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Thread: when relatives don't want to help themselves

  1. #11
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    Flowers, I know you are loaded --- with good recipes

    Could you (pretty please) post your pot pie recipe over on Food? I would love it. I am a sucker for a good pot pie. I believe I salivated on my keyboard a little when I read your post.
    Trying to live well, have fun, save money, and leave a small footprint http://thegreenhedonist.com

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  2. #12
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    [QUOTE][/So how do you handle such instances? Anything else I can do? My biggest fear is they do get some money out of MIL and I can see her eventually going from a comfortable lifestyle to one that is in financial jeopardy.QUOTE]

    Not sure how to handle this unless MIL is somehow compromised mentally and then one could say and do more. Are there any other family members who can speak to MIL and caution her to be very careful to make sure that she stays safe. If a number of caring family members say the same thing, it will have more of an impact than just one party. Perhaps, something along the lines of - we need to make sure that MIL is not stressed into jeopardizing her future as she will not be able to work as we can to recover her financial security.
    "How will you serve the world? What do they need that you can provide? The effect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is." (Jim Carrey)

  3. #13
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    I hear that Flowerseverywhere is throwing a Chicken Pot Pie party for all of us on Simple Living! I will bring a raw vegetable salad

    ALso, repeat this phrase whenever necessary: "we just don't have enough to support anyone but ourselves. " That was perfect!

  4. #14
    Senior Member flowerseverywhere's Avatar
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    thanks so much. I knew we were doing the right thing but sometimes you know how you can easily second guess yourself. I love the retort to say something like "when you are ready to pare down your lifestyle I can help."

    I was so insulted yesterday that I guess I had to vent. I know people don't want advice. If you mention Your Money or Your life or tracking expenses peoples eyes just glaze over. It is the easy bailout they want. But we in no way have enough cash to bail them out unless we want to be poor ourselves and that won't help anyone because they will still be poor!

    I did the food thing because that is what I do. When people have babies, are sick, have funerals, or birthdays I cook. I have tons of easy recipes that I make, and they aren't really expensive. I cook extra and pack stuff up for my widowed mother in law because I know she'll have toast or crackers instead of a meal with meat or other protein, a starch and I go heavy on the vegetables when I cook. Most people ask me for the recipe they like it so much. I will start a post for the recipe tomorrow when I have more time- I am packing up the remains of the library booksale tonight when it closes at 9.

    Maybe everyone can post their favorite recipe and we can all expand our horizons and recipe file.

  5. #15
    Senior Member flowerseverywhere's Avatar
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    by the way I make a killer Italian wedding soup...

  6. #16
    Senior Member Blackdog Lin's Avatar
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    Kudos to you flowers, on your common-sense response to the family scenerio. Sorry you have to deal with it.

    But I want in on the Chicken Pot Pie Party! It sounds wondermous and fun. I will bring banana puddings. (I recently saw - on AllRecipes, I think - an idea for individual banana puddings, using my circa 1980 banana pudding recipe, with vanilla wafers and all, but making it in individual kitchen glasses. Very cool and very doable.)

    BLOCK PARTY EVERYONE. What are you going to bring?

  7. #17
    Senior Member Sad Eyed Lady's Avatar
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    I'll bring the wine!
    "Like a bird on the wire, like a drunk in the midnight choir, I have tried in my way to be free." Leonard Cohen

  8. #18
    Senior Member leslieann's Avatar
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    Chocolate? Will there be chocolate?

    I also salivated at the description of flowers' chicken pot pie....I haven't had a good one since leaving my mother's house and I don't think I properly appreciated her cooking.

    I'm going over to Food now to look for the party.

  9. #19
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flowerseverywhere View Post
    They still drive nicer bigger cars than us and when the money was rolling in they lived quite the high lifestyle. Recently I bought over a chicken pot pie full of fresh vegetables in homemade pie crust (super yummy) but she said he wouldn't eat stuff mixed together. he liked things like meat and potatoes, yet there were take out pizza boxes in the kitchen. She said they were working so hard they "deserved" it. I e-mailed her my pizza crust recipe when I got home but she has yet to try it. They are "too busy". They have a garage full of stuff they could sell, but haven't gotten around to it. I even offered to come over and help them set up a garage sale and list some bigger items on craigslist but they might need it in the future and don't want to sell anything. It seems like everything we suggest is rejected. I want to help but they don't want help but are ready to ask for handouts.
    Just to play devil's advocate a little...

    I don't know how long DH has been looking for a job (or salary) similar to what he had, but is it possible that DH & DW know all too well the position they're in right now and they're mourning the loss of that lifestyle? It's one thing for us here to decide that the fancy car and the big house aren't that big a deal anymore, but many (most?) people in this country see purchases like that as validation (men, especially), and there are entire industries out there looking for every opportunity to make us consumers feel badly for not choosing a more expensive option in whatever we buy.

    Or maybe DW/DH are in that stage of grief known as denial. Your DH/DW could well be thinking that, as the news reports that the economy is picking up, they don't have to cut back much because the good times will come back "real soon now". Well, they might....

    Finally, flowers, while I honor your thoughfulness in helping DH/DW, I can see that suggesting DW/DH start budgeting and selling off belongings and paring back their lifestyles could come across as proselytizing. I know how I react to that. Let them make their own way and try to keep them from dragging others down with them. They know who to call on when (if) they want to get their financial act together.
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

  10. #20
    Senior Member jennipurrr's Avatar
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    The chicken pot pie sounds delicious btw!

    We have had this dynamic for years with my DHs family...it gets really old. They think because we have managed our money well they deserve the benefits from that. I read somewhere that there is a difference in how the middle and lower classes think of money, and there is definitely a completely different perspective coming from them then what I have. DH was raised in poverty, true hand to mouth. I was raised in typical middle class house where if money was tight we made due with less, but no one was ever in crises like eviction, etc. In my family if you borrowed money from a family member then you really borrowed it, you paid it back! My parents once borrowed money from my grandparents for a car, made payments, paid a small amount of interest. In DHs family borrowing money is more like a gift and everyone just kind of accepts that. Money is seen more as a family resource and you help people out, because you will need the favor one day since no one can manage their money. We are fortunate that MIL has been in a relationship with a fairly wealthy man for some years now so a lot of it has stopped as she is no longer in need of money and the other siblings come to her.

    We drew a hard line some years ago and I think it has caused some distance, but the alternative would have been to let them constantly "borrow" money. DHs brother had "borrowed" over $2000 from DH before I knew him, money DH did not have, and never paid it back. DHs mom was having him title pawn his car when things got tight for her. It was really unbelievable. You are doing the right thing by laying down good boundaries.

    I think for both of us it was hard after we made really good financial progress to not have anyone else interested in changing, and continue to jump from one financial crisis to another. We both went through a period where we were really excited about YMOYL and I am pretty sure DHs family was sick of hearing about it. I decided a while back that all I can do is live by example and I've put it out there that I will be happy to help anyone budget, be frugal, etc etc... No one has ever taken me up on it though

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