Post # 1
So my husband and I recently got married – yay! When we got engaged, my Dad sent us some money for the wedding. He sent it right away because he knows he is terrible with money and would spend it unless it was already gone. He has always been an “entrepreneur”, and has launched 5-8 iterations of a business that failed (possible more – hard to keep track), and his financial situation is like a roller coaster. For the past few years, he’s been living off the money from the sale of his house, and is doing street ministry. (He is ordained to perform marriages, and has become very religious in the Pentecost tradition thee last 5 years, so goes by “Pastor ___).
There is no doubt in my mind that he’s helping these street folks, and he works quite hard at it. But he’s still terrible with money – he freely admits this – and this street ministry doesn’t pay. He rented a house with a roommate, who then left him high and dry, and he can’t afford the rent on his own. So now he has to move out. And he hasn’t had a job that paid in over a year, possibly more. He’s just kept getting windfalls to support himself – his grandmother died and left him a pile of money, he sold his house, etc. But now the proverbial well has run dry, and he’s come to me asking for $1,000.
My husband isn’t my Dad’s biggest fan – my Dad is very manipulative, fickle, and dramatic and has deeply hurt me in the past. But still, Darling Husband says he has no problem giving him money. I am totally torn. I know he has really no one else to turn to… but it’s a big ask. We are doing ok, but are still paying down some debt and have no savings. And from what he’s told me, he has no plans to get a paying job, so will this happen again in a few months? But I cringe and feel like the world’s worst daughter (heck, the world’s worst person!) when I contemplate not helping him.
What should I do? Give the $1,000? Suggest a lower amount? Not give him anything?
Post # 2
Nope. Nope. Nope.
Never loan money to family. It causes stress and burns bridges.
Post # 3
Well, it’s not a “loan”; you know it won’t be repaid. I think if you do give him money, it should be just once, otherwise you’re enabling him rather than supporting him to take control of his life. What will the $1000 be for? Just random living expenses? I’d write a check to the landlord or utiliity company or whatever he needs. I would not give someone that careless with money just a wad of cash.
Post # 4
“Listen, if you want to borrow money, its kind of a bad time. I’m buying dinner for 128 people tomorrow night” -Chandler Bing
Obviously since youre already married, you can change the wording a little bit. The point is to channel your inner Chandler 🙂 Seriously though, loans and family is almost always a bad idea.
Post # 5
Perhaps return him the money he gave you for your wedding?
Treat it as though you were safe-guarding it for him but be firm that that’s all he will get.
Post # 6
stokesto : Also asking if he specified what the money is for? If it’s for rent can you pay it directly to his landlord?
How much did he give you for your wedding? It sounds as if perhaps he wasn’t really in a position to contribute. If you do give him (loaning sounds like the wrong term here) the $1,000 can you make it clear that it’s a one-time deal?
Post # 7
I wouldn’t, just because you and your husband aren’t in a position to give money away with your debt and no savings. What’s his long term plans to become more financially stable and where is he going to live? Just a few questions so that you are aware that he may ask you for more money next month or few. However, PP had a good suggestion to write a cheque to a utility company. Also your husband says he doesn’t mind but I wouldn’t want that driving a wedge between us.
Post # 8
stuckinwonderland : Yes, I definitely wouldn’t treat it as a loan. It would be a gift, for sure. Otherwise I’d go crazy – especially since he says he won’t be getting a “normal” job because he doesn’t feel that is in God’s plan for him.
miss forever : He’s asking for less than what he gave us. I suppose that we should do that… probably shouldn’t have taken the money from him, because at the time I had a sneaky suspicion he’d be out of money by the time we got married.
For those suggesting I don’t give any money, how do I deal with the guilt?
Post # 9
If you’re a believer pray about this. If you decide to give him the money then give him the money as a gift, not a loan, because there is a 99.9% chance he’ll never repay you. In your case I probably wouldn’t give him the money just because of your past toxic history with him. Also, only give him what you can afford to lose, otherwise it would be foolish.
Keep us posted on what you decide.
Post # 10
stokesto : Since you have no savings, if you were to end up with an emergency (car breaks down, someone gets sick, etc.) how would you handle it if you gave your dad the money?
If you’d be able to figure it out and it wouldn’t put you in a really bad situation then I might do it if I were you because it’s your dad, but I would not expect to be paid back.
Think of it like a gift. Can you afford to gift him $1K right now? If so do it, if not then don’t.
Some other solutions: Does he own anything he can sell? Can he at least commit to a part time job?
Also, if he doesn’t work and he doesn’t have another windfall coming, what does he plan to do once your $1K is spent?
Post # 11
I would give back the money he gave you for the wedding, and call it even.
Post # 12
I’m really concerned that you don’t have any savings. And your dad’s money problems are chronic and long term. One bail out isn’t going to solve anything.
If you and your Dh don’t have six months worth of expenses saved up, you, frankly cannot afford to give away $1000. And you have debt on top of that? I would say you really aren’t doing all right, even though you are making ends meet.
Are there any social service agencies that could help your father, long term? Is he eligible for social security? Does he have emotional problems? Churches? Community organizations?
I’m sorry, Bee. But, I can’t see how you are in a financial position to help him. That said, if you really feel that you must give him $1000, I agree with the PPs–pay it directly to the landlord, utility company or whatever as a one time only event. Then I would research local resources that may be able to help your dad. Ultimately, it’s his choice.
Post # 13
I would give him back whatever he sent you for the wedding. He clearly cant afford to help with that.
Post # 14
Honestly I wouldn’t look at this as a loan or a gift but repaying him the money he sent you. If you knew he was unemployed and terrible with money I never would have accepted that money from him. So I’d give it back to him with that caveat.
Post # 15
You guys need to work on building your financial base together before you can help others and as it stands you have no savings and therefore no cushion should some shit hit the fan. Then both you and pops will have financial woes. It’s tough to say no, but in the long run you’ll be more helpful to your father if you build that financial base.