Post # 1
Just something I was thinking about and thought I’d pose the question to the hive.
Back story:FI and I both come from from “working” class families, our parents are not wealthy but we’ve never struggled financially. Both our moms have had to basically take early retirement in order to care for our ailing grandmothers so things are now a bit tight for them, having to give up a paycheck but adding a mouth to feed.
FI and I have been chatting about family and finances. He currently gives his mom a certain amount every month. It used to be considered rent but now that he’s no longer living with her its just extra money. He mentioned that he needs to stop giving her money but the issue is that she relies on that money to make ends meet. Since it’s quite a substantial sum I told him that he needs to talk to her and figure things out. We have a wedding we need to save for and we are unable to just “help” people out. What happens when we want to buy a house or when we have kids?
I do not give my parents a set amount every month but I do help out on occasion – I’ll buy groceries, clothes if needed, medication, but my parents do not rely on me financially.
What do you do? If you do help your families out where do you draw the line? Any advice on how to perhaps approach his mom? I’m kinda scared for him to do this – I’m not sure how she’ll react.
Post # 3
The only time I’ve really stepped in to help was when my mom couldn’t afford vet care for her diabetic cat. She gets pets and loves them but can’t afford high quality food or veterinary care should an emergency arise. She can handle annual appointments, but she had a really old cat who was walking funny & peeing all the time, and sometimes having accidents. She was talking about putting him down but I told her he might have diabetes. She couldn’t afford the vet visit or the lab work so I paid for it, and also bought 6 months worth of insulin. I told her I can’t afford to buy insulin indefinitely so she’d have to figure something out, but I can get it started.
I think at that point, I was looking out for the animal’s best interest and not so much my mom. She never has any money, and I’m like “Sorry, I work full time to pay my own bills and to buy my own stuff, not to give it away to someone who hasn’t worked in a decade”… harsh, yes, but she’s not terribly responsible and me giving her money only enables the behavior :/
Post # 4
Does his mother still take care of the grandmother? Can she apply for government assistance?
Post # 5
No, but my MOH has taken care of her parents since she was 15. Curently, she is paying her mom’s rent every month and up until recently her dad was living with her. It’s not so much that she helps, but the fact that they feel entitled to her help. When her parents split up last year and her mom moved out of the house she told MOH that “at least rent here is only $450 instead of $600 a month.” This while MOH is 6 months pregnant with a second child and really can’t afford the help she’s been providing. She has three other siblings and only one has ever helped out to any real degree.
Post # 6
I don’t help out my parents, but I would if they suddenly fell on hard times. I don’t expect that to happen since they have quite a bit in savings & investments. But I would definitely help them out if they needed it, just as they would help me if I needed it.
Post # 7
I’ve never ‘helped my parents out’ as such. I’ve bought groceries for them, and when I lived at home I paid them keep. If it ever got to a point where they needed some financial help of course I’d help them out however I could, but I don’t envisage that ever happening. However, I do expect to be making more than my dad within a fairly short time span (I’m university educated, he’s not, and he’s been working hard in the same job for 25+ years) so I’d like to be able to send them on holiday, perhaps for their 30th anniversary in 5 years’ time, basically to say “thanks for being my parents and for being there for me”. I know that when we were kids there were times when they were really struggling for money, but they never let us suffer. They’ve never been able to do things for themselves, so I’d love to be able to give that to them.
Post # 8
I don’t, but if they ever needed me to and I was in the position to do so, I wouldn’t think twice about doing it. Well, as long as it wasn’t putting me out financially and was just a temporary solution, unless the circumstances were extenuating (i.e., my step father passing away).
Post # 9
@ms_protea: I understand you might not want to share details, but I think a lot of this depends on how much money you make vs. how much the parents make, where you live, etc. I think if you can afford to do so, and your parents need it (assuming you have a good relationship and they work but still struggle to make ends meet) then I think you absolutely should do what you can to help.
My dad and his other two brothersgave my grandmother a few hundred dollars each a month their entire adult lives, because my grandfather had passed away, my grandmother only had an 8th grade education and had worked in a button factory, but couldn’t really make ends meet, even though she lived *very* simply and frugally. I would do the same and I know my FI plans to buy his parents a house for their retirement for sort of the same reasons–and I love that idea and am totally on board.
Will his mother be able to pay bills and buy groceries if your FI doesn’t contribute? Can you two afford to help, but cut down in other areas in your life, and still save for a wedding?
Post # 10
- Wedding: August 2013 - Brookfield Zoo
I don’t know, but I absolutely would if they needed it! They’ve given me so much it would be unthinkable to not return in kind.
Post # 11
No and i don’t think they will ever need it. Though i am willing to support them in any other way!
Post # 12
in the Chinese culture, the children always send an amount of money home to the parents to boost their nest egg. I personally haven’t started this, and am not sure whether I really want to. Rent and monthly expenditure is already a lot as it is.
Post # 13
My father is self employed and is currently in a bit of a sticky with money to pay for the mortagage and while I’m not in a position to help, I would if I could and it pains me that I’m not able to help more. If it came to the point wherehe my stepmother and sister’s needed a place to stay I’d welcome them with open arms and let them stay as long as they needed.
How could anyone not?
Post # 14
Yes, I used to, because my mother has no idea how to manage her finances. In fact, the only time she contacts me is to ask for money. I finally told her that I could no longer afford to give her money when I got laid off a couple of years ago, while she was employed. It’s not my responsibility to pay someone else’s bills because of their poor choices. I was laid off for 6 weeks in June/July, and she managed to make her first contact with me this year right in the middle of that, asking for money, while I was unemployed and have a wedding, other normal bills, and a car payment. I kept all of my bills current through a year of unemployment and then the 6 weeks of unemployment this year.
Post # 15
Thanks for the responses bees! I can’t reply individually since I’m responding from my phone…
I totally agree with helping our families out especially if they were in dire straits.
FI and I are not wealthy but we do earn decently and we are in a position to help out but only to a certain extent.
My main issue is where do you draw the line between providing and saving for us as a couple with our own goals and aspirations vs essentially contributing towards the running of two households? I would never expect him to stop helping his mom out but to put it into perspective – he’s giving her 10% of his gross monthly salary every month pretty much the equivalent of half of what we pay for rent. Its very difficult to talk actual numbers since I’m from a different country to most bees and the costs of living everywhere is so different!
Post # 16
Where to draw the line is definitely something you and your FI need to sit down and discuss. In my culture (I’m chinese) it is very common that there is no line. I have friends who are married with their own kids, but either still live at home with their parents, or moved their parents into their home because they couldn’t afford to help their parents out with their rent/mortgage AND their own. It definitely isn’t an ideal situation, but it is what it is.