Reasonable or Unreasonable?

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bamboo72
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Reasonable or Unreasonable?

Postby bamboo72 » Fri Aug 17, 2012 6:45 pm

I will try to keep this very neutral and just stick to the facts.

My husband and I are comfortable. We have savings and investments. I don't consider us "rich" by any means, but we try to be smart with our money and enjoy life.

My mom has come to us 3 or 4 times to "loan" her money. We have given the money to her each time as a gift except once, when we had just finished purchasing a home and didn't want to spend additional funds, so we told her we couldn't help her at that point. We have always done this as a gift, because I know it is not a good idea to get into the loan game with family and it has also allowed us to keep in perspective how much we were willing to give with no expectation of repayment. I won't go into a whole lot of detail in regards to why other then to say that my mother has never been fiscally responsible and continues to make bad financial decisions. I certainly don't want to enable this behavior, but at the same time I freely admit there is a guilt factor at work here.

That aside, I am seriously considering advising my mom that if we give her money this time, we will not do so before getting a complete list of her income and expenses. This way we have the option of putting together some kind of budget for her to figure out what she truly needs. It would also give us the ability to decide if it would be easier for us to maybe just pay something off for her to get rid of a monthly payment.

I like the idea of doing this, so we have a true understanding of what kind of situation she has gotten herself into and also because it allows us to have a better idea of what she truly needs vice her just throwing a number at us and waiting to see what we say or come back with.

I will also add that she is retired, her income is limited at this point and while she is seeking a job to supplement her income, the job market as we all know is not the best right now. I am not making excuses for her by any means when I say this, I am simply giving an idea of age, as I totally foresee this being an ongoing issue at this point and I would like to see if we can do something to get a handle on this.

My question - is it reasonable to ask her to provide us with her financials or not even something we should be considering?

Tightwad
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Re: Reasonable or Unreasonable?

Postby Tightwad » Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:45 pm

bamboo72 wrote:My question - is it reasonable to ask her to provide us with her financials or not even something we should be considering?

If this is a loan, then it's 100% reasonable. If this is another gift, then don't bother since you'll be enabling her just as you have in the past.

peachy
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Re: Reasonable or Unreasonable?

Postby peachy » Sat Aug 18, 2012 8:02 am

My guess is that you'll probably have to help her with the list because she obviously doesn't know what she has and doesn't have.

I would offer to help her get the list together, and then figure out a plan together. If you want to pay one of her bills, do so directly, meaning don't give her the actual money and pay the bill. If she doesn't want to get the list or have help to get it together, then she's not getting any money.

See what she says and go from there. Wish you the best. It's a tough situation.

tdelamater
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Re: Reasonable or Unreasonable?

Postby tdelamater » Sun Aug 19, 2012 3:15 pm

bamboo72 wrote:My question - is it reasonable to ask her to provide us with her financials or not even something we should be considering?


Reasonable.

First of all, you have handled this situation very well up to this point. Good for you guys!

But do you really want to do this? Ask yourself, "Are we ready to get intimately involved in the financial life of someone else."

If you say yes, you must decide beforehand exactly what you will and will not do and agree upon a course of action between the two of you. Then stick with it.

Some questions to answer:

If she refuses are you prepared to stand firm and offer no additional help?
Are you willing to change the dynamic of your relationship?

What if she has more money than you expected? How will you feel about the money she has been given in the past?

What if her fixed expenses are just barely less than her income? Are you willing to insist on certain changes to be made? What if she is unwilling to change?

What if there is no fixing the budget? Are you willing to take her in? Pay off her debts? Be her caretaker? What if she starts depending on you, are you ready for that?

What if she is 100k in debt? Are you willing to sit back and let her go bankrupt?

This is probably just a start. Make your own list and have a serious discussion between you and your husband.

Eagle
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Re: Reasonable or Unreasonable?

Postby Eagle » Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:07 am

tdelamater wrote:
bamboo72 wrote:My question - is it reasonable to ask her to provide us with her financials or not even something we should be considering?


Reasonable.

First of all, you have handled this situation very well up to this point. Good for you guys!

But do you really want to do this? Ask yourself, "Are we ready to get intimately involved in the financial life of someone else."

If you say yes, you must decide beforehand exactly what you will and will not do and agree upon a course of action between the two of you. Then stick with it.

Some questions to answer:

If she refuses are you prepared to stand firm and offer no additional help?
Are you willing to change the dynamic of your relationship?

What if she has more money than you expected? How will you feel about the money she has been given in the past?

What if her fixed expenses are just barely less than her income? Are you willing to insist on certain changes to be made? What if she is unwilling to change?

What if there is no fixing the budget? Are you willing to take her in? Pay off her debts? Be her caretaker? What if she starts depending on you, are you ready for that?

What if she is 100k in debt? Are you willing to sit back and let her go bankrupt?

This is probably just a start. Make your own list and have a serious discussion between you and your husband.


These are all excellent questions. What is her health like? What is her age? Once she gets older do you plan on letting her live with you or in a retirement home setting?
~ Eagle
www.eaglesoaringhigher.com


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