Author Topic: My extremely Antimustachian Mother  (Read 4894 times)

Tel

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My extremely Antimustachian Mother
« on: March 19, 2014, 01:32:03 AM »
My mother brought a new car on finance in 2005 (A SUV of course!), and then in 2012 gave that car to my sister and husband so that they could have a second car (they only had one before), and then bought the 2012 model of that car which is EXACTLY the same except a different colour paint, and a reverse camera and sensors and bluetooth. On a lease agreement through work! To make it worse my sister and her husband only live next door. My mother lives 2800 metres away from work, and does not require a vehicle for work, yet drives anyway!

My mother lives alone in a HUGE family house (3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, games room, lounge room, dining room, kitchen, study, double garage, huge front lawn, gazebo, pool etc).
She inherited the house, therefore has no mortgage, and also has two rental income properties and future income from a family trust share in a business property. But she refinanced her house very recently to pay for a pool, new rear patio (which did need to be replaced in all fairness), wooden floors throughout, new kitchen (with a new fridge, gas oven/stove (the stove did need to be replaced and there was no oven previously), and dishwasher of course. Can't have a new kitchen without new appliances can we, even though I told her to just use Gumtree (Australia's craiglist) to get them if she really needed.

My mother had a 1998 Toyota Camry Sedan, which she traded in around 2005 because hey, the radiator hose was broken so it obviously means that the car was going to be trouble. That car I am sure (and thousands like it) are still chugging along fine.

She lives alone and probably spends easily $300 AUD per fortnight on groceries. She does cook a bit but she buys a lot of prepackaged crap and flavoured coffee milk drinks and soda etc. Which is terrible for her wallet and her health/weight.

She is about twelve years away from retirement, but actually earns quite a reasonably high income, but I doubt she saves very much at all. My sister lives in one of the rental properties and pays low rent (That's fair enough) but she is building her own home soon and will be moving out in about 18 months. The other rental property is occupied by someone who was in one of my mothers social activity groups, but she's a disability pension freeloader (A lot of people deserve disability pension/assistance/services, but this woman is just a welfare freeloader) so my Mum has the rent way below norm. When my sister moves out, if she did both the properties through agencies I'm sure she would get a lot more, and probably retire today just on that income alone if it wasn't for the renovation loan.

The house itself is completely open planned, the only doors in the entire house are on the bedrooms, bathrooms and study. There is absolutely no way to partition the house for targeted heating/cooling. The house is double brick, with black clay roof tiles which means it performs horribly in summer. There are THREE reverse cycle systems in the house, including ducted in the upstairs bedrooms, but of course you can't effectively heat/cool one area of the house without it all bleeding through everywhere.

She uses her dryer in summer every day, even though she has a huge rotary line outside, in a region where you have lots of sun 9 months of the year. I challenged her on this and she said 'I like the way the dryer makes the towels feel' but didn't properly answer about the other laundry items.

She is an internet addict, and divides her spare time between playing facebook games, using facebook, watching tv/movies, and talking to people she only knows on the internet. She only really has one friend besides my Sister who she sees occasionally. She does a social activity which I won't specify but that's only one or two nights a week. If I ripped her electronic devices away from her even for a few hours I have no doubt she would become enraged and maybe breakdown.

I gave her my copy of 'Your Money or Your Life' but she didn't read it, so I took it back and gave it to someone else. I also have offered several times to use Mint equivalent services and go over her finances, she doesn't refuse it but she just doesn't acknowledge it and always seems to be 'too busy'.

She divorced out of a terrible relationship with my father about 14 years ago and has never made any real-life romantic attempts. I'm sure she's supplying her need for romance online.

I don't know what I can do to help her, I'm sure that she's going to die alone and surrounded by crap she doesn't need. She would probably be okay financially with decades of government super, and rental income, but only if she learnt to stop buying so much.

Any ideas?

CND

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Re: My extremely Antimustachian Mother
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2014, 05:09:33 AM »
My idea would be not to try to change a person.  I have made the decision to give up trying persuade or control family members completely.  And I am so much happier and stress free since.  You can offer suggestions but any more than that will probably just be futile anyway.  Just my opinion.....

Fishingmn

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Re: My extremely Antimustachian Mother
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2014, 06:40:39 AM »
I would do 1 of 3 things -

- Either leave it alone and realize that people have to live their own lives and make their own decisions

or if you really want to interact

- Start a discussion about you and not her. Talk about how excited you are to live a MMM kind of life. Leave it up to her to decide if she wants to find out more

or if you don't like that tactic

- Just make a blanket statement in a caring way to say "mom, I'm pretty good with money so if you ever want any guidance I'd be happy to help" and leave it at that

Good luck.

PS - Had to look it up - a "fortnight" equals 2 weeks - who knew :)

KingCoin

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Re: My extremely Antimustachian Mother
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2014, 08:02:27 AM »
I don't know. She seems less "extremely Antimustachian" than just a "normal person". If and when she has to live off government super and her rental properties, I imagine she'll adjust her spending accordingly. This is a much better situation than having a finite and rapidly dwindling pile of cash.

What's the real problem here? Are you worried that you'll have to support her in her old age?

If you feel compelled to intervene, despite the limited efficacy of such efforts as often reported in this forum, I'd choose only the largest and most important battles. Perhaps getting her rentals up to a market rate. Trying to get her to line dry her laundry instead of using a machine is on the nitty end of the spectrum and likely to cause her to dismiss out of hand all your other suggestions.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2014, 11:00:11 AM by KingCoin »

nereo

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Re: My extremely Antimustachian Mother
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2014, 10:57:52 AM »
If she's able to support herself than I'm not sure you have the obligation to change her.  Freedom is also about letting others decide their own fate.

If you are worried that she is in financial trouble, then sit down with her and respectfully have a discussion about whether or not she's doing ok.  If she is, and living like this is her choice, so be it.

about all you can do is help be a positive role model on how happy you can be with less money and smarter choices. 

From what you described she seems like she's living a typical middle-class lifestyle.  It's suboptimal, but it's typical.

Prairie Stash

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Re: My extremely Antimustachian Mother
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2014, 11:18:40 AM »
If she's able to support herself than I'm not sure you have the obligation to change her.  Freedom is also about letting others decide their own fate.

If you are worried that she is in financial trouble, then sit down with her and respectfully have a discussion about whether or not she's doing ok.  If she is, and living like this is her choice, so be it.

about all you can do is help be a positive role model on how happy you can be with less money and smarter choices. 

From what you described she seems like she's living a typical middle-class lifestyle.  It's suboptimal, but it's typical.
+1

AJ

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Re: My extremely Antimustachian Mother
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2014, 12:02:56 PM »
I don't know what I can do to help her, I'm sure that she's going to die alone and surrounded by crap she doesn't need.

I may have missed it, but what needs helping? Are you thinking she is going to come to you for money when she is older? Children don't inherit the debts of their parents when they die, so you don't have to worry about that at least. Beyond that, if she isn't asking you to support her lifestyle choices, my suggestion would be to count your blessings and turn your altruism toward people who actually need and want it.

Jamesqf

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Re: My extremely Antimustachian Mother
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2014, 12:06:37 PM »
My mother lives 2800 metres away from work, and does not require a vehicle for work, yet drives anyway!

I'm more than a little puzzled by this.  Surely there is more to life than work, and it is handy to be able to drive to some of it.  I don't need a vehicle for work, either.  I telecommute, and by ordering stuff on-line could probably manage to exist without ever leaving my house, but I wouldn't call that any sort of life.

warfreak2

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Re: My extremely Antimustachian Mother
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2014, 03:30:00 PM »
My mother lives 2800 metres away from work, and does not require a vehicle for work, yet drives [to work] anyway!
That would make more sense than if Tel were advocating never leaving one's house.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: My extremely Antimustachian Mother
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2014, 04:17:13 PM »
What does it matter?

Everything in Moderation

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Re: My extremely Antimustachian Mother
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2014, 10:11:01 AM »
She just sounds like a normal person.  I would not judge her for that.  She is an adult and can choose how she lives her life, and her priorities. 

Try not to worry about others so much.  You can't change them, especially if they are not interested in doing so. 

golfer44

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Re: My extremely Antimustachian Mother
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2014, 10:29:01 AM »
Hey, you only get one Mom. As far as I can tell, her actions aren't affecting you or anybody else, so relax a little bit.

ruthiegirl

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Re: My extremely Antimustachian Mother
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2014, 10:31:17 AM »
I know it is hard to hear, but there is only so much you can do.  I am in the same situation with my mom and while it pains me to watch, I know she will not change for me.  She loves her spendy ways.

You have made the offer, she has ignored it, kind of a done deal.