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Feeling guilty

November 5th, 2013 at 08:45 am

For many many years, I've bailed my parents and some of my siblings out of financial binds. We are talking thousands and thousands of dollars. My parents and most of my siblings are extremely poor money managers. My widowed mother still spends all of her income in a span of two weeks. I send her small amounts of money from time to time and a generous monetary gift for Christmas and her birthday. She is now in a financial pickle and needs to move in with my sister. This entails purchasing an airline ticket and sending some of her personal belongings via air mail and does not have the money to do so. I feel guilty because I can make her life easier, for the moment, by sending her money and purchasing her air fare, but I've decided not do it. This is causing me some anxiety. I can send her the money, but financially I have to think about my own family. My husband is unemployed and I still have DS#2 living at home. He attends college and works part-time. It also angers me to have to let go of the money that I work so hard to save because they are not careful and respectful with theirs. Should I send her the money or stand my grounds?

P.S. My mom has not asked for money, but I think my sister and mom are waiting for me to offer. Frown

12 Responses to “Feeling guilty”

  1. momcents Says:

    Oh, I am sorry that you are in this situation. I am wondering if you could put out the word and take up a collection to help fund Mom's move. It might be easier if you know how much the ticket and expense for sending belongings before you put out the word. And I would say that you're not able to help out more than $x given your own financial situation.

    My own inlaws needed $5K for a move from Michigan to Illinois. We could have fronted them the money (they were waiting for a check from an inheritance settlement and it took longer than anticipated). Given that we only have $20K in our EF and our tuition bills were coming due, DH decided it was best not to lend them the money. Honestly I would have been nervous to do so. DH is an only child so it must have been hard for him, but given his parents' track record he was prudent. They love the casino, nothing more to say.

    (hugs) and good luck deciding what is right for you and your family.

  2. creditcardfree Says:

    Only you know what is right, but I likely would not be sending the money. I think the unemployment is a VERY legitimate excuse...if one is even needed. No need to feel guilty, in my opinion!

  3. Ima saver Says:

    Don't send the money!

  4. getforfree Says:

    As long as you have a good excuse not to give then anything, you should be fine. You have given her your money many times, and I think you gave more than any of you siblings. Enough is enough. you can't support their poor money choices and spending habits by having your kid work while he is going to school, and your husband is not working right now, so you shouldn't feel guilty. The other thing might be that your relatives make you feel that way, because they might think, you have more than they do.

  5. Buendia Says:

    I think I would say to her: "I've helped you out when we're able to financially, but right now with DH out of work and DS living at home, we just aren't in a secure enough position to do this." (I always feel better if I explain myself). And don't feel guilty - you are doing the right thing!

  6. North Georgia Gal Says:

    I wouldn't send the money. I think it is sad when a parent borrows money from a child...parents should be there to help their children, not the other way around!

  7. PNW Mom Says:

    I agree with the above...sounds like you have been very generous in the past. I think it is natural to feel some guilt, but you shouldn't in this case. Buendia hit it on the mark.

  8. Jenn Says:

    For heaven's sake, don't send any money and don't feel guilty about it! In fact, the 'help' you and others have given may have kept her from being forced to face consequences and change her behavior.

  9. Mrs.M180 Says:

    I side with the majority here; I had a similar situation, but instead of helping loved ones move, the loved ones moved in with me. They wound up staying and running up our expenses until we had to move in with my mom. In the end, we all wound up homeless because I refused to say no.

    Say no. You aren't obligated to take care of anyone but yourself, your spouse, and your children.

  10. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    What a ball of anxiety this must make in your stomach! Maybe you could offer the help of calling other shipping sources, rather than mailing things, which I can imagine is expensive. Consider piggy-backing on an interstate mover's load, using a private shipper like UPS, or even a bus service that will carry packages. That way you spend time, not money. Hope Mom is having a Craigslist sale or yard sale before she leaves, i.e., Don't ship it, sell it, even if for only nickles.

  11. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    Afterthought: Is there anything among your Mom's possessions that she will not need anymore that you would like to have? For example, maybe she used to cook a lot and has some fine kitchen tools, pots, appliances such as you have not yet acquired. Or maybe she has a great lawnmower, whatever. You could help her out by making an honest value purchase of those type things only if you would want the same anyway. Of course, if you are at a distance, this might not be feasible.

  12. NJDebbie Says:

    Good news guys! My sister is advancing her the money. I will be gifting her a little bit of money when I get paid again. I just felt that I needed to make a point that money does not grow on trees and she has to take responsibility for her money. I love my family dearly and it took a lot from me to even post about this. Thank you for your advice.

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