Author Topic: Refusing / Returning Money to Family  (Read 23475 times)


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Re: Refusing / Returning Money to Family
« Reply #50 on: October 20, 2014, 10:14:38 PM »
So thanks to all of the good advice here, I just had a fairly good conversation with my mom.  I especially tried incorporating the advice of those who told me not to think of it as a confrontation, but just a matter of fact discussion.  I did everything I could to keep it extremely rational, and presented the situation in as cool and factual a manner possible, rather than like I was anticipating an argument.  I told her that there was a large chunk of money left in the account because we had not needed it.  She was surprised and not happy, saying "that wasn't what we wanted."  Rather than getting into what they wanted, or trying to rehash our reasons for wanting to pay for it ourselves, I just explained that we had saved enough to pay for things, and that regardless of anyone's wishes, the fact was that the money was there and we needed to decide what to do with it.

I really appreciate all of the input.  Some of you mustachians are extremely perceptive folks.  It was a delicate situation (probably still is - it's not completely resolved yet), but I think I handled it really well.  I presented a few ideas for what could be done with the money, but for me, the hardest part - telling her we didn't use it - is behind me.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2014, 10:19:48 PM by Lentils5eva »

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Re: Refusing / Returning Money to Family
« Reply #51 on: October 21, 2014, 02:12:50 PM »
Congrats on taking on that challenging discussion. Even if it isn't well received on the other side, you were true to yourself and should come out stronger for that.


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Re: Refusing / Returning Money to Family
« Reply #52 on: October 21, 2014, 04:11:46 PM »
If family lives close, you are going to need multiple "boundary" discussions.  I don't think DH and I would still be happily married if family was close because while we love them, they are very opinionated. 

500 miles of separation enabled our marriage to grow without outside influence. 


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Refusing / Returning Money to Family
« Reply #53 on: October 21, 2014, 08:27:30 PM »
My parents had parents who heavily subsidized their adulthood and as such had a large say in all their "adult" decisions. I'm talking up until I was a teen. It was ridiculous and I honestly never, ever wanted it. My grandparents bought my parents' house without their input, they had to "approve" the conception/birth of my sister, etc. It was disgusting. Now my parents think this is normal.
I'm glad that when I was in college they had no money to pay for anything. I paid for everything myself and I do not accept money from them. They live thousands of miles away and we do not even accept payment for dinner out when they are here. They would immediately feel ownership of something, I can see it with my siblings. My husband is totally fine with this as he grew up in a family where money was just plain not given.

I'm not sure if this is a risk with your parents (kinda sounds like it is) but if there's a chance make your boundary clear early on. It's much easier to given in later when it's "for the grandkids" or when it's for something you really want and couldn't have any other way. My brother just gave in to money for a car. It's been less than a week and he already hates himself for it.


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Re: Refusing / Returning Money to Family
« Reply #54 on: October 21, 2014, 09:05:13 PM »
I'm glad to hear that you got the hard part of the conversation behind you. 

At first I thought maybe your parents were just trying to be fair, giving you the money because they gave siblings the same amount when they married, but now it's clear from what you wrote that they wanted to give you money but then also tell you how to spend it.  It must be hard for some parents to accept that they can't control any of the choices that their adult children make.  But this is a good step for you in demonstrating that they don't own you (this is exactly how a lawyer friend of mine described how some parents view their children, and that he often has to explain to clients involved in custody disputes that they don't "own" their children.) 

In your shoes at this point I certainly would not ask what they want me to do with the money; I would just ignore the account.  As far as you are concerned it is still their money, and since their name is still on the account, you don't have to "give it back," you can just pretend the account is only theirs.  Yes, I agree that a low or non-interest bearing account is a stupid place to let money sit, but it's not your money if you never withdraw it, so don't worry about it.  Passive aggressive, I know, but fire with fire and all that.


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Re: Refusing / Returning Money to Family
« Reply #55 on: October 24, 2014, 02:12:58 PM »
Great job on the conversation! I think you have learned much from this experience that will benefit you in your interaction with your family for years to come.


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Re: Refusing / Returning Money to Family
« Reply #56 on: October 24, 2014, 02:59:51 PM »
Yeah I'd just keep the money in the account, invest it, and when they are old and need money - Booom there it is.

Or, if they pass away and never need it, then you can keep it or give it to other family members.

As far as their gift was concerned, without knowing their motives (they may not even know their true, subconscious motives), they could either be seeing it as "this is how we say we love you," all the way to "we want to control your life and this is our subtle way of doing it." For my MIL, she doesn't know any other way of saying that she loves us but to buy us crap and give us money. So we throw the crap away when she leaves, and we save the money because one day she won't be able to work anymore, and she's gonna be broke.