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sending money to IL family abroad - Page 2

post #21 of 34
We haven't sent money regularly. Since being married 3 years, we have only sent money one time. We tried to send money a year back, but something happened in transit and it came back. But when the il's really needed it, we took 5k, all our savings for our upcoming trip and sent it there for mil's heart surgery. We would like to send more, but money has always been tight for us, and we are finally financially able to make the trip to India next month. I don't have an issue w/sending il's the money, I was just glad we had the extra money when they needed it.
post #22 of 34
Our in-laws are needy because there is no work. They know we work for our money but they rightly know that we can get it more easily than they can. My DH is not the only one working abroad and very hard to support his parents. His brothers do, too, though they can't send as much.

Usually my DH is tighter with our money than I'd be. Or at least he restrains himself for my sake. We both agree on what is a necessity and a priority for his family (health, education, religion i.e. hajj) and what is not (loaning money to distant relatives who have no intention to pay it back but just want cash for a specific item because they think MIL is rolling in it because her sons are working, not considering that she still supports her own daughters after marriage because they are in poor families...). Not that MIL would ask for that, but certain other relatives might.

Our relatives are really nice and the most they've ever asked for would be such a small sum or for something so important that we really can't object.
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Given the longstanding projection of this being a land of the fulfillment of dreams, it can be kind of like watching a relative win the lottery and then tell you they're sorry but they can't spare more than a dime. It might well be true. But it's still tough to imagine.
This is so true. They just cannot comprehend utilities and credit ratings and all that. People in very poor countries often cannot fathom the amount of forward planning and savings we have to put into our finances, so they cannot see how a bit here and there could hurt. After all, can't we borrow it from OUR relatives when we need it?

I don't blame them generally, but I have encountered people from poor countries that are exceedingly rude about it. Just- "You should give me money." But that is a very small number of people.
post #23 of 34
We have regularly sent money to my ILs over the years, sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on our own and their circumstances. I knew when I married my DH that he had an "obligation" with respect to his parents - they sold most of their belongings to send him away to university in the UK (at a time when there was civil unrest in his own country,making it impossible to even finish his BA there). His father was a govt employee, was "retired" early, and received a small pension. His mother always had odd-job "businesses" for extra cash. We lived with them for the first year of marriage - I was welcomed into their home and treated like a daughter. I think that seeing first-hand how they lived their lives, how careful they were with money, made it easier to send them money later. We knew it was not being spent on frivolous stuff (unless we specifically sent extra money so they could buy a wedding gift or go on a short trip).

We made sure to budget a certain amount to send monthly or every other month. We did got through a period when things were tight for us, but we always sent whatever we could. I guess our perspective has been different because they have never looked to us as the "rich" ones and were grateful for any money that we did send.

I won't say that there were not moments that I resented sending money, especially when things were tight for us. I have tried, however, to put things into perspective and have been "paid back" on many occasions. My MIL was a god-send for us when I was on bedrest my last month or so of pregnancy and during my daughter's first months of life.

While we have not yet had the need to help my parents, I know that my DH would support them if it came to that (and I fear it may as they watch their retirement investments dwindle).

As far as I am concerned, having a family that loves and takes care of eachother is priceless.
post #24 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
They just cannot comprehend utilities and credit ratings and all that. People in very poor countries often cannot fathom the amount of forward planning and savings we have to put into our finances, so they cannot see how a bit here and there could hurt. After all, can't we borrow it from OUR relatives when we need it?

I don't blame them generally, but I have encountered people from poor countries that are exceedingly rude about it. Just- "You should give me money." But that is a very small number of people.
There is a reason for that. When you live hand-to-mouth, feeling lucky to have enough food to get through today, you bet they don't get credit ratings and savings for a rainy day. Every day is a rainy day. In many cultures, unlike the me-me-me mindset of the US, the idea is that if you can help your family, you will. No question. If you haven't traveled or lived outside of the US, or even into very poor parts of the US (think very rural Appalachia), it's very hard to appreciate this concept. It's not a matter of budgeting for utilities, retirement or whatever big-ticket-item is on the current wishlist, it's a matter of *survival.* Utilities may not even be an issue if there's no electricity or running water or they cannot afford the hook-up fees.
post #25 of 34
Before we split up, we sent money to my MIL as she needed the help. I assume (hope) he still does.

I also send money to extended family abroad. I've been there, I know how they live (vs how we do), so I budget some to send. It's not a lot, but every bit helps. To be fair, they do what they can for us. Before every winter, we get a package of warm wool socks, for example. And they ask what we need. (Compared to them? Nothing, to be honest.) After 9/11, when they could finally get through to us, their first question was what we needed and they would send it to us. Food, the money they could scrape up - anything we needed. All we had to do was tell them.
post #26 of 34
Kate, I wasn't saying that they don't have good reasons for believing what they do. I lived in the tenth least developed country in the world for five years, and the fifth poorest for four years. I know. I was just trying to explain. Not everyone here is complaining.
post #27 of 34
My parents, Taiwanese always sent $ back to their parents. It is just a sign of respect. Same with my Korean in laws, they always sent $ back to Korea. I don't know if they really *needed* the $ of not, but it was expected as your duty as a son or daughter to do it. My in laws and my parents live in the US, but when they are not working anymore, we will be expected to give them $ as well. I think my parents will be ok (I don't think they will expect $), they have saved up a lot for retirement. My mil on the other hand, seems to have this attitude that we will be her personal ATM machine when she retires. Her attitude is more of an, "you owe me" attitude, which really annoys me. Of course we would help them financially if they needed it, but I know my mil's attitude is that she is entitled to it. We've been trying to get her downgrade to a condo, b/c they have a 4 bdrm house that is waaaay to big for just she and fil. My mil has actually talked about buying an even BIGGER house?!?! I can understand feeling upset when you feel that the $ isn't being appreciated or used in an ethical way. Like I said, if any of our parents needed $, we'd help. However, it really bugs me that my mil will probably use the extra $ to buy luxury cars and expensive items. Chances are that I will have to go back to work when my kids are older in order for us to support my in laws. I will openly admit, that I am very resentful about this.
post #28 of 34
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Originally Posted by Turkish Kate View Post
Every day is a rainy day.
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post #29 of 34
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Originally Posted by mags View Post
Her attitude is more of an, "you owe me" attitude, which really annoys me. Of course we would help them financially if they needed it, but I know my mil's attitude is that she is entitled to it. We've been trying to get her downgrade to a condo, b/c they have a 4 bdrm house that is waaaay to big for just she and fil. My mil has actually talked about buying an even BIGGER house?!?! ...However, it really bugs me that my mil will probably use the extra $ to buy luxury cars and expensive items. Chances are that I will have to go back to work when my kids are older in order for us to support my in laws. I will openly admit, that I am very resentful about this.
I wonder if DH can work towards changing her understanding a bit. I think there's a big difference between helping family out (even as a duty) and funding extravagant living.

My sister's ILs have told her that instead of studying to be a nurse (which they believe is taking advantage of her DH's money) she should get a job so his aunt can stay a SAHM!!! Unbelievable. This is extended family (aunts, uncles, grandparents in South America), and on top of this her MIL/FIL borrow money and demand that they not be asked to pay it back, refuse to take busses and instead demand my sister pick up their 20 year old daughter up from work!!!!

I'm all for helping (which we also do with my parents and my MIL), but the attitude behind it helps so much. It's not expected of us (even though both sets are living below the poverty line) and there's a bit of give and take (my Mom won't bat an eye at taking care of DD for a couple of hours now and again). Then of course our understanding is that we would never scale back the help and give extra if it was ever necessary. They know they can count on us.

There's nothing I wouldn't do to help my parents, or MIL, I'm so thankful for their love and support and for raising us. I'm just glad that both parties come into this relationship with respect for eachothers needs.
post #30 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
Kate, I wasn't saying that they don't have good reasons for believing what they do. I lived in the tenth least developed country in the world for five years, and the fifth poorest for four years. I know. I was just trying to explain. Not everyone here is complaining.
Sorry, I wasn't meaning to single you out or meaning to imply that you were clueless. Just trying to make a point in general for the masses. Sorry for any offense. In general, the poorest Americans are still better off than many in other countries.

After living overseas, your perspective really changes. I remember when my sis was complaining that gas had hit $2.50 a gallon here in FL. We were paying that per *liter* in Turkiye, which puts it around $10 a gallon. Kind of like living in Florida, when they complain about how cold it is here when it gets below 60. :
post #31 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Turkish Kate View Post
After living overseas, your perspective really changes. I remember when my sis was complaining that gas had hit $2.50 a gallon here in FL. We were paying that per *liter* in Turkiye, which puts it around $10 a gallon.


I live in Holland and the prices are about the same as you describe for Turkey.

I mean, I do feel bad for everyone in the States who is really so utterly car-dependent and especially for those people who live in very poor rural areas and have to drive a long way to work, because that's the only work available. In Holland, I can take my bike or walk or take public transport. Still yet, it was kind of amusing because I've gotten so used to the high prices here.
post #32 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swan3 View Post
My sister's ILs have told her that instead of studying to be a nurse (which they believe is taking advantage of her DH's money) she should get a job so his aunt can stay a SAHM!!! Unbelievable. This is extended family (aunts, uncles, grandparents in South America), and on top of this her MIL/FIL borrow money and demand that they not be asked to pay it back, refuse to take busses and instead demand my sister pick up their 20 year old daughter up from work!!!!
From me, that would be a "Heck no, I'm not going to work to support your friggin Aunt" kind of thing.
post #33 of 34
This was a fight, until we put it in the budget. It was going to happen with or without me and honestly, once I started to truly understand how bad it is, when dh went back home and saw with his own eyes once again, it just became a part of the budget. This way there was no fighting, no going behind my back, no surprises.

I think the biggest thing, more than anything else, isn't if it is so much at once, but if there is consistency. We try to send at least once a month, maybe twice.

When dh went back he took extra money to fix up their house, pay taxes, set up an extra water tank.

I like what pattyg says, about treating her mil like her own mother, and I totally agree. Of course, that is how dh treats my mother, so it's par for the course.
post #34 of 34
Count me among the resentful. DH is from Korea, and his parents are doing OK financially. His sister is not doing well financially, but that's because she refuses to work more than part-time even though she is able-bodied and single with no kids or other obligations.

DH works full-time, and I work about 25-28 hours a week. I would love to be a full-time stay-at-home mom to our three young kids, but I am working in order that we can fund our retirements and kids' college accounts, and to generally be in a more secure place financially. My working creates a certain amount of stress on our family, but it is something we feel we need to do for our future. I am certainly not going to then fork over part of my salary to inlaws who don't need it, but simply expect it.

The way I have dealt with this is to arrange our finances so our needs are taken care of first, including our future needs. When we had a mortgage, I pre-paid large amounts to the mortgage company every month. DH and I both have large 401K contributions withheld from our pay, and I have Roth IRA and college 529 money automatically withdrawn from our bank account each month. Any bonuses or tax refunds are quickly disbursed to handle our expenses or are invested. After all those withholdings and automatic withdrawals, there just isn't that much money left each month beyond our basic needs. We have an emergency account, but I am in total control of that.

So, when DH suggests giving his sister $5,000 as a wedding gift, there simply isn't $5,000 to be had. Or when the inlaws want to all go together and buy SIL a house and ask for $38,000 from us as our share, we can honestly say we don't have $38K sitting around to give. It all seems to work, and it gives DH a way to say "no." He certainly wants to help, he can explain, but we simply don't have the money. Of course, he is also always free to blame our perceived callousness on his witchy wife.

Now, if the inlaws really needed the money, that would be an entirely different story. But, as it is, I am not going to work my butt off to fund a life of leisure for lazy and irresponsible relatives.

Cyclemama
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