Posted by: No more | 2009/02/04

Family troubles


For years I' ve bailed my parents out of financial problems, landing into some tight spots myself and having to resort to going under debt review, which my husband is aware of. Finally I have some peace and quiet and the private numbers aren' t showing on my cell all the time. Everything is sorted and I even have some money left over each month to contribute towards my own home (on a very very tight budget, which I now follow religiously). I used to stay with parents before I got married and hubby and I got our own place. Hubby earns a good living and pays all the bills. I have other siblings, but the one hardly earns enough to support herself and the other stays in another city and can never help, although when he needs help he so quick to phone mom and she' ll even give the utility money just to be able to give something to her precious son.


What I' m left with is a lot of resentment towards my parents for fighting over money since I can remember and always burdening (only) me with the stresses of finances not run right. I even once sold my car and bought another once through car finance just to help my mom pay a couple of thousands towards her debt! Crazy, I know, but I felt I was doing the right thing and just could not turn my back on my mom. My dad is not much help in the finance department, he contributes minimum and they never discuss finances as it always ends in huge fights.

Since last month mom has been phoning again for money. Last month it was R 500 (which is a lot to me), she just phoned again today and asked for R 200 (which I barely have). I' m 7 months pregnant and saving towards my (unpaid) maternity leave, which she is well aware of. I explained to her that this has to end and that I can' t contribute towards her financial troubles anymore. I have promised my husband that I would not help them anymore, I have already gone behind his back last month, now she wants more.

I told her that I would help her, but also explained that the R 200 is about all I have and if she is under the impression that hubby gives me money left right and centre, she is mistaken. He would only give me money in case of emergency, which is fine with me. It' s his money and he already provides for me through food etc. So now seems she is dissapointed in me and asked my sister who earns so little for money. My sister phoned me saying that my mom was crying.

I' m at work and locked myself in the bathroom and cried my heart out. I feel so awful. She is arranging my baby shower and according to my sis she will be catering for all the guests, which I think is unnecessary. She could have arranged for it to be somewhere where all the guests could pay their own food and drink order? I feel so guilty and think I should just tell her to cancel whatever it is she has planned for the shower. I mean she does not even have any money to even get through with in a month??

I' ve had enough of feeling guilty and always worrying about whether my parents are surviving the month end.

I don' t think you really could have any advice for me, but I feel better to have had the chance to vent.


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Our expert says:
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Yes, it's sad that your parents handled their own finances so badly, without apparently taking responsibility for their own decisions, and that they seem to have assumed that you must always pay to sort things out for them. And why do they kep running into debt ? Why can't they live within their means ? What on earth is she spending on, to keep needing more ? YOu did right to tell her that you are no longer an Automatic Teller for her --- and that she got your sister to phone and tyell you she was crying, is sheer shameless blackmail. Do NOT allow her to make you feel bad --- she should be ashamed at being so ungrateful. And tell her immediately to cancel the baby shower, which you do not need. It is your PARENT'S task to organize their finances, not yours.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Old Dad | 2009/02/04

Shame my girl, I feel so sorry for you ! Your folks are not playing the game I am afraid. While we all feel an obligation to make sure our folks are not out on the street so as to speak, we do expect and that' s reasonable,that our folks are sensible about money matters. Your immediate responsibility is for you and your husband and do not stress about your folks who appear to be somewhat happy go lucky. Speak to hubby, like it or not, they also become his responsibility, see if you can afford a fixed sum per month, say R500,00 (??) or less and tell your folks, come what may, that' s all there is and stick to it That will enable them to budget and will take the pressure off you. Lose the idea of a baby shower. Good luck

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