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Old 09-18-2009, 06:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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?

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Old 09-18-2009, 06:16 PM
 
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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.

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Old 09-18-2009, 06:22 PM
 
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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.
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Old 09-18-2009, 06:33 PM
 
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you are right, dont do it and dont let her borrow it. you'll likely never see it again anyway.

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Old 09-18-2009, 06:35 PM
 
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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.
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Old 09-18-2009, 06:40 PM
 
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Time to draw the line.

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Old 09-18-2009, 06:47 PM
 
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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.
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Old 09-18-2009, 06:56 PM
 
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Time to draw the line.

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Old 09-18-2009, 07:10 PM
 
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I think it's weird that she's asking you for money without a specific need.

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Old 09-18-2009, 07:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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!

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Old 09-18-2009, 07:46 PM
 
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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?
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Old 09-18-2009, 07:58 PM
 
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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".

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Old 09-18-2009, 08:13 PM
 
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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.

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Old 09-18-2009, 08:24 PM
 
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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.

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Old 09-18-2009, 09:03 PM
 
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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.
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Old 09-18-2009, 09:32 PM
 
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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.

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Old 09-18-2009, 11:26 PM
 
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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.

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Old 09-18-2009, 11:50 PM
 
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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.
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Old 09-19-2009, 12:13 AM
 
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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.
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Old 09-19-2009, 12:24 AM
 
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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.

Amy loving DH 5/04, raising DD 2/05 and DS 11/09; missing my mom& my babies 6/07, 12/07; and on the side
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Old 09-20-2009, 08:37 AM
 
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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?
Nope, not on vague requests for big round numbers, and if it WERE a real need - like a utility bill or something, I would probably ask if she has been straight with her husband about the bills, ask what optional things her money has been going to that she might cut back on so to get this one on time next time, and not just find out what she thinks she needs, but also get contact info and an account number, and pay the just the actual amount of the bill myself.

This would meet the need, without enabling further wasteful spending.

We tried to get that kind of thinking into my dd's stbx because he kept asking for money but not wanting to say what was needed. This was extra goofy because we knew his grandma had been getting his rent and bills for way too long. I think it upset him when he would ask for some urgently needed money, not say a word to her, and she'd be surprised when I showed up and tried to find out from her what the emergency was all about. Or it would be for groceries, and I would take her to the store and get everything she needed instead of forking over cash.
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Old 09-20-2009, 02:26 PM
 
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Lets forget about wanting to be a good DIL/son, about being a charitable person, etc. You say you do have the money.... BUY YOU DON'T! You don't own a house, you don't have set college fund, how are you for your retirement? Do you have a good safety net (savings)? I have spent this past few weeks really looking at our budget, savings and future budget. And what I have learned is that just because I have $ in my checking, doesn't mean I have money to spend until I
1: paid off mortgage and all other loans/debt.
2: have min 6 months budget SAVED
I know its not realistic to not spend any $ until I have completed these goals, but it gives me a perspective as to what I can really afford. If you want to put MIL support into your monthly budget then do so. But you would be putting her "wants" about the needs and well being of your child.
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Old 09-20-2009, 04:41 PM
 
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I would feel obligated but I probably wouldn't like it either. In our culture it is expected that you take care of your parents. Thankfully my parents have done well enough to never need any of our help. I plan to do the same for my children. Financial security is the best gift that aging parents can give their grown children.
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Old 09-20-2009, 06:12 PM
 
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I would NOT give her money. It's her own fault she's broke (you said she's bad with money) so she just needs to learn to deal with it. It's not you or your dh's problem that her husband wont give her money...don't feel guilty.
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Old 09-20-2009, 06:49 PM
 
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Nope. I don't care where she's from. If her own husband won't give her the money, why would anyone else be expected to? Their finances are none of your business; she shouldn't try to make it so.
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Old 09-20-2009, 07:01 PM
 
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If you guys have "mad money" or individual spending money that you budget in (like $20-50 a month or whatever) then DH could give her what he wants to out of that and you shouldn't bother him about it (and I think if he complains you have a right to say, "I don't mind what you spend your spending money on, but please don't talk to me about giving it to your mom because it stresses me out."). It sounds like you are of the same mind about the household finances. But if giving your MIL his spending money makes DH feel better, then I think it's just fine for him to do that until he doesn't want to anymore.
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Old 09-21-2009, 12:10 AM
 
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If you guys have "mad money" or individual spending money that you budget in (like $20-50 a month or whatever) then DH could give her what he wants to out of that and you shouldn't bother him about it (and I think if he complains you have a right to say, "I don't mind what you spend your spending money on, but please don't talk to me about giving it to your mom because it stresses me out."). It sounds like you are of the same mind about the household finances. But if giving your MIL his spending money makes DH feel better, then I think it's just fine for him to do that until he doesn't want to anymore.


Imo, OP, it would be fine with me if dh wanted to give his mother some of his own mad money. But in this case, it would NOT be okay with me if we had a baby and not much extra to throw away. Your dh needs to see that his responsibility is to YOU and your BABY, NOT his mother. She is married and should NOT be going to her son for spending money. I'm sorry but this just galls me probably because since my mother passed away my own dad has been so irresponsible with his money (and they had more than plenty while she was alive but he blew it all) and has asked his kids for money but did not want to tell us what he needed it for.

Your husband has a wife and baby in his care and his mother has her husband. That's how it should be.
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Old 09-21-2009, 12:34 AM
 
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What's DH's feelings on this? Has he flat out said "I need to (or "want to") do this for my Mom," or is he saying "I don't wanna give her money, but then I'll feel badly about it."

I think this needs to come from DH to his mother, not from you, and I think he needs to say "Go talk to Dad, Mom" and if she persists, all he needs to say is you two aren't a bank, and she needs to talk to FIL. If he keeps up that strong wall for a while, she'll stop asking. You don't need to give her any excuses (because then when you go back to work, or DH gets a raise, or whatever, she'll be right back to asking you for that money again), just remind her who her financial partner is in life (And that's FIL, not you and your DH).
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Old 09-21-2009, 12:35 AM
 
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Before we had our daughter, we often made loans (which only ever got repaid...I'm going to guess two times for every ten loans) to family on both sides. We had a lot of guilt. My husband is generous. He has now taken a job making about 1/3 what he made before and we are on a budget. We have to tell people no (because honestly? If we called in all those loans? We'd suddenly be about $40k richer) and we have to remind ourselves that we're not just taking money from ourselves, we're taking money from our daughter. How far would those unpaid loans go towards her college eduation?

Just say no. Once people get over the initial hump of asking the first time, it gets easier and easier for them to ask and harder and harder for you to say no. Just tell her sorry, everything is committed right now.
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Old 09-21-2009, 04:06 AM
 
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Nope, we don't mix family and money unless it's some dire situation. And even then, it'd only be a maybe - like foreclosure or a need like more asthma inhalers or something.

Closest we've *ever* gotten is letting MIL borrow one of our cars for a few days, that's it, and we got it back in once piece (thank goodness - I'd told her you break it you buy it more than once) and with a full tank. No money exchangeds hands after the debacle of our first year of marriage (she couldn't afford her car payment, so we used her car and paid the payment and she drove hubby's old 70's Jeep - live and learn, we paid more for that blasted car than for my uninsured miscarriage that year while not making much money at all, yeehaw).

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