Warning, be careful who you talk to!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Warning, be careful who you talk to!
4
Wed, 04-23-2003 - 1:33pm
My husband and I have paid everything off except our house (owe 100,000), a truck (owe 4500) and a new water line bill (4000). We have both taken on extra work over the past year to get our debt under control and are managing wonderfully.

We have been so excited about how far we've come that we've talked to our family members about it and how easy it can be once your focused. We thought we'd give them enough encouragement to change.

THIS HAS MAJORLY BACKFIRED!! Instead of encouraging them to change, they now think we have an endless amount of cash. Everyone (my father, my sister, my husband's father, my husband's sister and my husband's two brothers) borrows from us. In fact, every major holiday is elected to be at our house and though we ask for everyone to pitch in, we keep hearing sob stories and we end up footing the bill for all the food, entertainment, etc.

This is just to warn everyone, if you are doing well financially, DON'T TELL ANYONE or they'll never leave you alone!!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 04-23-2003 - 1:40pm
Oh, my! I never thought of that happening! My SIL's family is that way... always "borrowing" money from family because they don't manage their own money well. I hope they come around. Maybe the only way to fix the problem is to NOT let them borrow money and refuse to host all of the parties. Maybe agree to do one. It's hard to say no to family, but they never did this to you before, so they should be able to survive without your help now, right? Good luck!

Sharon

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 04-23-2003 - 2:51pm
Wow, how obnoxious of them to take advantage of you like that! As if you're just "lucky" to have managed your finances well and can now "afford" to foot everyone else's bills too!

I would definitely make a stand, although you might be able to do it diplomatically. You could start with, "oh, we'd love to host the party this year, but I'd hate to deprive (name a relative) of the privilege! Why don't we do it at their house." If everyone insists, you could then go to, "no, really, I insist! Besides, we're going to be in the middle of remodeling our living room with all the extra cash you all seem to think we have!" (said lightly, as though joking). Or maybe ribbing will do the trick, something not too subtle, like, "you know, we didn't get in this comfortable position by paying everyone else's way, too!" (laugh, ha ha).

If it comes down to it, though, you might just have to get firm, and tell people, "look, we worked really hard to get in a good position. If we always have to take the financial blows for family get-togethers (or loan people money, or whatever), we won't be able to maintain it. This is too important to us."

If worse comes to worst, I guess you could start dropping hints that your financial "good fortune" (as if it were just luck like they seem to think!!) is waning and that you've got troubles of your own again, and just never bring it up again. You could do it without actually lying--just complain every time an actual expense comes up (even if you have the funds to cover it), whine that you haven't had a raise in so long and you were expecting one much sooner, complain about how you never seem able to save money the way you want to (even if you are saving money, it's probably not as much as you wish to in your dreams, right?), bemoan the high costs of health care, and so on. Hopefully, they'll get the point eventually and see you as being in the same boat they are.

I'm sorry you're having to deal with this. It blows my mind, frankly. I have a very wealthy aunt and two cousins who inherited hundreds of thousands of dollars (possibly millions--I would never dream of asking) when their father died last year, and I would pull out my own eye teeth before I would suggest that they foot the bill exclusively for something or request to borrow money, though we are on very good terms. Now, when there are extravagant shin-digs, they do foot the bill, because they are always the ones that plan the expensive stuff, and they are fully aware that we could never pay our "share" of such an affair. But we never request it, and even then we bring a cake and wine, or some other participatory token.

Anyway, it's in very poor taste on the part of your relatives, and you have every right to turn them down flat. I know it's not that simple, and I am sending you good vibes to help find a solution that works for you.

Blessings,

Heather

Avatar for zaboz
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 04-23-2003 - 3:05pm
That's terrible! I would definitely stop lending them money and only host parties every couple of years.

I have a somewhat similar situation with a cousin. He's been in trouble all his

life and I get calls to see if we can put him up, drive him to court, etc.

Sometimes I just want to scream because I haven't heard from these relatives in ages

until they need something. It's not because we have money, but because we haven't made complete messes of our lives and can offer him (roof over his head, transportation)

things that he should have earned for himself long ago.

We've all worked hard to get where we are (and are going). Don't let them take advantage of you.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2008
Wed, 04-23-2003 - 9:43pm
My chin dropped to the floor when I read your message. I guess some people have no shame.

I like the idea from "heather.head": "...complain every time an actual expense comes up..." My step-mom does it all the time. Her and my dad own their home (they have no mortgage), they have no credit card debt, they rarely buy new clothes, etc. but somehow they never have money. She's been like that since I could remember, at least 30 years. Last year, a couple of months before Christmas they had to replace their septic tank and I heard about that for months. I think they were prepping me for when we came to visit them at Christmas. I told them not to buy any gifts for us, because that's where I think she was leading. But, of course, they did and I still hear how they have no money for this, no money for that, etc. Hey, I think it works for them. But, then again, some people have no shame.

Best of luck and I will definitely keep your advice in mind. When we are living comfortably, no one will know. ;-)