Post # 1
My mother and I are in the middle of a tiff about my finances. My opinion is that I have an educational background in finance so she should just keep her nose out of my pocketbook – yet she insists. She’ll just happen to glance at the calendar where I make notes about bills, she’ll casually glance at any paperwork I keep on the counter or table, and today she just casually happened to pop up while I was at Sears making a purchase.
We needed a new mattress as ours is at least 15 years old and I find it hard to get any sleep on the darn thing. So I applied for a Sears credit card, got approved for $1500 and then purchased a $950 mattress and boxspring (reg. $1800) with payments of under $100/month. What really blew her away was when she seen I was paying $500 in cash for a chair for my living room – it is a chair I love and adore and was also about 50% off, I never spent my income tax return so this is my little treat for everything I’ve done. Last week I purchased a $200 second hand couch to replace our loveseat which needs to be thrown away. My goal is to be finding furniture pieces that I love (while at a decent price) that I can bring into the house that we intend to purchase in a few years.
She says our finances are out of control, so I am going to show you the same budget I showed her and see if we are at all as whacky as she thinks:
Combined Take Home Income: $3,000/month
Rent: $800, Hydro: $40, Groceries: $300, Cellphones: $100, Transportation: $70, Entertainment: $100, Mattress Pmt: $100, Student Loan: $100, Cable/Internet: $120, Total Expenses: $1,730/month
Remainder For Wedding Savings ($2000 to go over 4 months) and general savings: $1,270.
I don’t know if I am just stupid but I think we have an extremely effective budget going considering what we make. My income alone is enough to pay every single bill and we are practically saving all of FI’s income. I’ve been so proud of how we’ve been doing financially and every time I mention my finances she just drains the life right on out of me. I know that combined FI and I make more than my father does, so I am thinking that maybe she doesn’t realize that and thinks that if she can’t afford to spend that on something that we shouldn’t be able to either.
Post # 2
My two cents – by showing her your budget and explaining yourself, you are validating her opinion that she has a say in your finances. You are probably better off being vague, and shutting down the conversation. “Thanks for your concern, but we’ve been careful to create a budget that works for our needs. We’re good. Hey, how about (insert new topic here)?” And from now on stop talking to finances about her because she is going to see it as an invitation to meddle!
Post # 3
My only question is this; is she helping pay for your wedding? In that case if she sees you making large purchases rather than saving for your big day, she may feel a little hurt and possibly used? I as a mother would probably be put off as well to be honest, in that circumstance.
However, if you do not rely in any way, shape or form on mom and dad, and are completely independent; then it’s not really her business and you don’t need to explain yourself to her!
Post # 4
Unless you are 18 and living under her roof I ABSOLUTELY would not be showing my mother my finances. It’s none of her business at all, and she needs to start butting out. You are an adult, she has NO business putting her nose in your finances. Remind her that you have everything taken care of and you know how to budget your own money and don’t need any assistance.
Post # 5
First, I don’t think it’s her business and I’d kindly ask her to butt out. Not really. But I’d keep financial documents out of sight when she’s over and if she brings it up I’d say something like “Thanks for the advice. Did you hear that cousin Jenny got a new job? I hope…” Smile and redirect!!!
Second, the “savings” that you’re talking about – is that emergency savings? Retirement savings? Savings that are going to pay for these furtniture purchases? I would highly recommend a financial planner who can help make sure you’re on a good track financially for whatever your financial goals are (retirement, hosue, kids, vacations, furnishings, etc). Honestly, my husband and I don’t really buy new furniture, unless we really need it, because it isn’t really important to us and we’re still trying to pay off his student loans while savings aggressively for retirement. But we totally splurge on nice vacations, because those are important to us. It’s all a matter of priority. As long as you have a good emergency savings fund and are meeting your retirement savings goals, then I think it’s fine to invest in furniture!
Post # 6
WeddingBells2014: I think you should stop discussing finances with your mother. Put your bills away and/or stop telling her what you are buying and what things cost. It’s none of her business (unless you go to her looking for money or have in the past – then she might be concerned for herself!).
Post # 7
I agree, once you are an adult making your own money and living on your own your finances are no longer your parents business. Your mother should understand that it isn’t being “out of control” to purchase investment pieces that will last many years and that you will use everyday such as the bed, living room furniture etc-
Post # 8
How old are you? My parents stopped worrying about my finances when I turned 18. As an adult, they trusted me to manage my own affairs or dig my own grave. Tell your mom to butt out, she’s being ridiculous. You don’t have to justify spending one cent to her.
Post # 9
Have you guys been asking for money or help or anything? If no, I never would have shown her anything. She is way out of line and you are validating her.
Post # 10
GrumpytheDwarf: She isn’t helping to pay for the wedding. She has been making small purchases to try and help out against my wishes.
JenGirl: The savings is currently being divided to have the wedding fully paid in 3 months and the rest is going into an emergency fund. Once the emergency fund is ample and the wedding is paid off we are going to start splitting the savings between saving for a house and into RRSP. Any furniture purchases will be put on credit with a goal of sticking to the $100/month payments that I am currently doing.
LilRhodyGem: I don’t even need to tell her what I am buying, it is like she has a chip in my tooth or something and always pops up when I am out shopping! She also just happens to pop in on a weekend and I can’t run around and hide everything. My calendar outlines when what payment is due, when paycheques and coming in… and I keep that all by the table where I do that sort of work. Even if I were to flip my bills facedown or file them I know she’d somehow get her fingers into them.
JiminyCricket: I am going on 22 and I have been amazing with money since I was 16 so it is hard to understand why she insists.
kl1987: I have never asked her for money since I was a little kid, I’ve been great with my finances since I was 16. I was hoping that showing her the budget I had set up would just shut her up about it so she could see that the money coming in is still higher than what is going out…
Post # 11
WeddingBells2014: Maybe you just need to tell her that YOUR finances are no longer up for general discussion and that you will consult her if you have questions or concerns. Until then, “momma, shut yer yap!”
Happy Mother’s Day 2014!
Post # 12
WeddingBells2014: Since you are a grown woman I guess I don’t really understand why you feel you need to justify your personal financial situation to anyone…including your own mother. Showing her your budget is only making things worse since it gives her the impression that she has a right to see it in the first place. Refuse to discuss your finances with her at all…ever. If she brings it up act as if you never heard it and carry on talking about something completely unrelated. Maybe one day she will get the picture but if not then continue to ignore, ignore, ignore her if she brings up the topic.
Post # 13
WeddingBells2014: Why is she stopping by unannounced? Boundaries are healthy!
Post # 14
WeddingBells2014: “Mom, thank you so much for being concerned about my wellbeing. Please trust me when I say that my finances are in great shape and that you shouldn’t continue worrying about it. I now make financial decisions with FI, so I won’t be including you in my financial decision making anymore. I think you should know that it makes me uncomfortable when you comment negatively about my recent purchases and I would appreciate it if you stopped. I hope you understand and respect this is a step I need to take as an adult. I love you very much and thank you for teaching me to use my money wisely. FI and I are doing great.”
Post # 15
You need to get a desk with a lockable drawer. When you aren’t working on your finances, everything connected with them – including your calendar – needs to go into this drawer and it to be locked.
You are over 21, you and your FI’s finances are no longer any of her business. If she insists, you say exactly that. If she continues to insist, you walk away, or if she is in your home, you ask her to leave.
You really shouldn’t be showing her your budget, if you don’t want her all up in your financial business. It’s very counterproductive.
My FI overshares his financial situation with his parents. Drives me mad, and it’s about the only thing we really fight over.
What does your FI think of all this?