not to steal my identity but to put in her designated beneficiary some sort of account or another. I hope she lives a long time, she's a peach.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: Zamboni on September 17, 2019, 09:18:28 PM
That's sweet. She does sound like a peach.

My brother has finally told my Mom to just stay away from him and his family. Her comment to me was that she has done nothing wrong but that he is just "so controlling" about "those kids." She really just doesn't get it. And I'm not even going to try to explain any of it to her, because I'm not getting into the middle of it. Experience assures me that it just won't get through her thick skull anyway. I wish I had SwordGuy's gift for blunt and frank boundary enforcement.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: SwordGuy on September 17, 2019, 09:23:19 PM
That's sweet. She does sound like a peach.

My brother has finally told my Mom to just stay away from him and his family. Her comment to me was that she has done nothing wrong but that he is just "so controlling" about "those kids." She really just doesn't get it. And I'm not even going to try to explain any of it to her, because I'm not getting into the middle of it. Experience assures me that it just won't get through her thick skull anyway. I wish I had SwordGuy's gift for blunt and frank boundary enforcement.

@Zamboni ,   I had no gift for it at all.   

Practice.  Frequent practice.    Lots and lots of frequent practice, with lots of failed attempts as part of that process.  That's how I learned what worked.   
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: AnnaGrowsAMustache on September 18, 2019, 02:27:56 AM
Sounds like quite a few people have missed the difference between biology and family. Biology isn't worth anything. Family is worth everything.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: saguaro on September 18, 2019, 11:47:05 AM
Yay @Cassie , @calimom, @Sibley  and @saguaro!    You all rock!

My mom, to her dying day, never believed that I had any children.   My wife had children, but in her eyes those children weren't mine.   

So much so that she didn't want her parents farmland to "leave the family" when I died.   

It won't.  My kids will inherit it.   That's not what she meant but that's what's going to happen.   

If you ever see a post of mine on other threads, advising people that they will need to be brutally blunt to get the jackasses in their family to behave, now you know why.   

I learned this lesson the hard way.

If subtle hints or social cues would have gotten her to change her behavior then she would have done so long before a brutally frank discussion was in order.

@SwordGuy , I am sorry that your mom viewed your kids this way.    I don't understand, seeing how this often goes in my family (another aunt treated her granddaughter's partner's children as her great-grandchildren btw), how someone could not consider her child's children (biological or not) as not being her grandchildren.    They are still your kids, you consider them as such, they consider you their dad, that should have been enough for her.  I don't have kids myself but if I did, I cannot fathom treating the kids from a spouse/partner's prior relationship as "not my grandkids".     But good on you for setting boundaries with your mother about it.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: caracarn on September 18, 2019, 12:04:20 PM
Yay @Cassie , @calimom, @Sibley  and @saguaro!    You all rock!

My mom, to her dying day, never believed that I had any children.   My wife had children, but in her eyes those children weren't mine.   

So much so that she didn't want her parents farmland to "leave the family" when I died.   

It won't.  My kids will inherit it.   That's not what she meant but that's what's going to happen.   

If you ever see a post of mine on other threads, advising people that they will need to be brutally blunt to get the jackasses in their family to behave, now you know why.   

I learned this lesson the hard way.

If subtle hints or social cues would have gotten her to change her behavior then she would have done so long before a brutally frank discussion was in order.

@SwordGuy , I am sorry that your mom viewed your kids this way.    I don't understand, seeing how this often goes in my family (another aunt treated her granddaughter's partner's children as her great-grandchildren btw), how someone could not consider her child's children (biological or not) as not being her grandchildren.    They are still your kids, you consider them as such, they consider you their dad, that should have been enough for her.  I don't have kids myself but if I did, I cannot fathom treating the kids from a spouse/partner's prior relationship as "not my grandkids".     But good on you for setting boundaries with your mother about it.
Sadly I know all too well what @SwordGuy is talking about.  My parents are this way with my step kids (not theirs).  When I got married I got into some huge arguments.   They wanted to give my biological kids two or three times as many gifts on birthdays for example as the step kids and they said multiple times that "they are not my grandkids".  I very quickly has the discussion with them that they need to treat them all the same and if that means not giving anything, that is fine.  They still work to find ways to differentiate.  As the kids are getting over 18 they are all about helping one of my kids with college costs, but do not even talk to my step daughter about any help she could use.  At this point I have less ability to force the situation.

So @saguaro this is not a one off situation, and no amount of trying to get people to change ever works on some folks.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: mm1970 on September 18, 2019, 12:12:52 PM
@Zamboni that's terrible about your mom. It's just hard to put into words. @SwordGuy it's interesting to read what you said about social cues. I'm guessing she's from an older generation and has very firm ideas about 'family'. Glad that you are circumventing those ideas and will do as you wish with the family land.

An obnoxious brag about my MIL: Once, we were at a campground at the Grand Canyon with the kids. The retired couple in the next campsite had been friendly all day. Late at night when MIL and I were sitting by the dying campfire they came over with a bottle of wine and tthe 4 of us chatted for awhile. The wife said, "Oh it's so nice to see a mother and daughter spending time together; I could never imagine doing this with my daughter." Not wanting to overshare or give the gory details, MIL and I said something like we just get along well. Later we takied about it and MIL said she enjoyed having a daughter in that moment and it was very sweet. A few months ago she emailed and wanted to know my social security #. I'm guessing it's not to steal my identity but to put in her designated beneficiary some sort of account or another. I hope she lives a long time, she's a peach.
That is so sweet!  I LOVE my MIL.  She's the best.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: saguaro on September 18, 2019, 12:22:42 PM
Yay @Cassie , @calimom, @Sibley  and @saguaro!    You all rock!

My mom, to her dying day, never believed that I had any children.   My wife had children, but in her eyes those children weren't mine.   

So much so that she didn't want her parents farmland to "leave the family" when I died.   

It won't.  My kids will inherit it.   That's not what she meant but that's what's going to happen.   

If you ever see a post of mine on other threads, advising people that they will need to be brutally blunt to get the jackasses in their family to behave, now you know why.   

I learned this lesson the hard way.

If subtle hints or social cues would have gotten her to change her behavior then she would have done so long before a brutally frank discussion was in order.

@SwordGuy , I am sorry that your mom viewed your kids this way.    I don't understand, seeing how this often goes in my family (another aunt treated her granddaughter's partner's children as her great-grandchildren btw), how someone could not consider her child's children (biological or not) as not being her grandchildren.    They are still your kids, you consider them as such, they consider you their dad, that should have been enough for her.  I don't have kids myself but if I did, I cannot fathom treating the kids from a spouse/partner's prior relationship as "not my grandkids".     But good on you for setting boundaries with your mother about it.
Sadly I know all too well what @SwordGuy is talking about.  My parents are this way with my step kids (not theirs).  When I got married I got into some huge arguments.   They wanted to give my biological kids two or three times as many gifts on birthdays for example as the step kids and they said multiple times that "they are not my grandkids".  I very quickly has the discussion with them that they need to treat them all the same and if that means not giving anything, that is fine.  They still work to find ways to differentiate.  As the kids are getting over 18 they are all about helping one of my kids with college costs, but do not even talk to my step daughter about any help she could use.  At this point I have less ability to force the situation.

So @saguaro this is not a one off situation, and no amount of trying to get people to change ever works on some folks.

@caracarn , unfortunately I know these situations are not one off and FTR I wasn't questioning @SwordGuy 's experience with it.   I know that no amount of trying will ever work with some of those people either.   I personally just could not do that, and just wonder how some folks can live with themselves sometimes. 

It's too bad about your stepkids and that your parents continue to do the work around.  I agree there's not a lot you can do with them over 18. 
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker on September 20, 2019, 07:06:14 PM
If I found out that their parent was confiscating a $5 or $10 cash gift, then I would be pretty irritated with the parent, because the gift was to the child, not the parent, and I happen to think taking money from your children is shitty. Your mileage may vary.
This topic has likely come and gone in this thread, but I could write a literal book on the amount of things my wife's ex does to his kids.  The latest is he has had my step daughter's car for nearly two months.  At this point she had admitted to my wife her only option is to call the cops on him, but she still will pull the trigger because it is her dad.  This is a guy who has no job, does not work, mooches off whatever women he can get in his life and has borrowed cars for the last eight years I've known him and usually they stop running in about a year because he does not even change the oil and the engine just dies.  She's likely headed the same way and will be in a world of hurt with no car, but she cannot get to the point to hold her dad accountable.  He is the epitome of your definition of "taking money from your children is shitty" that I have ever come across.

This calls for a potato up the tailpipe (of the car, not the wife's ex although that too would be tempting). When the car stalls out and won't run, daughter gets the keys back from the deadbeat dad. She then de-taters the car, drives off, and lives happily ever after.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: Cassie on September 22, 2019, 04:50:46 PM
When I was 22 I remarried and had a 3 yo. My husband's family treated my son as their family from day 1. He had grandparents, aunts and uncles that loved him and treated him like all the other grandkids.  If my stepsons have kids I will be thrilled to be a grandmother.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: iris lily on September 22, 2019, 05:55:46 PM
 Just to play devils advocate, I can see a couple of reasons not to treat grandchildren and step grandchildren exactly in the same way.

In the farmland example, I am not sure that I would leave a large family farm in exactly the same shares to step grandchildren that I would leave to grandchildren. So many factors are at play in these situations. It could depend on when these children came into the farm family. What if they came into the farm family at the age of 18? 25? 40? Does that make a difference in how big a share they ďshouldĒ get?

Or what about dispensing family heirlooms and/or really nice and old and collectible fine Jewelry? What if you had the responsibility to dispense great grandmaís  stuff and your daughter has two daughters and your son who has been married four times has two stepdaughters. You have known the steps for about  five seconds and you suspect they will be gone in another five seconds. Are you really going to give those two step kids great grandmotherís  Cartier ring and the Clef and Arpels diamond bracelet? 

Of course for minor things such as family photographs and Christmas gifts and birthday gifts and etc. one would treat  children and stepchildren the same. Of course! But that is the little stuff.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: SwordGuy on September 22, 2019, 06:20:53 PM
Just to play devils advocate, I can see a couple of reasons not to treat grandchildren and step grandchildren exactly in the same way.

In the farmland example, I am not sure that I would leave a large family farm in exactly the same shares to step grandchildren that I would leave to grandchildren. So many factors are at play in these situations. It could depend on when these children came into the farm family. What if they came into the farm family at the age of 18? 25? 40? Does that make a difference in how big a share they ďshouldĒ get?

Or what about dispensing family heirlooms and/or really nice and old and collectible fine Jewelry? What if you had the responsibility to dispense great grandmaís  stuff and your daughter has two daughters and your son who has been married four times has two stepdaughters. You have known the steps for about  five seconds and you suspect they will be gone in another five seconds. Are you really going to give those two step kids great grandmotherís  Cartier ring and the Clef and Arpels diamond bracelet? 

Of course for minor things such as family photographs and Christmas gifts and birthday gifts and etc. one would treat  children and stepchildren the same. Of course! But that is the little stuff.

Kids who are members of the family are members of the family -- whether their parents continue to get along or not doesn't matter to me.
 
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: mm1970 on September 22, 2019, 09:01:34 PM
I came into a family when my mother remarried. My sibs and I were 26, 20, and 18.

We will inherit our stepfathers assets. I mean, he has been our family for almost 30 years. He is the only grandparent my kids have on my side. My mother died years ago.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: Zamboni on September 23, 2019, 01:15:08 AM
Or what about dispensing family heirlooms and/or really nice and old and collectible fine Jewelry? What if you had the responsibility to dispense great grandmaís  stuff and your daughter has two daughters and your son who has been married four times has two stepdaughters. You have known the steps for about  five seconds and you suspect they will be gone in another five seconds. Are you really going to give those two step kids great grandmotherís  Cartier ring and the Clef and Arpels diamond bracelet? 

It's just stuff . . . is stuff more valuable than people? How much do you want your son to feel like he is a valued as a member of your family? Those are the bigger question, I think. The type of reasoning in this devil's advocate post is exactly the poison that makes wealthy families so extremely dysfunctional.

I'd probably sell the extremely expensive jewelry and put the proceeds in a trust, then let each of the four grand daughters pick a piece or two of the remaining more sentimental jewelry from late granny's stash. You might be surprised to realize how much that type of acceptance means to your son and his children.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: iris lily on September 23, 2019, 11:09:00 AM
Or what about dispensing family heirlooms and/or really nice and old and collectible fine Jewelry? What if you had the responsibility to dispense great grandmaís  stuff and your daughter has two daughters and your son who has been married four times has two stepdaughters. You have known the steps for about  five seconds and you suspect they will be gone in another five seconds. Are you really going to give those two step kids great grandmotherís  Cartier ring and the Clef and Arpels diamond bracelet? 

It's just stuff . . . is stuff more valuable than people? How much do you want your son to feel like he is a valued as a member of your family? Those are the bigger question, I think. The type of reasoning in this devil's advocate post is exactly the poison that makes wealthy families so extremely dysfunctional.

I'd probably sell the extremely expensive jewelry and put the proceeds in a trust, then let each of the four grand daughters pick a piece or two of the remaining more sentimental jewelry from late granny's stash. You might be surprised to realize how much that type of acceptance means to your son and his children.

One size does not fit all when dealing with humans and their relationships. I like your solution for the situation where everyone shares your value of ďit is just stuff.Ē In that theoretical world hey wouldn't that be great.

It is when sentiment, appreciation of fine art objects, mercenary values, and grief intersect that it all gets complicated. Certainly there is no situation that will make everyone happy forever.

Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: Kris on September 23, 2019, 11:29:54 AM
I do not have children of my own. But if I did, frankly, I do not think I would change my perspective on this.

I have two stepdaughters. Assuming my husband dies before I do, I will leave everything to them, except for photos and sentimental memorabilia of my family that they would have no interest in because they don't know any of them. Giving those items to them would only be a burden, so I'll send them to my cousins.

If I had two stepkids and two bio kids, I would leave all financial assets to them, divided up equally by four.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: SwordGuy on September 23, 2019, 11:43:26 AM
I do not have children of my own. But if I did, frankly, I do not think I would change my perspective on this.

I have two stepdaughters. Assuming my husband dies before I do, I will leave everything to them, except for photos and sentimental memorabilia of my family that they would have no interest in because they don't know any of them. Giving those items to them would only be a burden, so I'll send them to my cousins.

If I had two stepkids and two bio kids, I would leave all financial assets to them, divided up equally by four.
You have the SwordGuy seal of approval on this. :)
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: Siebrie on September 24, 2019, 03:48:17 AM
Many years ago, my sister rented a house with her then longterm boyfriend. She was 19, and they had been dating for 4 years. For some reason, she wanted to be the perfect hostess; she served nibbles every time people came over. Not normal nibbles, but handmade ones, with posh ham, rare fruit, etc. As soon as they had my niece (3 years into the relationship) she would constantly buy her small gifts, let her ride endless rides on the funfair (paying every ride), went to every themepark, zoo, etc.

When they broke up when niece was 3, my parents found out that she had taken out a loan for EUR 12,000 to support this lifestyle. We were shocked. There was no need for that loan. We visited them because we wanted to see them and catch up; water and bread would have been fine. She had a job as a food-distributor in a hospital (in charge of the ward kitchen), her former boyfriend had a job as a junior technician. He did not know about the loan, and would have been against it, but would not have been able to stand up against my sister. Worst bit: she got the loan with a tv-add company, paying some insane percentage of interest.

My parents took over the loan, paid it off, and had an arrangement with my sister to pay off every month. Every first of the month, my father would check his bank account to see if she had paid yet, because he had told her the loan would become fully payable as soon as she missed one term. He still had to call her every other month to make a speed deposit....

She now has a husband who makes more money than she can spend....
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: BlueHouse on September 24, 2019, 01:55:03 PM
My niece's plan to pay off her student loans is to marry a rich man. 
She honestly sees no other way out of it.  I am so pissed at my brother for treating her mother like a dummy so that his daughter (my niece) would hope for some fairytale hero to rescue her rather than just studying hard enough to earn enough money herself.  I totally blame my brother. 

Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: SwordGuy on September 24, 2019, 03:36:09 PM
My niece's plan to pay off her student loans is to marry a rich man. 
She honestly sees no other way out of it.  I am so pissed at my brother for treating her mother like a dummy so that his daughter (my niece) would hope for some fairytale hero to rescue her rather than just studying hard enough to earn enough money herself.  I totally blame my brother.

Not always the parent's fault.   I know of one family that has 2 brothers and 2 sisters.   3 of the 4 worked hard for what they wanted and pretty much made that happen over their lifetimes.  The 4th was a worthless shit early on and doubled down on manipulating others into providing for her.

So be sure before you blame your brother.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: saguaro on September 25, 2019, 08:43:39 AM
My niece's plan to pay off her student loans is to marry a rich man. 
She honestly sees no other way out of it.  I am so pissed at my brother for treating her mother like a dummy so that his daughter (my niece) would hope for some fairytale hero to rescue her rather than just studying hard enough to earn enough money herself.  I totally blame my brother.

Not always the parent's fault.   I know of one family that has 2 brothers and 2 sisters.   3 of the 4 worked hard for what they wanted and pretty much made that happen over their lifetimes.  The 4th was a worthless shit early on and doubled down on manipulating others into providing for her.

So be sure before you blame your brother.

Agree it's not always parent's fault although I see why @BlueHouse  would feel that way, given the brother's treatment of his wife and how that could affect the daughter.   I know of a similar situation where the daughter was focused on finding someone rich enough to provide for her, she was not encouraged to work hard or further her education, both her mother and grandmother were like this, so it's obvious where that come from.   And yet in that same family, including this daughter's brother, were people who worked hard for what they wanted in life.  It is an interesting mix of hard working people and moochers, sometimes with both types coming from the same set of parents. 
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: Imma on October 06, 2019, 02:34:08 PM
I came into a family when my mother remarried. My sibs and I were 26, 20, and 18.

We will inherit our stepfathers assets. I mean, he has been our family for almost 30 years. He is the only grandparent my kids have on my side. My mother died years ago.

It's great that you have a bond with your stepfather even though you were all adults when he remarried, such a good bond that he's even a grandfather to your children.

Most people I know don't have a bond at all with the spouse their parent married when they were adults. In that case I don't think it would be strange to not leave them anything in a will. I know my partner and I don't have that with our parents's spouses and beyond sending christmas cards and visiting maybe once a year if we're in the area I can't imagine we'd keep in touch after our parent dies. Of course it's different for stepparents who helped raised you or you were very close to, or who have even adopted you, but that's a different situation. Still you should treat stepchildren and stepgrandchildren equally when it comes to christmas, birthdays etc even if there's not much of a bond.

I had never thought before about the possiblity that my parent would leave anything to his spouse's adult children, but if it turns out that they did, I would feel a little bit slighted (although honestly I'm pretty sure I've been disinherited either way, which would legally only give me a claim to a small part of the money, not to any physical items). I wouldn't mind if they were left money,or even all the money, but I would care about heirlooms and items of sentimental value, especially items that came from my family of origin or relatives that were dead 20 years before he even met his spouse. I know some of our family photos have already ended up with non-family and somehow that feels not only unfair but also as a breach of my privacy.
Title: Re: Family Member Fails
Post by: trashtalk on October 14, 2019, 12:20:26 PM
Relative told me he was a genius because he saw the 2008 stock market collapse coming because something something housing indicator so he sold 100 percent of his mutual funds/stocks and *got out just in time* while all those other suckers [...lost their money??!!]

I just looked it up and as of March 2019, "The index has delivered a 10-year annualized total return of 17.8 percent since its financial crisis bottom in March 2009, matching the annual gains 10 years after the 1987 crash and the August 1982 bottom." (https://www.cnbc.com/amp/2019/03/04/the-10th-anniversary-of-the-climactic-march-2009-market-bottom-arrives-this-week.html)

He's in annuities now. I think he said he's getting four percent?

Now this relative is financially independent and the whole thing is none of my business but he was bragging about how smart he was and just had to kind of bite my tongue.

(As Dave Ramsey says the only time a roller coaster kills you is when you jump off.)