Loans to parents


#1

Not sure I can even word this right. I wrote out a loooong post, but deleted it due to length.

DH and I have never had any extra money until he retired from the military this year & got a civilian job.

Now, our parents (both sides) have started asking for money & because we had it we gave or loaned it. We don’t discuss how much DH makes, but they know we are doing better.

We’ve paid DHs parent’s rent one month, their medical bills, my mom’s car payment, and now…my mom needs money because she has doubled paid on her mortgage…the bank won’t refund the overpayment…& she has gone negative in her bank account.

The hesitation is that it would be all we have.
Meaning…we have it to give, but then we have nothing.

She would probably use a part of it to have a wonderful Thanksgiving feast for family & friends, but that would be money we used to shop for Thanksgiving, celebrate a upcoming birthday, buy gifts for Christmas, and we have a baby coming in six weeks who we haven’t bought a thing for yet (procrastination, worried about another miscarriage).

So, we have the money, but we would end up with nothing. DH would get paid three times (biweekly) between now & the baby. So, we could do the running around later.
I’d like to give it to her, but almost feel like I have to mention it will put us at zero.

The Bible mentions taking care of widows (which she is) and of course the 4th Commandment.

Not sure what I’m asking because we have to give her something. There is no one else who can. I just know that it will make us struggle. However, it would be better to struggle than to see her not have groceries or all the problems that come with being negative in a bank account.

Any thoughts on taking care of parents financially? Especially when you aren’t flowing in money…they just think so. When they are honestly living above their means (she just bought a new car last month).

Tell me we can sacrifice – we should sacrifice because…she’s my mom. Tell me it’s a good thing to care for parents even if it makes your family struggle a bit. (It’s not gonna bankrupt us or put us negative…just make the holidays & upcoming birth a little harder.)

Thanks for your thoughts!


#2

It’s a nice thing to help your parents, but not at the expense of your husband and children. Remember, God first, spouse second, children third, everyone else fourth. Maybe you can compromise, only give her the EXACT amount she’s negative (she can’t be negative the whole amount, can she?).


#3

I think if your parents are in need and you have the means to help them then you must do so. But if the parents are using your generosity to live beyond their means then you aren’t doing anyone any good by catering to them.

I suggest the following. If your mother needs money for a housepayment, don’t give it to her. Pay the bank directly. Do the same with other bills. If she needs grocery money perhaps you can send a gift card for her favorite store. But in general I wouldn’t give her money to put in her checking account.

You also need to see if perhaps the parents are just not mentally able to handle the responsibility of finances anymore. As difficult as it will be for all concerned, it is sometimes necessary for a child to take over paying the bills. It may be necessary to let the parents feel a little pain in the form of bounced checks and late payments before they are willing to admit there is a problem.


#4

That sounds like the way we should go. We honestly don’t have enough to make up for her entire double mortage payment.
She has never come out and said exactly how much she needs…just that she’s negative over $500.

I guess I’ll give her a call now & let her know that’s how we can help.

Thank you. :sunglasses:


#5

:o That’s what I believe happened with her new car. She had to know that she couldn’t come up with the first payment. This might be a sign since the car payment & mortgage problem happened within two weeks of each other.

I suggest the following. If your mother needs money for a housepayment, don’t give it to her. Pay the bank directly.

I like this suggestion, in case something else is going on, but this situtation isn’t that she needs money to make her mortgage payment…she paid twice (long story) which put her bank account negative. If this is a trend that continues, especially now that car payment is due each month, I believe this would be very helpful advice.

You also need to see if perhaps the parents are just not mentally able to handle the responsibility of finances anymore. As difficult as it will be for all concerned, it is sometimes necessary for a child to take over paying the bills. It may be necessary to let the parents feel a little pain in the form of bounced checks and late payments before they are willing to admit there is a problem.

It’s not a mental problem, it’s living a materialistic lifestyle honestly. Things, more things, new things, are what’s important. She has told me she gets lonely & will shop to fill a void.

DH & I don’t have anything new. That’s the only reason we had some money put away to buy our first home.

Thank you for responding. You’ve given me a lot to talk to DH about.


#6

If this is the root of the problem, then I would sincerely question if you are helping or HURTING your mother and other family members who seemingly take advantage of your generosity in order to feed their need for ‘new stuff.’ Sacrificing the well-being of your family in order to bail them out of situations they apparently create due to a lack of self-control is not okay, IMO.

You sound like a very loving daughter who truly wishes to help her family. That is a very virtuous way to be, but please realize that it may in fact be enabling them to choose wants ahead of needs and at your expense, not their own.


#7

How disturbing that your parents are unable to plan financially and live within their means. Don’t become co-dependent. The sooner they realize that their finances are their sole responsibility, the better. Don’t enable their lifestyles, the have many years ahead of them on a limited income and they need to get it together as soon as possible. If you are an ongoing source of interest free cash, then your parents will never discipline themselves. My advice: tell your mother that this is the last time you can lend her money, that you can never co-sign on any loans for her, and that you will lend her money this once but she should know that you will be unable to meet your needs due to this loan. All of this and a baby coming soon. So much to deal with! You might suggest to your mother that she apply for welfare/food stamps if she’s unable to make ends meet. A good book on finances might make a good Christmas gifts for your and your DH’s parents. Finally, what payback plan do you have worked out?

My recommendations would be that you take your mother grocery shopping to make sure that she has the basics and pay any urgent bills, like her electricity, water, and gas directly to the utility company. Make the minimum payment only. Do not lend her a lump sum. Just pay the most basic utility, personal and food bills. And of course any prescription medicine. She can Christmas shop in December.

Tell her that this is the way your DH wants to handle it because money is tight for you too. If she has cable, Tivo, magazine subscriptions, doctor bills, etc. she’s a big girl and can handle those accounts and pay any overdue charges. She can also work out payment plans with her creditors. Do not get sucked into your mom’s financial problems in this way. I also agree with those who suggested that your in-laws may need additional help with their finances.


#8

If she paid double the mortgage accidentally, then she should have an extra $500 in December and be able to pay you back immediately…right?


#9

I hate to break it to you, but you can’t afford to help her. Just because you’re not writing bad checks doesn’t mean you’re doing well financially. If this money is all you have, and was your house down payment money, then you are NOT obligated to give it up, especially to someone who is living better than you are on borrowed money. Tell her she can sell her TV and cancel cable and Tivo if having the car is so important. We all have to make choices. If she loses the car, you can always give her a ride.


#10

First, may I say :clapping: :dancing: :love: :bounce: I love to hear that you have such strong family beliefs. It’s wonderful to hear someone willing to joyfully care for their family (parents are family!)as best they can.

Not sure what I’m asking because we have to give her something. There is no one else who can.

No, no you don’t have to give her anything. And either they are perfectly capable of amending their ways or there is in fact someone else who can. Otherwise this would have been happening for years, not just when they found out you are doing better.

I agree. Let her lose the car and the luxeries. Let her come to your house for thanksgiving if she can’t afford to have it at her own expense. As someone who also has family such as this, I recommend you never ever give actual money. If they need groceries, go buy them some gorceries. If they need a rx filled, go fill it. If they can’t keep track of what bills they’ve paid and are double-paying as a result, consider that maybe they are of an age where someone else needs to manage their checkbook. I have learned this to be VERY effective. If these are things my family NEEDS, I’m there. I have no idea how I get the money, but we find a miracle somewhere. But after responding this way once or twice, I found they stopped asking. It seems they wanted the money more than what they claimed they were buying it for. No cash = means asking for what they need.


We never loan money. If they truely need it or it’s for something I truely just want them to have - then I’d rather give it and be done with it. If they aren’t someone you feel comfortable just giving it to - then you aren’t going to feel better loaning it. If you can’t afford to give it - then you can’t afford to loan it either.


**God bless you, I know it’s a horrid guilt trip you must be on. Get off the ride and enjoy the newest blessing on the way. (congrats btw!) I think you will find doing this will make everyone happier in the long run. I imagine you are starting to dread picking up the phone these days.:slight_smile: **


#11

I accidently paid my mortgage six months in advance when attempting to “schedule” my mortgage payments over the Internet. My mother was there to help me out as she always is. I wounldn’t think twice about doing the same for her.

My late father is another story. His widow is now broke and two of her sons who are very well off financially are whining about helping her financially. Unbelievable.


#12

This is how we help clients in our St. Vincent de Paul conference. If they come to us with an overdue utility bill, we have two options. We can either 1) give them the money, and never know how it is spent, or 2) pay the bill ourselves and take that burden off of their shoulders. We choose option two, for household bills, food requests, prescriptions, etc. If someone truly has money management issues, we are not helping them by giving them more undesignated money to deal with. But if we can ease one financial burden then it is a little easier for them to deal with others.


#13

This is how we help clients in our St. Vincent de Paul conference. If they come to us with an overdue utility bill, we have two options. We can either 1) give them the money, and never know how it is spent, or 2) pay the bill ourselves and take that burden off of their shoulders. We choose option two, for household bills, food requests, prescriptions, etc. If someone truly has money management issues, we are not helping them by giving them more undesignated money to deal with. But if we can ease one financial burden then it is a little easier for them to deal with others.


#14

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