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View Full Version : Would you *continue* to loan Money to Your Parents if it was hurting you Financially?


devotedchristian
05-22-2007, 03:55 PM
My Mom (Age 51) and My Stepfather are extremely poor to the point where they rely on Me and my StepSiblings to get them through every month.

They only have Stepfather's Disability Income of $900 per month and they are in the negative each month.

My Mom said she cannot work because she is legally blind in 1 eye and stopped working about 10 years ago to be a Stay at home wife (Us Kids had moved out).

But a major part of the problem (and has ALWAYS been their problem) is my Stepfather's bad gambling habits...he plays the Georgia Lottery every Day. Cash 3...I don't know how much he spends on those Cash 3 slips but let's just say I had to loan them $20 for gas to get to my Grandmother's funeral and I saw him go into the Gas store and buy Cash 3 numbers

I'm close enough of to My Mom but I've been giving money to her almost my entire life...Stepfather just makes it worse with his bad gambling habits.

I pay their Car Insurance (DH does not know this) every month, given them money every month (anywhere from $25-$60 dollars per month) and my StepSister (Age 42) who gets food stamps every month for 3 kids buy them them grocery every month.

After going through years of being broke and working through late nights and sleepless nights WITH our small child (DS...Age 4 in July), DH and I have finally built up a small savings and are trying to go on our first family vacation in 4 years.

We really need it.

My Mother has breast cancer and is going through Chemotherapy. She doesn't have health insurance... only Medicaid. She's responding well to the Chemo (no nauseau or fatigue) but the Cancer under her arm is causing her pain.

Her oncologist presribed her pain medication but she has to wait to see if Medicaid will pay for the prescription ($30).

Now, I have already decided I am going to pick up the prescription after work, ...because obviously I don't want my Mom in pain when I have $30 dollars.

But, I just shelled out money this past Saturday for her to get her hair done...I had to go into our Savings/Disney Vacation account to do that...but DH said "I understand, go ahead, your Mom is worth it"

But, had I known her Medicaid would not have paid for her prescription, I would said "Mom, I'll wash your hair for free...we need to save this money for your Pain Medications"

I just found out about the prescription, I thought she had it already...

It cost $64 to get her hair done and Stepfather and I went in together to get it done.

So, at some point, because we have to keep dipping into our Savings/Disney Vacation account, DH is going to lose understanding. He feels we have fought too hard and made too many sacrifices to even get to the point of being able to pay our bills, keep a roof over our heads, AND put food on the table.

I could go broke with trying to keep up with My Parents unexpected expenses... (Medical, Necessity Expenses like paying their Gas, Light, phone or last minute Property Taxes they get hit with every year).

And my Step Siblings (Ages 25-33) aren't really helpful (Drugs, in and and out of Jail)

I'm definetly going to get those pain prescriptions (and I know DH will gripe but say "Okay...one last time") ...because remember, he doesn't know I pay their car insurance per month...it's a small amount that he would miss anyway.

Any Advice for me?

TALB
05-22-2007, 04:08 PM
I am so sorry for the struggle that you are facing. We have been going through a similar situation. It is very difficult because you feel guilty when you say no and angry at yourself when you say yes. Their addiction to the lottery needs to be addressed. That would free up alot of money for themselves. Please stay strong and remember that your husband and child comes first. You and your husband have worked hard to better your lives and do not need to feel that it is your responsibility to parent your parents! Good luck.

luv2nascar
05-22-2007, 04:08 PM
Personally I think you are being taken advantage of. $64 to get her hair done. If you don't have money do it at home or go to the cheapest place Holiday Hair of something $15. Honestly you think this situation is okay??

They need to do something for themselves to make ago. I would not continue to pay for them money period no if and or buts. This is not a one time situation you are helping them out of. You and your family will never have anything because they will always need more money. He is gambling while you pay their bills. Give me a break. I wouldn't give them a dime. Maybe food or groceries but that's it.

You are way to nice. I could never let someone use me like that.

Hedy
05-22-2007, 04:11 PM
Honestly, I think as long as you're giving them money and your stepfather is gambling-you're just enabling his habits. You might want to think about coming clean to your DH, and then make helping your parents a line item in the budget-x a month, and once that's gone, it's gone.
You might also want to think about gamblers anaymous for your stepfather.
Take care.

peanut12392
05-22-2007, 04:11 PM
I have a family member with a gambling problem and I know the problems it causes. He owes everybody in the family and we will never get it back. I would never give them cash for any reason. With my brother, we eventually took over his money, he had to turn over his check, and we paid the bills. There was no money for him to gamble with. This was the condition, and the only way we would help him at all. This may be too much for you to take on, but I think you need to try to force an end to the gambling (if at all possible) if you are going to help them at all. I worried all the time about what would happen to my brother with all the problems he was creating, and I finally realized that I shouldn't care about it more than he does. He needed to suffer the consequenses of his actions, and we were enabling him with our well intentioned "help."
You DO deserve a vacation. You should take the vacation. DO NOT FEEL like you need to pass the money to them just because you have it. For me a vacation is a necessary part of my mental health. You are responsible with your money and should make sure you can take your vacation!!!

perd
05-22-2007, 04:12 PM
I am shocked that they LET you do that. My parents would rather die than ask me for money. I would LIKE to help them and they flatly refuse, so my brother and I use birthdays, mother's and father's day and holidays to give them things they really want/need but would never ask anyone to help them with.

No, you should not continue to give them money. By doing so, you are only supporting your stepfather's gambling habit and I think it's horrible that they accept money from you when they are wasting money on unecessary things. You should tell your husband you've been giving them money and let him handle it after that. And your sister has her own family to take care of; she shouldn't be giving them money, either!

I just can't see paying for food and prescriptions for them so they have more money to use for gambling!

Darcy03231
05-22-2007, 04:15 PM
There's no way I would continue to subsidize their income unless the gambling stopped. I think its time you had a family meeting and laid it all out on the table. I truly wouldn't mind helping out - even at the expense of my family vacation, if they were doing everything they could to make ends meet. There's no way I would sacrifice my vacation or things for my family so they can gamble.

HayGan
05-22-2007, 04:19 PM
Wow! I'm sorry to hear that you are struggling with this. :hug:

Isn't your mom eligible for SSI? Aren't they eligible for some sort of public assistance? Have they looked into assistance with utility bills, food stamps, etc? Has she applied for any of these? I would begin by looking for programs that they would be eligible to add to their monthly income or help reduce their costs.

I wouldn't be funding their lifestyle if money is going to things like lottery tickets. Many people look at that as some glimmer of hope to changing their life when it really is just a waste of money (but I'm sure you already knew that!)

As for her prescriptions, talk to her doctors (or have her talk to them) and explain that she is on a very limited income. They will often change their scripts to something they know will be covered or often they will have samples that they can give her. Talk to the pharmactist. They often know of programs that people can appy for that will help cover the cost of medications.

I can understand if you want to help them out but I wouldn't be giving them any money in the form of cash. By paying their bills you are freeing up money for your step-father to gamble with. Let them get thru it by themselves for a few months to see what they can really do on their own.

I'm sure it is a big worry for you taking care of your mom in this way (plus dealing with her cancer) but she is an adult and has to learn to stand on her own feet. Your help to her should be a nce in awhile thing not a monthly part of your budget (unless you are really comfortable with it being such.)

formernyer
05-22-2007, 04:35 PM
This is a horrible situation for you to be in. It's easy to "do the right thing" and stop enabling users when they are friends, siblings, etc. It's a lot harder to do when they are your parents AND there are health issues involved.

It seems to me that they are taking advantage of you though. I'd probably pay her medical bills directly (don't give them the money...pay the bills for them). Other than that, I'd make them fend for themselves. The only reason I'd continue with the medical is because she is still your mother and if it were me I'd hate to look back and regret not making sure her illness was taken care of to the best of your ability.

photo_chick
05-22-2007, 04:56 PM
Man. THat is a tough one. Have you talked with them about not being able to afford to do this anymore?

Stein
05-22-2007, 04:58 PM
Although it would be so hard, I wouldn't give them cash help. If she is disabled and can't work, she should also be able to draw unemployment. At their age, they have a long hard road ahead until social security.

I don't buy lottery tickets (ok, maybe $3 a year) because I view it as wasting money. If I gave someone money and they bought lottery tickets, giving them money would be wasting money.

Could you use the money you give them to get them into financial counseling?

Anewman
05-22-2007, 05:00 PM
If you can not afford to support them or you choose not to it is 100% nobody can blame you.

It is not easy, but then again I always think it was not easy for my parent to raise me. And I am not sure how I would cope with losing my mother someday knowing that I didn't do everything I could.

gonemousin'
05-22-2007, 05:01 PM
I agree with all the previous posters...I wouldn't be giving them money for discretionary items and I think you and your DH need to take a look at how much you really can afford to pay their household bills on a limitless basis. I really think you and your DH should sit down and talk about the fact that you're paying their car insurance bill as well. What if he finds out - think of how insulted he might feel that you didn't share/discuss that with him. The fact that you're draining your savings account over this situation is alarming.

If you and your DH decide to continue to fund a portion of their living expenses, I would suggest NEVER giving them actual cash. Buy the things they need and deliver them to their house...but do NOT give them the cash or you'll grow even more furious as you watch your stepfather waste it on the lottery (or other potential gambling fetish).

The key point here is that this doesn't appear to be a short term situation. Your mom and stepfather are adults and need to find their own way through life without living off their children. I would have a heart to heart with your DH and figure out what makes sense for you.

disneysteve
05-22-2007, 05:04 PM
I agree with the others who said you are just enabling them. Why should you support his gambling addiction? And why should you support her decision not to work? If she isn't working due to her cancer treatment, that is totally understandable, but if she isn't working for the reason you stated (blind in one eye) that's just a poor excuse. My wife lost her left eye at age 20. She still graduated college and had a career in advertising and retail management before stopping to be a SAHM. After 10 years, she went back to work and has an interview on Thursday for a new position. So the "blind in one eye" argument doesn't fly with me. Sorry.

I think you need to sit down with both of them and explain that you can't afford to keep supporting them and you know that some of your money is going toward gambling and you aren't willing to give any more money when that's where it is ending up.

Tough love works both ways.

disneysteve
05-22-2007, 05:06 PM
If you and your DH decide to continue to fund a portion of their living expenses, I would suggest NEVER giving them actual cash. Buy the things they need and deliver them to their house...but do NOT give them the cash or you'll grow even more furious as you watch your stepfather waste it on the lottery (or other potential gambling fetish).

I think this is great advice. If you continue to help support them, don't do it in cash so that the gambling can't happen on your dime.

And forget about those $64 haircuts. My wife and I earn a very nice income and we both cut our own hair. Years ago, we used to go to Hair Cuttery for $15. No excuse at all for spending more than that in their situation.

KristinU
05-22-2007, 05:10 PM
I often hear Dave Ramsey recommend the book Boundaries for folks struggling with situations like this. Maybe you'd find it a helpful read?

Best of luck!

PaulaSue
05-22-2007, 05:14 PM
Honestly, I think as long as you're giving them money and your stepfather is gambling-you're just enabling his habits. You might want to think about coming clean to your DH, and then make helping your parents a line item in the budget-x a month, and once that's gone, it's gone.
You might also want to think about gamblers anaymous for your stepfather.
Take care.

Great Advise! IT will be hard but I think you guys have to say no. IT sounds like they know they family will pay so they don't. KWIM

sk!mom
05-22-2007, 05:19 PM
I pay their Car Insurance (DH does not know this) every month
Any Advice for me?


You are damaging your own finances and potentially your marriage. You are not responsible for adults. I would distance myself immediatly and refuse to pay any more bills. They gamble, live irresponsibly, and come to you for handouts because they can. It is way past time for them to take responsibility for themselves. If your mom can't get her prescription then she should contact her doctor. He can write a scrip for one that is covered.

DH and I have similar family situations and have had to take a hard line so I am speaking from experience. They will take advantage as long as you let them.

DVCJEN
05-22-2007, 05:27 PM
There's no way I would continue to subsidize their income unless the gambling stopped. I think its time you had a family meeting and laid it all out on the table. I truly wouldn't mind helping out - even at the expense of my family vacation, if they were doing everything they could to make ends meet. There's no way I would sacrifice my vacation or things for my family so they can gamble.

I have to agree. By funding their gambling you are only enabling them. Sure help with meds or food but pay for it directly. No cash and no nothing that isn't a need as defined by you. Don't jeapordize your marriage or your family for others.

marianleah
05-22-2007, 05:41 PM
I am a 55 yr old breast cancer survivor. First of all, I'm amazed that she's going thru chemo and has any hair to cut...I lost mine after 2 chemo treatments. I also worked full time all throughout my treatment except for chemo days. Medicaid pays for all medications, including cancer related pain meds. You are being used! Take your mom to chemo, be her shoulder to cry on, help her with the housework or the laundry but don't support her financially. Her husband should be doing that. Take care of your family and go on the vacation you deserve as long as you help them in this manner, they will not help themselves.

me again
05-22-2007, 06:03 PM
Maybe you culd buy a pre paid card for groceries & gas, like at Walmart or a grocery store? You need to check to make sure the card can't be spent on lottery ticketsI think that's the case with most of those cards, can't use them for lottery tickets.

That way if you feel you must contribute something to their budget at least it can't go for gambling.

$64 for a haircut? I just got mine done at WalMart for $12.95. Also, try beauty schools, one near here does haircuts for $7.

phillmolly
05-22-2007, 06:20 PM
people like your mom and step-dad will always find someone to take care of them. If you quit, they WILL find someone else to do it. My mom and sister are they same way. I spent years taking care of them, to the point that they would just expect it. It put a lot of stress on my marrige because my husband got feed up with it. The thing was that I would do so much and barely got a thank you. I stopped taking care of them and now someone else takes care of them, my sisters sometimes boyfriend. But at least its not me. I won't let them starve but I am done being the "caregiver".

Also, you need to tell your husband about the car insurance, trust me it will be a lot better if you tell him than if he finds out on his own.

Good Luck!!

MommaluvsDis
05-22-2007, 06:29 PM
I'm going to be a little blunt here. You have become an enabler. By giving them money and bailing them out, they don't have to budget responsibly. As the late Ann Landers said, "Only you let you be abused.

Enough is enough and I can tell you if there's money to buy into the lottery, there's money for medicine and bills and gas.

Wake up, grow some cahonas and stand firm.

Put your husband and child FIRST!

SaraMc
05-22-2007, 06:31 PM
I have to agree with all the other posters, your being used. Its hard to think that your parent would do this. My MIL did this to my DH for years, she is on disability and has a very low income, yet would eat out and shop it all away and my husband would go and get her groceries and pay her rent. It was murder on our relationship. It was the hardest thing for him to talk to her about it and say, I cant help you anymore. I need to concentrate on my family. She pulled guilt trips, she would call in tears that a collector had called her or that she didnt have enough money for this that or the other. At christmas we would give her gift certificates for places that would help her ( like grocery stores ect) Nothing fabulous but she would get indignant that we were living "high off the hog" when we started going to Disneyworld again every year. The one vacation we take all year long.

Its not going to be easy but you have to do what's best for your son and husband and yourself. Your son and your husband are what you should be concentrating on. Your son will learn from your example, the example being, if I dont work its ok someone will take care of me. And the example, that if I work hard and save my money I can have fun with Mickey too.

:hug: Hang in there.

EthansMom
05-22-2007, 07:23 PM
You aren't loaning money, you are GIVING it to them. And you are doing so in a manner (lying to DH) that jeopardizes your marriage.

You need to discuss this with your DH (fess up to lying about how much you're giving them before he finds out on his own) and find a path forward together.

englishteacha
05-22-2007, 07:31 PM
I agree...you are being used. If you're afraid they'll go hungry, drop off some groceries or leftovers, help out with time on occasion, but don't give them money. I agree the book Boundaries might be a worthwhile read, as well as Financial Peace or Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. I also think you need to be honest with your DH. If he finds out you've deceived him, he'll be hurt, upset, and possibly angry. You don't want to hurt your marriage.

mickeyfan2
05-22-2007, 07:32 PM
Any Advice for me?

You asked so here it is. Get her the pain meds and then stop all other payments. They can't afford a car. It enabled your step dad to gamble. Sell the car. A person living on $900/month does not need a $64 hair bill. Stop enabling them and start enabling your family to take a vacation and put away for your retirement and kids educations. That $20-60/month will really go a long way toward a retirement account. Open a Roth IRA and put it in. Watch you money grow, not be spent on the lottery.

photo_chick
05-22-2007, 08:29 PM
Somehow I missed the part about your mom being disabled. Has she filed for disability?? I used to work for a lawyer and that is all he did, disability claims. It takes time for Social Security to approve them, sometimes more than one attempt.

gillenkl
05-22-2007, 08:29 PM
Your username "devoted christian" leads me to believe this might be helpful to you.

It is my belief that there is biblical "proportionate giving". This means that God only intends you to give what you are able to give. Biblically we are required to be good stewards of the gifts we are given and to be financially responsible. The money we earn is also to be used as a means of supporting Godís work and helping those in need, first in Godís family and then for those outside the household of faith (Gal. 6:6-10; Eph. 4:28; 3 John 5-8). Those unable to support themselves or who have faced serious problems are to be helped as we are able. God doesn't ask those who have plenty to become poor or burdened (2 Cor. 8:13) Aid should be given to help people through a condition of need until they are able to get on their feet financially (Eph. 4:28; 2 Thess. 3:10-15).

You should only help others as you are able, without putting yourself in financial chaos.

Just my thoughts.

sarahlovesmickey
05-22-2007, 08:32 PM
I agree with the others and the whole excuse of why your mom can't work doesn't fly with me either. I know 3 people who worked full time through their chemo treatments and 2 of those people suffered from major naseau and were completely exhausted. And why doesn't your step father work? I'm sorry, I have no respect for people who live off the system and mooch off others, especially family members. Tell them to grow up and be adults and fend for themselves. I know it is going to be hard, but really, you are enabling them to be the way they are. Sorry...

seashoreCM
05-23-2007, 08:04 AM
Is there any way you can get control of your mother's household's money and checkbook?

This way you can see that only essential things are bought and paid for.

Disney hints: http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/disney.htm

queenarmadillo
05-23-2007, 08:45 AM
First off, as others have said, if you are going to stay involved at all, dont give them cash, and pay only for essentials if you are being involved at all--rent, essential groceries etc. If they dont really NEED the car (very rural area etc., or inablity to walk), stop paying insurance. Let them decide if it is a priority for them.

Whether I would continue helping at all would depend on one factor: does your mum ever get access to any of the money? If so, it really is her responsiblity to take care of essentials before letting your step-father's addiction eat up the rest. However, I know many couples where money is paid into one partys name, and the other person never sees any of it, and so cant make the decision for themselves about whether or not to pay rent this month. If that is the case here, I don't think the money you spend on your mother to allow her to eat, or pay her rent is being wasted. These are basic priorities in life, and to see a loved one lacking these WHEN IT IS NOT THEIR FAULT is very difficult. Ultimately though, your mother needs to figure out how to get access to her own money, with which she can sort out the essentials. This could either be through claiming her own disability payment, or finding work, but in the absence of a disability if she chooses to stay home and not work then again that is her choice which is costing you, and you are not being fair on yourself or your family if you let her CHOICES cost you money.

happygirl
05-23-2007, 09:00 AM
I havn't read every post, but with them just making 900.00 they should be able to get foodstamps, I'm not sure with your mom being paritally blind if she should get some disablity of some sort, If they are so hard up on money I wouldn't give them money, If they need gas I would go with them and fill up that way you know they are just getting gas and not lottery tickets!! good luck to you:goodvibes

ducklite
05-23-2007, 09:10 AM
OP--

I didn't respond when I first read this, as I wanted to think about it.

Your heart is in the right place, wanting to help them, but unfortunately you are only enabling them to continue to make poor choices in their life.

I can understand you wanting to help, and I don't see a problem with it--but under two circumstances. First, I don't think you should hide anything from your husband, and second, I don't think you should ever give them cash.

I would sit down with your husband and let him know that you want to use $X per month to help your parents. Then instead of giving them cash, give them a gift card for the pharmacy, a check made out to the insurance company, or a prepaid gas card.

Tell them that this is all they are getting, period. Stop enabling them, and force them to take cahrge of their own lives.

Best of luck to you.

Anne

dck12ga
05-23-2007, 09:19 AM
I agree with the above poster, do not give them money!!!

TinkerbellMama
05-23-2007, 09:25 AM
Any Advice for me?

Yes. Stop being their doormat. I don't say that in a mean-spirited way, but that's EXACTLY what you are right now. I believe strongly in tough love in these types of situations. Write them a letter and tell them that you love them but are unable to continue to support them financially, for the good of your own nuclear family... Tell them that you'll always be there for them emotionally, but make it clear that the gravy train has made its final stop. And please seek counseling if you have guilt feelings over this. It doesn't make you a bad person, but you're not helping ANYONE if you continue to do what you're doing. Not even them. Trust me. It's called enabling, and it's hurting them AND you more than you know. Good luck!

TinkerbellMama
05-23-2007, 09:44 AM
Another thing, if you do choose to continue to help your parents financially, which I think is ill-advised, STOP lying to your husband about the car insurance money. It IS lying, and since you aren't on the best financial terms yourselves, it's even more destructive. You can't afford it, but even more than that, you can't afford to lie to your husband. It's deceitful and wrong and bad for your marriage.

MEM
05-23-2007, 10:33 AM
I agree with the book suggestion - there are umpteen books with Boundaries in the title, several by the same author. The one the OP needs is below:

"Boundaries: when to say yes, when to say no, to take control of your life" by Henry Cloud

I was in somewhat of a similar situation as the OP except my Mother was spending $10 a day on cigarettes, all with social security income of $800 a month. That $800 had to cover food, utilities, taxes, insurance. Of course she always ran short. Dad's stroke and diabetes meds were all paid for by the VA. I never sent her cash, but I did buy her new sneakers twice a year (sending them from my home in Boston to hers in Pittsburgh) and sent her giftcards to Walmart because she loved buying her jeans, socks and undies there. My three siblings, on the other hand, live locally and would take her grocery shopping and pay for everything but the ciggies. My sister buys her new eyeglasses every few years. Mom finally quit smoking after getting pneumonia two years in a row and ending up with a "terminal" diagnosis three years ago of pulmonary fibrosis. Now 70, she could live another 10 years with this disease. Dad passed away this year at 71 and he seemed to be the worse of the two with money. I'm hoping but not planning that she has developed some self-control.

sanctus
05-23-2007, 10:42 AM
You need to stop giving them money. You have a long term problem - they don't have enough income/control of their finances - and the cash you give them is a short term solution.

For the long run:
If your mother hasn't applied for disability, get to the social security office and do this NOW. If she doesn't have enough work history for social security disability, then she may be able to get SSI.

If they aren't getting them already, apply for food stamps. On the income you've said, they will qualify. They can even own their home and qualify, or own a car and qualify. Policy changes all the time, so if they've applied in the past and been turned down, they should apply again.

And last but first in importance - get your own house in order. You need to clear this all up with your husband. This will be a wedge in your marriage until you do, because as long as you're keeping secrets, then there is no real intimacy. Any time you have to watch what you say around your husband, you have a problem.

:grouphug: to you, this is an awful position to be in. But your job is to take care of you, your husband and your kids first.

Chicago526
05-23-2007, 12:06 PM
My advice goes with the others. I think queenarmadillo had an especially good post about the situation depending on if you mother has control over some or all of the money. If her DH gets to it first and doesn't give her much, if any of it, then that changes things. In that situation, I'd do what I could to help her out without helping him out. Up to and including seeing if she's willing to leave him and move in with you (assuming DH would be on board with that, of course!).

Now, if she has joint decision making abilities in her marriage, then I say you need to either put a limit on the amount of help you give each month, or cut them off altogether. And as other's have said, no cash. Pay the bills directly for them. Also look into whatever public aid they may qualify for, to help ease the burden off your family.

Good luck, and keep us updated! :hug:

patsal
05-23-2007, 12:12 PM
Absolutely not! I did not read through the whole thread, but you have to put your immediate families need above those that should be able to take care of themselves. It is noble of you and very generous as well--we did similiar stuff for my MIL for years until we realized we were subsidizing her life, enabling her to continue in poor financial habits and as a result look we have nothing saved for DS for college--we stopped funding our retirements as well. Now we expalined the situation to MIL--get a job, or sell your home move to subsidized housing where you can live off of your Social security check; we cannot keep jeapordizing our future and our children's for the things that you need to take care of . I think it is our instinct to want to help out and when it is your family you have the urge even more so, but what would the people you are subsidizing say to you if the roles were reversed? My thought has always been you need to live within your means, but if you want to exceed that you need to do something so you can--get a job, get an extra job, don't get that "thing". Honestly I love my MIL, but she doesn't need a big house, she doesn't need a brand enew car, but my DS does need an education and we do need to save for our retirement! Good luck, I know this isn't easy.

HM
05-23-2007, 12:15 PM
I'm so sorry you have these troubles.

I think you mother needs to work. There are jobs for people out there that have her condition. I'm thinking grocery check-out or receptionist type jobs. She may not make much, but for them to keep up their lifestyle, sounds like it's the only way.

KKB
05-23-2007, 12:25 PM
if you give them money or any necessities are are enabling them. I understand your desire to help. Paying for necessities does NOT help..they still have cash to gamble.

You have 2 choices ONLY...cut them off cold turkey (cold, yes, but necessary). Or,the best choice, IMO, IF you can get them to agree to it, it to take over their finances. Give them a VERY small allowance to spend as they please...$10 each /month looks like all they can afford. That way you can be sure the bills are paid, they have their necessities, and you don't get "taken".

A very difficult situation, no doubt. My father has a deadbeat sister that milked their mother (and she had as little as your mom/stepdad), and tried to milk my parents, too. My folks tried to help time & time again...were never repaid, never thanked, and she never changed. When my grandmother died, my folks said ENOUGH...they had to cut my aunt off. Sad, she still doesn't get why. She hasn't changed...but it is up to her to take care of herself, AND she doesn't bring the rest of us down with her.

Good luck, my prayers are with you & your family.

Kimmumum
05-23-2007, 12:34 PM
If he would rather gamble than pay bills I would not be the one to pay the bills. One suggestion i have that I don't think was brought up (but maybe it was) is to contact Walmart and Target and get a list of their $4 drugs. There are a bunch of them. This would free up some money for bills. I know that alot of older people give up meds before most other expenses so I would probably pay for your moms meds just because I wouldn't want to see my mom in pain. I would not pay for anything else.

They need to learn to be self sufficient and you are not helping them or yourself.

Prayers for your family:)

Skatermom23
05-23-2007, 12:59 PM
I agree with the others who said you are just enabling them. Why should you support his gambling addiction? And why should you support her decision not to work? If she isn't working due to her cancer treatment, that is totally understandable, but if she isn't working for the reason you stated (blind in one eye) that's just a poor excuse. My wife lost her left eye at age 20. She still graduated college and had a career in advertising and retail management before stopping to be a SAHM. After 10 years, she went back to work and has an interview on Thursday for a new position. So the "blind in one eye" argument doesn't fly with me. Sorry.

I think you need to sit down with both of them and explain that you can't afford to keep supporting them and you know that some of your money is going toward gambling and you aren't willing to give any more money when that's where it is ending up.

Tough love works both ways.

I was going to say something along the same lines. DH is and has been legally blind in one eye since birth. He is the sole supporter of our family, and a great one at that!

4eyedbuzzard
05-23-2007, 01:13 PM
1) Stop enabling the gambling. Pay any bills or buy things directly.
2) Offer to help out with an affordable sum each month, but set a limit, and stick to it.
3) I hope you haven't already, but NEVER, EVER, SIGN as a responsible party at the doctors/hospital for your mom or dad or any siblings. If you have already done so, file a letter via certified mail with the providers as soon as possible that you will not be responsible after today's date for any future treatments.

minnie1928
05-23-2007, 03:16 PM
My heart goes out to you, as I am in a very similar situation. Mom is 62 and living alone while dad is 63 and living in a nursing home for the past year. Mom and Dad (mostly mom) spent like there was no tomorrow until 3 years ago when I took over their finances. I had them file disability for dad, helped them work with their creditors, and got them to start saving money. Dad's Parkinson's/Dementia suddenly took off like a rocket and nowthe savings have stopped since he's been admitted to the nursing home.

My mom's problem is not gambling, it's her dog! Mom lives in an apartment and since dad is no longer at home, the dog has developed "seperating anxiety" and can't be left alone. If we leave her alone, she howls....loudly! So, the dog now goes to doggie daycare. Between daycare, haircuts, and apartment fees the dog is costing about $225-250/month. Mom's finances are very tight (she goes virtually no where (due to the dog) so she spends very little anymore. However, with all her other living expenses and dad's expenses she is now drawing about $200-300/month out of her minimal savings.

I don't even mention the dog anymore, she insists that the dog is the only thing she has left. But, she also has her caller id and her expanded cable service! I can't seem to get her to realize that this is important! I help her with alot of things (finances, errands, babysitting the dog on weekends, etc) and I help her by picking up some things here and there (small dollar items). I haven't told her that we won't be bailing her out because she's battling some pretty deep depression over dad's condition. But, at the same time I realize that my family shouldn't have to pay for my mom & dad's complete lack of planning/responsibility.

At the end of this long winded post, I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone. There are others of us in the same shoes that you are in, and none of us are enjoying it. Good luck :grouphug:

hsmamato2
05-23-2007, 03:58 PM
lots of great answers,but where's the OP?:confused3

MrsPete
05-23-2007, 04:08 PM
If you and your DH decide to continue to fund a portion of their living expenses, I would suggest NEVER giving them actual cash. Buy the things they need and deliver them to their house...but do NOT give them the cash or you'll grow even more furious as you watch your stepfather waste it on the lottery (or other potential gambling fetish).Exactly what I was going to suggest. Unless he can trade a can of beans for a lottery ticket, you'll have the peace of mind of knowing that your money's going towards necessities.

livie1205
05-23-2007, 04:16 PM
I have read all the replys you have got but this is just my thought on it...no, i would not give money for lotto...i would do or give anything to my parents that they want or need...why? they did it for me...if my mom needed her hair done she would get her hair done...i cant begin to tell you all they have done for me.My parents have always been poor but I always had what I needed.My father had a heart attack last year ( i am only child) I thought he was going to die and i would never get to talk to him again...it was the worst day of my life...after his heart surgery my mom and him came to stay with us for 3 weeks so i could help my mom take care of him...of course he could never go back to work(truck driver) so they were running out of money fast,they were waiting on his ss and dis. ..everytime he needed his meds he would give me the money to buy it...of course i would slip it back in his wallet when he went to sleep...i am not saying your family should do without but be understanding,they wont be here forever.

mommytobug
05-23-2007, 08:12 PM
I have not read everything but wanted to say her Medicaid should pay for her meds. There may be a small copay like 3 or 5 but it should pay.

gilby
05-24-2007, 06:17 AM
Its time you say NO, you have to support yourself. They will continue to take advantage of you and you will fall deeper in debt. If he didn't gamble I would say help, but when or if he wins, will you see any money?

JUST SAY NO!!!!

Cindy B
05-24-2007, 06:26 AM
Yes, there are cheaper hair salons.

As as for the blind in one eye- let me tell you about my friends. (married couple)

The husband has multiple degrees (electrical engineering, computer science and programming). He has done sound engineering, equipment testing, programming, computer diagnosis, and electrical engineering positions.

He has been blind since birth! Since birth!

His wife owns her own business training visually impaired individuals to utilize computer services such as Microsoft Office, Excel, JAWS, etc.

She has been visually impaired (but not completely blind) since birth.

Both of these individuals own a home, mow the lawn, totally mobile, and so completely sufficient you totally forget they are blind! The only thing they can't do is drive.

So, to hear that your mom can't work because of one eye blindness, well that doesn't work with me either.