Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • ent_moot
    • By ent_moot 4th Feb 18, 3:59 PM
    • 53Posts
    • 13Thanks
    ent_moot
    Limiting my parent's spending - goHenry
    • #1
    • 4th Feb 18, 3:59 PM
    Limiting my parent's spending - goHenry 4th Feb 18 at 3:59 PM
    Hello,

    I'm looking for a practical way to limit my parents spending.

    My Dad is disabled and my mother was dismissed 9 months ago and has been unable to find work, though she established a good income from private work.

    Currently, I have to top them up by between 500 and 1000 every month. I have budgeted to be able to top them up by 500 per month for the next 3 years, by which point they will reach state pension age and hopefully have enough to be independent, or at least to sell up and move somewhere cheaper. They can't move now because they would lose my mother's private income.

    I have total control and visibility over the online banking, and I produce a summary of their spending every month. I've given them a generous budget which is considerably higher than what I have for my own family; however, they are routinely over budget, sometimes by as much as 1600 in a single month. I'm left fitting the bill.

    This makes me utterly furious to the point that I've come close to completely cutting them off. It is a constant source of stress and worry, and has been seriously affecting my sleep for months now, not to mention being a source of conflict with my wife and I.

    The reason for their overspending is typically because they help out other people who they feel are in even more need than themselves (e.g. my unemployed brother and his alcoholic and mentally ill girlfriend who is due to give birth in 1 week).

    I've set ultimatum after ultimatum, and nothing works. I've begged, I've wept, I've created spreadsheets and forecasts, I've given them practical advice, I've done everything.

    If I get utterly furious with them and pester them relentlessly, then they'll be good for a month or two but then revert back into excessive spending. My mother is adamant that she only buys things that are necessary; however, I strongly disagree with her judgement.

    Example: this last month she has spent 350 on petrol alone, despite having 0 travel for work (per private work she does from home). The reason for the travel: social services have said that if my brother's girlfriend does not attend a myriad of courses, they will take the baby away at birth. This is because of a previous incident with her first child and her drinking. My mother has been left with the bill of taxiing her around.

    My mother sees herself as helping the situation when I see it as delaying the inevitable: it is in the best interests of the child to be adopted. There is no way my brother, who suffers from severe depression and has a history of violence plus his girlfriend who is alcoholic and also mentally ill will ever be able to look after and bring up a child. With my mother's help maybe, but she has to care for my disabled father and keep working if she's to keep her home.

    I'm at my whits end. If I cut off the money, they will lose their home, my mother's private teaching, and rapidly spiral into debt as they were before I took control of their finances. The hope for them to have a half decent retirement goes out the window.

    However, I will not throw away my own hopes and dreams and well-being because of their spending.

    So, I was thinking that some practical way to limit their spending might be the solution.

    Ideal scenario: they would have a daily amount of cash and no way to spend more than it. My mother says she is up for this.

    I've just seen goHenry which is designed for children's pocket money. It looks perfect. Does anyone have experience with this?

    And before you tell me that I should just reason with my parents: they are very reasonable. However, my mother feels trapped: she knows the strain she is putting on me, but at the same time she can stop her self helping my bother and her soon-to-born grand daughter. I think that she gets so caught up in the daily trials of caring for my disabled dad, sorting out my depressed brother and his alcoholic girlfriend whilst also trying to work that she lacks the time and energy to be thrifty. There's also the fact that my dad was a big earner before he lost his health, so they've had a lifetime of big spending with interest-only mortgages without any retirement plan. Hence it's unlearning a lifetime of bad habits.
Page 2
    • Sea Shell
    • By Sea Shell 5th Feb 18, 2:48 PM
    • 715 Posts
    • 1,007 Thanks
    Sea Shell
    What a very difficult situation to find yourself in....and I thought my family were financially dysfunctional.

    My advice would be to try and limit (if not withdraw completely) your monthly support. You've your own family's future to think of here. I wouldn't worry about any potential inheritance, as it may be a LONG way off, and there might not be anything left anyway. You could continue to give them the shirt of your back, and it'll never be enough, and they could leave the house etc to your Brother at the end of the day anyway.

    Tell them you love them, but that you won't be their enabeller any more. If their house of cards falls down, then that might be the only way they'll learn. Easy to say, hard to do, i know.

    As for my lot...they haven't actually got to the stage of needing bailing out financially....YET!!!!

    But at the moment i have to sit back and bite my tongue whilst sibling withdraws from the Bank of Mum and Dad at a rate of approx 15,000 a year. That's money they're never going to see again and will no doubt need at some time in the future....guess whose door they'll come knocking at then!!

    If the time comes, will i take my own advice....hmmm have to wait and see, but i hope i have the strength to say sorry, but no.

    Good luck with what you decide to do.
    " That pound I saved yesterday, is a pound I don't have to earn tomorrow "
    • badger09
    • By badger09 5th Feb 18, 2:59 PM
    • 5,944 Posts
    • 5,283 Thanks
    badger09
    Has the interest-only mortgage been paid off? If not what is the plan to pay back the capital?

    If you cut off funds are your parents the sort who would resort to expensive loans?
    Originally posted by alanq
    On another thread post 33, OP describes it as 'capital repayment' which will be cleared in 8.5 (now 8?) years time

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5694970&page=2
    • pollypenny
    • By pollypenny 5th Feb 18, 3:05 PM
    • 23,921 Posts
    • 62,333 Thanks
    pollypenny
    My sympathies, OP. You like a really good son.

    Your have an awful dilemma, but maybe tough love with a LPA is the only way to go.
    Member #14 of SKI-ers club

    Words, words, they're all we have to go by!.

    (Pity they are mangled by this autocorrect!)
    • Sea Shell
    • By Sea Shell 5th Feb 18, 3:14 PM
    • 715 Posts
    • 1,007 Thanks
    Sea Shell
    "My advice would be to try and limit (if not withdraw completely) your monthly support." - Sea Shell

    Sorry, I realise that's what you asked in the first place....It's Monday, what can I say!!!

    HOW you do that, well that's the tricky part. As others have said, either full LPA or just being ultra tough with the handouts. But i think you'll be seen as "Bad Cop" which ever way you try and deal with it. They won't want their income stream disrupted by the sounds of it.
    " That pound I saved yesterday, is a pound I don't have to earn tomorrow "
    • ent_moot
    • By ent_moot 5th Feb 18, 7:13 PM
    • 53 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    ent_moot
    Failing that can they equity release some of it? I would forget the inheritance for now, assume you'll get nothing and anything will be a bonus.

    You need to make them self-sufficient and their only asset is their house, so you need to leverage it.
    Currently, they do not have enough equity in their home to buy another cheaper home. After 3 years they will. Just.

    Also, when they get their state pensions in 3 years, they will have enough to survive, assuming they have no mortgage and rent to pay.

    If they release equity in their home now, they destroy the possibility to be self-sufficient in 3 years time plus releasing equity now would just perpetuate the problem: they would spend the money.

    I'm not interested in just seeing them through the next few years or even the next decade: I want them to be self-sufficient for the rest of their lives.

    What they need is to learn to spend less money. Maybe they will only learn this by losing their home and hitting rock bottom; However, given their age, it's too late for them to recover from this.

    Are you sure that your parents won't leave the house to your brother, on the grounds that 'he needs it and you don't' ? That is what happend to me - then my sister went bankrupt within 2 years and lost the lot.
    This has crossed my mind. I think it's very unlikely: my parents have had a life-long policy of fairness to all children. Also, I will ask them to formalise something in the near future, at least with respect to the money I'm lending to them. Regardless, all my plans assume that I will get nothing from them.
    • Sea Shell
    • By Sea Shell 5th Feb 18, 7:47 PM
    • 715 Posts
    • 1,007 Thanks
    Sea Shell
    They don't sound like they are treating you fairly tbh.
    " That pound I saved yesterday, is a pound I don't have to earn tomorrow "
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 5th Feb 18, 8:44 PM
    • 29,236 Posts
    • 74,693 Thanks
    Mojisola
    Also, when they get their state pensions in 3 years, they will have enough to survive, assuming they have no mortgage and rent to pay.

    I want them to be self-sufficient for the rest of their lives.

    What they need is to learn to spend less money.
    Originally posted by ent_moot
    What makes you think that they will suddenly learn to spend less when they become pensioners?

    They are spending addicts and you are feeding their addiction.

    They won't change while that's happening.

    Unless you want to be financially supporting them for the rest of their lives, you will have to put drastic limits on your rescue money very soon.
    • ent_moot
    • By ent_moot 5th Feb 18, 9:50 PM
    • 53 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    ent_moot
    What makes you think that they will suddenly learn to spend less when they become pensioners?
    Well, that's the purpose of this thread: to put a hard limit on their monthly spending.

    The YBS card is in the post. I'm planning to give them a weekly budget so the worst damage they can do is run out of money early in the week.
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 5th Feb 18, 10:31 PM
    • 6,369 Posts
    • 13,018 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    The only practical way to limit spending is cut off access to cards and give weekly cash allowances. Your parents sound like they have spent a lifetime of spending recklessly and at the moment you are picking up the tab as your dad is no longer working. To be honest if I were your wife I would be furious and telling you that you need to look after your own future. Forget inheritances and yes from the sound of it your future niece would be better off being adopted than being brought up by an alcoholic mother and depressed father and wellmeaning grandparents who are not financially solvent.

    I would be looking to gradually withdraw all financial assistance for the sake of your health and your marriage. They are adults and you are not financially responsible for the whole family. Easier said than done when it is your family I know but I think in this case some tough love is needed.
    Debt free and mortgage free and early retiree. Living the dream

    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Mortgages and Endowments, Banking and Budgeting boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com. Pease remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • fryedslyce
    • By fryedslyce 5th Feb 18, 11:08 PM
    • 46 Posts
    • 82 Thanks
    fryedslyce
    Ditch the losers, these people will drain you dry.

    Family can be a real blessing, they can also be a curse.
    • Flugelhorn
    • By Flugelhorn 5th Feb 18, 11:14 PM
    • 754 Posts
    • 922 Thanks
    Flugelhorn
    this is a sort of "bank of mum and dad" in reverse. I admire the OP's efforts but suspect it is quite hard to teach an old dog new tricks
    • Sea Shell
    • By Sea Shell 6th Feb 18, 6:40 AM
    • 715 Posts
    • 1,007 Thanks
    Sea Shell
    The other thing you could try, is by giving them a month or 2s notice that you are not going to have any spare cash for a given month....you're thinking of buying a car, booking a holiday, re-furnishing the house, whatever, and that you unfortunately won't be able to give them ANY money that month.

    e.g. tell them now, that you can't give them any in, say, April....AT ALL. Then see what happens. That gives them time to adjust for the month, plan and hopefully not just double the amount they need from you in May!!!

    Also, whose the real driver of this situation?? Do you keep "offering" them money to "help", or are they putting pressure on you, and "asking" for the money each month. Or are they just guilt tripping you with the "woe is me" lines.

    Good luck
    " That pound I saved yesterday, is a pound I don't have to earn tomorrow "
    • ent_moot
    • By ent_moot 6th Feb 18, 8:50 AM
    • 53 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    ent_moot
    Also, whose the real driver of this situation?? Do you keep "offering" them money to "help", or are they putting pressure on you, and "asking" for the money each month. Or are they just guilt tripping you with the "woe is me" lines.
    Essentially, I'm the one driving it.

    When my mother lost her job, they went into financial free-fall, accumulating numerous loans, and losing huge amounts of money to credit cards, over-priced bills, car financing, services and scams. I took control of their online banking, cleared all their loans, re-negotiated every one of their bills, cancelled or re-negotiated all their insurance policies, cleared their credit cards etc.

    Of course, it wasn't as simple as this: I spent months trying to get them to do it themselves to no avail. It was actually even more stressful than that present because they were oblivious to the debt they had accumulated, and every time I said "there better not be any other debt you're not telling me about".. only to find that there was.

    All of this has remained under control (i.e. they have not signed up to any more loans - they know that if they did, I would be on their backs like a tonne of bricks). However, the only "missing piece" is a way to control their daily spending on groceries, petrol, gifts etc.
    • Kayalana99
    • By Kayalana99 6th Feb 18, 9:33 AM
    • 3,407 Posts
    • 6,093 Thanks
    Kayalana99
    Essentially, I'm the one driving it.

    When my mother lost her job, they went into financial free-fall, accumulating numerous loans, and losing huge amounts of money to credit cards, over-priced bills, car financing, services and scams. I took control of their online banking, cleared all their loans, re-negotiated every one of their bills, cancelled or re-negotiated all their insurance policies, cleared their credit cards etc.

    Of course, it wasn't as simple as this: I spent months trying to get them to do it themselves to no avail. It was actually even more stressful than that present because they were oblivious to the debt they had accumulated, and every time I said "there better not be any other debt you're not telling me about".. only to find that there was.

    All of this has remained under control (i.e. they have not signed up to any more loans - they know that if they did, I would be on their backs like a tonne of bricks). However, the only "missing piece" is a way to control their daily spending on groceries, petrol, gifts etc.
    Originally posted by ent_moot
    Right but knowing your mother (albeit from this fourm) if you give her a weekly spending limit and she runs out, and your brother has an issue that requires money, do you really think she would think twice about getting another CC or loan to help them?

    I understand both POV that they are taking advantage of you, but I see from a Mother's side would do anything to protect her son (and her Grandchild) and if you going a bit short is the outcome of her keeping her Grandchild then reasoning would go out the window. Obviously you come under this 'protection' but your wife being a bit mad is a no brainer compared to the loss of a child...although it may end up long term with her leaving you if you continue down this road.
    People don't know what they want until you show them.
    • vacheron
    • By vacheron 6th Feb 18, 9:41 AM
    • 823 Posts
    • 760 Thanks
    vacheron
    On the grounds that no-one loses their house overnight I would cut them off and let the demands and reposession threats start hitting the doorstep, that may make them sit up and prioritise properly rather than giving their (your) money to their fcekless relatives!

    For goodness sake MSE!!
    F. E. C. K. less

    It's a word that's perfectly acceptable in every corner of society.

    Thanks goodness the OP doesn't live in S!!!!horpe...
    Originally posted by trailingspouse
    I used to regularly post on a Horology forum that would not let you post the word "wristwatch". It took us a while to work out why.
    Last edited by vacheron; 06-02-2018 at 9:44 AM.
    The rich buy assets.
    The poor only have expenses.
    The middle class buy liabilities they think are assets.
    Robert T. Kiyosaki
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 6th Feb 18, 10:21 AM
    • 29,236 Posts
    • 74,693 Thanks
    Mojisola
    Currently, I have to top them up by between 500 and 1000 every month.

    I have budgeted to be able to top them up by 500 per month for the next 3 years

    I've given them a generous budget which is considerably higher than what I have for my own family; however, they are routinely over budget, sometimes by as much as 1600 in a single month.
    Originally posted by ent_moot
    Well, that's the purpose of this thread: to put a hard limit on their monthly spending.
    Originally posted by ent_moot
    But you are planning to support them for at least the next three years.

    If they then decide to sell their house, who is going to come up with the money for all the related expenses? You, again.

    It's time for tough love - give them a schedule where your contribution to their addiction reduces on a regular basis - say, by 100 every two months. Stick to it, regardless of the sob stories.

    You're not likely to cut off their money tap in one go - this way, they know what's happening and how much they have to budget as the months go by.

    If you don't do something, what are the chances that you will lose your family? You are putting your parents and their support of your brother and partner above your own family.
    • xylophone
    • By xylophone 6th Feb 18, 2:58 PM
    • 25,371 Posts
    • 14,967 Thanks
    xylophone
    Rather than make gifts to the parents, the OP might formally record these as loans and register a charge against their property as security?
    • robatwork
    • By robatwork 6th Feb 18, 6:02 PM
    • 4,270 Posts
    • 4,675 Thanks
    robatwork
    I used to regularly post on a Horology forum that would not let you post the word "wristwatch". It took us a while to work out why.
    Originally posted by vacheron
    Fairly surprised horology makes it through MSE's daft filter that not only thinks fcekless is somehow too nearly rude for our delicate eyes, but fianc!e also needs !!!ing.
    • Smodlet
    • By Smodlet 8th Feb 18, 6:12 PM
    • 2,997 Posts
    • 6,030 Thanks
    Smodlet
    "Wristwatch" took me a minute; still struggling with "horology".

    ent_moot, I think you know what will happen down the line and I also think you know what you have to do unless you want your own marriage/life ruined by someone else's f*cklessness. I know it is hard, but your choice would seem to be either swim for the lifeboat or be dragged down with those who seem to happy to drown.

    You know one of the most common causes of rows between partners in a relationship is money, don't you? Which relationship is more important to you? Only you can decide but fwiw, I learned long ago from my parents that blood is not thicker than water. Take a tip from Michael Monroe, maybe; "Love is thicker than blood".

    Good luck.
    What is this life if, sweet wordsmith, we have no time to take the pith?
    Every stew starts with the first onion.
    I took it upon myself to investigate a trifle; it had custard, jelly, soggy sponge things...
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

159Posts Today

2,715Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • It's the start of mini MSE's half term. In order to be the best daddy possible, Im stopping work and going off line? https://t.co/kwjvtd75YU

  • RT @shellsince1982: @MartinSLewis thanx to your email I have just saved myself £222 by taking a SIM only deal for £7.50 a month and keeping?

  • Today's Friday twitter poll: An important question, building on yesterday's important discussions: Which is the best bit of the pizza...

  • Follow Martin