Author Topic: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help  (Read 42555 times)

DeltaBond

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #50 on: July 22, 2015, 05:20:49 AM »
I would not help.  If someone with all those toys asks me for butter and pasta, I would suggest they get rid of a few toys, because that is much easier than supporting them during retirement years, seriously.

Or, maybe there is a drug problem or something, there is usually a reason someone is so far out of touch with reality.  Sorry, just sayin. 

Potterquilter

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #51 on: July 22, 2015, 06:14:35 AM »
What is interesting is the Mom's post that their opportunities are so limited. Talk about enabling and encouraging the poor me syndrome.

Unfollow them on Facebook. You don't need the grief.

Have a heart to heart with your mom. tell her she is a good parent and letting go could be the best thing to help them. Give her a copy of codependent no more by Melody Beatty. Great classic on how to let go of being an enabler.

And just saying, I have siblings in their sixties who worked their whole lives and barely have a pot to piss in due to bad spending decisions. And other siblings who are FI living in nice houses and living a very comfortable life. Some people won't learn no matter what.  Do your best to be a good example, be kind but firm and if they ask for help, give it in the form of advice.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2015, 06:16:26 AM by Potterquilter »

Rollin

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #52 on: July 22, 2015, 06:25:13 AM »
They have no kids, right? Nobody blameless is going without formula or diapers or food because of parental stupidity? Nobody has a debilitating addiction or medical issue that impairs their ability to make decisions responsibly? Because if that's the case, I would just let them sink. They are going to have to learn some time, and it sounds like the girlfriend's family is of that mindset, which would explain why they cut her off.

Thank you for getting to that in the first response post!  Why the heck would you intervene?  They don't want it, and they'll just suck you down with them as you enable them along the way.

southernhippie

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #53 on: July 22, 2015, 06:25:26 AM »
Call her out on the bullshit.  Just say what you feel.  But say it in a rational logical argument

Rollin

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #54 on: July 22, 2015, 06:26:53 AM »
They have no kids, right? Nobody blameless is going without formula or diapers or food because of parental stupidity? Nobody has a debilitating addiction or medical issue that impairs their ability to make decisions responsibly? Because if that's the case, I would just let them sink. They are going to have to learn some time, and it sounds like the girlfriend's family is of that mindset, which would explain why they cut her off.
Good question. Nope, no kids or mental illnesses or disabilities. Brother is 28 and his girlfriend is 24, although I think she's always been in school and never had a full time job.

Like I said, they're huge issue is not being able to budget at all within their means.

It's easy to say "let them sink," but we've tried that for about a year now. It's hard getting texts from your brother's GF when they literally can't afford food. It's even harder to watch how upset my mom gets about it, so I'm hoping there's something we can do...

You've just taken on their problem.  It's not your's to solve.  Somebody needs a facepunch and it ain't just your bro and his GF.

Easy Does It FI

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #55 on: July 22, 2015, 07:14:33 AM »
Good foresight on seeing how this may financially impact you down the road.
It sounds like you need another intervention and the attempt at Christmas wasn't strong enough.
Of course, everyone you've mentioned is an adult who makes their own decisions and lives with the consequences. You can only control your own decisions. So just remember at the end of the day, even if you try, you may fail, in which case you should be ready to either cut some of these people off (emotionally challenging) or succumb back to the status quo (financially challenging and enotionally challenging).

That said,
I'd suggest formulating a plan with your mom and other people affected by your older brother & GF. Try to agree on what they need and unify on a path forward. I.e. everyone agrees no more money, no handouts until such and such conditions are met: no eating-out for a week, sell bikes, read a personal finance book (and test them on the content if you have to), pay off a debt, build a budget. As they meet certain conditions, attach carrots like, "a trip to the grocery store", "a family dinner", "a payment to mom for your debt" (DO NOT give them money). It may help to write up a contract and sign with everyone. Putting it on paper can really make some things plainly clear. It will help emotionally when they come asking for handouts: "did you accomplish anything off the contract yet? No? Then you know the agreement." If you do get your mom and other family to agree, make sure to support each other so no one caves in and starts giving them handouts.

At the end of the day, they blame other people for their own decisions and problems. As long as that is the case, they will need tough love. It won't be easy, they will also start to blame you, but from everything you've said, it will be worth the effort for you and your family.

Rollin

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #56 on: July 22, 2015, 07:36:09 AM »
But it's not that they "literally cannot afford food", it's that they prioritize $150 a month on phones (WTF) before food.

But if it were my brother (and it's not), I would drop off a bag food every week.  A bag of beans ($1), a 5 lb bag of rice ($3).  Maybe a large can of tomatoes, some onions, and a veggie if you want to go crazy.  For $5 a week you can make sure they don't starve.


Most people who complain about "literally cannot afford food" are not going to be willing to eat rice and beans either.  Even when you add tomatoes, onions, veggie, and maybe even chicken.

Unless of course it was purchased at Chipotle.

That made me laugh hard enough to scare the kids. 

Are you significantly older or just slightly older than them?  What does your outward lifestyle (and of your brother/mother/her in-laws) look like to them?  What are their friends lifestyles like? 

My husband is the oldest in his family.  His youngest brother would constantly try to "keep up appearance" with us, even though we were in completely different phases of life.  It isn't like our life was glamorous, but when you do not have money for an item, that item becomes glamorous.  It caused the younger brother to get into financial trouble, which affected his parents (both financially and emotionally). 

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.     

Oh, and if they sell their bikes or make other changes on your advice don't be surprised when they blame you the next time they fail.  Because they will.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2015, 07:54:13 AM by Rollin »

Bearded Man

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #57 on: July 22, 2015, 08:10:00 AM »
Do they each need a Harley and a car? lol. Crossfit? The reason she can't eat or has to scrape together change to eat is because they spend money on shit they don't need! I don't think welfare was designed for people who have an expensive crossfit membership, two cars, two motorcyles, etc. While I'm not a big fan of the welfare system other than for temporary assistance to get back on your feet, though many people use it as a way of life, popping out kids for more benefits, but in this case her argument is flawed and makes no case against welfare, AT ALL.

HazelStone

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #58 on: July 22, 2015, 08:17:02 AM »
Two things stand out to me:

1) If they are subsisting on pasta and butter part of the time, how much good is the Crossfit membership really doing them? Exercise like that, you need protein, not day-before-payday junk meals.

2) Do they actually know how to cook? Either of them? It's amazing how many people can't do much more than "throw tray in microwave/oven." The hours your brother puts in, he probably doesn't have much time for it, but what are either of them actually doing for dinner when they do have money?

Part of me says they need to feel enough pain long enough to be motivated to change on their own, and they aren't there yet. Part of me says that throwing a few very basic foodstuffs their way might be a decent compromise- but it's only effective if they actually know what to do with the stuff.  If they don't know how to cook, invite them to "help" on a cooking ahead/once a month cooking session where you give them some of the finished foodstuffs as payment/indirect financial help. They get a lesson in cheap cooking, a couple of cheap meals ready-made, and you get kitchen-grunt help. And you're not giving them cash. And who knows where the conversations will lead while you're doing so? Just remember that they are captive audience at that moment and don't bring up the awkward topics yourself.

partgypsy

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #59 on: July 22, 2015, 09:09:19 AM »
They are fortunate in a way. There are many people struggling, who have no or used vehichle, nothing they can cut. They have plenty of areas they can cut. Sounds like they are also both so busy (brother works overtime all the time), sister in law both goes to school and works) that they are not thinking properly.
Is there a time to catch them, when they both have day off, space to reflect?
Some good advice is to approach the brother, or both, and say, hey I'm worried about you. I'm concerned about these facebook posts, and would like to help you with your budget. Mother is not getting any younger and won't be around all the time to help. It is also not good for your long term health, to both be putting so much time in overtime, not eating well (I'm assuming) and having stress about money.  It is better to get on a budget now to right the ship.
If she is a psychology major she should know about Maslow's hierarchy of needs. First need to cover the essentials, which are food, shelter. Then can move up the hierarchy. Cars. Transportation is needed, but they are spending more than they need to do that, can even use public transportation. Same for phone costs, need to spend the minimal on that.
The motorcycles are not even in the transportation category, in a pleasures/hobby group, which come AFTER food and shelter. Say maybe in the future you both can get to where you can get motorcycles again, but at this time in your life, as you yourself admit you are having trouble FEEDING yourself, you cannot afford the bikes. Same with crossfit. I understand physical health is important to you, but we are during a time in history we have loads of free information on the internet, on videos, etc to get healthy exercise and activity routines. And again say, once you are not in debt (including school loans) you can then decide where your excess money goes to. THEN you can add something back in.

MsPeacock

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #60 on: July 22, 2015, 10:08:15 AM »
They have no kids, right? Nobody blameless is going without formula or diapers or food because of parental stupidity? Nobody has a debilitating addiction or medical issue that impairs their ability to make decisions responsibly? Because if that's the case, I would just let them sink. They are going to have to learn some time, and it sounds like the girlfriend's family is of that mindset, which would explain why they cut her off.

+1  I don't think anyone should do anything - about the Facebook post, about the texts, about their budget and their problems. Obviously they have not learned from prior assistance - so stop giving it. You don't have to be upset or stressed out about the mess they are making of their lives - because they are adults and it is their lives, not yours. Just distance yourself from the issue.

Jeremy E.

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #61 on: July 22, 2015, 10:24:02 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. Although I'm sure the same could go for some people and there harleys.

jeromedawg

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #62 on: July 22, 2015, 10:34:37 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. Although I'm sure the same could go for some people and there harleys.


Good point, but HazelStone also has a good point in that CrossFit *should* coincide with a healthy diet, not pasta & butter... perhaps the OP can use this as a driving point and say something like "You know, if you really want that CrossFit membership you should cut other things out (like cable) so you can afford to buy and eat healthier food w/ protein so that you actually benefit from it...otherwise you could seriously injure yourself on top of not getting the results you really want."

Cpa Cat

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #63 on: July 22, 2015, 10:39:54 AM »
Look, you can offer your help and make suggestions - but I absolutely would not publicly shame them on Facebook. That will not be helpful.

Do not reply to that post.

If you want to reply, it should be: "I'm sorry you're having a hard time. I have faith that things will get better in time."

Bob W

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #64 on: July 22, 2015, 10:49:17 AM »
Why is anyone still on Facebook is my question?   

So here is a solution --- Write a handwritten letter.   Sincerely --

State -- I saw your recent post on facebook and it really upset me.  I want to help so that you are in a better financial situation.   Enclosed is a book that may help you become financially free.   (include a used copy of any Dave Ramsey book that looks good)

State -- Dave's teaching have helped millions of people in your situation.   If you wish to move forward and attend Dave's Financial Peace University I would be honored to pay the $90 attendance fee.     Just let me know which class and I'll send them a check.

Most likely you will receive no reply or even some negative push back.   Perhaps she will stop putting stupid stuff on face book.   You have then done your job.

There is a 1 in 10 chance in the short term they will take you up on the offer.  You are not responsible for their financial lives or for the 100s of millions of similar people in the USA. 

Good Luck.

DeltaBond

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #65 on: July 22, 2015, 11:16:00 AM »
I would just assume they have a drug problem.  The only worry you really have is that you'll end up having to take care of your sweet mom later on once they have depleted her as a resource. 

charis

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #66 on: July 22, 2015, 11:20:24 AM »
There's a couple we know and we're convinced that her husband is spending on drugs, women or gambling, because they are perpetually broke, despite live in a low COL area with a high salary, having one very old used car, eating a very cheap diet, wearing cheap clothes and never seeming to go on vacation. Their finances are a mystery to me.

They sound like lots of people who frequent this forum.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #67 on: July 22, 2015, 11:31:58 AM »
Holy crap, if a family member sent me a bounded copy of Dave Ramsey, I would probably estrange myself from them.


Which would solve OPs problem :)

partgypsy

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #68 on: July 22, 2015, 11:32:58 AM »
There's a couple we know and we're convinced that her husband is spending on drugs, women or gambling, because they are perpetually broke, despite live in a low COL area with a high salary, having one very old used car, eating a very cheap diet, wearing cheap clothes and never seeming to go on vacation. Their finances are a mystery to me.

They sound like lots of people who frequent this forum.

Yeah I was about to say, are you talking about our family? lol. Except for the cheap diet and no vacations.

Scandium

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #69 on: July 22, 2015, 11:42:51 AM »
I have a rule that I won't help people financially if their difficulty is solely the result of bad decision making.  Getting rid of the two motorcycles is such a brain-dead obvious way to fix their problem that I wouldn't lift a finger for them until they did that.

Also, is $1000/yr normal to insure one car in Ohio?  I live in a neighboring state, and I pay about $700/year for two cars.

I don't get that either. We pay $600/year for two cars (MD). Now, our cars are 5 and 10 years old, not 1.. We also happen to make more than 2x what they do, but what can you do.

CommonCents

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #70 on: July 22, 2015, 12:01:06 PM »
There's a couple we know and we're convinced that her husband is spending on drugs, women or gambling, because they are perpetually broke, despite live in a low COL area with a high salary, having one very old used car, eating a very cheap diet, wearing cheap clothes and never seeming to go on vacation. Their finances are a mystery to me.

They sound like lots of people who frequent this forum.

Yeah I was about to say, are you talking about our family? lol. Except for the cheap diet and no vacations.

ahem.  I think that's the joke...

Bob W

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #71 on: July 22, 2015, 12:12:16 PM »
Holy crap, if a family member sent me a bounded copy of Dave Ramsey, I would probably estrange myself from them.


Which would solve OPs problem :)

Well the OP did ask for ideas?  Don't know what you have against Dave.  Even he would say "you can lead a horse to water."    The idea here was to give a concrete solution to a problem that they very publicly put out on facebook.   In essence her post was a cry for help, even if that isn't what she intended. 

Dave has saved literally millions of people in the situation mentioned here.   Nothing wrong with his ideas for getting your financial shit together.  Sure he isn't on the advanced track that MMM forum reader aspire to, but he sure knows how to sell those baby steps.

I double down on my suggestion.   Send them the Dave book and the ball is in their court.   Like I said, maybe a 10% hope it would work.  Yeah, and maybe they won't talk with your for 10 years.  Just about the time your retire.   

GizmoTX

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #72 on: July 22, 2015, 12:32:51 PM »
Your mom is the person you should be concerned about & try to help. Moms often have a hard time getting out of rescue mode or somehow feeling guilty.

When my mother was in her late 60s (now deceased), she came to me crying because two of my very adult sibs were still charging on her credit card account. At one point, they were all in the same house, divided into 2 apartments, & she let them be authorized users since both apparently had terrible or nonexistent credit. They paid up when they were all face to face, but when the house was sold & they all moved to different states, they kept charging but stopped reimbursing her. She kept paying their charges over a long time, but finally had too much debt by the time she moved to my location. I was astonished -- why didn't she remove them from her account, let alone bug them for their debt? She apparently was very afraid of them needing the card for an actual emergency. Looking at all their charges revealed no emergencies at all, just a lot of very indulgent purchases like restaurant meals & flowers. She knew she couldn't afford it, yet could not bring herself to stop them. However, she did ask me to be the bad guy. I was so mad at the 2 sibs that I did it; I wrote a letter that told them that the gig was up & the bank was closed, & copied my other 2 sibs so they'd know & not get similar ideas. The guilty parties were furious but wanted continued contact with their mom. By this time Mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer & directed in her will that the sibs' debt be deducted from their share of her insurance fund at her employment. This meant they got nothing but their debts to her were paid, which settled things for the rest of us.

I completely agree that no money should be lent or given (same result in the end). You or your mom must not reward their irresponsible decisions or pay for their so-called lack of opportunity. However, showing them how to "fish" in the form of a cooking lesson & a free meal could be helpful if they are open to this suggestion.

Rollin

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #73 on: July 22, 2015, 12:47:57 PM »
Your mom is the person you should be concerned about & try to help. Moms often have a hard time getting out of rescue mode or somehow feeling guilty.

The OP said that mom feels as though she has failed, and therefore wants to help them out.  Maybe she's using the same tools and patterns that helped get them in the situation they are in, so how could that help them get out?

gillstone

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #74 on: July 22, 2015, 01:06:44 PM »
Been there, done that, have the grey hairs to show for it.  My sister and her gentleman friend are hemorrhaging cash on cigarettes, 20% APR car loan, fancy cable package, and mountains of student loan debt.  My uncle has allowed them to move into his 2-bed apartment so they can split rent, but one month in they found ways to blow the savings. In theory they should be saving up to move out of state in a few months but I don't see it happening.   

I sympathize with the OP, but the relatives are keenly aware of the spoken and unspoken judgment and any attempt to help them see the light will fail since it will all be received as a lecture about money. 

Practice this phrase: "This is not my circus. These are not my monkeys"

Josiecat

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #75 on: July 22, 2015, 01:13:26 PM »
These are two grown ass adults.  If they wish to squander their income, that is their problem.

This has nothing to do with you.  I wouldn't talk to them about their finances at all.  This is their problem, and you are making it yours. 

Turn your sil off on your facebook feed.

asiljoy

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #76 on: July 22, 2015, 01:25:06 PM »
Your mom is the person you should be concerned about & try to help. Moms often have a hard time getting out of rescue mode or somehow feeling guilty.

The OP said that mom feels as though she has failed, and therefore wants to help them out.  Maybe she's using the same tools and patterns that helped get them in the situation they are in, so how could that help them get out?

Yeah. Instead of working on the brother, I'd work with the rest of the family to present a united front with how to handle them. Meaning, if they come asking for butter and noodles/cash from anyone, the answer will always be the same; that could be anything from, here's the number of a local foodshelf or, I'll help you sell your motorcycle on craigslist. This should also help Mom out with her feelings of guilt because now there's a plan.

These are two grown adults with families that love them. They aren't going to end up on the street, but they should feel some pain from their bad choices. You want to spend over a 1,000 a month on vehicles?? Then YEP, you're going to be working some overtime or eating some ramen. Tough love is still love.

jeromedawg

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #77 on: July 22, 2015, 01:34:18 PM »
Here's my anecdote: my in-laws were in a world of pain when my wife and I first got married. They started defaulting on their home mortgage, had over $10k of credit card debt, and would constantly overdraft and incur fees from their checking accounts. Not to mention paying credit cards late and incurring more fees. Another thing they thought was a good idea was to never fully pay off their credit cards because they thought they'd improve their credit score by holding a constant balance very month. So they'd pay off like $50-100 a month or whatever. All this on absolutely zero retirement savings (outside of any cash they may have hoarded up somewhere)...

At some point they asked us to lend them money, promising us to pay them back. My wife felt obligated because they paid for a lot of her stuff (some car payments, car insurance, phone, etc) while she was still at home with them and also raised her. So when we loaned them $10k, she basically told them to not regard $5k of it because they had paid for a lot of her other stuff (they've probably 'paid' the $5k back in smaller increments or via other ways but we haven't really tracked and just counted it as a gift to them). But we also brought the hammer down and told them they need to play by our rules if we're gonna lend money to them... and they did for the most part. We went in and helped them cut costs - we cut cable for them, got them onto PagePlus, and got them to pay off their credit card debt as soon as possible. The thing that gets me most is that they have a CPA and "friend" who helps them with their personal and business taxes and likely offers some financial advice - I'm pretty sure he knows that they were in this situation, yet offered no helpful advice to them. At one point my wife that heard that he supposedly would just tell them stuff like "spend and enjoy your money however you want!" what a d!ck... Anyway, they're in a much better place now after we also pushed them to refi their home. They still make dumb moves sometimes (like late payments, overdrafts, and frivolous purchases) but it's not nearly as bad as before. Some purchases are just a result of emotion and easy-swaying by friends and salesmen who claim to be their friends - they hear from friends about how this certain product or item is so good and how they should buy it and it's a chain-reaction thing. They're exactly the type who lives paycheck to paycheck. They also like to hoard a lot of cash as well because they don't trust the govt or banks, stating that they could all take it away from them... :T It's one of the worst combinations of mentalities to deal with when it comes to the "inept at finances" department but I think my wife's concern for them overrides the trouble and most boundaries that should probably have been set. But sometimes when it comes to family, there are few to no boundaries.

All that said, someone who is so stubborn and set in his or her ways, is going to have a lot of trouble with change. Even with countless "come to Jesus" meetings and "I see the light" moments where they finally realize they're in the wrong, they'll still revert back to their frivolous tendencies no doubt.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2015, 01:36:10 PM by jplee3 »

bako_frugal

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #78 on: July 22, 2015, 02:01:51 PM »
ReadySet:

The majority response is to just back away.  But when it is family that is much easier said than done.  Especially as you said that you are afraid that your mother will keep bailing them out.  Option 1) is keep away and watch the fall.  The other option is to get actively involved and put contingencies on the assistance.  Every bit of help comes with strings and constant nagging.  This approach sucks for everyone involved, but it can work.  Iím thinking of someone I know who has done this.  Itís a slow process but it can work.  If walking away is not practical get together with you mother, make a plan on how you will bring it up, then dive in and get way too involved in their problems. 

Some people just have to be taught.  Some people will get their acts together when faced with scrutiny.  Some people when treated like charity cases will get the guilt trip going and pull their heads out of the sand.

This could backfire and if you get way involved and they still blame everyone but themselves, then you get to watch the explosion from close up.  But if you emotionally can't walk away, then do the opposite and dive in.

If this is not over-stepping, could it be that bad money management is on both sides of your bother & his wife's families?  If your mother is not that great off, and her family has just walked away, my guess is with their ages, they probably don't know better.  Yes, yes they are adults, but really not everyone has great families that teach them how to budget and get their acts together.  Some people really just don't know, and if you are immersed in too much advertisement / media what they are doing seems like what is expected.  (If it was me, I would make #1 be cutting cable / TV, these are people that are swayed by advertisements and need to learn to separate actual reality from expectations).

BlueHouse

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #79 on: July 22, 2015, 02:24:09 PM »
Are you significantly older or just slightly older than them?  What does your outward lifestyle (and of your brother/mother/her in-laws) look like to them?  What are their friends lifestyles like? 

My husband is the oldest in his family.  His youngest brother would constantly try to "keep up appearance" with us, even though we were in completely different phases of life.  It isn't like our life was glamorous, but when you do not have money for an item, that item becomes glamorous.  It caused the younger brother to get into financial trouble, which affected his parents (both financially and emotionally). 
This is an interesting conclusion, but I don't buy it at all.  I'm the youngest of 5 and I was the dead-last person in my family (in real years, not just comparatively) to take any luxury.  My siblings used to tell me to buy a decent car or some other luxury item and I'd always justify my choices by saying that I couldn't really afford that long-term, so I didn't want to start getting used to the finer things in life until I could afford them forever.  I'm in my 40s now, and I still play that game with them for certain things, I've bought into the "I deserve it" philosophy for others (punch me now), and for others, I'm finally able to articulate the mustachian philosophy that I'm prioritizing what I want to buy with how I prefer to spend my time. 

To the OP, I feel for you.  My eldest sibling declared bankruptcy recently and it was very difficult to watch it happen, but I realized (and was able to convince my mom) that there was no way to pull them out of where they were without their total commitment.  My family agreed that bankruptcy was imminent and any money provided on the way down would be wasted.  So focus on when they hit bottom -- either bankruptcy or when they come to you ready to follow your advice and then, and only then should you lend a financial hand if you choose to.   Try to convince your mom that any money given to them now just goes down the same rat-hole as the rest of their funds, so save it for when it can actually do some good. 

swick

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #80 on: July 22, 2015, 02:58:24 PM »
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.

GardenFun

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #81 on: July 22, 2015, 03:57:48 PM »
Are you significantly older or just slightly older than them?  What does your outward lifestyle (and of your brother/mother/her in-laws) look like to them?  What are their friends lifestyles like? 

My husband is the oldest in his family.  His youngest brother would constantly try to "keep up appearance" with us, even though we were in completely different phases of life.  It isn't like our life was glamorous, but when you do not have money for an item, that item becomes glamorous.  It caused the younger brother to get into financial trouble, which affected his parents (both financially and emotionally). 
This is an interesting conclusion, but I don't buy it at all.  I'm the youngest of 5 and I was the dead-last person in my family (in real years, not just comparatively) to take any luxury.  My siblings used to tell me to buy a decent car or some other luxury item and I'd always justify my choices by saying that I couldn't really afford that long-term, so I didn't want to start getting used to the finer things in life until I could afford them forever.  I'm in my 40s now, and I still play that game with them for certain things, I've bought into the "I deserve it" philosophy for others (punch me now), and for others, I'm finally able to articulate the mustachian philosophy that I'm prioritizing what I want to buy with how I prefer to spend my time. 

Oh, don't get me wrong.  Not every youngest child is a spender.  My husband's brother was always the impulsive child, regardless of birth order.  Using the drug example, seeing his older siblings obtain material possessions was a high that he couldn't resist.  He is much better now, but it took lots of tough love from all family members to get him away from the destructive lifestyle. 

mustachepungoeshere

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #82 on: July 22, 2015, 06:49:51 PM »
In my 20s, my parents gave me a handwritten letter used the phrase, "It's time to start attending church with [DW].  How well do you think that went over with me?  Do you think I am now attending church?

Anyone else want to hear the rest of this story?

MMMaybe

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #83 on: July 22, 2015, 07:47:29 PM »
I would offer advice once. If it is rejected out of hand, do not offer any more.

However, anytime thereafter, when they want to moan about their poor finances, say, you know what to do about that/what my opinion is...and change the subject.

My mother loves to complain and is not one to make changes to fix her situation. So I refuse to discuss it anymore and my blood pressure stays low :)

BlueHouse

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #84 on: July 22, 2015, 08:30:27 PM »
I think I would also change settings on Facebook so you don't see all of her posts.  I'm not an active Facebook user, but I did get emails whenever my SIL posted a photo in a restaurant with a big glass of wine or a cocktail, or a happy hour menu, etc.  I knew I couldn't keep my mouth shut forever, so I changed settings or unfriended her or whatever it's called. 

Jakejake

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #85 on: July 22, 2015, 09:02:59 PM »
I think your mother would benefit from reading The Millionaire Next Door. There's a fair amount in there about the effects of having parents that give handouts to adult children. You wouldn't have to say "read this, before you give more money to my brother." It could just be a discussion about your own frugality, and saying you thought it was a good read, and when she gets to those parts she can draw her own conclusions.

Drifterrider

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #86 on: July 23, 2015, 05:05:18 AM »
Stay out of the Pitty Party.  You can't win.  Say nothing.  R U N.

Rollin

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #87 on: July 23, 2015, 05:24:42 AM »
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.

Your post got me to thinking...and I have seen this train wreck many times.  it wouldn't surprise me that after gobs and gobs of energy, effort and assistance getting them to see the financial light they go out and purchase a boat.  ha

use2betrix

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #88 on: July 23, 2015, 05:28:25 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. Although I'm sure the same could go for some people and there harleys.


Good point, but HazelStone also has a good point in that CrossFit *should* coincide with a healthy diet, not pasta & butter... perhaps the OP can use this as a driving point and say something like "You know, if you really want that CrossFit membership you should cut other things out (like cable) so you can afford to buy and eat healthier food w/ protein so that you actually benefit from it...otherwise you could seriously injure yourself on top of not getting the results you really want."

So because someone's diet isn't spot on, exercise still can't be beneficial? It still burns calories, helps the cardiovascular system, builds muscle, plus all the mental benefits.

No one has a perfect diet, I could go on about diet and fitness enough to make most people's heads spin. I balance out the protein in every meal and eat 5 meals a day. Some people have high enough metabolisms that they need to eat extra calories, coming from whatever they can stuff down the chute, just to gain weight. For the longest time it was impossible for me to gain weight off "healthy" food. I was eating 350g protein and 500g carbs just to maintain my weight. I'm sure most of you couldn't fathom how much chicken and rice that is.

That being said, I'm just going off on a tangent. I agree that crossfit is a luxury they can't afford, but I certainly wouldn't use the "diet" angle to go about it.



Not to mention, there are no "cheap" protein sources. Not in regards to the calories per dollar compared to carbohydrates. Most meats, for a bottom of the barrel chicken, is around $4/lb. my gf and I used to get 25+ lbs a week, just of meat (plus I have protein shakes). We have since cut back to closer to 20lbs/wk. not to mention, chicken gets old, and fish or good beef gets expensive. We eat insanely healthy (and a large amount due to fitness) and we spend about 150/wk at the grocery store. I'd love to go organic for my meats, grass fed/free range, but can't justify the extra 200-300/mo grocery bill.

bsmith

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #89 on: July 23, 2015, 05:36:09 AM »
Let me assure you of one thing: they will NOT starve. This is NOT a life or death situation. Their drama gets rewarded with free food and donations, and what gets rewarded gets repeated.

ender

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #90 on: July 23, 2015, 06:07:03 AM »
Not to mention, there are no "cheap" protein sources. Not in regards to the calories per dollar compared to carbohydrates. Most meats, for a bottom of the barrel chicken, is around $4/lb. my gf and I used to get 25+ lbs a week, just of meat (plus I have protein shakes).

You pay $4/lb for "bottom of the barrel" chicken????

I'm upset if we get chicken breast for more than $2/lb (since we never do) and when we buy whole chickens they are always less than $1/lb.

Chicken is a ridiculously cheap protein source compared to other options. Some fish is also relatively cheap, we get tilapia fillets for about $2.75/lb at aldis.



Bob W

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #91 on: July 23, 2015, 07:01:22 AM »
My wife paid her daughter's insurance and expensive, gotta have, cell phone for 6 years while she was in college.  Meanwhile the girl drank Starbucks and had fancy lifestyle choices like nicer vacations than me.  I'll be pissed about that for a long time.    Sometimes them monkeys become your monkeys.

use2betrix

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #92 on: July 23, 2015, 07:01:37 AM »
If you feel comfortable eating chicken at that price, more power to you.

And I have read too many disgusting things about tilapia I try and stray away. Not to mention it's terrible leftover in my opinion, and eating as much as I do and working as much as I do, I can't eat them all fresh.

DeltaBond

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #93 on: July 23, 2015, 07:02:18 AM »
Let me assure you of one thing: they will NOT starve. This is NOT a life or death situation. Their drama gets rewarded with free food and donations, and what gets rewarded gets repeated.

I couldn't agree more.

Her facebook post most likely got her and your brother a lot of negative attention from everyone on there... or it should have anyway.  It amazes me that they were even able to get foodstamps.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #94 on: July 23, 2015, 07:25:44 AM »
So because someone's diet isn't spot on, exercise still can't be beneficial? It still burns calories, helps the cardiovascular system, builds muscle, plus all the mental benefits.
I don't think you get the $200 a month cross-fit benefits if you aren't utilizing a diet that maximizes what you are doing.  Sure, exercise is still good- but go for a jog.

Quote
Not to mention, there are no "cheap" protein sources. Not in regards to the calories per dollar compared to carbohydrates. Most meats, for a bottom of the barrel chicken, is around $4/lb.
Wow- where do you live?
My grocery store has turkey breast right now for $1.50 a pound; whole pork loins are regularly on sale for $1.77 a pound (not sure what the regular price is, as we buy it when it is $1.77 and it lasts a long time); whole fryer chickens are 88 cents a pound.  Fresh (not frozen, which is cheaper) chicken breasts are $2.50 a pound.

charis

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #95 on: July 23, 2015, 07:46:24 AM »
If you feel comfortable eating chicken at that price, more power to you.

And I have read too many disgusting things about tilapia I try and stray away. Not to mention it's terrible leftover in my opinion, and eating as much as I do and working as much as I do, I can't eat them all fresh.

What is that even supposed to mean?  That the chicken sold at a higher price is inherently "better"?  We pay 1.99/lb for boneless chicken breast and .99/lb for a whole chicken. 

I'm a red panda

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #96 on: July 23, 2015, 07:48:36 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".

use2betrix

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #97 on: July 23, 2015, 07:52:57 AM »
So because someone's diet isn't spot on, exercise still can't be beneficial? It still burns calories, helps the cardiovascular system, builds muscle, plus all the mental benefits.
I don't think you get the $200 a month cross-fit benefits if you aren't utilizing a diet that maximizes what you are doing.  Sure, exercise is still good- but go for a jog.

Quote
Not to mention, there are no "cheap" protein sources. Not in regards to the calories per dollar compared to carbohydrates. Most meats, for a bottom of the barrel chicken, is around $4/lb.
Wow- where do you live?
My grocery store has turkey breast right now for $1.50 a pound; whole pork loins are regularly on sale for $1.77 a pound (not sure what the regular price is, as we buy it when it is $1.77 and it lasts a long time); whole fryer chickens are 88 cents a pound.  Fresh (not frozen, which is cheaper) chicken breasts are $2.50 a pound.

$200/mo crossfit membership? The OP listed $100 in his description, our local place starts at $80/mo and maxes around $130/mo.

Also, if you think a jog will have the same benefits as someone who weight lifts/crosstrains, just because their diet isn't 100% spot on then you don't know the first thing about diet or fitness.

So, because someone eats pasta, lifting weights will have the same effect as jogging. Thanks for the laugh.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2015, 08:03:24 AM by Trixr606 »

charis

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #98 on: July 23, 2015, 08:08:09 AM »
So because someone's diet isn't spot on, exercise still can't be beneficial? It still burns calories, helps the cardiovascular system, builds muscle, plus all the mental benefits.
I don't think you get the $200 a month cross-fit benefits if you aren't utilizing a diet that maximizes what you are doing.  Sure, exercise is still good- but go for a jog.

Quote
Not to mention, there are no "cheap" protein sources. Not in regards to the calories per dollar compared to carbohydrates. Most meats, for a bottom of the barrel chicken, is around $4/lb.
Wow- where do you live?
My grocery store has turkey breast right now for $1.50 a pound; whole pork loins are regularly on sale for $1.77 a pound (not sure what the regular price is, as we buy it when it is $1.77 and it lasts a long time); whole fryer chickens are 88 cents a pound.  Fresh (not frozen, which is cheaper) chicken breasts are $2.50 a pound.

$200/mo crossfit membership? The OP listed $100 in his description, our local place starts at $80/mo and maxes around $130/mo.

Also, if you think a jog will have the same benefits as someone who weight lifts/crosstrains, just because their diet isn't 100% spot on then you don't know the first thing about diet or fitness.

So, because someone eats pasta, lifting weights will have the same effect as jogging. Thanks for the laugh.

Yeah, yeah , yeah (sorry guys, no one cares about crossfit except people who do crossfit).   But please answer all the chicken questions.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Brother's GF Just Facebook-Ranted About Food-Stamps...Need Help
« Reply #99 on: July 23, 2015, 08:26:59 AM »

$200/mo crossfit membership? The OP listed $100 in his description, our local place starts at $80/mo and maxes around $130/mo.

Also, if you think a jog will have the same benefits as someone who weight lifts/crosstrains, just because their diet isn't 100% spot on then you don't know the first thing about diet or fitness.

So, because someone eats pasta, lifting weights will have the same effect as jogging. Thanks for the laugh.

I went with $200 a month because of the thread on this board about that. I admit I did not recheck the OP for the price.

I know plenty of people who do cross fit. They will not deviate one bite from their diet, because the cult of cross fit preaches that diet is even more important than exercise.  It makes NO SENSE to spend that kind of money on cross fit if you are eating cheap pasta all the time. It's not that their diet isn't 100% spot on- it is that it is utter crap.

There are plenty of ways to work out, including lifting, that don't require cross fit memberships.  If you aren't going to put effort into your diet, doing something as extreme as crossfit is a waste of time and money.  Diet is a HUGE part of the equation, and if you think you can get benefits of crossfit while eating butter noodles and ramen, then I don't think you know much about diet and fitness.