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Would you ask for financial help? - Page 2

post #21 of 50
Thread Starter 

Thanks, Vaske. I really appreciate the specific info--specifics are always helpful!

3timesamom, in answer to your question about how much we've cut back, we have no TV, no cable. We bought a used car that had no payments left and DH takes that to work while I take the train. We strategically plan at DD's birthday and Christmas for what playthings/clothes she will need over the year, and we don't buy anything for her at other times unless she needs a clothing item we didn't anticipate or something (which we get used). We CD so no diaper costs. DH and I don't buy clothes unless we really need them, maybe ten items a year between us. I have a job with a professional dress code so I cycle through the same 5 outfits every week. I don't really wear makeup and the only beauty products I use are shampoo, conditioner, face wash, and dry-skin lotion. I make my own vinegar cleaners. No paper towels, only rags. We bought our house through a low-income program that allowed us to pay half of what we payed when renting.

The only luxuries we allow are date nights for DH and I a couple of times a month.

We still spend a lot on food because I buy a wide variety of all-natural, organic foods. Our products like sunscreen and lotion get pricey because I buy all-natural. So those are the only cutbacks I can envision, and they are ones I am really reluctant to make, because I see them as health issues for my family.

 

Sorry for the loooooong response, I just wanted to make it clear how hard we have worked to cut back as much as we can. I'm not sure why there is such a discrepancy between my budget and yours; the only thing I can think of is that the cost of living outside Boston is really, really high. But that's where the good editing jobs are, so here we have stayed.

Thanks for sharing your family's story with me, and I'm sorry you have to deal with it. It sounds like it SUCKS. You're a good daughter to help your mom out despite how you probably feel about the whole thing.

post #22 of 50

Honestly, I think being an adult means being financially-independent, barring any huge medical bills.  

post #23 of 50
A&A : shame on you for trying to shame the OP.

I think you're doing great! I've been in a similar boat for a number of years. Right now I live next door to a family of three with two cars (and a truck that doesn't work), cable, Internet,, the adults working only part time while on food stamps and WIC. It's hard to see others having luxuries because they take assistance you don't. So what? That's human nature. It doesn't mean, just because we complain about it from time to time, that we expect something for nothing.

Credit counselor. Find out the length of the tunnel.
And forgive yourself for being human.
post #24 of 50

We do all those same things. I cloth diaper, I use cloth wipes, we make our own laundry soap, lawn sale for clothes and toys, and goodwill for those things as well. This is something we have to do. It takes more time but honestly we have fun doing it. We have Internet for television, and frankly thats fine. In fact I think my kids would have a heart attack if I tried to tell them Ninjago isn't on right now;) Honestly I think your doing better than you think. As I said I feel for you as I know exactly how it is.

post #25 of 50

I would only ask for help if there was a very specific need. For example I needed $900 to pay for my last semester of grad school. My grandma gave it to me so I could graduate and I have paid her back at $300/month. I totally understand the feelings of it's not fair. My ex owes me over $22,000 in back child support. He doesn't work and his parents spend tons of money on him and his international travels. Even his sister is pissed. If only they could spend that money on the grandkids! 
 

post #26 of 50
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

And forgive yourself for being human.

 

Thanks so much, pek64. I really, really appreciate your kind post. I'm keeping that last line in mind; I posted this thread in kind of a fit of stress, and I feel like I have a much cooler head on my shoulders now.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3timesamom View Post

Honestly I think your doing better than you think. As I said I feel for you as I know exactly how it is.

 

 

Thanks, 3timesamom. I think you're right—we're doing ok. I appreciate the commiseration. (That comment about Ninjago cracked me up.)

post #27 of 50
Thread Starter 

That's awful, pattimomma! I'm sorry you have to deal with that. Thanks for the advice—I agree that asking for help for a specific need is sometimes necessary.  

post #28 of 50

OP- don't take this harshly.  But are you really wanting them to cut you a check every week?  I am sure it would be nice- but to be obligated to your inlaws like that is- well it is crazy.  And that is what it would be wouldn't it?  Life changes are in order- if your DH won't change jobs you need to.  Or sell the condo and live cheaper.  Waitress, papers, eliminate everything- you get the idea.  But I wouldn't ask for a weekly check, I wouldn't accept a weekly check.  It isn't any of your business.  It doesn't go through your checking account- so none of your business.  Yeah I get the favoritism- but it still is none of your business.  

post #29 of 50
I'm not sure where you got a weekly check! I didn't!

The OP has student loans, and may have a job that pays reasonably well. It still might not be enough to easily make ends meet.

I kind of agree about your husband though. Can he find some occasional work for when furniture isn't selling well? Does he have the time for that?

Just a thought.
post #30 of 50
Thread Starter 

Yeah, definitely not looking for a weekly check.

 

Pek64, you hit the nail on the head (thanks again for your kind, thoughtful replies): I have a great, well-paying job, but our student loan payment is so massive it just drags us down.

 

Our condo payment, because it's low-income, is as low a monthly living cost as we could hope for in this area. 

 

My husband's job is huge problem, big enough for a whole other thread, which is why I didn't go into much detail here. He refuses to look for another job and ignores job postings I find for him. I feel helpless, and I think I've done all I can do: remind him to look himself, and then look myself. Haha, this is kind of timely because we had a huge fight about this last night. He know he needs to change—time will tell if he will or not. He doesn't have time to take a second job, but I'm looking into finding some freelance work on the side to try to bolster our earnings. But until he is paid consistently we will struggle to stay caught up, that's just the reality. 

 

As I said before, I was considering all this because DH's mom intimated that she wanted to help us, that she hadn't realized how hard a time we were having. But I don't think we will ask for help. We are unable to pay all of our bills at present, but we're looking into taking another forbearance on the student loans to try to get caught up. We are currently only paying interest (so we're not even paying the loan down) so I think the only family help I would consider in the future would be some help paying more on the loan each month so that we can actually pay it down and get ourselves out of debt faster. DH really wants to ask his family for this kind of help, but I'm still not really comfortable with it, so we'll see. 

 

I wish I had made it clearer in my original post that, while I am more of the mind of everyone on this thread that financial independence is part of adulthood, DH's family is clearly not of that opinion. Asking for help is something that almost every member of his family (brothers, sister, parents, aunts, uncles, etc.) has done at one time or another. DH's parents paid for very little while his dad was in medical school; their parents helped a lot. I guess I just had a moment of weakness and stress where I thought, "Why I am I struggling here if they would happily help us?" But I'm calmer now, and would prefer to stay true to the standard of financial independence I have always imposed on us. 

post #31 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by annaknitsspock View Post

 

 

I do wonder, though, is it really right for DH to say, "Well, this is just none of my business," when his parents give financial aid to three out of four siblings? To me it seems like obvious favoritism. He's mentioned before that he would feel better if they would at least acknowledge that he has been financially responsible. It makes me feel sad for him.

 

 

In their own way, I think they are acknowledging his success, when they share what they are giving to the other siblings.

 

We have a very similar dynamic in out family. DH's sister has needed and taken thousands of dollars from her parents for various things. Last I was told they were at $60,000.

 

We could use some help at this time, but just don't want to invite the in-laws into our lives as much as SIL has had to due to the money and all the free baby-sitting they provide.

 

It's frustrating that we can't ask for help. A $5,000 loan for about six months would change my world.  (We have had close to $20,000 in unexpected medical debt this year alone). But as it stands, DH told his parents to write him out of the will over all the crazy money drama. I did have to relay the will thing to MIL, as DH can't even stand to talk about it at this point. Money is a crazy thing, and if there is any jealousy or weird feelings surrounding you would be much richer from avoiding the scenario.

post #32 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by annaknitsspock View Post


 

I just had a moment of weakness and stress where I thought, "Why I am I struggling here if they would happily help us?" But I'm calmer now, and would prefer to stay true to the standard of financial independence I have always imposed on us. 

Just to put in my 5 cents , my wonderful Mother has been helping me out and she actually has paid some ( desperately necessary ) repairs to my house , but even though , she doesn´t expect it and she would never , ever take it , if I tried to pay her back .

But it always makes me feel very guilty and there have been many situations , when I would have needed money and didn´t ask her , just scraped by , until the next pay check , so I can totally understand , where you are coming from !

In the long run , it does make one feel better about themselves , if you can look back at your achievements and can say " I did this by myself "

( That however does not include absolute emergencies of course , just every day life )

post #33 of 50

Have you tried talking to the student loan company to have your payment modified?  Every time they raise my payment amount I call them and tell them I can't afford it and they drop it back down to next to nothing.  As long as you keep paying, they seem to be happy.  My interest rate is super low, so I don't have a priority of paying it off early and in your situation paying off a student loan would be far from my mind as well.  

post #34 of 50
Thread Starter 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sarafi View Post

 

It's frustrating that we can't ask for help. A $5,000 loan for about six months would change my world.  (We have had close to $20,000 in unexpected medical debt this year alone). But as it stands, DH told his parents to write him out of the will over all the crazy money drama. I did have to relay the will thing to MIL, as DH can't even stand to talk about it at this point. Money is a crazy thing, and if there is any jealousy or weird feelings surrounding you would be much richer from avoiding the scenario.

 

I'm sorry you have to deal with that and that your DH is so stressed over it. You're right that money drama creates such unpleasantness in one's life, and we'd all be richer without it. 

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by tonttu View Post

Just to put in my 5 cents , my wonderful Mother has been helping me out and she actually has paid some ( desperately necessary ) repairs to my house , but even though , she doesn´t expect it and she would never , ever take it , if I tried to pay her back .

 

Thanks for the alternate perspective, tonttu. Your mom sounds awesome. My mom would be like that, too, if her finances weren't worse than mine. It's so nice to have a supportive mom (even if it's just emotional support).

 

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by Delaney21 View Post

Have you tried talking to the student loan company to have your payment modified?  

 

Over and over and over again, for years, with absolutely no success. I have Sallie Mae loans, and they really just don't seem to offer another option. The interest-only payment I mentioned is my lowest possible payment. It's more than $500 dollars a month (this is just my private loan--I have federal loans, too) and I'm not even paying it down. It's so frustrating, but again--I have to take responsibility for this. It was my own stupidity that led to me take out a six-figure loan. I honestly think DH regrets marrying me because of these loans. We got married so young that I don't think he really understood how much they were going to effect his life. It's maddening, because these loans put me through a really good school, which (eventually) got me my really good job, but the loan is so big we're still struggling. Ugh, sorry for the rant--I spend altogether too much time thinking about these loans!

post #35 of 50
We deal with blatant favoritism with my in-laws too and it really irritates me to see them spend SO much more on their daughters than on my husband. We've never gotten a dime of help even when we were in a situation (through no fault of our own) in which we could have realllly used the help of just a loan. And my in laws are loaded. But, in the end, I realize we have no right to anything from them and if they choose to spend their money a certain way, that is their business, not ours. Honestly it's the emotional piece that stings the most as none of the siblings need the help at all and it comes in the form of big gifts....leather furniture, incredibly expensive weddings, multiple expensive vacations. Its a slap in the face for sure, but I'm proud we've always been financially independent and I'm glad in a lot of ways that we never allowed them (or had the opportunity) to take that away from us.
post #36 of 50
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the shared experience, APToddlerMama. It's SO similar to ours, especially the big, luxurious gifts. You're so right that being financially independent in this situation can be a great source of pride. How do you deal with the emotional piece? Does it bother your DH? It just kills me to see my DH get so stressed about money and then watch his face fall when he hears about the money being thrown at his siblings. Have you guys found a way to be at peace with it?

post #37 of 50

Regarding the favoritism of parents.  It really isn't all that unusual for parents to attempt to control their children by keeping them financially dependent, either for every day necessities or for luxury items.  It is kind of a two edge sword -- they are telling their children that they aren't quite competent enough to be independent and the parent also usually gets to control where the money is being spent, using their own taste and beliefs (where you live, what you study at school, your decor).  Financially independent children can be a threat to these kind of parents - they can't be controlled or manipulated.  I guess I am kind of suggesting that financial help from parents doesn't always come with no strings.  Sometimes the manipulation goes the other way with the adult child manipulating the parent, but really the situation is often hopelessly messed up on the whole.  My mother tends to use my siblings financial difficulties as a way to keep them more or less enslaved to serving her emotional (and now physical) needs.  I don't need her so I can't be manipulated.  End of story.  It isn't always completely obvious, but this is something to really keep in mind when you hear or stories or look at your story of being financially independent while other sibs rake in the golden goose.  Just saying ; )
 

post #38 of 50
Thread Starter 

Ugh, I'm sorry your mom is so messed up. That must be really stressful. I appreciate the perspective, and I do try to remind myself of the downsides of their situations, but they aren't being manipulated or controlled. They do whatever they want with cash that goes their way and anything they can't buy with it, someone buys it for them. Very few strings. It's just the dynamic in DH's family. The aunt that often gives money can be condescending and loves to tell her niece and nephews how to live their life, so that might be a negative side-effect of the help, but unfortunately we get our fair share of that without the financial help, lol! You're right, though--maybe the endless advice giving is a string they have to deal with, and that's probably stressful, but they're not forced to take that advice. So instead I'm trying on to focus on what's good in my life, and just not worry about theirs. 

post #39 of 50

Used to be stressful, but it doesn't affect me so much any more.  But there are definitely advantages to being financially independent.  That kind of condescending tone you refer to can be shockingly damaging to people and the damage can really impact an individuals ability to pursue their own passions.  If we can't pursue our own passions and interests, then it is sooo easy to succumb to buying into the mainstream.  Pretty soon, we are caving in on our principles, or worse yet, never developing them in the first place.   And not believing in our own abilities, even when they may be amazing!  I removed myself from my tribe years ago and it was about the best thing possible.   I still will take care of my family when they have legitimate needs and I communicate with them all regularly, but the freedom is truly a blessing in all ways. 
 

post #40 of 50

*hugs*  That sounds hard to take.  I kind of understand because my parents just paid for my sister's wedding, my grandparents gave her $1500 for her wedding gift, she's making enough to be financially comfortable and have savings, they built their home on several acres just a few years ago, etc.  I'm a single mom with 3 kids juggling shut-off notices and accepting food stamps.  I'm jealous in one little corner of my mind, but not enough to take from my sister to give to myself if that makes sense.  I did ask my mom for a very small loan($80) in July and promptly paid her back 2 weeks later, several days prior to when I said I would.  My sister regularly borrows or takes several hundred at a time.  It was extremely uncomfortable for me to ask for money but there was no other choices available and I hope to never have to do it again.  I tried to sell things first but it wasn't happening quickly enough.  I don't think I would ask for money unless it was a necessity.....like paying a termination notice or an emergency car repair to get to work or whatever.  My kids and I went through an extremely tough several years where we were eating pancakes 2 meals per day and parking the car up the street so the loan company wouldn't repo it before I could afford to pay the bill.  I wouldn't wish those years on anyone.  But the debts are finally all paid off and my hard work was worth it.  We still struggle but we live in a much nicer area finally in a house with no mold and have an older car that runs and are in a better spot than we were back then.  The hard work was worth it.  And I can take pride in the fact that I did it all by myself without any help.

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