Author Topic: Best way to help someone in terrible financial situation  (Read 2828 times)

LadyMaWhiskers

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Best way to help someone in terrible financial situation
« on: January 19, 2016, 04:40:33 PM »
I recently hired a live-in childcare/housekeeping worker. She exchanges labor for room and board, no cash exchange.

We got along well when interviewing, and I liked how she interacted with my son, but the longer she lives in, the more I see the enormous stress level in her life and the negative attitude that comes with it. I'd like to help, but it's awfully forward in this scenario to give financial advice or anything like that. She's 20 years older than me. I am well off, both from a lucky start in life (upbringing and SES) and having good financial sense. She has neither of those advantages.

Do I need to just leave this alone? I'd not like to have this stress level and negativity in my home/around my toddler, and when I ask what's up, she tells me straight-up that she's stressed about needing shocks for her car ($300). She has lots of old debt, low income, and owes $5000 on an 8-year-old $5000 car, with $400 monthly payments. This is not something I can really elate to.


PharmaStache

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Re: Best way to help someone in terrible financial situation
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2016, 04:56:39 PM »
Maybe she is stressed because she has no income, as you don't pay her anything?  Is that even legal?  Unless she has another job, and just works for you part time?

GrowingTheGreen

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Re: Best way to help someone in terrible financial situation
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2016, 05:27:52 PM »
I'm also a little confused as to how she actually makes money 

She may have terrible financial sense, but are you sure that it is what's causing her poor attitude? You could maybe bring up that you've noticed she seems unhappy lately and ask her what's going on, but perhaps it's something you're not aware of.

Generally speaking, it's poor etiquette to offer unsolicited advice--especially financial advice. While talking with her about the cause of her happiness, if money comes up then you can say something like "I enjoy talking about personal finance, so if you'd ever like to talk about it, please do!" Otherwise, leave it. People won't change unless they want to. If she doesn't ask for help, don't press it. Sometimes it's hard, but people are entitled to live their lives as they see fit.

Tjat

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Re: Best way to help someone in terrible financial situation
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2016, 06:30:56 PM »
Maybe she is stressed because she has no income, as you don't pay her anything?  Is that even legal?  Unless she has another job, and just works for you part time?

My first thought as well. How can this woman pay for anything since she works for free? Hopefully OP never has to find out how difficult it is to evict someone if they stop doing the labor to "pay" for their room and board.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/06/27/us/nanny-squatter/

olivia

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Re: Best way to help someone in terrible financial situation
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2016, 01:36:59 PM »
I think you're conflating 2 separate issues:

1. Her negative attitude and how it impacts you and your family.
2. Her money issues.

As an "employer"/landlord you may have grounds to let her know her negativity is affecting you in a way that may affect her ability to continue living there.  If you think it really is due to money stress, I would tell her that and let her know you're happy to teach her how to handle her money better if that will help her, but either way the negativity needs to stop.

She may blame her negative attitude on her money issues, but some people are straight up miserable. A new friend of mine seemed great until I realized she complained constantly (about money as well as guys she was dating, her job, etc.).  Solution: I stopped spending time with her.