Need advice regarding relative who doesn't understand financial responsibility


#1

This relative was living with a guy for 2.5 years. She was under the impression that they would be getting married and considered herself his wife already. Many times I told her how I felt about her living with this man without being married to him but she wouldn’t listen. She quit one of her part time jobs and kept house for him among other things. When she recently asked him if they would ever be married he said he didn’t love her as much as she loved him and he didn’t see a future for them. He’s been basically supporting her for the last few years and she seems unable to save any money at all. She knows nothing about financial responsibility. Even yesterday with no working car and hardly a dime to her name including no stable place to live she went out and spent money on a cell phone cover. :mad: Her dad who didn’t put his foot down when he should have (when she was a kid) is hinting that she should live with me. He has a three bedroom house and I have a 1 bedroom apt. He has his retire money and his wife make a decent living teaching while I work several jobs just to pay the bills. I had plans to maybe buy a house some day and can’t afford to support someone who can’t get themselves together financially. How should I deal with this.


#2

Well, for one thing, don't be pressured into letting her move in with you! It will be a disaster for you and it will enable her to live an irresponsible lifestyle. There is likely nothing you can say or do to make her handle money more wisely, and it's probably best to not even try. The only way she can understand the value of money and how to handle it is to live on her own for a while and feel the consequences of misgmanaged finances (i.e. what it's like to live on ramen noodles for a week if she blows the food budget buying an expensive piece of clothing she doesn't need).


#3

Under no circumstances let her move in, only under tragic circumstances let her spend the night. She's bad news.

As far as money. You can only offer to show her how to budget and what things "really cost" like how you have to put an extra $5 away for a $39.99 "contract" phone bill becuse of taxes...or how you should plan $20 for the electric even if it has never cost more than $17. How to put aside for emergancies...for insurance...for retirement.


#4

[quote="Sierrah, post:1, topic:216219"]
Her dad who didn't put his foot down when he should have (when she was a kid) is hinting that she should live with me. He has a three bedroom house and I have a 1 bedroom apt. He has his retire money and his wife make a decent living teaching while I work several jobs just to pay the bills. I had plans to maybe buy a house some day and can't afford to support someone who can't get themselves together financially. How should I deal with this.

[/quote]

Next time he gives that "hint" take the bull by the horns and tell him exactly what you think about that idea. Make sure he knows your true feelings about the subject. His lack of parenting skills does not translate into a financial obligation for you.

ditto on what purplesunshine wrote.


#5

[quote="SamH, post:4, topic:216219"]
Next time he gives that "hint" take the bull by the horns and tell him exactly what you think about that idea. Make sure he knows your true feelings about the subject. His lack of parenting skills does not translate into a financial obligation for you.

ditto on what purplesunshine wrote.

[/quote]

I agree. It's not your job to support her and her father is being unreasonable in my opinion. If she were seriously ill with something and he was too poor to support her, maybe, but it sounds like she is choosing not to support herself and her father doesn't want to take care of her either. I would suggest not doing this b/c once you allow her to move in and get comfortable, she might not have the incentive to move out, especially if you can't require that she pay rent or contribute.

How old is she? I would hope not older than early to mid-20s. That's old enough to start getting your act together but if she is significantly older than that, I think that's a worse sign.


#6

I second, or third, this advice.


#7

It would be unwise to cave in to this pressure, for all the reasons you and others have already covered. Once you get a problem roommate in, too, it's hard to get them out and stressful to put up with them in the meantime. Especially family.

However, maybe God is giving you an opportunity to help this relative get genuine help before she ruins her life. I say this as a "recovering overspender" who ended up in bankruptcy and am still in big financial messes. :( because, among other reasons,

-- I just liked stuff, plain and simple. And my dad made a decent middle-class income. Yet he and my mom overextended themselves on credit sometimes, which worked against the good example they tried to set for me. We used shopping for the wrong reasons ("retail therapy":rolleyes:), bought things we didn't need, etc.

-- I have ADD which makes it even harder to not be impulsive ("Oh, look, a shiny!:bluelite:)

-- I did not **have an understanding of personal finance essentials such as how quickly compound interest adds up, :eek: the need for cash flow, the concept that it's a **really bad idea to get cash advances to pay for necessities because all your money is going to pay the minimum on your credit cards, etc.:tsktsk:

Words of caution, though -- if you think you are called to this, your responsibility ends with attempting to present the information in a caring way. If your relative doesn't want the information, or wants you to enable her self-defeating behavior, if she tries to manipulate you, firmly but kindly refuse to get drawn into any of that. Or any other family drama.

And she might. I know I had to "hit bottom" so to speak before I would listen to sense. :sad_yes:That's why I like to help others and maybe prevent someone from going down the same bad path.

Good luck! The fact that you are working hard is proof of your strength and can set a good example for your relative.:thumbsup:


#8

[quote="Sierrah, post:1, topic:216219"]
How should I deal with this.

[/quote]

By saying NO to her dad's idea to pawn her off on you.


#9

I would go to www.daveramsey.com and find out where the nearest Financial Peace University class is and find out when it starts. Offer to pay the $95 fee for her to take the class (maybe even offer to take it with her as the $95 covers the cost for two people to attend, whether a family or not). This will help her understand the basics of getting an emergency fund, budgeting, getting out of debt, building up a bigger emergency fund, and investing/saving for the future.

I agree that she needs to learn to stand on her own two feet and taking her into your house and under your financial wing is not the way. I second (or third) other posters who have stated that when her father hints at her moving in with you, that you plainly state that your one bedroom apartment is not suitable to two people but you’re more than happy to help her move back into his three bedroom house.

Know, though, that your friend is the one who truly has to be invested in changing her ways. You can only lead/guide her so far before she needs to take over and lead herself. Good luck!


#10

Sierrah,

You sound like you are living the story of “The Ant and the Grasshopper”.

Also, there is a popular saying you may want to memorize" “Failure to plan on YOUR part does not create an emergency on MY part”.


closed #11

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