Post # 1
My sister just asked me for some money. Her vehicle was broken into and apparently she had her rent money in there? Anyway, she is short about $300 and is about to be evicted. I am not sure what to do.
On one hand, she has never asked me for money before. My mother is a mooch and she knows I have had bad experiences with her and now I don’t give out money to people anymore. So by her asking me gives me the sense she’s desperate. On the other hand, my sister is very financially irresponsible – hence her keeping her rent money in her vehicle. She has tens of thousands of dollars worth of credit card debt alone and is always partying. Also, while she hasn’t asked ME for money before, I know she’s asked our parents a lot, who are also not good with money and so they’re probably tapped out right now which is why she is coming to me.
I am torn. Obviously, I love my sister and I definitely don’t want her evicted from her apartment. The protective big-sister in me is ready to hand over the money. However, I don’t want to open a floodgate, ESPECIALLY now that I am pregnant and am trying to save for a down payment on a house. Many of the adults in my family are STILL reliant on their parents and or other family members, and I am not interested in having anyone text me every other month about money like my mom used to. How should I handle this? What would you do?
Post # 2
I wouldn’t lend money to someone who is a flake with money and deeply in debt who left her rent money in her car (are you sure that story is true?).
Post # 3
SunflowerGarden : tough spot that you’re in. I’m all about helping out family but only within reason and I won’t loan money if I don’t believe I’ll get it back. In your case, it sounds unlikely that you’ll be gettig it back and honestly I think giving her the money would be like enabling her irresponsible behavior. I have been in some pretty tight and terrifying spots when I was younger and irresponsible and I just had to figure out what to do on my own and learn how to change my ways. This might be a lesson your sister needs to learn. Sorry bee.
Post # 4
Someone doesnt get evicted for 1 months rent being late. If she’s actually on the verge of eviction she owes back rent, or is having ongoing issues with rent. Either way, it doesn’t bode well for you!
“Sorry sister, things are super tight with the baby coming”. Is probably what I’d say.
Post # 5
I live in a culture where it’s the norm to ask family for money.
Generally, the first time I say yes (provided I can afford it and agree with the thing the money will be used for); the second time I say no; after that it depends on relationship, need etc but I often give part but not all.
Post # 6
Can she sell something instead?
Post # 7
You will definitely not see that money again, so make sure that you are willing to completely part with it before you hand it over. And leaving $300 of rent money in a car doesn’t seem like a real thing. Are you sure it isn’t just another family member that you have stopped giving money to asking for it through her?
Post # 8
That doesn’t sound right. If she’s late on rent for a month, generally landlords aren’t so quick to throw a tenant out. Especially if she had her car broken into. And if she’s so irresponsible, if you give her the money, prepare to never see it again. Which is fine if you feel like it’d be a one time thing but it might very well mean she’ll start asking you for more in the future because she’ll be more comfortable with it.
Post # 9
Yeah, I’m seeing red flags. Definitely tough but I wouldn’t set an expectation that she can come to you for money. Use the baby as an excuse.
You might feel shitty about it now but in the long run you are actually helping her. When no one is around to bail her out, she will be forced into becoming more responsible.
Post # 10
If you choose to help her, do not give her the money directly. Walk with her directly to her landlord’s office and make the check out directly to them. If she balks at that then she’s lying.
(As for people wondering about money in the car…it’s a thing. I have a family member who does this – leaves the wallet in there overnight, money in the ashtray, phone in plain sight on the seat. It is ridiculously lazy and stupid and they are lucky the car hasn’t been broken into more.)
Post # 11
I’d give her whatever you can afford to lose, but I’d give her something.
Post # 12
Since you said this is the first time she has ever asked you for money, I would give her the money or what I can afford to lose.
Give, not loan. When you know she’s very likely to flake out on the money, treating it as a loan would be setting yourself up for disappointment.
I would give it to her this time and consider $300 the price I pay for a 200% clear conscience to say no to all future request when she inevitably flakes out on the money this time.
Post # 13
I don’t recommend giving your sis the money by walking to the landlord and giving them instead. For a couple of reasons:
1) Plain and simple this is more work for you. For something that is Not Your Job. It is your sister’s job to be responsible with money. Not yours to teach it to her. If you treat someone like a child then that can create the (of course mistaken but nevertheless is there) expectation that you will continue acting the role of the parent to them.
2) If you do this then that can create the (of course mistaken but nevertheless is there) expectation of, “Oh, well if I can only prove to my sis that I need money for a legit reason, then I am keep making such requests in the future.”
No, that is not what you want. You need to save for a house and a baby. Any money you give to your sister, whether for rent or for partying, is still money that you would not now have for house and baby. You just want to stem the tide, nip in the bud, etc. So the way to do that is to just hand over the money. Then when you don’t see it back, it is reasonable to say doesn’t matter what you used it for or why you didn’t pay it back, fact is I am poorer by $300 now and I cannot keep doing this, so it stops here. And not, “I can keep losing $300 if it’s for rent but not if it’s for partying.” No you can’t keep losing $300 PERIOD.
Post # 14
Apartment landlords absolutely will evict the first month rent is late. Many in my area file for eviction on the 8th day of the month if the full rent plus late fees aren’t paid. They will change the locks and you have to go to management to let you in to get your stuff out. I worked as a Realtor and apartment locator for years and dealt with this regularly.
I agree with Sunburn. I would give your sister what you can afford, and give it with no expections of it being returned.
Post # 15
If I had it and could live without it I’d absolutely *give* it to my sister. I’d let her know I’m not a bank and not to expect me to help often but she’s never asked you for help before. I’d help her out.