Posted by: Stuck | 2004/11/08

Money issue:where do loyalyies lie

I am married with one child and living with hubby. Problem is that both parents are still alive and are draining me financially as I have to help out with money almost everyday. My credit cards are all exhausted and I am in major debt because of trying to maintain two households. Hubby works but does not earn as mush as I do. Me and hubby make enough money combined to pay for 1 car, house, food, baby and nothing else. Even took out a R5000 loan last month in order to cover living expenses and to pay off credit cards.As I said I am in serious trouble and this morning mom calls asking for a few hundred R and when I say I don't have she cries. I can understand that they are my parents and poor and they did raise me after all.

Sometimes I think if I leave hubby and stay with parents in order to support them and my child it will be better as we fight about money all the time as we do not give his mother anything (she is also a pensioner). Sometimes they make me feel like I am choosing an outsider(hubby) over them.

Pls advice

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Our expert says:
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Stuck, there is absolutely no point in borrowing money to lend to someone else, even your parents. Debt means that ultimately you're paying more in interest on interest to service the debt, than to help your parents. Don't ever give them what you don't have ; or soon you won't be able to give them anything at all ; and your own marriage and family must take priority over their needs. They are being wickedly selfish in expecting you to sacrifice your marriage and husband for their benefit ; and he's right to recognize that he is not financially helping HIS pensioner parent(s), while yours are so demanding. Do they really NEED all the money they're expecting, or do they just want it ?
Chelle makes excellent points, which I strongly agree with. Your husband is NOT "an outsider" --- you are a married couple, bound together for life by vows you took. How do this old couple seem to need more money that the three of you ?
Speak to someone at your bank to see what can be done to correct and safeguard the financial position of you and your husband. Include in that review whether you can aford ANY money towards helping your parents, and if so, how much. And that, if any, must be the limit. Also, call the Dept of Welfare to see whether they qualify for any further pension or grants. They will have to learn to live within their income, and explore whether there are any ways in which they can still earn a little more to help themselves.
And I like lady nina's points, including, if they live near enough, the expectation that they will help with household chores and child care, in recompense for all they are receiving.
Raising a child does usually deserve a debt of gratitude and good feelings, but it is not a financial investiment by which they have any right to expect to get paid dividends indefinitely --- they still had a duty to make savings and other provisions for themselves and their retirement.

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Our users say:
Posted by: lady nina | 2004/11/08

hi there

money and emotion never goes together well

you have to set aside all the emotion you feel for your parents and make a business desions based on facts....maybe get a 3rd party involved who can analys both households and make recomendation based on the needs of all people

you are not helping them at all by just giving and giving - they have to take resposibility and like many others ( your in law ) cope with what they need

personally i would not help them financially if they smoke,drink or gamble and i if i do help i would expect them to help me in other ways - spend quality time with my kids, do baby siting once a while

my mom is a sweety and never take advantage of me, but she helps with my kids and invite me for supper once a week when im tired after a days work,

just becuase you are family doesn't give them the right to expect help from you, for any relasionship to ework both parties must feel they are giving and receiving something or els it leads to resentment and bitterness...

take care


Reply to lady nina
Posted by: Chelle | 2004/11/08

The plight of a pensioner is a difficult one, and I do sympathise with them, but they should not be making you feel guilty about choosing a life with your husband, over them.
Do you have any siblings who can help share the expenses related to your parents?
If you keep getting into debt do you think that this will enable you to continue supporting your parents?
You can only support your parents with the amount of money you have. Getting into debt is a very short term solution here.
Moving in with your parents and leaving your husband won't make things easier at all.
You are entitled to an independent life, without having your parents burden you, and yes, you do have some obligation to them, and also I am sure you do want to help, but you can only do this when you are in a position to do so.
Have you told your parents what situation you are in?
If you have siblings, I suggest that you arrange a meeting, and discuss the problem with them all. Maybe if everyone contributes a little every month, the burden won't be so bad.
Also, I suggest that you sit with your parents and get an overview of what their expenses and income is, and then decide on a fixed amount they will receive (based on what you can afford, and also perhaps including what other siblings can afford).

Reply to Chelle

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