Author Topic: When you financially help someone and they blow it...how to stop being mad  (Read 3812 times)

meteor

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I spent about $5,000 thousand dollars to help a young relative of mine get out of a rural town (working at taco bell) and move west (where I live) because she was so miserable, in deep debt, and willing to do anything for a better life. She moved here and got a well paying job with great benefits -- but after a year she decided she misses her former friends who are mostly over-drinkers, teen-moms, loser ex-boyfriend, in-debt friends. Now she's moving back and I can't talk her out of it. I'm so pissed at the energy I put into this. Do we just "write off" these kinds of relatives? I feel like a real sucker.

marty998

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Re: When you financially help someone and they blow it...how to stop being mad
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2017, 02:50:55 AM »
How young is she? Could she have share-housed to help make new friends and be exposed to a better peer group?

Mattzlaff

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Re: When you financially help someone and they blow it...how to stop being mad
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2017, 03:14:03 AM »
If this relative is a direct blood relative descending directly from your parental units, you'll eventually have to cut your loses and get over it. You risked 5000$ to get her to where she was doing great, in the end 5000$ is a small sum over the health and well being of a direct family member and your relationship with the rest of your family. The 5000$ was a loss and from what I understand it's likely gone with out pay back. I wouldn't give any more financial aid to this family member to get back or even god forbid she asks for a bail out to go west again. But I wouldn't shun my little brother or sister over 5000$ I offered up and never talk to them for the rest of their lives.

If it's a cousin, or niece(or other) than in my opinion that's a different story. If it was understood that she wont pay you back by both parties than you're still out of luck, but being a relatively distant relative that burnt you pretty good, you're not obligated any more to help or acknowledge them, it's a shitty thing but I mean 5k is 5k, I'm not close to cousins or nieces so this may seem harsh. But let them go do their own thing. You tried to help, it burnt you and I would feel jaded and probably not help out any other family member in the same situation.
 

plog

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Re: When you financially help someone and they blow it...how to stop being mad
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2017, 06:53:12 AM »
Internalize, don't externalize.

Blame yourself for this and learn from it.  What occurred was a known possible outcome when you decided to help.  You should have considered that and either not helped at all, mitigated it or been fine with that outcome before assisting her.   Again, this is a teaching tool for you use on yourself to learn--not a teaching tool for you to use on her so that she may learn--that never works.

I'm not saying forgive her, I'm saying you have no control over her (or others) and you should consider that if a similar situation arises in the future.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: When you financially help someone and they blow it...how to stop being mad
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2017, 07:03:34 AM »
I spent about $5,000 thousand dollars to help a young relative of mine get out of a rural town (working at taco bell) and move west (where I live) because she was so miserable, in deep debt, and willing to do anything for a better life. She moved here and got a well paying job with great benefits -- but after a year she decided she misses her former friends who are mostly over-drinkers, teen-moms, loser ex-boyfriend, in-debt friends. Now she's moving back and I can't talk her out of it. I'm so pissed at the energy I put into this. Do we just "write off" these kinds of relatives? I feel like a real sucker.


Suck, but life goes on.


Laura33

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Re: When you financially help someone and they blow it...how to stop being mad
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2017, 07:42:46 AM »
I'm sorry.  You did a good thing.  You invested money and time and your hopes in this girl, to give her a better chance to build a better life for herself, and it didn't work out as you had hoped.  Of course you are disappointed and angry.

This situation reminds me of my second-favorite line from Buckaroo Banzai:  "No matter where you go, there you are."  The small town may have been a contributing factor, but the underlying cause of her problems is her.  She needs to change that before anything else will stick.

This doesn't mean you should write her off, or turn your back on others in this situation.  You have given her a shot to get out; she was not mature enough to take advantage of it; but maybe in a few more years she will grow up, realize that there are other places with better opportunities, and be ready to try again.

The key is not to offer what you can't afford to lose, whether that is time, money, emotion, etc.  Generosity of spirit is an amazing thing, and it makes you a special person.  But it needs to go along with firm boundaries and limits so you don't get taken advantage of or become jaded/cynical.  You need to be able to offer whatever you offer as a gift, without being invested in how the recipient uses that gift. 

PJ

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Re: When you financially help someone and they blow it...how to stop being mad
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2017, 05:13:23 PM »
The key is not to offer what you can't afford to lose, whether that is time, money, emotion, etc.  Generosity of spirit is an amazing thing, and it makes you a special person.  But it needs to go along with firm boundaries and limits so you don't get taken advantage of or become jaded/cynical.  You need to be able to offer whatever you offer as a gift, without being invested in how the recipient uses that gift.

Great point, well stated.

Agree, that's wisdom right there, Laura33

Ann

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Re: When you financially help someone and they blow it...how to stop being mad
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2017, 06:04:27 PM »
That has to be hard for you to watch. 

Young people can change their minds.  After another year, she may want to try again.  This time she will know a little more, and if she is truly motivated, then she can do it on her own! 

You know your relationship to her better than us, but I don't think you need to cut her out unless she starts asking for money.  The life she ends up leading probably will not be the one that you would choose (not matter what she does). But you were able to take away one "if only" regret.  She can either use this to realize she actually didn't want something different after all -- or that she DOES, and it can happen.

But you can "write off" the need to feel responsible for her or any guilt that she is "stuck" back in her home town.

I'm sorry that it didn't turn out the way you wanted :-(

better late

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Re: When you financially help someone and they blow it...how to stop being mad
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2017, 09:25:57 PM »
That has to be hard for you to watch. 

Young people can change their minds.  After another year, she may want to try again.  This time she will know a little more, and if she is truly motivated, then she can do it on her own! 

You know your relationship to her better than us, but I don't think you need to cut her out unless she starts asking for money.  The life she ends up leading probably will not be the one that you would choose (not matter what she does). But you were able to take away one "if only" regret.  She can either use this to realize she actually didn't want something different after all -- or that she DOES, and it can happen.

But you can "write off" the need to feel responsible for her or any guilt that she is "stuck" back in her home town.

I'm sorry that it didn't turn out the way you wanted :-(

This exactly.  You won't know the outcome of your generosity for a long time...perhaps she will go back and never leave (and stay in that mindset) or perhaps she will carve out a different path. But you've helped her see that she can start in a new place and what it would take to make her way there, and that's invaluable.

Johnez

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Re: When you financially help someone and they blow it...how to stop being mad
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2017, 10:36:51 PM »
I understand the frustration, but in the end, she's the one in the driver seat, it's her life. Perhaps when she goes back she'll see with new eyes what a cruddy situation the town is in and leave for good, or perhaps she'll be happy and appreciate her situation and live happily ever after. Either way I'm sure the experience of moving out has helped her. Not all is lost.