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Thread: Family and money

  1. #1
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    Family and money

    My husband has a very large (lots of siblings and nieces and nephews) family who is extremely nice for the most part, delightful people.

    However they have a different culture than my foo with money. IN that they ask each other for money. When one niece got married, we were asked to give money to both her honeymoon fund and her new house fund. We did not, just sent a gift, to which received no response.

    We have been practically ordered to pay for father in law's nursing home bills. We were told "it's only a thousand dollars a month." I told husband if he complied, he would be divorced.

    Now one nephew has suffered a real setback, but not to his health or ability to work. Loss of material things due to fire. No renters insurance. Family is sending around go fund me requests for money. The request was very sweet, but very impractical--we are supposed to raise 50000 so that he can buy a tiny house. He is thirty years younger than I am and able bodied and college educated, very talented.

    I do not understand this and feel angry that we are being asked for money again.

    Again, they are delightful people, and I feel really backed into a corner any time I say no to them. But I would NEVER ask them for money, even on behalf of my own children, whom they coincidentally have little interest in, as they are not "blood." Similarly, they have no interest in my parents, so it is a one way street.

    What do you guys think?

  2. #2
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Wow, that is tough. I would also feel resentful about the "one way street" expectation. I also think "It's only 1k a month" is really presumptuous--it sounds like they just assume people have unlimited funds to throw into the family coffers.

    I think you and your DH have to decide what you can realistically afford to contribute to these various life events and call it a day.

    My family tends to be a little bit like your DHs in that we do take a somewhat communal approach to each others' needs. BUT we never assume and we are always grateful for whatever we get.

    Here's an example:
    My brother went through hard times financially and was in danger of losing his house. On one occasion he asked me for a mortgage payment and on another for a health insurance payment, which was rather large. He said he would pay me back. I could afford it, and I also was knee-deep in Dave Ramsey at the time, so I told him that it was a gift--that obligations like that can tear families apart (at least that's what I heard Dave say), and I don't expect him to pay it back.

    Fast forward ten years. My brother emails me to say that he is looking into term life insurance to pay for our other sibling's final expenses--this is my alcoholic sibling who is not terminal, but he is getting older and has lived a hard, fast life. I told brother A that I would be happy to pay half. Brother A texts me to say he got the policy. I asked him about how to pay my half and he said, "You helped us out and I don't forget. I'll pay for the life insurance."

    Point being, you can only do what you can do. If you can help, that's great, but it shouldn't be an expectation. Hopefully, your DH agrees. If he feels guilty not going full boat with his siblings, you'll have to deal with that, but we are at the stage of our lives when we do have to think of ourselves.
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    First, I really like the story about your brothers--I admire you all for helping each other out, and for remembering, and not taking each other for granted.

    "I would also feel resentful about the "one way street" expectation. I also think "It's only 1k a month" is really presumptuous--it sounds like they just assume people have unlimited funds to throw into the family coffers."
    Yes, and yes! I think part of my resentment of the situation is always being made to feel like "shirttail relations." WE are bombarded with emails about how wonderful these kids are, their accomplishments, etc., how they got into this or that amazing graduate program or were published in this or that publication, and then we are asked to contribute to their housing. Not going to happen, especially when one of my own kids did not go to college because he did not want to take out loans, and one is still paying back his student loans.

    "I think you and your DH have to decide what you can realistically afford to contribute to these various life events and call it a day."
    I like this--just pick a number and if this kind of thing comes up, contribute that number. Unless we feel it is really out of line.

    I don't know what husband will do--I told him if he wants to use his tithe from his paycheck to contribute that's fine with me, but I resent being asked to give money to a kid who is college educated and has many more working years than I do.

    I like the idea of coming up with our "family policy", a lot.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Tradd's Avatar
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    As for the relative who lost his belongings due to fire and had no renters insurance, maybe donate a small amount. But if someone is so irresponsible to not have renters insurance, which is fairly inexpensive, I would not “reward” that irresponsibility by helping to buy him a house!

    FIL’s nursing home bills - perhaps contribute something if your budget allows it - perhaps a couple hundred a month? Being ordered to pay it would peeve me off to no end.

  5. #5
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Nursing home expenses are very high and a plan to support someone there from handouts is not viable. Your DH’s family is not practical at all with money.

    I would probably give money to the relative whose house burned down, Especially because it’s a one time thing.But the little fantasy about oh let’s set him up for life in his own little house is bogus. And it is not practical, once again, to expect everyone in the family to sacrifice at the level required to give nephew his little house debt free.

    This expectation of theirs is an an over estimation of how much the collective kitty will provide. They think they can Stone Soup it up to $50,000 easily, instead they will raise maybe $5,000. This group needs real lessons about money by coming up with budgets and plans on paper.

    Generally speaking, I stick to my giving goals which are in this order: bulldogs and animal causes, old buildings, plants. Notice there are no human causes targeted here for funding.

    One reason I can be so rigid about giving categories is because my family and DH’s family all are fully functional human beings. So that makes it easy. We had one nephew on DH’s side of the family who was into drugs and got straightened out, and DH‘s father bought the kid new teeth which was $20,000+ well spent. There was brief chatter in the family about how this kid got money and the other nieces and nephews did not, but it’s just talk. There’s no real complaining about it because everyone understands the reality that this kid got a bad deal in life because his mother is a, well, dim wit and worse.

  6. #6
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    IL is right about the cost of nursing home care. Contributions are not sustainable longterm. Has FIL no assets to pay for his own care with family supplementing it with modest contributions? Did FIL fund all needs within the family over the years and it is now time for the family to support him? Is there clarity and integrity in fund distribution and by whom? Who decided on $1000? If the family is so extensive, $1000 sounds like a very large amount for one portion of the total contribution.
    Lots of questions before going further is my thinking.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

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    The film issue was resolved. He went from th as he had VA benefits that they didn't bother finding out about. So that became a non issue and he has passed.

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    Impractical is a great word for it.

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    Also last I checked tiny houses in maine on their own land are going for 160k not 50k.

  10. #10
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    We have decided our go to is 10 per cent of one paycheck for this kind of request

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