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    • Sea Shell
    • By Sea Shell 5th Jan 18, 7:54 AM
    • 454Posts
    • 461Thanks
    Sea Shell
    Keeping Money and Family Separate
    • #1
    • 5th Jan 18, 7:54 AM
    Keeping Money and Family Separate 5th Jan 18 at 7:54 AM
    It is often said that Money and Family shouldn't mix....but in reality are you ever able to completely separate the two, especially if there are discrepancies of wealth within the family?

    This can manifest itself in subtle ways.....meals out, lifts out and about, generally being expected to pay for/do things.

    As we've read, it can also manifest itself in less subtle ways.....the biggy being disinherited.

    How do you keep finances out of family affairs? Or do you think you shouldn't, and that you should distribute your wealth to them, without question?
    " That pound I saved yesterday, is a pound I don't have to earn tomorrow "
Page 2
    • svain
    • By svain 5th Jan 18, 3:46 PM
    • 270 Posts
    • 474 Thanks
    svain
    Surely that is a case of spending TIME between daughter/mother - do you begrudge that? A round trip of 60 miles would take between one and two gallons of petrol - is that a deal-breaker?
    Originally posted by thorsoak
    If your driving a tin can maybe. Could be double that in fuel cost alone. Possibly as much £25-£30 per round trip in fuel alone
    • engineer amy
    • By engineer amy 5th Jan 18, 4:43 PM
    • 612 Posts
    • 1,117 Thanks
    engineer amy
    My elder brother and I are both accountants, so our parents would frequently discuss money matters with us to ask advice or just to gauge our point of view on their financial decisions. our sister, an admin clerk, often feels out of the loop but does state that she doesn't understand the finer financial or legal implications. The two of us know exactly what is in our parents wills and who gets what, but as everything is to be split equally, it wont be any big surprises or cause upset.


    Since my father died this year, I know the balances in my mothers bank accounts, as I help her reconcile them monthly, sort out her budget, and also do all her self employment books. There have been times she has asked me to order something online for her (she doesn't trust online shopping) and I have put it on my card simply for ease, I often "forget" to tell her that she owes me, or if she asks I will tell her we will sort it out later. I suppose its my way of looking after her.


    My sister earns significantly less than me and has more financial commitments so less disposable income. She has told me she feels guilty because she cant afford to reciprocate at Christmas and birthdays if I buy her an expensive gift, or spa break. I always say its not the cost of the gift that matters. I would appreciate a handmade scrapbook of photos that didn't cost anymore than the materials to make it, far more than an expensive gift, because it shows a bit of thought and effort put in. I wouldn't want her to get into debt buying me something that she couldn't afford.


    I have a fair amount of disposable income. As long as my bills are paid and I have my emergency fund which creeps up a little each month, I have decided to spend my money and enjoy myself. My parents struggled for a number of years while us kids were young, on a tight budget and working multiple jobs. In recent years, they discovered a forgotten investment had become significantly large, and plus a few other factors, they turned out to be quite wealthy. They started making plans for retirement to enjoy it, bought their dream home then my father got cancer and died less than 6 months later....just 2 months shy of his 65th birthday. He never got to enjoy his money so I will enjoy mine. if that means spending it on people (family and friends) who cant reciprocate, so be it. it is the memories of times shared that are treasured, not the amount of money spent.
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    • Fireflyaway
    • By Fireflyaway 5th Jan 18, 5:35 PM
    • 1,463 Posts
    • 1,509 Thanks
    Fireflyaway
    I have a small family. My parents have helped me financially in many ways and I'm very grateful. I plan to do the same with my child once I'm able.
    My parents just lent me money to buy a car. The fact they trust me to repay it makes me feel so happy!
    On the other side we have an in-law who I don't trust one bit. He basically stole some of my husbands inheritance. He doesn't know we know. Wasn't a huge sum but its the fact he was deceitful.
    So to sum up I think it depends on the level of trust.
    • thorsoak
    • By thorsoak 5th Jan 18, 6:15 PM
    • 5,525 Posts
    • 25,109 Thanks
    thorsoak
    If your driving a tin can maybe. Could be double that in fuel cost alone. Possibly as much £25-£30 per round trip in fuel alone
    Originally posted by svain
    My 16-reg car does 52 mpg- surely that is not unusual? If you are driving an old gas-guzzler yes!
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 5th Jan 18, 7:39 PM
    • 18,652 Posts
    • 49,018 Thanks
    Pollycat
    Surely that is a case of spending TIME between daughter/mother - do you begrudge that? A round trip of 60 miles would take between one and two gallons of petrol - is that a deal-breaker?
    Originally posted by thorsoak
    It could be more about time than money.
    • thorsoak
    • By thorsoak 5th Jan 18, 9:12 PM
    • 5,525 Posts
    • 25,109 Thanks
    thorsoak
    It could be more about time than money.
    Originally posted by Pollycat
    My thoughts exactly - sounds as if OP is begrudging the time that his OH is spending with her mother.
    • maman
    • By maman 5th Jan 18, 9:29 PM
    • 17,345 Posts
    • 103,841 Thanks
    maman
    My approach is always to take the moral high ground. Take the opportunity to do everything you can for your MIL and feel smug knowing you're behaviour is exemplary.

    It can be infuriating if you know she could well afford to buy you a coffee or that she behaves differently with others but I'd still feel good knowing I was beyond criticism.

    Obviously if it's causing you financial hardship then you'll have to limit your generosity and you'll have to talk to her about maybe paying for petrol or something but otherwise I'd just go with it.
    • Tabbytabitha
    • By Tabbytabitha 5th Jan 18, 9:46 PM
    • 839 Posts
    • 1,665 Thanks
    Tabbytabitha
    My thoughts exactly - sounds as if OP is begrudging the time that his OH is spending with her mother.
    Originally posted by thorsoak
    I read it that the OP was driving the mil round, not that the mil's child was doing it.
    • maman
    • By maman 5th Jan 18, 10:16 PM
    • 17,345 Posts
    • 103,841 Thanks
    maman
    I read it that the OP was driving the mil round, not that the mil's child was doing it.
    Originally posted by Tabbytabitha
    That's how I read it too. DIL driving MIL around. Not heard anything about what the son/DH thinks about the situation.
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 5th Jan 18, 10:39 PM
    • 37,963 Posts
    • 34,396 Thanks
    Savvy_Sue
    An example then.....say your MIL wants to go browsing/shopping, for non-essential household items, but they don't drive (or use the internet), so they ask you to take them, which involves a 60 mile round trip (from your house to theirs, onto the shop they want to visit, and back again) You don't mind doing it once, maybe even twice, but with no offer or the hint of any petrol money (or a Costa coffee) for your trouble, at what point do you say, no sorry!
    Originally posted by Sea Shell
    My parents never drove, so I don't think they ever 'got' how much it costs to run a car, or how tiring it can be to drive: all you were doing was sitting in the car alongside them, so why would you be tired?

    Still, they would often pay for lunch or coffee if I was running them around.
    Still knitting!
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    • sooty&sweep
    • By sooty&sweep 5th Jan 18, 11:15 PM
    • 1,185 Posts
    • 1,395 Thanks
    sooty&sweep
    Sorry but I don't think you can keep money out of family affairs.
    Personally I don't judge gifts based on their monetary value rather the thought behind them.
    A member of my husband's family always makes & gives food gifts. Probably don't cost a fortune to make but I look forward to them every year & as far as I'm concerned they're priceless !
    Time is a far more valuable gift !
    There are some years when we've felt more flush than others & our Christmas gifts are more expensive than other years but that is our choice !
    Jen
    • Sea Shell
    • By Sea Shell 6th Jan 18, 7:56 AM
    • 454 Posts
    • 461 Thanks
    Sea Shell
    Like i said that was a hypothetical situation....just an example of the sort of thing that can be quite draining, both mentally and financially.

    I wouldn't necessarily accept offer of payment towards fuel etc. but it would be nice to be offered!! If I were the one wanting others to go out of their way for me, I would be offering, regardless of the financial situation of the person helping.

    I was really trying to get at how people are treated differently within families, based whether you have money or not. and if you do...things are assumed.

    Anyway, i guess i was just wanting a bit of a rant....but i can't post the specifics, as we have a very unique and strange family dynamic when it comes to finances...and they'd recognise themselves immeditately if i told the whole story (and if they read it - i'd be mortified)

    I love them, but they take up too much of my headspace with their financial dramas....and i have a feeling i'm going to be left holding the financial can somewhere down the line.

    I'd like to be able to just see them and spend time with them, without there being an alterior motive that seems to end up costing me money!
    " That pound I saved yesterday, is a pound I don't have to earn tomorrow "
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 6th Jan 18, 8:20 AM
    • 16,287 Posts
    • 40,556 Thanks
    FBaby
    In your scenario, it really depends.

    Family members can sometimes repay in other way or at a delayed time. For instance, I've just sent some flowers to a friend for no specific occasion but just to say they are a fantastic friend because they do little things for me that I don't reciprocate always immediately.

    Sometimes they can repay by being a good listener, babysitting, helping with arranging things, etc...

    The other matter is that it could 'just the way they are'. You then have to decide whether you accept it or not. I have some issues with some things my MIL does or doesn't do which really irritates me, but I go along with it because firstly she is getting old and getting more and more emotional (and aggressive) which is quite common at that age, secondly out of respect for my OH who adores his mum (and who does appreciate my efforts) and finally because it's just easier to go along than to start some conflict.

    I have however distanced myself quite a bit recently, and that she had to accept.
    • Lover of Lycra
    • By Lover of Lycra 6th Jan 18, 9:02 AM
    • 135 Posts
    • 655 Thanks
    Lover of Lycra
    Sounds familiar!!!

    I wasn't thinking within the household, but other immediate/in laws family.

    At what point does your generosity wain....as you feel your ability to pay is taken advantage of.
    Originally posted by Sea Shell
    I'm not sure. It used to bother me that they never say thank you. It does irk me slightly that they're not in the least bit shy about how much they order in restaurants or suggest a restaurant that is a bit pricey. For example, a couple of years ago I invited my family to the panto, I invited them so I paid for all the tickets - no problem there. My mum then offered to take everyone out for dinner afterwards and suggested a Frankie and Benny's type place but instead my brother wants to go to some fancier and therefore more expensive Italian restaurant. They're not shy about ordering beer, wine, etc but guess who the designated drivers are...mum and I.

    I've never done it again. I don't quite know how to feel about it because on one hand I think they take the Michael but on the other if we are going out as a family I do want them to enjoy themselves.

    Dad has a significant birthday coming up this year and I think he would like a family meal at his favourite restaurant so I might just have to suck it up. It doesn't help that eating meals with them is like feeding time at the zoo. No table manners whatsoever.
    • Lover of Lycra
    • By Lover of Lycra 6th Jan 18, 9:05 AM
    • 135 Posts
    • 655 Thanks
    Lover of Lycra
    Like i said that was a hypothetical situation....just an example of the sort of thing that can be quite draining, both mentally and financially.

    I wouldn't necessarily accept offer of payment towards fuel etc. but it would be nice to be offered!! If I were the one wanting others to go out of their way for me, I would be offering, regardless of the financial situation of the person helping.

    I was really trying to get at how people are treated differently within families, based whether you have money or not. and if you do...things are assumed.

    Anyway, i guess i was just wanting a bit of a rant....but i can't post the specifics, as we have a very unique and strange family dynamic when it comes to finances...and they'd recognise themselves immeditately if i told the whole story (and if they read it - i'd be mortified)

    I love them, but they take up too much of my headspace with their financial dramas....and i have a feeling i'm going to be left holding the financial can somewhere down the line.

    I'd like to be able to just see them and spend time with them, without there being an alterior motive that seems to end up costing me money!
    Originally posted by Sea Shell


    Yes this sounds very familiar.
    • maman
    • By maman 6th Jan 18, 2:03 PM
    • 17,345 Posts
    • 103,841 Thanks
    maman
    I'm not sure. It used to bother me that they never say thank you. It does irk me slightly that they're not in the least bit shy about how much they order in restaurants or suggest a restaurant that is a bit pricey. For example, a couple of years ago I invited my family to the panto, I invited them so I paid for all the tickets - no problem there. My mum then offered to take everyone out for dinner afterwards and suggested a Frankie and Benny's type place but instead my brother wants to go to some fancier and therefore more expensive Italian restaurant. They're not shy about ordering beer, wine, etc but guess who the designated drivers are...mum and I.

    I've never done it again. I don't quite know how to feel about it because on one hand I think they take the Michael but on the other if we are going out as a family I do want them to enjoy themselves.

    Dad has a significant birthday coming up this year and I think he would like a family meal at his favourite restaurant so I might just have to suck it up. It doesn't help that eating meals with them is like feeding time at the zoo. No table manners whatsoever.
    Originally posted by Lover of Lycra

    I get the point about your brother choosing a more expensive restaurant. That's up to your mum to speak up if she only wants to pay for a chain. But surely you'd have still been the designated drivers whichever restaurant you went to?
    Last edited by maman; 06-01-2018 at 7:05 PM.
    • ska lover
    • By ska lover 6th Jan 18, 3:57 PM
    • 2,614 Posts
    • 6,395 Thanks
    ska lover
    I'm not sure. It used to bother me that they never say thank you. It does irk me slightly that they're not in the least bit shy about how much they order in restaurants or suggest a restaurant that is a bit pricey. For example, a couple of years ago I invited my family to the panto, I invited them so I paid for all the tickets - no problem there. My mum then offered to take everyone out for dinner afterwards and suggested a Frankie and Benny's type place but instead my brother wants to go to some fancier and therefore more expensive Italian restaurant. They're not shy about ordering beer, wine, etc but guess who the designated drivers are...mum and I.

    I've never done it again. I don't quite know how to feel about it because on one hand I think they take the Michael but on the other if we are going out as a family I do want them to enjoy themselves.

    Dad has a significant birthday coming up this year and I think he would like a family meal at his favourite restaurant so I might just have to suck it up. It doesn't help that eating meals with them is like feeding time at the zoo. No table manners whatsoever.
    Originally posted by Lover of Lycra
    But you dont need to take responsibility for everything - I mean, don't be the designated driver, get a taxi or have a drink and relax - I mean they are all adults and should be able to get themselves home safely. It is not your problem who enjoys themselves and who doesnt
    The opposite of what you know...is also true
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 6th Jan 18, 4:02 PM
    • 18,652 Posts
    • 49,018 Thanks
    Pollycat
    I'm not sure. It used to bother me that they never say thank you. It does irk me slightly that they're not in the least bit shy about how much they order in restaurants or suggest a restaurant that is a bit pricey. For example, a couple of years ago I invited my family to the panto, I invited them so I paid for all the tickets - no problem there. My mum then offered to take everyone out for dinner afterwards and suggested a Frankie and Benny's type place but instead my brother wants to go to some fancier and therefore more expensive Italian restaurant. They're not shy about ordering beer, wine, etc but guess who the designated drivers are...mum and I.

    I've never done it again. I don't quite know how to feel about it because on one hand I think they take the Michael but on the other if we are going out as a family I do want them to enjoy themselves.

    Dad has a significant birthday coming up this year and I think he would like a family meal at his favourite restaurant so I might just have to suck it up. It doesn't help that eating meals with them is like feeding time at the zoo. No table manners whatsoever.
    Originally posted by Lover of Lycra
    If it bothers you enough that you subsidise your family's expensive eating & drinking habits, say 'no' to their restaurant suggestions.
    And tell them you'll pay for what you eat & drink.
    • dunroving
    • By dunroving 6th Jan 18, 5:57 PM
    • 627 Posts
    • 334 Thanks
    dunroving
    I really dislike the expectation that I will leave my money to anyone in particular when I die. I earned it, I'll leave it to whomever I want (or even spend it all!) I'm unmarried with no kids and I'm sure certain members of the family are probably rubbing their hands at the thought of a windfall when I croak.

    Having said that, if I planned to leave it all to charity and leave all F&F out of my will, I'd want to explain why before the unexpected happens. Similarly, if there were anything that were "uneven" (e.g., leaving more to one nephew than to another), I'd probably either explain it beforehand or explain it to the executors.

    I think wills are the biggest source of grief because the cause of any perceived unfairness is deceased, so you can't ask Why. And like it or not, uneven treatment can be perceived as saying something about how much you liked one person over another.

    At least with the living, you can talk out perceived injustices.
    (Nearly) dunroving
    • dunroving
    • By dunroving 6th Jan 18, 6:01 PM
    • 627 Posts
    • 334 Thanks
    dunroving
    If it bothers you enough that you subsidise your family's expensive eating & drinking habits, say 'no' to their restaurant suggestions.
    And tell them you'll pay for what you eat & drink.
    Originally posted by Pollycat
    Have to agree with this. Some people put up with crap and moan about it rather than sticking up for themselves (not referring to the OP there).

    I know several friends and family who no longer give money to people who don't know how to say Thank You. I've loaned money to friends in the past and despite several, "Oh, I must pay you back that 50 quid" episodes, I never saw it again. Guess what? The money is written off and no further loans ... (I've given plenty of cash gifts also, but there is a distinct difference between a loan and a gift).
    (Nearly) dunroving
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