Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: amidst broken spokes
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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and I both have large 401K contributions withheld from our pay, and I have Roth IRA and college 529 money automatically withdrawn from our bank account each month.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.