Post # 1
So my cousin who is older than me by about 12 years was in town last minute but I was already out so I couldn’t see her. She was visiting with my aunt, who offered to buy her an evening gown that my cousin wanted to get for a cruise she and her husband are going on for their anniversary and they will be dining at the captain’s table. When my aunt heard that she was getting a $500 dress, she told her to just come over so she could help her find something more affordable. Aunt ended up buying a few dresses for her but they were all short so cousin might still end up getting that dress she wanted before.
My dad has vented this to me before…even though my cousin is his god daughter it really bothers him that elder members of the family are always helping her out when she and her husband make so much money. I didn’t think they made that much but my aunt just told me today that they make at least $100k combined. O.O My husband and I make just a fraction of that, though we did only start working this year.
My aunt has been giving my cousin $200 checks a month, meanwhile she has been living in the same apartment for about 40 years and will not have any money saved when she retires. My cousin has a lot of pets including big dogs and a ranch-style house and an in ground pool. They also have a patio table that cost a few hundred dollars that my aunt paid for. (BTW cousin’s mom passed away a few years ago)
I just don’t understand the logic. My aunt won’t even let herself have nice things and makes around 30k a month, and she’s in her 70’s. A $15 dinner is expensive to her and I don’t get why she does that to herself. I think she also pays for my newphew’s (cousin’s son’s) tutoring lessons.
I keep trying to subtly tell my aunt that my cousin will make the decisions she wants to make and can’t be forced to have a different way of thinking…but then she always ends up helping her out with something. She complains to me once in a while about how my cousin is such a headache and has always been that way, but then why rush to her need all the time or volunteer yourself to help out when cousin can just learn from her own mistakes?
Part of what makes this funny to me is that I was always told by my aunt growing up that I was so spoiled and I thought I was the spoiled one of the family…but I don’t think I’m nearly as demanding as my cousin, if at all :/ I don’t ask for things, but sure if someone treats me to dinner sometimes I’ll be really hungry and end up eating a lot. Last time we visited, my husband treated cousin and her son to mini golf and ice cream. When she didn’t give us a wedding gift I chalked it up to them not having any money since she does complain about their bills and expenses a lot. I just had no idea they made that much money.
Post # 3
@tmsing: Dude, I’m with you. Actually, a relative of mine has always been getting her rent and basically everything paid for by her parents. If I want something and I tell her about it, she nonchalantly asks me “Why don’t you just ask your mom?” Um…because I’m an adult?
Post # 4
@tmsing: Honestly, its none of your business how your aunt wants to use her money. Also you dont know what kind of debt your cousin is in. Just because they make a supposed 100k a year doesnt mean that they are just barely getting buy..
Post # 5
$100k combined is a decent amount but not that much, really.
Also – you have the right idea with let her learn her own lessons. As in, don’t worry about it. You can’t stop or affect it, so just don’t think about it. Which I know is hard because I have mooching relatives. But you don’t know their whole situation and what they spend money on (any of them) is up to them.
We make decent money and constantly get flak from friends/family for not spending more of it. That’s our choice. We don’t ask anyone for money, and when we’re retired early and comfortable, they’ll see maybe we had the right idea.
Post # 6
- Wedding: August 2013 - Wynn Las Vegas
Your aunt probably likes giving her daughter money. Don’t get involved.
Post # 7
Some parents like providing for their kids, even if their kids don’t need it. I guess I don’t understand how this effects you? My mom still buys me clothes sometimes, and my husband and I make more than her. She enjoys spoiling her kids. Nothing wrong with that, if she gets something out of it!
Post # 8
@tmsing: This whole situation is really nothing you should concern yourself with unless you want to invite some extreme drama.
Post # 9
Who cares? It’s none of your business.
Post # 10
I’d stay out of it; it’s absolutely none of our business.
Post # 11
Assuming the aunt is the mother of the cousin, it is none of your business.
You say “it really bothers him (your dad) that elder members of the family are always helping her out“. Now I agree if equally close relatives were always helping her out, there is an issue. But if the aunt is her mother, then there is the special closeness of immediate family, and that is none of your (or your dad’s) concern.
Post # 12
- Wedding: June 2014 - British Columbia
@tmsing: It reeks of elderly abuse; i.e. your cousin is taking financial advantage of your aunt. (I noted that the aunt is taking on as a motherly figure since your cousin’s mother passed on?)
Post # 13
@Cynderbug: Oh wait, the aunt isn’t the cousin’s mom? I see that now “(BTW cousin’s mom passed away a few years ago)”. That changes everything. Ignore my previous answer.
Yes she is taking advantage of the aunt. Does the aunt have her own children? I think someone needs to step in and offer financial advice to the aunt.
Post # 14
- Wedding: June 2014 - British Columbia
“My aunt has been giving my cousin $200 checks a month, meanwhile she has been living in the same apartment for about 40 years and will not have any money saved when she retires.”
200 x 12 = $2,400 a year; that’s a lot of money if your aunt has been writing that for years.
We don’t know if your aunt and cousin go to the bank often to make withdrawals on your aunt’s account. If so, the bank teller is obligated to find some time to question your aunt (in a friendly concerned manner, without the presence of your cousin) the relationship between them. The teller would then have to report it to the local police for them to discern whether this is an elderly abuse case.
I just hope your cousin doesn’t have any joint accounts nor Power of Attorney over your aunt’s accounts.
Post # 15
@tmsing: I totally understand where you’re coming from, I’d be annoyed at the cousin and concerned for the Aunt.
However, where I’m from, a combined $100k isn’t a lot of money. It’s not even enough to live comfortably in some communities around here. And that’s assuming there are no outstanding debts (even legitimate debts, like student loans) in addition to the average cost of living.
So you really don’t know how every dollar of their income is spent. While I’m not trying to imply that your cousin is barely scraping by, boo hoo for her, or that she’s a shining example of smart money management and a victim of unseen circumstances, you really can’t do anything about your cousin. She’s probably shamelessly taking advantage of your Aunt, but your Aunt has to be the one to stand up for herself. Unfortunately.
Post # 16
@whoa_its_ash: It’s not her daughter, it’s her niece.