Author Topic: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help  (Read 42988 times)

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #100 on: July 23, 2015, 09:12:47 AM »
OP Update

Boy did this thread take off. Thank you all for the 100+ posts, it's greatly appreciated--there's a ton of great posts about how best to approach this. I've been slammed at work and haven't been able to reply to a lot of these, so here's my best effort to respond to a few of the posts.

If you want to help them, be ready for a long journey.  Currently they don't want a budget, they don't want to sell their bikes, they will grudgingly sell their pricey vehicles.  You need to find out why they want these items, what problems they're trying to mask (insecurity, personal expectations of themselves), and offer advice to guide them towards what makes them truly happy - while knowing that the ultimate decisions still belong to them.     

This post was really, really spot on. We laid everything out at Christmas--you make x, you are spending y (line for line), this is unsustainable--and the only positive thing they have done is sell my older brother's truck (still not complete yet, though).

I can't figure out the why. I honestly think they have this hardcore blue collar mentality that this is the struggle that everyone faces, this is normal, etc. Having cable, cell phones, high car payments--it's all normal for middle class America in 2015.

I have a sibling who lives exactly like this.  The problem is she is 40 years old and still financially dependent on my father.  You cannot reason with some people.  I told my father to give her the boot many years ago and let her learn to live a financially responsible life.  But he wouldn't and now he is stuck working himself to death to support her.  This is someone who owes tens of thousands of dollars to family members and she's never ever made good on any "loan"--not to family nor to banks/credit lines.  Who knows how many friends have been stung.

And yet, to this day, there is always a ready excuse as to why she still needs to buy a newer car rather than using public transportation or riding a bike or even driving an older car.  There's every excuse as why she has the full cable package rather than an antenna.  I gave up a long time ago trying to reason with her.  As she's family, I haven't cut her out of my life--but I've made it clear that the ATM here is closed for business.

So...let your brother and his GF learn their lesson.  It may or may not work, but helping them constantly will almost guarantee they will never learn to fend for themselves.  Put it in black and white--data in an spreadsheet of how much they can save by deleting/decreasing the bikes, gym memberships, etc.  If the hundreds of dollars difference each month doesn't wake them up--then it's their fucking problem.  Sorry, if that's harsh, but let's just say I've had an adult lifetime enough of financial idiotic siblings.

Harsh words greatly appreciated.

I am more worried about your Mom than the people of your generation.

Keep reassuring your Mom. Listen to what she says patiently so she can express her concerns to you but be very firm that she needs to save as much as she can for her own retirement and not enable these two. Tell her the truth: that they will never ever learn to manage their money if she ever gives them any. No matter how pathetic their story, she needs to tell them "I'm proud of you and I know you are smart, and so I'm sure you will figure it out." That's what she should say whenever they say they can't pay a bill, have no food, or need money for this or that.

100% agree that I need to work on my mom having boundaries before approaching brother and SIL. Right now they have her to lean on. It's a very minor safety net (she gives them $20 after dinner or something), but it's something they rely on and they'll never learn.

Something missing from all of this, make sure you acknowledge their frustrations if you do approach them.

Understand, that even though they might be completely financially retarded, they still feel the feelings they have. Those are very real to them RIGHT NOW. If you approach them and dismiss these as being whiney or stupid or lame or even just don't acknowledge them you are going to immediately put them in a defensive mode which will make meaningful advice impossible.

You don't have to condone the feelings, but you can acknowledge them as being real.

"That must feel hopeless" or "you must be so frustrated" can cause a lot of relational empathy in a situation like this.

I think this is the best post in this thread about the psychology of what's going on with them.

My older brother worked 23 hours in a day--twenty three fucking hours. I wanted to call him Sunday morning and ask, "Aren't you tired? Aren't you frustrated? Are all your toys worth it? You realize the only reason you have to work this much is because of your toys, right?"

Careful when telling people to stop doing crossfit. "You'll get the whole it's for my health and I don't care what the cost is I'm paying for it" shpeal. You might infuriate them and not be able to talk about other areas. Although I'm sure the same could go for some people and there harleys.

I think this has been manifested in this thread, haha. The whole Crossfit movement is fine with me, but in my SIL's position, it's not financially viable when the pavement is free and Planet Fitness is $11 per month.

Another way of framing it when it comes to enabling family members is drawing the parallel with drug users.

You can tell YOURSELF that you are giving them money for food or rent or whatever but at the end of the day - whatever money you give them enables them to feed their addiction.

It is the same with money. Would your mom feel better cutting them off if she looked at the big picture beyond the "butter and pasta" and realized that she is basically paying for their motorbikes/gas guzzlers and other expensive things she wouldn't even buy for herself?

Are you okay subsidizing their expensive lifestyle? Working through the idea that you are doing something like "helping with food" and realize in the bigger picture - you directly funding their big wasteful purchases.

Really good post. I will use that language with my mom when I speak with her--you aren't giving them money for food, you are giving them money for their bikes, their cable, etc.

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #101 on: July 23, 2015, 09:20:22 AM »
Here is my plan:

I've read every post in this thread--thank you again. The posters in the "leave them be" corner have a lot of good arguments and perhaps logic on their side. But I really can't live with myself knowing my brother is working 23 hours in a day just to afford all this. I also know it's stressing the hell out of my mom. So I'm going to give this one last shot...

(1) Text older brother. "I saw SIL's post about struggling to afford food. Do you guys need help?"

(2) Transition this conversation to a "let's talk."

(3) Before said talk, have a conversation with mom--make her realize she is enabling them. I'm going to print out this entire thread and make sure she reads this. We talk about my brother all the time so this won't be too out of left field for us.

(4) Have a talk with older brother this weekend (his birthday is the 29th). Acknowledge his frustration.

(5) Have a detailed breakdown prepared (he is a handyman, loves instructions, so I'm thinking of crafting this as a "manual" kind of thing).

(6) In said manual, challenge them to do one thing every two weeks to get out of this. Cancel cable. No random expenses in August. Call and reduce insurance. Sell motorcycles. Etc.

(7) Let them know this will be my last effort. Period. And stick to this. 
« Last Edit: July 23, 2015, 09:28:21 AM by ReadySetMillionaire »

DeltaBond

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #102 on: July 23, 2015, 09:42:01 AM »
Realize, too, that either your brother or his wife might actually be really embarrassed about it all and truly NOT like taking money from others OR like having food stamps.  If they truly don't mind, be prepared for this effort you're making not work out.  I'm not sure how many conversations you've had with them about it, but this one would have to be different than the other conversations.

If both of them feel entitled, or are buying things to make themselves feel better for having money problems, your plan will end up being so YOU can sleep at night because you know you tried, and very likely won't help them.

Cookie78

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #103 on: July 23, 2015, 09:47:42 AM »
Here is my plan:

I've read every post in this thread--thank you again. The posters in the "leave them be" corner have a lot of good arguments and perhaps logic on their side. But I really can't live with myself knowing my brother is working 23 hours in a day just to afford all this. I also know it's stressing the hell out of my mom. So I'm going to give this one last shot...

(1) Text older brother. "I saw SIL's post about struggling to afford food. Do you guys need help?"

(2) Transition this conversation to a "let's talk."

(3) Before said talk, have a conversation with mom--make her realize she is enabling them. I'm going to print out this entire thread and make sure she reads this. We talk about my brother all the time so this won't be too out of left field for us.

(4) Have a talk with older brother this weekend (his birthday is the 29th). Acknowledge his frustration.

(5) Have a detailed breakdown prepared (he is a handyman, loves instructions, so I'm thinking of crafting this as a "manual" kind of thing).

(6) In said manual, challenge them to do one thing every two weeks to get out of this. Cancel cable. No random expenses in August. Call and reduce insurance. Sell motorcycles. Etc.

(7) Let them know this will be my last effort. Period. And stick to this.

Best of luck. I truly hope you can get through to them. Keep us posted.


ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #104 on: July 23, 2015, 09:48:33 AM »
Realize, too, that either your brother or his wife might actually be really embarrassed about it all and truly NOT like taking money from others OR like having food stamps.  If they truly don't mind, be prepared for this effort you're making not work out.  I'm not sure how many conversations you've had with them about it, but this one would have to be different than the other conversations.

If both of them feel entitled, or are buying things to make themselves feel better for having money problems, your plan will end up being so YOU can sleep at night because you know you tried, and very likely won't help them.
They aren't on food stamps. They have a bunch of toys and "can't afford food," and SIL recently complained about people on food stamps.

Otherwise, very valid point. I can't make this too much about me saying I tried and instead need to try and work out a solution for them.

James

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #105 on: July 23, 2015, 09:54:37 AM »
I am more worried about your Mom than the people of your generation.

Keep reassuring your Mom. Listen to what she says patiently so she can express her concerns to you but be very firm that she needs to save as much as she can for her own retirement and not enable these two. Tell her the truth: that they will never ever learn to manage their money if she ever gives them any. No matter how pathetic their story, she needs to tell them "I'm proud of you and I know you are smart, and so I'm sure you will figure it out." That's what she should say whenever they say they can't pay a bill, have no food, or need money for this or that.

Really I have absolutely no sympathy for you SIL. What an imbecile. I would be totally shamed and embarrassed to have what she has and asking for money from anyone for food. And then she turns around and blast people who are so poor and in such dire straits that they need food stamps, like somehow it's their fault that she is a whiny, entitled moron.

Some people are not really into reading, and for them Dave Ramsey's books won't help. But, he's made lots of youtube videos and has a radio show and lots of podcasts with case studies on people calling in. Those might be helpful here. He's not for everyone, but I think his model could help these two.

I agree, worry about your mother and others who can't say no, not about your sister. If they don't hit rock bottom they won't get better, and not being able to pay for some of their fixed costs is a win win. They lose the item and they lose the monthly expense.

I would immediately unfriend your SIL on Facebook, and next time she texts for money let her know you are only willing to help if they get rid of some of the fixed expenses, you aren't going to pay for their expensive toys. And then if that continues ask her to stop directly. They already know you are willing to help, they can come to you if they need actual help and not bail outs.

Protect yourself, and that might mean not seeing or being around them for a while. Your relationship can tolerate distance and some separation, but I doubt it can tolerate the current dynamic.

MissStache

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #106 on: July 23, 2015, 10:12:08 AM »
I hope you'll keep us updated!  I'm curious to know how this works out, as I fear I may be facing a similar situation in the not-too-distant future with future in-laws...

Scandium

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #107 on: July 23, 2015, 10:28:36 AM »
If you feel comfortable eating chicken at that price, more power to you.


But that's the price it is sold at.  Am I supposed to offer the store more?

I have never seen chicken at the prices you quote for "bottom of the barrel".

hah! where do you live? Store brand (sketchy looking, with lots of sinew and gunk) fresh chicken breast is maybe $2-3/lb. The basic purdue stuff is $4-6. And the "hand crafted" cruelty/antibiotic free, veggie fed kind my wife prefer to buy now that we have a baby is $8-12/lb!

But hey, still cheaper than almost any restaurant!
« Last Edit: July 23, 2015, 10:34:56 AM by Scandium »

infogoon

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #108 on: July 23, 2015, 10:40:31 AM »
Bookmarking. I have a similar relative who's a toxic mess of terrible financial decisions. Naturally, he blames the President.

Scandium

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #109 on: July 23, 2015, 10:45:53 AM »
If you feel comfortable eating chicken at that price, more power to you.


But that's the price it is sold at.  Am I supposed to offer the store more?

I have never seen chicken at the prices you quote for "bottom of the barrel".

hah! where do you live? Store brand (sketchy looking, with lots of sinew and gunk) fresh chicken breast is maybe $2-3/lb. The basic purdue stuff is $4-6. And the "hand crafted" cruelty/antibiotic free, veggie fed kind my wife prefer to buy now that we have a baby is $8-12/lb!

But hey, still cheaper than almost any restaurant!

1. Do not buy chicken breasts. They are by far the most expensive way to eat chicken. If you want an easy prep alternative, try for boneless, skinless chicken thighs.

2. If you're on the East Coast, see if you have a BJ's Wholesale local. We buy their Harvestland brand (antibiotic free) boneless, skinless thighs for $2.69/lb and they come already pre shrinkwrapped in individual meal portions. I just throw them straight into the freezer.

Interesting. I'll have to look for other chicken options next time. Don't remember seeing boneless thighs in our store. Got the on-the-bone stuff once, and not only was the meat crappy it took me forever to clean it up. So dropped that idea. I know that no chickens have hormones (it's illegal) and don't believe in the organic nonsense, but hard to dissuade the wife.

There's a BJs and a costco ~10 min from us. Walked through once but didn't seem like we could buy much of the stuff we prefer there, and not sure the savings would be worth the $50. And would another store to visit when we already struggle to hit one per week. We only eat bird or fish meat, and not a lot of it really, so not my highest priority.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #110 on: July 23, 2015, 10:47:59 AM »

hah! where do you live?

Iowa. It's in the username.
(I live in the highest cost of living area of Iowa though. Boo to that.)

Scandium

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #111 on: July 23, 2015, 10:50:52 AM »

hah! where do you live?

Iowa. It's in the username.
(I live in the highest cost of living area of Iowa though. Boo to that.)

ah ok. To be fair you could just from Iowa, and live in Mogadishu or whatever.

We live in one of the most expensive counties in the country (in MD), so there's that.

DeltaBond

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #112 on: July 23, 2015, 11:51:36 AM »
I can't make this too much about me saying I tried and instead need to try and work out a solution for them.

And there was my point... prepare yourself for your plan NOT working.  It will depend on their reasons for their actions.  If they don't want it, you cant make them want it.

You *seem* to not want to prepare yourself for the worst here, that's why I'm suggesting this mental preparation... plan B, if it never stops, if your plan is not successful, then what??  Keep trying, over and over and over?
« Last Edit: July 23, 2015, 11:57:17 AM by DeltaBond »

Pigeon

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #113 on: July 23, 2015, 11:57:13 AM »
Quote
Do not buy chicken breasts. They are by far the most expensive way to eat chicken. If you want an easy prep alternative, try for boneless, skinless chicken thighs.

That's going to be regional.  Where I live (upstate NY) I can routinely get boneless, skinless breasts for $1.99/lb and boneless skinless thighs are somewhat more.  I like BJs for some things, but their meat can't touch the loss leaders from the major grocery chains.


pbkmaine

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #114 on: July 23, 2015, 12:08:14 PM »
More on chicken - I always think the "vegetarian chicken" advertising is hilarious. Free range chickens will eat every bug, worm or grub they can find. Both they and the environment are better for this.

CommonCents

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #115 on: July 23, 2015, 12:12:52 PM »
Here is my plan:

I've read every post in this thread--thank you again. The posters in the "leave them be" corner have a lot of good arguments and perhaps logic on their side. But I really can't live with myself knowing my brother is working 23 hours in a day just to afford all this. I also know it's stressing the hell out of my mom. So I'm going to give this one last shot...

(1) Text older brother. "I saw SIL's post about struggling to afford food. Do you guys need help?"

(2) Transition this conversation to a "let's talk."

[snip]

Good plan, but I caution against asking "do you guys need help?" as I guarantee that will be taken as "do you want free money?"  And then they might get mad when it turns out you are not showering them with money from the money tree.  Maybe instead try "Do you want to talk?"

charis

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #116 on: July 23, 2015, 12:13:42 PM »
Quote
Do not buy chicken breasts. They are by far the most expensive way to eat chicken. If you want an easy prep alternative, try for boneless, skinless chicken thighs.

That's going to be regional.  Where I live (upstate NY) I can routinely get boneless, skinless breasts for $1.99/lb and boneless skinless thighs are somewhat more.  I like BJs for some things, but their meat can't touch the loss leaders from the major grocery chains.
+1

MissStache

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #117 on: July 23, 2015, 01:05:51 PM »
Bookmarking. I have a similar relative who's a toxic mess of terrible financial decisions. Naturally, he blames the President.

LOL...Thanks, Obama!

DeltaBond

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #118 on: July 24, 2015, 06:16:22 AM »
Here is my plan:

I've read every post in this thread--thank you again. The posters in the "leave them be" corner have a lot of good arguments and perhaps logic on their side. But I really can't live with myself knowing my brother is working 23 hours in a day just to afford all this. I also know it's stressing the hell out of my mom. So I'm going to give this one last shot...

(1) Text older brother. "I saw SIL's post about struggling to afford food. Do you guys need help?"

(2) Transition this conversation to a "let's talk."

[snip]

Good plan, but I caution against asking "do you guys need help?" as I guarantee that will be taken as "do you want free money?"  And then they might get mad when it turns out you are not showering them with money from the money tree.  Maybe instead try "Do you want to talk?"

His very plan shows that he is not ready to fully solve this problem yet.  Its a really hard one to face, especially when you want to be the hero and show everyone how to be fiscally responsible, but dealing with money issues is very diferent than dealing with emotional issues, which is what this is.  He'll figure it out, eventually.

slugline

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #119 on: July 24, 2015, 09:27:23 AM »
Here is my plan:

I've read every post in this thread--thank you again. The posters in the "leave them be" corner have a lot of good arguments and perhaps logic on their side. But I really can't live with myself knowing my brother is working 23 hours in a day just to afford all this. I also know it's stressing the hell out of my mom. So I'm going to give this one last shot...

(1) Text older brother. "I saw SIL's post about struggling to afford food. Do you guys need help?"

(2) Transition this conversation to a "let's talk."

[snip]

Good plan, but I caution against asking "do you guys need help?" as I guarantee that will be taken as "do you want free money?"  And then they might get mad when it turns out you are not showering them with money from the money tree.  Maybe instead try "Do you want to talk?"

I agree. Step #1 looks like a direct invitation to ask for a bailout. Instead of "Do you guys need help?" I think "What's happening to your money?" would be the better question. Use a nonjudgmental tone, but the discussion needs to be framed in a way that assumes that they are in the lead of fixing this.

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #120 on: July 24, 2015, 12:58:18 PM »
I have friends and family members that constantly throw money away, then complain about lack of funds. I used to try to help, and eventually realized they didn't want that. Now I say, "Oh man, yeah, that sucks!" Or, "Ah, cripey." Or, "I understand: You really, really wish the province would give you a bus pass without having to do paperwork first." And that's all. It ends the conversation in a peaceful way. They know I can do stuff, they know I'm willing to help when they ask directly for that (same as I teach my kid to do). I don't offer help upon a whine, rant, etc. I reflect back, or murmur compassion. They feel better in the moment, which is all they wanted. If they ever ask me for help, I will give that. But even then, my first question is, "What are you willing to do?" They screen themselves out of most options; it's best for me, though, to know that before I invest a lot of time and effort.

Never do more for a client [friend, family member] than the client [friend, family member] is doing for himself.

DeltaBond

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #121 on: July 24, 2015, 01:26:45 PM »

Never do more for a client [friend, family member] than the client [friend, family member] is doing for himself.

Oooh, that's a good one!

Josiecat

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #122 on: July 24, 2015, 04:54:19 PM »
Try "Well, that sounds like a problem.  What are you going to do to fix this?"

myrax

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #123 on: July 25, 2015, 10:54:49 AM »
I know this is a MMM forum, but Ramit Sethi's advice on giving people advice is pretty useful: http://www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com/blog/how-to-give-advice-without-being-a-jerk/

His overall financial approach might appeal to your SIL as well. When I was broke, MMM seemed so dour and judgmental, while IWT seemed supportive and practical, while still challenging. Once I had figured out how to manage money, MMM was much more fun.

village idiot

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #124 on: July 25, 2015, 08:09:29 PM »
A good rule I heard from an old manager is "Every two years- up or out." Next year one of them finds a new promotion, the next year the other one, etc. If they can. $42,000 is a tall order for two adults.

MrSal

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #125 on: July 26, 2015, 10:13:20 AM »
She's not kidding when she says she could only afford a can of soup. Her parents have (from what I understand) cut her off, as have mine (for the most part). My mom still gives them money every once in a while to keep them afloat.

Im sorry.... right here is the problem!!

My mother in law is the same although not to the same extent since she actually has a nice living... but she always is complaining about not having money yet she seems to like to just throw money away.

Can of soup? The ohter day her daughter was sick and she had me go to the supermarket buy a can of soup of something to her daughter... the cost of that? 4 dollars!!! Yes its low at first sight but it was a can of soup good for ONE SERVING!!

I on the other hand, when I make soup i just buy carrots for example, add water, potatos and salt... it costs me 1 dollar probably to make 2 gallons of soup or so!!

400 dollars seems rather high for 2 people! My wife and I we spend about 200 per month and we actually buy luxury items. Me being portuguese I like prosciutto, and chorizo and sea food and lots of fish so we are constantly buying prosciutto and salmon and other types of fish and sea food which is not cheap when you are living in a state that is landlocked! The difference is, we rarely buy pre-made food or pre packaged.

Also having a new car... are you kidding me? why would anyone spend 600 dollars a month in cars when apparently they cant afford it? buy used! let other people be the suckers to pay the depreciation!

ME personally, I see a car as going from point A to point B i dont care if its flashy... the only car i would ever buy for myself, would be an Aston Martin DB9. And only if I had a few dozen million probably, where i could justify spending 200k in a car. Other than that I have no interest...

Live sparingly, invest and harvest the fruits a few years later.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2015, 10:15:33 AM by MrSal »

stlbrah

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #126 on: July 26, 2015, 10:56:47 AM »
Careful when telling people to stop doing crossfit. "You'll get the whole it's for my health and I don't care what the cost is I'm paying for it" shpeal. You might infuriate them and not be able to talk about other areas.

The logic is so flawed on this. They say its a healthier form of lifting, but they use the worst form possible on the majority of the lifts. Its a clever idea. Make people feel like they are doing a real sport, make it trendy, sell reebok. Sponsor $100/month gyms to sell more reebok.

SJS

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #127 on: July 26, 2015, 06:07:05 PM »
Being the smart-a$$ that I am, and if it were my brother/GF texting me for food/money, I'd be replying,

"You want to EAT or ride that HARLEY????    It's ALL ABOUT CHOICES, DUDE!" 

Seriously, tell them it's all about the choices they make.  They are choosing to have both a car and a Harley, and choosing not to eat. 

And then "actions have consequences......."  You buy things you can't afford, you run low or out of money.  Just a fact! 

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #128 on: January 28, 2016, 07:31:10 AM »
Old Update Here: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/update-brother's-gf-just-facebook-ranted-about-food-stamps-need-help/msg748965/#msg748965

New Update:

My brother and his GF have actually been doing better. They moved into a cheaper apartment, got rid of GF's car (which was $528/month), got rid of one of the motorcycles,

And now...drumroll...brother's GF is pregnant. My family is blindly happy about the whole thing and all I can think about is how they are going to afford this. Then I feel guilty about even having this feeling.

Ugh. Any more advice and suggestions?

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #129 on: January 28, 2016, 07:51:43 AM »
So what's their financial situation now?  If they were $300/mo in the hole before, and they cut over $500/mo in expenses (just on the car--how much are they saving per month by moving to a cheaper place?), then they might well be living within their means.

Gin1984

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #130 on: January 28, 2016, 08:00:47 AM »
Old Update Here: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/update-brother's-gf-just-facebook-ranted-about-food-stamps-need-help/msg748965/#msg748965

New Update:

My brother and his GF have actually been doing better. They moved into a cheaper apartment, got rid of GF's car (which was $528/month), got rid of one of the motorcycles,

And now...drumroll...brother's GF is pregnant. My family is blindly happy about the whole thing and all I can think about is how they are going to afford this. Then I feel guilty about even having this feeling.

Ugh. Any more advice and suggestions?
OMG, I'd start a kid fund, that poor kid.

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #131 on: January 28, 2016, 08:15:50 AM »
So what's their financial situation now?  If they were $300/mo in the hole before, and they cut over $500/mo in expenses (just on the car--how much are they saving per month by moving to a cheaper place?), then they might well be living within their means.

It's a little better. They cut the above bills and have a $1,500 emergency fund. But I forgot to add that her wages are being garnished ($250/per pay) from a debt from 2012 and that won't stop until mid-summer.

I'm just so conflicted right now.

G-dog

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #132 on: January 28, 2016, 08:36:39 AM »
Old Update Here: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/update-brother's-gf-just-facebook-ranted-about-food-stamps-need-help/msg748965/#msg748965

New Update:

My brother and his GF have actually been doing better. They moved into a cheaper apartment, got rid of GF's car (which was $528/month), got rid of one of the motorcycles,

And now...drumroll...brother's GF is pregnant. My family is blindly happy about the whole thing and all I can think about is how they are going to afford this. Then I feel guilty about even having this feeling.

Ugh. Any more advice and suggestions?

I would have the same sinking feeling re: timing of adding a baby to the scaenario. Can you fill in a few more details - like how the talk went, how they implemented the changes, how they are doing now - to get an idea if there has really been any shift in attitude, or if this is a short term change.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #133 on: January 28, 2016, 09:02:04 AM »

It's a little better. They cut the above bills and have a $1,500 emergency fund. But I forgot to add that her wages are being garnished ($250/per pay) from a debt from 2012 and that won't stop until mid-summer.

I'm just so conflicted right now.
This is just my opinion from a limited viewpoint, but making changes like getting rid of the car and moving to a cheaper place are not small steps.  To make changes like that, people typically need to be highly motivated, either through self-discipline or desperation. :)  The introduction of pregnancy certainly will put a strain on their finances, but it sounds like they've already made some positive changes.  Have you spoken much to them lately, to congratulate them on their progress and gauge how they feel about the changes they've made?

therethere

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #134 on: January 28, 2016, 09:10:40 AM »
At least now they can sell the motorcycle right?! And.... you're experienced in navigating REPAYE for those 90k in GF student loans that will never get paid as I'm sure she will HAVE to be a SAHM.

Sometimes I wish I was this oblivious to life and could do whatever I want without having anxiety non-stop about the potential consequences (with or without them actually occurring)

onlykelsey

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #135 on: January 28, 2016, 09:23:05 AM »
Quote
Sometimes I wish I was this oblivious to life and could do whatever I want without having anxiety non-stop about the potential consequences (with or without them actually occurring)

I could have written this.  My sister makes the worst decisions ever at the highest possible speed, but does not seem to ever worry about them.  I make painstakingly agonized ones 19589 times and check on their progress compulsively and wake up at 3 AM worrying about them.  I'm sort of jealous of her.  Like, great, I have a pretty good financial set up, but I'd really rather than just be carefree, some days.

MandalayVA

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #136 on: January 28, 2016, 09:25:34 AM »
And now...drumroll...brother's GF is pregnant. My family is blindly happy about the whole thing and all I can think about is how they are going to afford this. Then I feel guilty about even having this feeling.

Ugh. Any more advice and suggestions?

Warning:  the caps lock key is about to be hit.

THEY CAN'T AFFORD TO FUCKING FEED THEMSELVES AND THEY'RE HAVING A KID?!?!?!?!?!  AND PEOPLE ARE ACTUALLY FUCKING HAPPY ABOUT THIS?!?!?!?!?! 

These people, like most, are too fucking stupid to be saved.  And reserve a massive facepunch for the first person on Facebook or wherever who says either "God will provide" or "babies are blessings."  Make sure blood is shed.  Wait until the kid is born and they start begging for formula and diapers, because it WILL happen. 

Situations like this--and I've seen them far too often--make me see red.  I did a lot of stupid shit when I was younger but I never birthed a hostage to fortune, which is what this kid is going to be and who is the only person in this situation for whom I have any sympathy.

/rant

little_brown_dog

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #137 on: January 28, 2016, 09:32:09 AM »
That’s too bad – unfortunately there isn’t much you can do except also act happy and possibly offer some supportive advice. The baby is here to stay. Your family members who are acting blindly happy may also be worried, but they know they really can’t say or do much to change the situation – so they might as well just act happy and avoid a conflict.  You see this a lot with teen pregnancies – people throw a shower and act all excited for the baby's arrival, when in reality all of the responsible adults are flipping out and very worried.  Any negative comments risk pissing off the immature parties to the point where they start cutting out responsible adults from their lives, which further hurts the child’s chances in life. Grandparents are often in a really tight spot - they have to balance their worry/disappointment with the knowledge that this child probably won't be able to rely on the parents alone.
I guess you could say something like “hey – with the baby coming, let me know if you want any help with budgeting or planning, because I know babies can be a strain on the finances.” If they don’t take you up on it, you might just have to grin and bear it.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2016, 09:37:53 AM by little_brown_dog »

lpb0306

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #138 on: January 28, 2016, 09:52:06 AM »
Yikes. They make more than my husband and I do, and our rent is double theirs for a one bedroom place..we live in the San Francisco Bay Area! We save over $1000 a month of our $3300 net income a month. I hope they figure out other ways to cut their expenses, with a kid coming that is just insanity! Glad they got rid of one of the cars and motorcycles at least.

labrat

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #139 on: January 28, 2016, 10:20:36 AM »
I have family in Youngstown - it is one of the cheapest places to live in the US, so their budget (lack thereof) is obviously a huge problem.  I'd like to know how they are spending $400 on food - even restaurants are dirt cheap there.  Also, if the GF is at YSU the tuition is also dirt cheap. 

Honestly, the best way to learn how to budget is to go through hard times.  I've been there, done that, and can honestly say I was quickly educated about budgeting, my life priorities, and responsibility and lost the entitlement attitude of my foolish youth.  It's a growing experience I think everyone would benefit from so although it's hard to watch, let them go down that road.  I second the suggestions above about introducing them to some basic budget books and websites but they might just ignore it.  You can lead a horse to water...

formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #140 on: January 28, 2016, 11:53:43 AM »
Kudos to your brother and his gf for the changes they have made.

Based on my experience, I predict your mother will be even more likely to want to "help" if they ask so that her grandbaby is taken care of.  At this stage, it is even more imperative that you and mom and your other brother sit down and discuss the future - how much support with any/all of you provide if asked, what's the cutoff, etc. 

I also recommend setting up a 529 plan for your future niece/nephew and directing money there instead of into presents for Christmas and birthdays. 


icemodeled

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #141 on: January 28, 2016, 11:55:42 AM »
This sounds just like my brother in laws family and funny enough they own harleys as well. Certainly, being in ohio also, what they make is very good (to me anyways). 5 years ago when my husband and I married we brought in $24000 combined! We lived fine, owned a home, had a loan on 1 car, small medical bill debt and lived very well. We are fortunate to have never been paycheck to paycheck nor behind on bills. Where they live, $60k is above average income. With no kids, they should be in a better spot then they are, if what she says is true (scraping together money for canned dinner). My BIL family makes a good income and is always behind and have borrowed money. Its very hard to approach family about this. Maybe ask about how things are, to get conversation going then mention doing a budget or cutting obvious costs like cable, cell phone which is very high and groceries for 2 is high. Also, the car loans find out interest payment and how long is left. Im not sure if theyll tell you or be open but it needs to be dealt with.

I hope mom is not loaning them more money! No wonder they continue to spend..

Josiecat

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #142 on: January 28, 2016, 12:05:27 PM »
They made the adult decision to have a baby.  I wouldn't give them a dime. 

Dicey

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #143 on: January 28, 2016, 12:28:16 PM »
You can feed them or you can teach them to fish. Buy them a copy of this book (used, of course) and then BUTT OUT! Stop reading her FB page. When they get hungry enough, they will figure it out!

http://www.powells.com/book/complete-tightwad-gazette-9780375752254

Bonus points if you recognize the first reviewer.

iris lily

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #144 on: January 30, 2016, 10:33:29 AM »
You can feed them or you can teach them to fish. Buy them a copy of this book (used, of course) and then BUTT OUT! Stop reading her FB page. When they get hungry enough, they will figure it out!

http://www.powells.com/book/complete-tightwad-gazette-9780375752254

Bonus points if you recognize the first reviewer.
relation to
Thomas Stanley?

Cassie

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #145 on: January 30, 2016, 03:57:45 PM »
I would stop reading her facebook page also and talk to your Mom about not helping. If they were able to make the big changes they did they are capable of making more to be able to support a baby.

LadyStache in Baja

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #146 on: January 31, 2016, 05:00:56 AM »
They've made big changes!  They've hit 2 out of the big 3 (housing, transportation, and food).  Ok, so they still need work on the transportation, like selling the harleys, but I'd say its a great step forward.  Please update on how the convo actually went, how receptive they were.  I second the above advice to get them a copy of Dave Ramsey.  Super accessible.  And, I think a print-out of their current budget and then another without the Harley's, where they can compare the bottom line side-to-side would be eye-opening.  Seeing it would be more effective than just hearing it. 

And I second the poster who said that kids make things better.  At least in my case.  It forces you to prioritize.  And realize you're an adult who shouldn't be asking for money or formula or diapers.  or food. 

Tabitha

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #147 on: January 31, 2016, 08:28:37 AM »
Thanks all for the advice thus far. The "disengage" advice is easy practically (my brother and I don't give them anything) but very hard emotionally. My mom gets so upset about it...like she failed or something...I just don't know how to get her to disengage I guess, which is why I was looking for practical advice.
Like I've been saying, it's easy to say "disengage," but it's very hard to watch.
It might be that the best you can do is listen to your Mom talk out her feelings. She already knows that your brother and GF have the solution (sell the Harleys) within their grasp. She already knows your family have tried to give budget advice and it didn't take. She already knows confrontation will harm the relationship. You're both <Bold>wishing</bold> they will wake up and stop self-harming financially, but practically, although they're acting like kids they have the adult status to make their own bad decisions.

Is your mom most upset about their bad choices? Irresponsibility in someone she raised? Fear for their health? the public whining? Feeling powerless to affect the arc?  What might help your mom 'accept what she cannot change' is you actively listening and talking out her feelings.  Do you need that too? Is that us on the forum? Or your twin? 

Good luck. It's hard to be powerless to affect the dynamic, and harder still to accept that with equanimity and not resentment.

Dicey

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #148 on: January 31, 2016, 10:52:26 AM »
You can feed them or you can teach them to fish. Buy them a copy of this book (used, of course) and then BUTT OUT! Stop reading her FB page. When they get hungry enough, they will figure it out!

http://www.powells.com/book/complete-tightwad-gazette-9780375752254

Bonus points if you recognize the first reviewer.
relation to
Thomas Stanley?
Bzzzzzz! Try again please. Worth the effort.  Hint: Google knows her.

Ryli

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #149 on: January 31, 2016, 12:16:49 PM »
You can feed them or you can teach them to fish. Buy them a copy of this book (used, of course) and then BUTT OUT! Stop reading her FB page. When they get hungry enough, they will figure it out!

http://www.powells.com/book/complete-tightwad-gazette-9780375752254

Bonus points if you recognize the first reviewer.
relation to
Thomas Stanley?
Bzzzzzz! Try again please. Worth the effort.  Hint: Google knows her.

The Non Consumer Advocate! Love Katy and her blog!