How can I teach my over 60 parents to be better with money?

We've never had a lot of money growing up but my parents did everything they could. Now that they're older they seem to be spending more money than sense yet their income is less than it was due to my dad being signed off for medical reasons. How can I approach this sensitive subject with them?
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  • kazwookie
    kazwookie Posts: 13,838 Forumite
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    aml40 said:
    We've never had a lot of money growing up but my parents did everything they could. Now that they're older they seem to be spending more money than sense yet their income is less than it was due to my dad being signed off for medical reasons. How can I approach this sensitive subject with them?

    Have they asked for your help?
    How do you know they are spending more money than incoming?
    May be they are spending their savings / winnings from something.
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  • aml40
    aml40 Posts: 12 Forumite
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    They are always asking for my help to get their finances in order or asking to borrow money because they are short this month etc. I don't mind helping them financially as they did a lot when we were kids but I don't know the first thing about helping people budget money etc. 
    They were left a bit of money after my Grandma passed but not a lot and I told them to save it as my mum is currently furloughed so they might need it in the future if something happens. They understood but then went out and spent some of it on useless items and keep talking about getting a new couch/cooker or TV. I told them unless they were essential it wasn't worth it. 
  • p00hsticks
    p00hsticks Posts: 12,800 Forumite
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    edited 9 June 2020 at 4:41PM
    aml40 said:
    They understood but then went out and spent some of it on useless items and keep talking about getting a new couch/cooker or TV. I told them unless they were essential it wasn't worth it. 
    Personally I don't really see whats wrong with the spending a small inheritance on a new couch, cooker or TV, especially when it sounds like they've spent most of their lives scrimping. It's not as if they're blowing it on scratchcards or betting....

    From your other post today, you appear to be still living at home. Hopefully you are giving your parents a reasonable amount to cover rent and bills ?
  • Grumpy_chap
    Grumpy_chap Posts: 14,879 Forumite
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    I'd say to just let them spend their money.  Couch, cooker, TV don't sound like particularly extravagant items.  Then again, there is too little information for the recklessness or otherwise of the spending to be assessed.  I don't expect that is information there is any reason for you to know.
  • aml40
    aml40 Posts: 12 Forumite
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    aml40 said:
    They understood but then went out and spent some of it on useless items and keep talking about getting a new couch/cooker or TV. I told them unless they were essential it wasn't worth it. 
    Personally I don't really see whats wrong with the spending a small inheritance on a new couch, cooker or TV, especially when it sounds like they've spent most of their lives scrimping. It's not as if they're blowing it on scratchcards or betting....

    From your other post today, you appear to be still living at home. Hopefully you are giving your parents a reasonable amount to cover rent and bills ?
    It's previous spending that makes me concerned. My father has a gambling addiction but with most places being closed at the moment this isn't taking money at the moment. I'd just like to advise them on the best thing to do really. 

    I do contribute around 30% of my wages to rent and bills, buy my own food and pay for any extras including TV channels, WiFi etc. I would never expect to live at home rent-free.
  • Pollycat
    Pollycat Posts: 34,674 Forumite
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    You could look into switching providers for with them.
    Utilities, insurance etc.

    Where and how do they shop? (I appreciate that things are difficult right now).
    Do they buy the 'best' brands?
    Maybe do the 'drop a brand' challenge.
    If you buy Heinz, try supermarket own and if you can't tell the difference, stick to it. If you can tell the difference, move back up and try it on a different product e.g. coffee, tea, washpowder...
    Do they take advantage of offers (bogof 3 for 2 etc) or do they stik to what they need.
    Do they pop to the corner shop every day?

    It's a simple lesson that if you spend more than is coming in, you're going to be in trouble.
    Maybe sit down with them and work out their income and expenditure.
    Ask them about what pension provision they have made. Get a pension forecast for both of them (assuming they've not yet reached state pension age).
  • Grumpy_chap
    Grumpy_chap Posts: 14,879 Forumite
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    aml40 said:

    Personally I don't really see whats wrong with the spending a small inheritance on a new couch, cooker or TV, especially when it sounds like they've spent most of their lives scrimping. It's not as if they're blowing it on scratchcards or betting....
    It's previous spending that makes me concerned. My father has a gambling addiction but with most places being closed at the moment this isn't taking money at the moment. I'd just like to advise them on the best thing to do really. 
    The drip-drip of information.
    Everything up until now has been that your parents lived a life of thrift and now bought a few nice things from an inheritance.
    Then, out from nowhere, a past gambling addiction.
    Maybe the support needs to be to deal with that and not an issue of financial awareness for your parents.  I can't help, but is there anything else that you've kept quiet on that has a bearing?
  • Pollycat said:
    You could look into switching providers for with them.
    Utilities, insurance etc.

    Where and how do they shop? (I appreciate that things are difficult right now).
    Do they buy the 'best' brands?
    Maybe do the 'drop a brand' challenge.
    If you buy Heinz, try supermarket own and if you can't tell the difference, stick to it. If you can tell the difference, move back up and try it on a different product e.g. coffee, tea, washpowder...
    Do they take advantage of offers (bogof 3 for 2 etc) or do they stik to what they need.
    Do they pop to the corner shop every day?

    It's a simple lesson that if you spend more than is coming in, you're going to be in trouble.
    Maybe sit down with them and work out their income and expenditure.
    Ask them about what pension provision they have made. Get a pension forecast for both of them (assuming they've not yet reached state pension age).
    My Grandparents  will not listen to a word of my ways to save them money (not outlandish things, switching gas and electric, haggling with Sky/BT, switching bank accounts). Sometimes people are stuck in their ways
  • Pollycat
    Pollycat Posts: 34,674 Forumite
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    GabiB said:
    My Grandparents  will not listen to a word of my ways to save them money (not outlandish things, switching gas and electric, haggling with Sky/BT, switching bank accounts). Sometimes people are stuck in their ways
    I wouldn't dispute that.
    But maybe when the OP says:
    aml40 said:
    They are always asking for my help to get their finances in order or asking to borrow money because they are short this month etc. I don't mind helping them financially as they did a lot when we were kids but I don't know the first thing about helping people budget money etc. 

    I personally think it's quite likely that they aren't "stuck in their ways" and do actually want some guidance.

    I remember your thread on a similar subject.
    The difference is that you were telling them how to save money when they didn't want to listen to you, the OP's parents have asked for help.
  • Mistral001
    Mistral001 Posts: 5,349 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post I've been Money Tipped!
    edited 29 July 2020 at 11:59PM
    The fact that you are living with them and thus watching them spending more than you can afford has probably prompted you to try to "advise" them.  I assume that you cannot move out to reduce your exposure to their poor budgeting of their money.  Have you actually told them  how you feel about watching them spending so much while you are saving the pennies?  If you haven't then I tell them now and leave the advice for a while.
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