Money Moral Dilemma: Should I help out my ex?

Former_MSE_Lee Posts: 343 Forumite
edited 28 September 2010 at 7:59PM in MoneySaving polls
Please give this MoneySaver the benefit of your advice...
Should I help out my ex?

Last year I was made redundant and my boyfriend (who lived with me) gave me money to pay the mortgage (it's my house) and bills. Earlier this year he left me and bought a house. I was/am devastated about the break up and am stuggling with the guilt over the money he gave me. His house has a pretty grim bathroom and kitchen, and he doesn't have the money to replace them. We have remained friends and I feel I should be paying him back for the money he gave me. He has told me not to worry, but I think by working extra hours I could afford to take out a loan so to give him money for work on his house, but I'm worried about stretching myself too far. Is it a good idea?
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  • emidee
    emidee Posts: 71 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    No - don't do it! He left you, his current situation is his doing.

    Apart from that he didn't need to buy a house with a 'grim' bathroom & kitchen, I'm sure there were plenty of other houses with nice kitchens & bathrooms available!

    Don't make yourself struggle for somebody who's rejected you already. The past is the past, leave it there.
  • 1. Don't take out a loan even if you do decide to pay him. (see 4)

    2. If he was living in your house it was only reasonable made a contribution to the mortgage & bills; so stop feeling guilty.

    3. He's bought a house with grim bits, but he'll do it up over time and the money he spends will be an investment not a cost (his investment, not yours). It was his choice and giving him money to sort it is like saying you don't approve of his choice. So don't.

    4. Start a savings account, put some money in it regularly. If you continue to feel guilty about the money he gave you then you'll be in a position to do something about it without getting yourself into debt.
  • No. Free your mind from the shackles of the past. I agree with the above poster, his situation is of his own doing - he chose this house. He has clearly moved on, and you should to which will be difficult if you are paying off a loan. It is great that you two have remained friends however, but you don't owe him anything.
    With love, POSR <3
  • No, it's not a good idea. He gave you money, so you don't have to return it. It's only fair that he paid when he was in your house anyway.
    Getting a loan when you are not sure you can afford it is a recipe for disaster.
    Fortuna caeca est - Fortune is Blind. It's certainly not looking in my direction! (how do you say that in Latin? :p )
  • DON'T get yourself into debt for someone else!

    Take the extra hours, then set up a standing order to him so he gets it back over a period of time, with a fixed end date. Basically, treat it like any other loan, because it's clearly weighing on your mind. Or do what another commenter suggested and save monthly, then decide what to do once you've saved as much as he gave you.
  • No, sweetie. If he needed your financial help I'm sure he'd be man enough to ask. Please don't get yourself in a pickle for him, you will end up suffering more as a result (and he seems to have made it clear that he doesn't want you to compromise yourself financially for him).

    There is plenty you can do - as a friend - to help him without getting yourself into a debt-trap. Listen to him when he's struggling and be a shoulder to cry on. Offer to help with painting and decorating if he gets his kitchen and bathroom sorted on a basic level. Make him a lasagne or a casserole and take it 'round, so he's got something nice, wholesome (and free to him!) to eat. Treat him with a home-made cake or a bag of biscuits.

    He has told you not to worry about the money. Do him the credit of believing him to be sincere - it's bad enough that one of you is in a bit of a spot - I daresay he'd feel really guilty if he thought you'd got yourself into financial difficulty in order to ease your conscience over him. Just do what you can without putting yourself through a debt-grinder.

    Good luck to you (both).
  • niccatw
    niccatw Posts: 3,096 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I understand how you feel; the debt that I worry about most is the one I owe to a friend. He loaned me it when I was in a much worse situation than I am now and he understood it might be 4 years before he got it back. In fact I kept saying no to his offer until he physically handed me the money and told me to take it to the bank. It was an extremely generous gesture and offer on his part and I am eternally grateful.

    I know he knows I'm working my !!! off to pay off my debts and he knows what debts I'm working to pay off next... but I daily have to remind myself that that's the sensible option given the interest rates on them. I'd much rather get his money back to him sooner rather than later.

    I have toyed with the idea of putting money away monthly to repay him... and have compromised with myself... I will do just that when the Northern Rock loan has been paid (it's linked to my mortgage). It sure does help keep my motivation for paying off my debts though!

    Don't feel you need to give him money back right now and certainly don't take out a loan to do it. But if it's concerning you, do as was previously suggested and set up a savings account so you can give him what you owe him when you are able to.

    And please do ignore scotsbob. Extremely harsh and unfair judgement. :(
    Jan10: 28,315.81 Jan11: 18,015.32 Jan12: 7,682.58 Jan13: 2,987.73 Current debt: 1,225.55
    HFC [STRIKE]1896.10. [/STRIKE] 225.55 SLC2 [STRIKE]5123.34[/STRIKE] 0 Others [STRIKE]2085[/STRIKE] 1000 Bcard [STRIKE]1172.60[/STRIKE] 0

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  • scotsbob wrote: »
    There again, the fact you have to think about it let's us know why he dumped a person like you. You sound like you always take but never give. He is better off without you.

    What's with this comment? If you want to make sweeping, judgemental comments, you want mumsnet.

    Unnecessary and unhelpful.
  • niccatw wrote: »
    And please do ignore scotsbob. Extremely harsh and unfair judgement. :(

    I agree. Sometimes, Scotsbob is extremely prescient and helpful. Sometimes, he just comes across as overly-harsh. I'm sure he means well. But I don't think the OP in this case is a free-loader, so the simple 'straight payback' option doesn't necessarily apply here.
  • pennypinchUK
    pennypinchUK Posts: 383 Forumite
    edited 28 September 2010 at 11:12PM
    If your situation had changed and you now had the money to repay him it might be the decent thing. However, you say that you'd have to take out a loan, which would stretch you.

    Added to this, although his new house has a grim bathroom and kitchen, whether it is at all pleasant there are 2 factors here. One, he bought the house in full knowledge of what the bathroom and kitchen are like, and two, they are functional, if not pleasing to the eye.

    If you really have remained friends, you've probably already talked about the money he paid to you for the mortgage (which was, I presume, his contribution to the maintenance and upkeep of the house and other bills). Doubtless at the time he willingly gave to the money as he didn't expect to live in your house for free.

    If he'd given you the money last year as a gift to spend on frivolous things I would suggest there's more of a case for you to repay the money. But, on balance, you are under no obligation as you've received money from him in good faith for all the right reasons.

    Don't put yourself at financial risk, but maybe offer to help him with the donkey work to install a new bathroom, or make his current bathroom or kitchen more tolerable. If he remains a true friend he'd not want you to put yourself at financial risk.
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