Author Topic: What to do when spendthrift family comes asking for money?  (Read 16427 times)

mrmoneycleanshaven

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What to do when spendthrift family comes asking for money?
« on: January 28, 2015, 04:13:05 PM »
I have worked very hard to get where I am in life. I spend less than I make and live comfortably. I drive paid off cars, wear thrift-store clothes, and invest/save a lot.

My extended family not so much. My parents are broke, and although collecting SS they couldn't live on it alone because they spend, spend, spend, and on the dumbest things. I've tried to nudge them onto the road to savings, but I think they see the MD after my name and think I've got their back.

Similar situation with my brothers and sisters. They all make much less than I, but spend much more and I've tried to nudge them all to be better with their money, but no dice and I've already dodged a few attempts at getting hit up for money a few years ago when I was still in medical school (seriously, wth?).

How do you deal with this?

Do I just have to be frank and sit them all down now and remind them that life is a choose your own adventure book and not a fairy tale about the grasshopper and the ant? I make decent money, but there is none to spare. It all goes to retirement and college savings for my children (although my income will grow quite a bit in the next few years, but then I'll be buying property, if only so I can honestly say that there is nothing I can do).

coffeehound

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Re: What to do when spendthrift family comes asking for money?
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2015, 04:16:52 PM »
Say no.  Say your financial priorities are based on making sure that you and your children are able to be financially stable, and you're sorry, but you can't help them.  (You don't have to be actually sorry.)

Frankies Girl

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Re: What to do when spendthrift family comes asking for money?
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2015, 04:18:16 PM »
"So sorry, but I can't afford to give you money. I'd be happy to sit down with you to figure out how to cut costs tho."

Also, don't mention that you actually have money. If you're driving older model paid off cars and wearing basic clothes and not flashing around the latest gadgets, then the only way they'd know you had anything would be if you told them. DO NOT DO THIS.

Provide a sympathetic ear to listen to their woes or insights on how they can dig out of debt or cut costs, but be very clear that you have no actual money to spare.

SailorGirl

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Re: What to do when spendthrift family comes asking for money?
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2015, 04:20:15 PM »
Send them all a copy of "The Millionaire Next Door" and tell them when you've finished paying off your med school debts and financing your children's education (in 10, 15, 20 years) then you *might* be in a position to make them a small loan.

briandougherty

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Re: What to do when spendthrift family comes asking for money?
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2015, 04:32:55 PM »
Set expectations. I like to think of money and family in terms of what you think your obligations are. This will differ for everyone, but I feel strongly I should never give family the false impression or let a false impression stand that I am going to support them in a way that I won't.  I'd make it clear to them that you don't plan on helping that way they can't use not knowing as an excuse.

Also, don't mention that you actually have money. If you're driving older model paid off cars and wearing basic clothes and not flashing around the latest gadgets, then the only way they'd know you had anything would be if you told them. DO NOT DO THIS.

I think that's a bit harder to do when you're a doctor. It's probably easier with family to have fancy cars. I think people are more reticent to complain about you not giving them money if you spend it on yourself rather than saving it.

crispy

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Re: What to do when spendthrift family comes asking for money?
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2015, 04:45:53 PM »
No.  Seriously, that's all you need to say.

RedefinedHappiness

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Re: What to do when spendthrift family comes asking for money?
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2015, 04:46:30 PM »
Send them all a copy of "The Millionaire Next Door" and tell them when you've finished paying off your med school debts and financing your children's education (in 10, 15, 20 years) then you *might* be in a position to make them a small loan.

+1

Weedy Acres

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Re: What to do when spendthrift family comes asking for money?
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2015, 04:55:42 PM »
No.  Seriously, that's all you need to say.

+1.  Just cut off the discussion.  You don't need to explain how you're spending your money, or justify why you don't want to give any to them.  That will just give them fodder to debate.  Which is totally inappropriate.

Just "sorry, I can't help you." And shut up.

Milizard

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Re: What to do when spendthrift family comes asking for money?
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2015, 04:56:37 PM »
Just say, "I didn't work my ass off all these years so that YOU could spend my hard-earned money." :-P

Earthling

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Re: What to do when spendthrift family comes asking for money?
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2015, 05:02:11 PM »
Say "no."

I've seen intra-family support issues up close for decades. They never end well. Counter-intuitively, perhaps, you are doing those whom you love no favor by supporting their poor decisions.

I might feel differently if this were a short-term emergency situation -- e.g., a death, lost job, medical emergency, etc. But it doesn't sound like that here.

Know that you are helping them when you say "no." And don't feel guilty.

RogueSqPewPew

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Re: What to do when spendthrift family comes asking for money?
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2015, 05:10:39 PM »
Everyone says 'say no', and I get that. I also get that it's hard to say no. I've gifted my father about $5k over two events. However, before I sent the last check, I warned him that it would be the last 'loan' (I write it off as a gift so I don't get bent out of shape about his not paying it back).  I let him know that if he has to ask for money again, that I'm going to be deeply involved in his budgeting and spending habits, because he's taking away from me and my family at this point. I'd love for him to take me up on it, but I think the warning of being up in his (anti-mustachian) business will likely deter him for a very long time. It'll take A LOT for me to gift money again, and I'll definietly follow through with the promise of evaluating his habits.

Seņora Savings

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Re: What to do when spendthrift family comes asking for money?
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2015, 05:21:54 PM »
I would not tell them that you don't have any money to give them.  That is not true and they are not stupid.  You can see that they are spending money on dumb shit instead of taking care of themselves.  They can also see that you are spending money on investments instead of on taking care of them.

As others have said, in my experience, if you say "no" people will get the message.  If you say "no, because x, y and z", people will argue that x, y and z do not apply.

I would also stop giving financial advice.  Giving advice tells them that you are totally on top of your financial shit and have money to spare.  It's also a bit crass to give financial advice to someone earning significantly less than you and possibly, judging by the fact that you "live comfortably", spending less than you as well.

MishMash

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Re: What to do when spendthrift family comes asking for money?
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2015, 05:38:19 PM »
Aaaaah you sound like my brother (or sister) from another mother.  If you find a 100% perfect solution, please, let me know.  Hubs and I are in high paying fields (not mature/many years in MD high, but high enough, and WAY higher then my family)


Long story short, I wasn't smart enough to ask if I should do it, I just did it for a while because I thought it was the "right thing to do" since I was obviously better off than they were and I couldn't have been there without them, right?.  Many thousands later to my brother, fixing my nieces car, paying my nephews rent, helping brothers new girlfriend (my SIL was crazy so I can't fault him on this one, new gf is amazeballs in numerous ways) and now my mother thinks she's going to live with us (also just collecting SS now) when my father passes, which will be soon.  Aaaaaand we are pretty much screwed.  My cutting off point was when my nephew (who was trying to join the military with some counseling of my husbands who has been AD for a long time) told my niece that she "didn't need to pay me back because MishMash is rich and doesn't need the money".  Compound that with my mother point blank telling DH and I that she expected us to take care of her "expenses" for the rest of her life and give her a place to live when my father passes aaaand yea. 

I don't talk to them about money/finances anymore I try to dodge the saving question, and I give silent gifts (like a "gift" delivered Amazon box of food for them or the pets) when I can.

mxt0133

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Re: What to do when spendthrift family comes asking for money?
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2015, 05:47:27 PM »
Aaaaah you sound like my brother (or sister) from another mother.  If you find a 100% perfect solution, please, let me know.  Hubs and I are in high paying fields (not mature/many years in MD high, but high enough, and WAY higher then my family)


Long story short, I wasn't smart enough to ask if I should do it, I just did it for a while because I thought it was the "right thing to do" since I was obviously better off than they were and I couldn't have been there without them, right?.  Many thousands later to my brother, fixing my nieces car, paying my nephews rent, helping brothers new girlfriend (my SIL was crazy so I can't fault him on this one, new gf is amazeballs in numerous ways) and now my mother thinks she's going to live with us (also just collecting SS now) when my father passes, which will be soon.  Aaaaaand we are pretty much screwed.  My cutting off point was when my nephew (who was trying to join the military with some counseling of my husbands who has been AD for a long time) told my niece that she "didn't need to pay me back because MishMash is rich and doesn't need the money".  Compound that with my mother point blank telling DH and I that she expected us to take care of her "expenses" for the rest of her life and give her a place to live when my father passes aaaand yea. 

I don't talk to them about money/finances anymore I try to dodge the saving question, and I give silent gifts (like a "gift" delivered Amazon box of food for them or the pets) when I can.

Sorry you're in that situation.  I think you should read up on personal boundaries and start exercising them on your family.  No need to sour the relationship, just tell them what to expect and if they get mad at you then that's on them.

Breaker

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Re: What to do when spendthrift family comes asking for money?
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2015, 07:13:17 PM »
Geeze, I can't believe how cold hearted some of you are.  I get that many of you are tired of helping to support other family members.  I agree with the advice to just say NO to brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews.  But I think that the parents may deserve more consideration.  After all they did for you as much as they could.  Even including, I bet, help thru your college years. 

It is up to you how much help/support to give them and in what ways.  I like Mishmash's idea of sending gifts of food or other items thru Amazon.  That way any money you spend is spent on what you perceive is a need rather than a want.

Alternately you could make a line item in your budget for parents support and use that when needed.  It is difficult for anyone when an unexpected expense shows up and even worst if it is not YOUR expense.


mrmoneycleanshaven

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Re: What to do when spendthrift family comes asking for money?
« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2015, 08:44:52 PM »
I would not tell them that you don't have any money to give them.  That is not true and they are not stupid.  You can see that they are spending money on dumb shit instead of taking care of themselves.  They can also see that you are spending money on investments instead of on taking care of them.

I would also stop giving financial advice.  Giving advice tells them that you are totally on top of your financial shit and have money to spare.  It's also a bit crass to give financial advice to someone earning significantly less than you and possibly, judging by the fact that you "live comfortably", spending less than you as well.

As of now they all spend more than I do. I make $75k as a resident, but only spend $37k of it (comfortable by mmm standards for sure, but more along I have no needs than I have no wants). I like the life I can live on $37k, and scream inside when I see them spending more when I know they could be saving (not even going to get into their health choices).

Geeze, I can't believe how cold hearted some of you are.  I get that many of you are tired of helping to support other family members.  I agree with the advice to just say NO to brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews.  But I think that the parents may deserve more consideration.  After all they did for you as much as they could.  Even including, I bet, help thru your college years. 

It is up to you how much help/support to give them and in what ways.  I like Mishmash's idea of sending gifts of food or other items thru Amazon.  That way any money you spend is spent on what you perceive is a need rather than a want.

Alternately you could make a line item in your budget for parents support and use that when needed.  It is difficult for anyone when an unexpected expense shows up and even worst if it is not YOUR expense.

I actually got zero help from the 'rents while in college. It was all loans and scholarships, heck they didn't even help me get into college, they were pretty laissez faire about my whole educational experience, too busy getting high I guess (which is a big reason I just want to say no to helping them, I'd be subsidizing their drug habits in one way or another, and that's something I just don't agree with).

And I see how my parents reject my alcoholic grandmother who is even worse off, calling her out on depending on SS, wasting money and abusing substances. They basically disowned her a few years back, saying it wasn't their job to pay for her mistakes. Yet I get the feeling they want me to pay for theirs. 

crispy

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Re: What to do when spendthrift family comes asking for money?
« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2015, 09:03:03 PM »
Geeze, I can't believe how cold hearted some of you are.  I get that many of you are tired of helping to support other family members.  I agree with the advice to just say NO to brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews.  But I think that the parents may deserve more consideration.  After all they did for you as much as they could.  Even including, I bet, help thru your college years. 

It is up to you how much help/support to give them and in what ways.  I like Mishmash's idea of sending gifts of food or other items thru Amazon.  That way any money you spend is spent on what you perceive is a need rather than a want.

Alternately you could make a line item in your budget for parents support and use that when needed.  It is difficult for anyone when an unexpected expense shows up and even worst if it is not YOUR expense.

Or not.  My parents kicked me out at 18 and pretty much left me to my own devices.  Not all families are created equally, and we have no idea what his parents did or didn't do for him.

LouLou

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Re: What to do when spendthrift family comes asking for money?
« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2015, 09:07:41 PM »
Geeze, I can't believe how cold hearted some of you are.  I get that many of you are tired of helping to support other family members.  I agree with the advice to just say NO to brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews.  But I think that the parents may deserve more consideration.  After all they did for you as much as they could.  Even including, I bet, help thru your college years. 


That's not true for many parents, keep in mind. My mom refuses to save a dollar, so no dollars for me in college! I worked during college, and now much of my money goes to student loans. That said, I love my mom and plan to help her when she can no longer work.

BUT this isn't a question about people who did all they could for you. I read this as a question about spendthrift family members - people who waste all their money on fancy new shoes, new cars, new clothes all the time, etc.

The answer is really just to say no. My rules are:
1) No loans. I have great relationships with my relatives and loans create too many opportunities for resentment, especially when they are spendthrift.
2) No money for dumb things. No, I will not loan you money for a weekend getaway when you drive a new car and wear new clothes. You could afford that getaway, you just chose other things. I don't buy those things, so I can go on a weekend trip. Just choices.
3) I will give money for true emergencies. Someone broke into a relative's house and stole all their cash, including his rent money. (Unbanked relative, which I think is mostly rational for his situation). I had no problem giving him rent money! And I refused to let him pay me back. And I actually forgot that happened until just now.
4) Related to 3, be generous with those in need. I have on problem saying no to spendthrifts because I support organizations that I care deeply about. Why should I give $500 to someone who had that much money at some point and spent it, instead of to someone who really needs it?


Finally, lecturing will get you no where! I will offer advice it fits in the conversation, but otherwise I let people live their lives. A lot of it is difference of personality. I think "I could get laid off unexpectedly so I should save and maintain the same modest lifestyle!" My spendthrift relatives think "I could get laid off unexpectedly so I should buy all of the things before I have to live in the poor house!" That's their choice.

jodelino

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Re: What to do when spendthrift family comes asking for money?
« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2015, 09:34:58 PM »
My father took off when I was 15, and I put myself through college and graduate school without any help from any family whatsoever.

While I was struggling to put myself through college, my father's brother, my Uncle Joe, cheated me out of my small share of minor proceeds from a family farm in a most cold-hearted and manipulative way. Fifteen years later, this farm was sold, and the proceeds split equally amongst 10 heirs, including me and Uncle Joe. A few months later, I get a call call out of the blue from Uncle Joe, with whom I had not talked in years. He unloaded a tale of woe and asked if I could lend him $3,000 so that his (adult) son (whom I hadn't seen since we were children) could put a down payment on a trailer. By this point I was a college professor, married to a doctor. I sure could have given Uncle Joe $3,000--after all, my share of the proceeds from the farm sale were safely tucked away. I called another uncle for advice. "Honey," he said. "I'm not gonna tell you what to do, but I am gonna tell you that Joe's never been able to hang onto a dollar. And every couple of years he shows up at my house in a new car asking to borrow money and he's never paid back a dime. That's all I'm gonna tell you, honey. How you doing, anyway, sweetheart? How's that nice husband of yours?"

That made it a lot easier to call Uncle Joe and tell him no, sorry, can't do it.

By the way, I recently googled my cousin whom I did not assist with the trailer downpayment. He was arrested in a meth bust last fall.

So, honey, I'm not gonna tell you what to do, but.....

darkadams00

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Re: What to do when spendthrift family comes asking for money?
« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2015, 10:06:19 PM »
My parents would never ask. They haven't saved a lot, but my Dad is as frugal as they come. He'll make it on what he has or bust. I give useful gifts to my 90+ year-old grandfather for his birthday and Christmas. For my mother-in-law, I've helped her manage her finances since my father-in-law passed (except when a stupid brother-in-law overrode me and talked her into a car loan that she couldn't afford).

Brothers, sisters, brother-in-laws, sister-in-laws? I would listen to their request, ask good questions, and try to get a feel for the urgency and reality of the need. If it's a real need, then I would weigh its impact on their family. If not, I would talk to them about prioritized spending/saving in the same tone and terms that I speak to my college-age sons. No condescension. No air of superiority. No scolding. Just a review of options and choices. If they get mad because I (a) ask too many questions, (b) expect them to wait and save for non-essentials, or (c) demand certain actions on their part before any action on my part, then so be it. I'm willing to help. I have annual funds set aside for charity, and a truly needy family member should certainly count. I'm sure that some folks who receive help from soup kitchens, non-profit charities, and churches made bad decisions that landed them in the situation they're facing. A lawyer to get out of a speeding ticket? Not happening. A car rental so my SIL can get to work while her car's in the shop? Maybe.

Nieces/nephews? I would tell them to go find their parents. I do support clubs/activities/fundraisers for my nieces and nephews, so that has to count for something (and knowing that I do this every year, I just plan for it).


thatbrowncat

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Re: What to do when spendthrift family comes asking for money?
« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2015, 10:23:32 PM »
Either you give them a  "No", or you give them cash. Provided that it's an amount you're willing to give to them. If you've decided to allow yourself to give them $500 dollars a  month, and they ask for $1000, you simply give them $500. If they press to ask for more, tell them "next time".

I admit it's hard to say "no" to family, but I've learned my lesson.

I had a relative who asked to borrow money from me once. it was Php 8,500 ( the exact amount that I earned from an art commission). I was really hesitant to give it to him since I planned to pay it for my Health Insurance. But he assured me that he would pay when he got the money. When I kept on saying "No". He narrated how he had no one to borrow money, and he wouldn't even borrow from his siblings because he didn't want to bother them. The said money was to regain a Samsung Note 4 that he pawned to buy his wife jewelry (wife kept telling him she wanted jewelry blah blah. so he pawned it and gambled the money to earn more). He told me that the wife was looking for the unit, and was afraid that she would find out he pawned it. Relative told me that he and his wife had fought and had threatened to leave him, taking along his child, if he did something crazy/stupid. Because I felt sorry for him, I lent him 8500. I sent him a text message telling him to repay me: Php 500.00 every month. He told me he would once he got the cash, but told me not to text him unless his wife saw my text.

A month later, he texted me that he couldn't repay the cash he borrow. I never replied to him. A Few months later I saw his wife post a couple of pics about her pregnancy, and their recent trip to another city with their family. It looks like my chances of regaining my Php 8,500.00 are diminishing.

Gah. :(

innerscorecard

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Re: What to do when spendthrift family comes asking for money?
« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2015, 11:01:45 PM »
As others have said, in my experience, if you say "no" people will get the message.  If you say "no, because x, y and z", people will argue that x, y and z do not apply.

Your whole post was so, so right, but I thought this line was especially insightful.

Dicey

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Re: What to do when spendthrift family comes asking for money?
« Reply #22 on: January 28, 2015, 11:18:15 PM »
When they ask, moan about your staggering student loan debt and ask them if you can borrow from them to make your next SL payment. Seriously. Do not engage them on this topic, except to reiterate that you are drowning in debt yourself. They will be able to relate to that, and if you're really lucky they will back off, at least temporarily. As you can see from previous responses, lending money to spendthrifts never ends. Just like extortion. Don't do it.

MrsPete

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Re: What to do when spendthrift family comes asking for money?
« Reply #23 on: January 29, 2015, 06:30:01 AM »
Avoid the problem by not letting anyone know you have money saved.  Seriously, looking at my house, car and clothing, you could easily figure I'm just getting by. 

Don't say, "I can't do it because I'm paying for my kids' college" or whatever else.  If you do, you're setting yourself up for problems later -- after all, once the kids are out of college, the moochers will remember that was your excuse, and they'll say, "Hey, now that your kids are out of school, how 'bout . . . ?" 

G-dog

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Re: What to do when spendthrift family comes asking for money?
« Reply #24 on: January 29, 2015, 06:54:35 AM »
Say no if you want to.
Say yes if you want to.
You don't need our permission.
You don't need to justify your decision to them or us.

I recommend you do not suggest that your answer may change later or the next time they ask, unless that is true and you do want them to ask again later.

That said, all of the above is not necessarily easy.

GizmoTX

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Re: What to do when spendthrift family comes asking for money?
« Reply #25 on: January 29, 2015, 07:45:05 AM »
Know that they will be angry or resentful whether your answer is no or yes -- providing money doesn't make them grateful in the long run. I'm distant from 2 siblings because of this. We learned a long time ago that loans to family usually end up being gifts, so that's how we evaluate any transfers.

Catbert

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Re: What to do when spendthrift family comes asking for money?
« Reply #26 on: January 29, 2015, 12:23:20 PM »
One technique is the "one and done".  I have and will loan money to family members.  If they pay me back, great.  They can get a second loan later if necessary.  If they borrow and don't pay back, never again.  Make that clear to everyone.  Two of my four sisters have borrowed money.  One a couple of times and always paid back as promised.  Another borrowed $200 20 years ago and didn't pay me back the "next week" or ever so no more loans for her.  She never asked again.

This only works if your family is relatively small (so don't loan to cousins, nieces/nephews, ex-BILs etc.) and you're loaning money that you can afford to lose.     

I'm a red panda

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Re: What to do when spendthrift family comes asking for money?
« Reply #27 on: January 29, 2015, 12:48:48 PM »
My doors are always open if family needs a place to live. We will find room.  (Heck- my parents made it clear that sending me to college was a part of their affordable housing in retirement plan. And when I was a kid I had an Aunt and a Grandmother in the house for a part of the time when they aged.)

If they are truly so broke they can't buy food- we will set them up with groceries. Heck, I'd ask them to make a list of all the things they need and send what I can. I can set up an amazon subscription for toilet paper and soap. 

But there is no way I'd give money to otherwise capable people who have put themselves in a bad situation.

ltt

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Re: What to do when spendthrift family comes asking for money?
« Reply #28 on: January 29, 2015, 01:10:48 PM »
I would not tell them that you don't have any money to give them.  That is not true and they are not stupid.  You can see that they are spending money on dumb shit instead of taking care of themselves.  They can also see that you are spending money on investments instead of on taking care of them.

I would also stop giving financial advice.  Giving advice tells them that you are totally on top of your financial shit and have money to spare.  It's also a bit crass to give financial advice to someone earning significantly less than you and possibly, judging by the fact that you "live comfortably", spending less than you as well.

As of now they all spend more than I do. I make $75k as a resident, but only spend $37k of it (comfortable by mmm standards for sure, but more along I have no needs than I have no wants). I like the life I can live on $37k, and scream inside when I see them spending more when I know they could be saving (not even going to get into their health choices).

Geeze, I can't believe how cold hearted some of you are.  I get that many of you are tired of helping to support other family members.  I agree with the advice to just say NO to brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews.  But I think that the parents may deserve more consideration.  After all they did for you as much as they could.  Even including, I bet, help thru your college years. 

It is up to you how much help/support to give them and in what ways.  I like Mishmash's idea of sending gifts of food or other items thru Amazon.  That way any money you spend is spent on what you perceive is a need rather than a want.

Alternately you could make a line item in your budget for parents support and use that when needed.  It is difficult for anyone when an unexpected expense shows up and even worst if it is not YOUR expense.

I actually got zero help from the 'rents while in college. It was all loans and scholarships, heck they didn't even help me get into college, they were pretty laissez faire about my whole educational experience, too busy getting high I guess (which is a big reason I just want to say no to helping them, I'd be subsidizing their drug habits in one way or another, and that's something I just don't agree with).

And I see how my parents reject my alcoholic grandmother who is even worse off, calling her out on depending on SS, wasting money and abusing substances. They basically disowned her a few years back, saying it wasn't their job to pay for her mistakes. Yet I get the feeling they want me to pay for theirs.

Their money problems are not your responsibility--just say "No."

mm1970

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Re: What to do when spendthrift family comes asking for money?
« Reply #29 on: January 29, 2015, 01:19:34 PM »
Geeze, I can't believe how cold hearted some of you are.  I get that many of you are tired of helping to support other family members.  I agree with the advice to just say NO to brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews.  But I think that the parents may deserve more consideration.  After all they did for you as much as they could.  Even including, I bet, help thru your college years. 

It is up to you how much help/support to give them and in what ways.  I like Mishmash's idea of sending gifts of food or other items thru Amazon.  That way any money you spend is spent on what you perceive is a need rather than a want.

Alternately you could make a line item in your budget for parents support and use that when needed.  It is difficult for anyone when an unexpected expense shows up and even worst if it is not YOUR expense.
Personally I got zip during college.  Oh, I had emotional support from my Mom, which I really really appreciated.  And I also got the occasional care package of ramen noodles and canned soup.  Which I also appreciated. We were a team back then, for sure, as I worked my butt off and used some of my money to pay her school taxes, while I was in high school no less.

My dad gave me nothing (they were divorced).

So at some point my mother re-wrote history about how she helped all her kids.  Now, she provided economic outpatient care to both of her other children (my siblings), one more than the other, and he is a big spender.  So she'd say things about how she paid for part of my wedding (she didn't.  What she DID do is pay for my brother's and sister's hotel rooms.)  That was all fine with me because, you know, I don't need the money.  I don't care if it's fair or not.  My sister used to be bugged by the fact that she started college funds (very small ones) for her other 3 grandchildren but not mine, because I didn't need the money.  I said "sis, I DON'T CARE".

Anyway, both my parents are dead - they died when I was 37 and 41, so I guess end-of-life care is not going to be an issue for me, at least not on my side.

But please don't assume that all parents "do whatever they can for their children" because they don't.  It's one thing to be in financial distress because of an illness, etc.  Another thing entirely to blow money on cars, trips, or, well, blow.

GizmoTX

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Re: What to do when spendthrift family comes asking for money?
« Reply #30 on: January 30, 2015, 11:43:37 AM »
Sunshine, expect the sibs to really come after you when your in-laws need their money for end of life care or they pass away. Don't ever give in.

I've become distant with one brother because I can't stand his constant complaints about the (predictable) results of all his bad choices. He's had a lot of medical issues & is lucky to be alive, but thinks that excuses not taking care of himself or his finances. And he's an accountant.


rmendpara

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Re: What to do when spendthrift family comes asking for money?
« Reply #31 on: January 30, 2015, 01:34:59 PM »
My father took off when I was 15, and I put myself through college and graduate school without any help from any family whatsoever.

While I was struggling to put myself through college, my father's brother, my Uncle Joe, cheated me out of my small share of minor proceeds from a family farm in a most cold-hearted and manipulative way. Fifteen years later, this farm was sold, and the proceeds split equally amongst 10 heirs, including me and Uncle Joe. A few months later, I get a call call out of the blue from Uncle Joe, with whom I had not talked in years. He unloaded a tale of woe and asked if I could lend him $3,000 so that his (adult) son (whom I hadn't seen since we were children) could put a down payment on a trailer. By this point I was a college professor, married to a doctor. I sure could have given Uncle Joe $3,000--after all, my share of the proceeds from the farm sale were safely tucked away. I called another uncle for advice. "Honey," he said. "I'm not gonna tell you what to do, but I am gonna tell you that Joe's never been able to hang onto a dollar. And every couple of years he shows up at my house in a new car asking to borrow money and he's never paid back a dime. That's all I'm gonna tell you, honey. How you doing, anyway, sweetheart? How's that nice husband of yours?"

That made it a lot easier to call Uncle Joe and tell him no, sorry, can't do it.

By the way, I recently googled my cousin whom I did not assist with the trailer downpayment. He was arrested in a meth bust last fall.

So, honey, I'm not gonna tell you what to do, but.....

Nothing to add but damn, what great advice. I like the "I'm not telling you what to do, but here's what I think..." approach.

sunshine

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Re: What to do when spendthrift family comes asking for money?
« Reply #32 on: January 30, 2015, 01:43:43 PM »
Sunshine, expect the sibs to really come after you when your in-laws need their money for end of life care or they pass away. Don't ever give in.

I've become distant with one brother because I can't stand his constant complaints about the (predictable) results of all his bad choices. He's had a lot of medical issues & is lucky to be alive, but thinks that excuses not taking care of himself or his finances. And he's an accountant.

We know it will get rough. We will do what it right for my spouses parents and that's that. Ridiculously there has already been one of the siblings saying " When mom and dad die everything will be gone by the time I get there. I'm furthest away."  All I could say is " What the heck is wrong with your brain that you are pondering your parents death and things??". I earned me a angry look and dead silence. They can cry and scream all they want.  My spouse is POA for med and finance with me second and is also the executor.  Kind of proves the folks absolutely do know which is the responsible child. It rreally speaks volumes putting me as second instead of their other kids. These siblings kids are all grown now. Ironically their children are ALL self sufficient adults. Poor kids now have their parents trying to hit them up too and yet wonder why their kids moved away.  It is a sad situation for adults darn close to 50!

That is really sad about your brother. One would assume an accountant would be good and numbers and see their folly.

rmendpara

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Re: What to do when spendthrift family comes asking for money?
« Reply #33 on: January 30, 2015, 01:55:23 PM »
You have a right to say no.

Some people will ask for an inch and take a foot. They believe they have a right to what you have for some reason(s). It's the way the world is, unfortunately.

If you do decide to give anything, know and consider any amount a gift and don't expect any type of return. You will only regret the decision later and then resent both your ill-fated decision as well as them. Don't do that to your relationships.

Right now a friend owes me $200 for share of hotel during NY celebrations. It's really not a big deal, but he's been suggesting he'll call me each upcoming Monday since mid-January. Today, two weeks later? Still no call and no money.

I should have known better..

Peacefulwarrior

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Re: What to do when spendthrift family comes asking for money?
« Reply #34 on: January 30, 2015, 02:56:36 PM »
You do the same as you would do when an alcoholic comes and ask you for alcohol.

I'm a red panda

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Re: What to do when spendthrift family comes asking for money?
« Reply #35 on: January 30, 2015, 02:58:02 PM »
So at some point my mother re-wrote history about how she helped all her kids. 

My FIL has done this. He still complains about how expensive it was to put my husband through college. We think he must be thinking about the kid he liked more, because he didn't give my husband a dime (though husband did live with his parents for the first two years). 

Instead, my husband did ROTC and took out student loans.  If the money that gets complained about was given to him, we wouldn't have had to pay off those loans, nor serve his country in return. 

SIL however got a nice free ride to a few different community colleges and then a private university. All while getting a car, free childcare, and a place to live.

It's "fair" though- everyone gets what they need, not what is equal. SIL needed that.  Husband did fine without his parent's help; but man does it rub him the wrong way to hear about how much his education cost his Dad.

MoneyCat

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Re: What to do when spendthrift family comes asking for money?
« Reply #36 on: January 30, 2015, 03:26:09 PM »
I've been on my own since I was 17 and I stopped receiving any help from my parents when they were no longer legally obligated to provide it.  As a result, they are receiving no financial help from me, despite their rather dire financial circumstances.  I guess they should have thought ahead a little more.

briandougherty

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Re: What to do when spendthrift family comes asking for money?
« Reply #37 on: January 30, 2015, 04:01:35 PM »
Geeze, I can't believe how cold hearted some of you are.  I get that many of you are tired of helping to support other family members.  I agree with the advice to just say NO to brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews.  But I think that the parents may deserve more consideration.  After all they did for you as much as they could.  Even including, I bet, help thru your college years. 

It is up to you how much help/support to give them and in what ways.  I like Mishmash's idea of sending gifts of food or other items thru Amazon.  That way any money you spend is spent on what you perceive is a need rather than a want.

Alternately you could make a line item in your budget for parents support and use that when needed.  It is difficult for anyone when an unexpected expense shows up and even worst if it is not YOUR expense.

It's "no" to giving money, not to giving help.