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obligation to give parents money?

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
DH's parents handle their finances seperately. From what I gather it's like "you make and spend your money and I'll make and spend mine". Now, that's not how DH and I handle our finances but if that's how his parent's want to handle theirs then it's not my business. Well, it's not my business until it affects my household. DH's mom makes bad financial decisions. When DH's Mom wants (not needs) money, she calls us. We are a young couple with a baby living off of one income. It is very important to DH and I that I stay at home with the baby. For that reason, we sacrfice a lot of things when it comes to money. We don't go out to eat, we don't buy new clothes for ourselves, and we don't buy A LOT of things that we want. But that's okay because we are okay sacrificing these things in order to have me stay at home with T. Back to DH's mom....we technically *could* give her the money from our savings account but in mine and DH's opinion, that's not what a savings account is for. We save money to eventually put a down payment on a house or send our children to college or something on those lines. We don't save money to give to his mom because she can't manage money. We have Doctor bills for the baby sitting on the kitchen table that haven't been paid yet and the baby needs winter clothes in the next month. We obviously have things in our household to take care of financially. But we don't even dip into savings for that! We mange without going into savings. Now don't misunderstand me, I am BIG on helping someone (especially family) when they are in need. But DH's mom isn't in need. Her husband has money, he just won't give her any. I assume he doesn't give her any because he know that she will blow it. But it's his job not ours to take care of his household. If DH's mom and dad were really truly in need. I would happily give them any amount that they need. This is not the first time she has asked for money and it won't be the last. DH and I agree that she shouldn't be asking us for money but he feels an obligation to give it to her because that's his mom. I competely understand why he feels like this because he has a big heart and he loves his parents. BUT I think she's taking advantage of our kindness. Now, if we had extra money just laying around, sure I would be okay LENDING her some. But who has extra money just lying around these days? There's no such thing as extra money in our houe. With a baby, theirs always *something* to buy.

I just really don't think that it is right to call upon your young son and his family to take money out their savings account when her own husband has money. Like I said, she doesn't make good financial decisions so I'm sure she'll just blow through whatever we give her and she'll be calling again. By the way, she's asking for $200! In this situation would you feel obligated to give a parent money (even when their own spouse won't give it to them)? My parents are complete opposite of DH's parents so I'm not use to situations like these. I understand that this is his mom and he does feel an obligation to give her money no matter the circumstance but I just can't agree with doing it. I'm very uneasy about it. Would you be?
post #2 of 33
um, nope. no way. she _has_ a partner and it's not you guys. i can't believe she would even ask in the first place. that's pretty icky.
post #3 of 33
I think you are in the right.

If dh's mom has a roof over her head food to eat, then she does not need you to give her spending money to blow on whatever else it is she 'wants'.

Don't feel guilty.
post #4 of 33
you are right, dont do it and dont let her borrow it. you'll likely never see it again anyway.

nak
post #5 of 33
No way. I assume your FIL won't give her money because he doesn't want to enable her spending habits. I think if your DH gives her $$ the demands will never stop.
post #6 of 33
Time to draw the line.
post #7 of 33
It's nuts to ask your son and his family for money in this situation. But just to feel better, I would probably say, "Mom, things are very tight here..but we can give you $50 this month and $50 next month and that is all we can spare." Or something like that. I realize that is not what most people would do, but it would make me feel better for my own self. And if she said it HAD to be $200, I would just say we can't afford it.

I have faced something like this situation with a nephew of mine (grown). That is what I did, and only for a couple months.

Of course, if you really can't afford it and don't want to give it, say no.
post #8 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by laohaire View Post
Time to draw the line.
post #9 of 33
I think it's weird that she's asking you for money without a specific need.
post #10 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by phathui5 View Post
I think it's weird that she's asking you for money without a specific need.
I think so too! One time my DH asked her what it was for and she got offended!
post #11 of 33
You're right. Your DH needs to learn from his dad's lesson. His dad knows better than to give the mom money. So why would your DH think it's a good idea?
post #12 of 33
I wouldn't because your MIL seems to have her basics covered (shelter, food, utilities, etc) and it's more of your FIL's problem if she is really in need of money, NOT you and your husband. (Not saying that spouses SHOULD be financially responsible for their s.o.'s, but to me that's the heirarchy if there was a true need--spouse, then children.)

IME, financially irresponsible people need to face their problems. My parents dug themselves deep enough that they felt the need to claw their way back. (This actually coincided with their personal lows regarding substance abuse, so they pretty much had to turn their whole lives around.) They are now trying to pay down debts and stay clean.

It's a slim line between "helping" and "enabling".
post #13 of 33
No way.

He's just enabling her. Do you think he would understand this from you or would hearing it from a third party help? I watched my one and only episode of Dave Ramsey recently and he couseled a couple in just such a situation. There's proabably some financial advice written somewhere which will tell you (and him) what he needs to hear. It's time for mom to face her problems without a bailout.
post #14 of 33
No way.
If she were facing eviction, then yes, help her out. If she needs a low interest loan and is willing to actually sign papers, then maybe if you believe she will actually pay you back.

Your FIL is the first person she should be going to.
You should only get a call if the two of them are in financial crisis.
post #15 of 33
No way. And I agree, it does sound like something funky is going on if she wouldn't ask her partner first or explain it to your dh.
post #16 of 33
In case your dh has forgotten, she has a husband to ask for money.

Your dh needs to take care of his wife and child, and his father can take care of his wife. This isn't a food/clothing/shelter situation in which his parents need help together; I second the Dave Ramsey suggestion.
post #17 of 33
No way. I've btdt with my ex in-laws. FIL called once, saying he "needed" $100 for his trip back to Ontario (paid for by his parents, who weren't very healthy and hadn't seen him in years), because he wanted to bring something to his parents and brother. We lent it to him, although I was hesitant.

We never got it back. What's more, we went out there ourselves the following year. My FIL's mom never got a gift from FIL. He spent no money on anybody but himself while he was there. So...whatever. When he called again, we didn't have it. Same for my ex MIL. I'm sure they thought it was great that their son had married money (whatever, my best year, with a fair bit of overtime, was about $42K - the next best was about $35K), but since he was driving us into steady debt, I wasn't about to play bank. They had their chance to straighten out their finances. I didn't see any reason I should screw my own household for their lack of responsibility.
post #18 of 33
I can see three situations where it would make sense to give her money:

1. If the MIL comes from a culture where it is automatically expected that children help support the parents with money.

2. If the household is truly in need, as pp's have said.

3. If the MIL is being abused or something by the FIL and needs help to get out.
post #19 of 33
I think whether it makes sense or whether you have an obligation to give her money is besides the point. Your DH feels obligated to, and he wants to, and it is important to him that he honor his mother in this (crazy) way. You saying NO WAY can build financial resentment (I'm not saying it WILL, but stranger things have built financial resentments) and its not worth it if a simpler resolution is possible.

IMO you and your DH need to sit down and talk about his feeling of obligation to his mother, why he feels like he should do this for her, what he could do instead to satisfy HIS feeling of obligation (not her expectation of $$ since that will not go away), and if at the end of the talk he still feels a monetary obligation, the two of you need to settle on a MIL emergency fund $$ value (and a timeline for building that up) that you are willing to have set aside if and when this situation comes up again and how much (if any) money you are willing to give at this time. You can call it a loan, but she will never pay you back and I think that is another source of resentment that you would probably rather not have in your marriage. I would also discuss whether or not telling your FIL would make your DH feel like he was tattling on his mother, because I think she needs to feel that humiliation of her husband knowing, but that's me. Anyway the MIL emergency fund is not for the benefit of your MIL. This is for your DH, and his feeling of obligation, and for the long term health of your marriage.
post #20 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by lolar2 View Post
I can see three situations where it would make sense to give her money:

1. If the MIL comes from a culture where it is automatically expected that children help support the parents with money.

2. If the household is truly in need, as pp's have said.

3. If the MIL is being abused or something by the FIL and needs help to get out.
I agree with this, though, given OP's disagreement with lending the money, I'd might still argue against #1.
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