Hi all, this is my first time posting on the nest- came over from the knot just over a year ago now.
In short, my mother-in-law has financial issues, and asks us for money. At Christmastime last year she asked us for rent money, and we said no. Since then, this year, she's asked for smaller amounts than that, but it's becoming more and more frequent. She needs a few hundred to keep her electric on, or needs help to keep from racking up overdraft charges when the credit from returned items doesn't kick in until 24-48 hours after return.
I keep saying no to "lending" her money but then I give in when my husband feels bad for her. The thing is, this can't go on forever and at this point, there's no end in sight (she's had financial issues for over a decade). And my husband and I bought a house in July, so we have less dispensable income and more expenses. I think she thinks we're "rich" (we're not) just because we don't live paycheck to paycheck, but the truth is that after buying the house we just don't have tons of money just lying around waiting to be given to her.
Plus, I don't like giving money to her because I know that she could make better decisions to not be in those positions. We have tried to help with money-saving suggestions, and encouraging selling her art work at shows, but she hasn't changed any of her ways so we are fed up. I feel that if she's not going to make an effort to improve her situation...then I don't want to help. We know for facts that there are many ways she could reduce expenses- but she's unwilling to do so.
Sorry this is long....this is kind of a vent. But my question really is....would it be out of place to suggest to her not to get us Christmas gifts this year? We know she has no money for them, and the best gift for us would be for her to not ask us for money any more. The funds just aren't there, and I find it ironic that in 2014 we may end up being asked for money due to spending it on Christmas gifts. IMO, desperate times call for desperate measures. I understand that she would probably feel bad, cuz she's his mom and all that, but honestly, at this point I'm over how she feels- it's about numbers...and the number is 0.
Does anyone else who's been in a tough situation like this have any insight? Thank you...