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Being asked for money...how to handle?

My husband & I have been married for a few years now.  We've decided to wait a bit to have children.  My brother-in-law & his wife were married several years before us, and rather quickly had two kids.  In terms of age, they could have afforded to wait for a bit, as well.  They have experienced quite a few financial issues as a result of jumping into things a little too quickly, but they've never outright asked us for money, and I don't expect them to - they are turning things around, slowly but surely. 

Most people we know have kids, and I think many of those people seem to view us as two people with money growing on trees in our backyard.  The fact of the matter is that neither of us make what I would call a fortune, but I suppose we are somewhat better off than most, and for that I am thankful.  I just don't feel as though we are in the financial position to be dolling out money to anyone who may ask us for it.  We may not have kids yet, but we do have bills to pay, just like everyone else.

One person has asked for money - my father-in-law.  My husband is the only person he can turn to because he knows his other son absolutely cannot afford to help him in any way, shape or form anytime soon.  I will admit that things have always been a bit rough for my father-in-law.  He owns a house (just finished his mortgage payments...) in a very inexpensive state to live in, but he's never had a high-paying job.  He's always made barely enough to get by.  He says he needs money from us to have a bit of a cushion for retirement, and has asked for a certain figure - one that we can't possibly give him at once.  So far, we have given him half of the amount he's asked for.  I am now questioning whether he actually NEEDS the money for some other reason(s).  I have asked my husband to have a heart-to-heart conversation with him - if he NEEDS money to pay bills, I'd rather help him pay a bill or two.  I'd rather have control over helping him meet his financial obligations as opposed to giving him a set dollar amount where we really don't know what he's doing with it.  I feel like if we keep giving him money, even when we reach the amount he's asked for, he's going to keep asking for more.  We need to save money for ourselves, for our future.  That needs to be the priority here, but I am happy to help him in smaller amounts, however we can.

How can we go about handling this situation without causing a rift?  Your advice will be appreciated!

Re: Being asked for money...how to handle?

  • Well, honestly, I wouldn't have given him money in the first place.  I would have helped pay for a financial counselor and / or a Dave Ramsey financial peace university class, but I wouldn't feel comfortable subsidizing his retirement.  Sure, maybe a bill here and there or a gift card to a local grocery stores, but his retirement.  No.

    My MIL has hinted around about us helping her pay for her retirement and we told her no.  We simply can't do it and still have enough for our own savings and retirement.  We would then have to rely on our own children.  No, the cycle ends here.  When it comes time for her to retire, we might help pay for a bill, but we won't give her an allowance or anything like that.  Actually none of our parents have much saved for retirement.  My dad knew this and went back to school to get his nursing degree and he is 60, and I think his dad just figures that retirement is a luxury some people won't have and plans to work for as long as possible.   

    JNL$LSM
  • I agree with previous poster. My questions is that why isn't he taking the money he was using to pay for his morgage and put that into a savings account or something like that. Something seems off about this entire situation to me
    [url=http://www.thenest.com/?utm_source=ticker&utm_medium=UBB&utm_campaign=tickers][img]http://global.thenest.com/tickers/tt181f95.aspx[/img][/url]
  • Thanks for your response.  I mean, I think when it comes to money, you really need to put yourself (and your husband & kids, if you have them) first.  I honestly believe that most people don't ask for money unless they really, truly NEED it.  I believe my father-in-law is in NEED of money and is simply too proud to admit it.  And I think my husband is much too nice of a person to not want to help his father.  I think if my father-in-law is having trouble managing what little money he has, my husband - and my brother-in-law - BOTH need to take control of the sitaution.  Maybe they need to manage his finances for him.  Maybe we need to help him pay a bill or two here and there.  Maybe their father simply can't afford to live on his own hundreds of miles away and should consider moving closer to his sons.  I believe giving money to someone is not truly helping them.  It's not a long-term solution.  I am doing my best to convince my husband of this, believe me.  We will actually be visiting my father-in-law in about a month, so perhaps a conversation like this is better left said in person.  And if I have to get the ball rolling, I will find a way to do so.
  • You two are just giving him money? For what? Not everyone gets to retire anymore, my parents can't. It's the way it goes.

    Stop giving him money. Save your money for the future. What will happen if you try to have a baby and need IF treatments? Or if one of you loses your job? Or you have a child who needs special needs or expensive medical costs? What then?!?

    You have and H problem here, he is putting his father before himself and his family (you). This may all sound completely off to you but resentment is a real thing. How are you going to feel if in 5 years you or your child needs something and you can't afford it? Who are you going to blame and get angry at? You have to get your FIL off your payroll, it'll never end. Also, what exactly is he using the money for? If he can't or won't answer that them why in hell did your H give him the money?
    Disneygeek77RainzzzyJNL$LSM
  • I do think you need to talk to your husband.  What you are doing probably isn't sustainable.  He will continue to ask for more money because he doesn't know how to manage it and  as PP said, what is he doing with that money that was going towards his mortgage ?

    Again, I would tell FIL you will pay to have him talk to a financial advisor or counselor and even sign him up for a Dave Ramsey class, but just giving him a blank check isn't helping, it is just enabling bad behavior. 

    arhayden1
  • Oh and remind your husband that this is your money too and you absolutely have a say on how it is spent. 

    When he married you, he vowed to put you above all others and yes all others includes his dad.  If having to choose between upsetting his dad and upsetting you, he should never choose upsetting you. 

    Honestly, I think you are being too weak in this situation.  Stand up for what you want and what you think is right. 

    catmiss9Rainzzzy
  • In 10 years of marriage, My DH and I have only loaned money to one friend. It was a loan we agreed to and the friend gave us a post dated check for new payday. Her child support check had bounced and she didn't want a tuition check she wrote to bounce---we trusted she would pay it back and she did.
    The tricky thing about relatives and money is the judgement that goes along with it. Like how can you buy this, that or the other but have to borrow money from us?
    We have given gifts of grocery store gift cards or a gift of a check written to a utility.
    We, too, have relatives who think that we go out in our backyard and harvest dollar bills. We do make a good living but limit our disposable income.
    I agree with PPs to cut him off or restructure how you help.
    Anniversary Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
    JNL$LSM
  • Thanks again to all who have responded.  I truly appreciate it, and I certainly expected the general consensus to be "don't give money."  And I do agree there are other ways to help out my father-in-law with his finances.

    I will say that it is difficult for me NOT to consider the flipside in this situation.  What if the shoe were on the other foot?  I have a good friend who is very much so in a terrible financial situation.  Her husband is always in and out of blue collar-type jobs, she makes relatively little money herself, and they just had a baby.  On top of that, they have a dog and several cats they can't bear to part with.  They are in way over their heads financially, but they are lucky - my friend's parents are helping out, both by offering childcare help AND money.  And, no, they're definitely not made of money.  Without their help, they would be sunk, as there is no possible way they would be able to afford day care.  Don't you think there are a lot of parents out there who, assuming they have the means to do so, would help their ADULT children?  I think so.

    I know my father-in-law would never be in a position to help either of his children, and I would never expect him to, even if he had tons of money.  He is someone who makes little more than $10/hr. at a blue collar job.  The only way he has health insurance is through his veterans' benefit.  If he takes a day off, he doesn't get paid for it.  He's never had access to an employer sponsored 401k plan.  For most of his working life, he lived check-to-check.  It's amazing that he even owns a house, but somehow, he found a way to accomplish that - and, no, my husband definitely did NOT pay for it! 

    As I said in my previous post, I think my husband will have to take control over his finances.  With some simple math of our own finances, I am going to convince him that it is not in our best interest to just give money to his dad, for whatever the actual reason may be.  He's probably at the point where he just can't manage it correctly himself.  I think we need to add up all the expenses and look at his income - if we see that he's in a legitimate hole (essential expenses outweighing income), I am more than happy for us to help him pay a bill or two.  Doing that won't kill our own finances.  But we are in no position to be forking over hefty pennies that are supposedly going into a savings account.  That kind of money needs to stay with us.  We need to know EXACTLY what is going on.  When we see him in about a month, I'm going to make it a point to get all of this squared away. 

    Thanks again for your input.

  • What if the shoe were on the other foot?  I have a good friend who is very much so in a terrible financial situation.  Her husband is always in and out of blue collar-type jobs, she makes relatively little money herself, and they just had a baby.  On top of that, they have a dog and several cats they can't bear to part with. 


    Is this really the "shoe on the other foot"??  They have pets they can't afford and now a BABY too???  They are making poor financial decisions.  It's one thing if someone is in a horrible place due to situaitons out of their control, but I can't say that this is the case here. 

    I'd have a hard time giving $$ to people who make poor decisions.

    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

    Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
    DS dx with celiac disease 5/28/10

    catmiss9
  • You missed the entire point of my post. Your friend sounds like an idiot, you don't throw good money after bad.

    I'm a mother and I wouldn't help my child if she did what your friend has done. She needs to grow up and rehome those animals.

    I hope you wise up, your FIL is going to have his hand out for as long as you put money in it. Also, being able to retire isn't based on age. It's based on being able to AFFORD to retire.
    Disneygeek77
  • What I'm really taking from you rpost- you and DH seem to think you HAVE to give his dad this money.  Why?  It's so much that you can't give it all to him at once - well, you don't have to give him ANY.  As MLE said - if he can't afford to retire, then oh well - he can't afford to retire.

    Why are you and  DH putting yourselves in a poor financial position just to "pad" his retirement? 

    You don't want to create waves, but this WILL create waves.  Even if you do it as to not upset his dad, you're going ot upset yourselves!!!
    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

    Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
    DS dx with celiac disease 5/28/10

  • I come from a different culture background, well half of me is Chinese, but in China it's a well known thing that as a child you're SUPPOSED to take care of your parents. It's an unspoken rule. Your parents raised you and used all that money to give you a good life, in return you're supposed to support them when they get old and often that means living with them,  having them move in with you, or having them live near you. 

    My parents are pretty well off and I'm sure they'll be fine, but if they did need help. I would. I mean they paid for my college and all that. HOWEVER, I would only agree to pay a bill or something. I wouldn't just give them a check and let them do whatever they want with it. But again, this is very unlikely to happen since my mom is great at saving money. 

    BUT I'd understand why you'd want to help. I'm actually a little appalled by how many people on here wouldn't help their parents and just leave them to fend for themselves. Did you not have good parents or happy childhoods? I don't get along with my mom that well and even I still appreciate what she's done for me. 
  • Did you not have good parents or happy childhoods? I don't get along with my mom that well and even I still appreciate what she's done for me. 
    Some people don't have good parents or happy childhoods.  It's a sad reality. 
    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

    Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
    DS dx with celiac disease 5/28/10

  • I come from a different culture background, well half of me is Chinese, but in China it's a well known thing that as a child you're SUPPOSED to take care of your parents. It's an unspoken rule. Your parents raised you and used all that money to give you a good life, in return you're supposed to support them when they get old and often that means living with them,  having them move in with you, or having them live near you. 

    My parents are pretty well off and I'm sure they'll be fine, but if they did need help. I would. I mean they paid for my college and all that. HOWEVER, I would only agree to pay a bill or something. I wouldn't just give them a check and let them do whatever they want with it. But again, this is very unlikely to happen since my mom is great at saving money. 

    BUT I'd understand why you'd want to help. I'm actually a little appalled by how many people on here wouldn't help their parents and just leave them to fend for themselves. Did you not have good parents or happy childhoods? I don't get along with my mom that well and even I still appreciate what she's done for me. 
    I don't think the intention of people here is to come across as cruel and heartless, but at the same time, what do you expect people to say when they are expected to bail out family who continually make poor financial choices? It's one thing to need help for something that isn't your fault, but when it is due to something that could have been avoided in the first place? I mean, let's be real here - why put your future in jeopardy because of someone else's (repeated) mistakes? Even if it is family, why does this have to be your problem? I actually am afraid that I am going to be facing a similar situation with my own family in the future - I posted several months ago about similar situation and while my parents have not asked me for money, I know that they are hurting financially. I care, they are my parents, but at the same time, there's nothing I can do to really help them because anything I have done - as far as giving them solid advice on how to dig themselves out of the hole they are in (my H has also given them good solid advice as have other members of our family) - it goes in one ear and out the other. In fact, they do the exact opposite of what I tell them and dig themselves even deeper. This is not my fault for their poor financial choices - it is theirs. It sucks to watch them on this downward spiral but I cannot help or enable someone who flat out refuses to help themselves. It makes me both angry and upset to see this, but in the end, I have to worry about myself and my H.
  • Retirement is all about choices. My mother had no money for retirement saved, but could not continue working. She receives her social security and lives within her means. Maybe FIL needs to sell his home and downsize. If he's not willing to do so, he can not afford to retire. That simple.
  • You still didn't answer, what is he doing with the money that was going towards his mortgage ?

     

  • So, what happens if you don't give him any more money?
    My darling daughter just turned 4 years old.
  • Does FIL have a gambling problem?
  • I see both sides of this.  Neither of my parents has any retirement money.  Both of my adult brothers are disabled and unable to work.  All of them are living check to check, with my brothers getting assistance.  DH and I have good jobs, a home and a child.  We have enough money to be comfortable but we only have a small cushion in savings. 

    I help out my family here and there with unexpected things.  I'll pay my mom's speeding ticket, let my brother crash at my house for a couple of weeks, give someone money for gas and groceries here and there if they had an unexpected bill come up.  And I never, even lend anyone money that I expect to get back.  If I do, great, but I lend it expecting that I'll probably never see it again.  But that's where it has to stop.  Because the fact is that these are all adults who NEED to take charge of their own lives and their own finances.  I love them and I appreciate what my parents have done.  But it's not MY responsibility to finance their lives and I'm not doing them any favors by handing the money only to have them in the same situation a month later.  I felt the same way and dealt with the situation the same way before we had a child ourselves.

    I think you offer help that isn't financial.  Help him get set up with someone to discuss his finances.  If he's not able to retire, that's unfortunate but it's also very common.  Neither of my parents will get to retire.  I'd sit him down and be very honest.  I would tell him that you're not able to give him the sum of money he's requested and that you'd love to help him come up with a long term plan for his finances.  The fact is you have no way of knowing if you'll have an unexpected major expense of your own in the future.  A car accident, a special needs child, someone loses a job etc.  You can't use up your own cushion to fund someone else's retirement.
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  • Look, I love my parents more than anything. I've helped them out by taking my brother BTS shopping and other things like that. I also paid for my brothers cell phone.

    However, as a daughter to a blue collar worker, I have seen first hand that not everyone gets to retire. It's life, it's fact and it's true. My parents don't ask me for help but I know they need it.

    If he wants to retire then he needs to come up with the money on his own. You and your H will never be able to stop giving him money and then you'll never be able to retire/have a child/ live your life. Wake up.
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