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 Post subject: Re: Soaring Higher
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 4:51 am 

Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:19 pm
Posts: 1683
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Eagle, I admire your kindness, and your resolve to help a friend in need. I only hope you know to put your own family's well-being first, and do not let "Tony" drain your emotional, spiritual, and financial tanks dry. As others have mentioned, at some point, Tony must take responsibility both for his own situation, and the solution.

Your language reinforced my concern regarding this situation - that this relationship is changing (or has already changed) from "friend-friend" to "teacher-student" (or worse, "master/lender-slave/borrower"), which would fundamentally alter the way you interact with each other, and not necessarily for the better.

Just beware that this friendship might not be salvageable, and if it's not, it's not your fault and you tried the best you could to be the best friend you could be. There's a very fine line between "helping" someone and "enabling" them.


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 Post subject: Re: Soaring Higher
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:21 am 
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Posts: 872
Tightwad wrote:
Eagle wrote:
This is the last and final phase (of a 6 year process) of our plan to help Tony out.


...until the next time he comes around with a sob story about how he has to walk to work in the rain or how they're going to put him in jail if he doesn't pay this traffic fine or some other calamity that befalls the most financially unlucky person on this planet.


Lol. I think I understand what you’re saying Tightwad. But Tony’s not unlucky. He’s just made poor choices in the past. It took him 10 years to get into the mess he’s in. It is probably going to take at least that long to get out. He’s on the mend though. We didn’t help him for a whole year and he stood on his own two feet financially. Tony walked in the rain and 100+ degree weather for years. He’s not afraid of the elements.

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 Post subject: Re: Soaring Higher
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:22 am 
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Posts: 872
Ms Kitty Cliche wrote:
I can understand wanting to help someone out - and I also understand that transportation can be a big barrier to getting on one's feet.

In fact, this is one of the reasons I am a huge supporter of a charity called Modest Needs, which basically helps people out with the sort of one-time financial storms that can drive someone on the edge into poverty.

However, this guy doesn't sound (based on the info you've provided; obviously I don't know him) like he has generally good decision or risk appreciation skills. He has made a lot of decisions in the past with significant and life-altering long term consequences.


Tony’s Background: Yes, Tony has made some bad choices. It wasn’t until about 4 years ago that Tony turned his life over to God and started trying to turn his life around. He lost his job where he made six figures at a major fortune 500 company back in 2005 and was without work for 2-3 years. He was kicked out of apartment after apartment. He was forced to live out of his car for a time. Nobody would hire a 50 something year old with experience in retail/sales and only 3 years of college under his belt. He was either over qualified or people didn’t think he would stick with a job paying him one fifth or less of his previous income. The main issue was his divorce order said he had to pay 20% of his income in child support. While he made about $1500 a month at the job he finally was able to get about $750 went to child support. Plus figure in taxes and he was living on about $500-700 a month. He went back several times to fight it in court but the divorce decree was upheld every time. The ex-wife would not budge. This although she still had a six figure job, the house, and the car was paid for. What savings they did have was split after the divorce and he had to use to pay credit card bills she rang up under his name and catch his bills up. She controlled the bills and anything under his name leading up to the divorce was either in default collections or very late. For the record anyone who says African-American men are lazy haven’t met Tony. This is something that puzzles me in this great country of ours. Problem is when you don’t have enough income to support yourself you end up eating Raman noodles and getting behind on behind on bills. Tony is just now starting to get back on his feet.

Ms Kitty Cliche wrote:
What might help him more than money is working with a counselor or coach. I know you are involved in a church community based on some of your posts. Many such groups have free or sliding-fee counseling services that may give your friend the ability to move himself out of this situation. This helped with a family member of mine with similar issues - although I am not a member of a church community, most of my family are and we were able to find him a mentor/life coach that way who helped him to significantly improve his decision making skills.

6 years is a long time to give someone a hand up -at some point they need to grab on and start trying to climb. You and your wife need to decide where your line is with this guy - and stick to it. Don't let him take advantage of your kindness or cause your family financial distress.


Good suggestion about the counselor Ms. Kitty. Perhaps he’s at a point where he would consider it now. We know several counselors who might even be willing to do it pro-bono or at a reduced fee.

I agree 6 years is a long time. However, it has not put a financial strain on our family. For example we saved up for a year a little extra here or there to help Tony with the car. My wife was in agreement this was our last big push to help Tony. Our line is once he has the car paid off we feel we completed our part of the journey with Tony.

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~ Eagle


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 Post subject: Re: Soaring Higher
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:41 am 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 10:05 am
Posts: 872
kombat wrote:
Eagle, I admire your kindness, and your resolve to help a friend in need. I only hope you know to put your own family's well-being first, and do not let "Tony" drain your emotional, spiritual, and financial tanks dry. As others have mentioned, at some point, Tony must take responsibility both for his own situation, and the solution.


I appreciate the words of encouragement Kombat. I have never put Tony’s well-being ahead of my family. Honestly, we do not feel drained by this whole car loan thing. This loan was in a way a gift to Tony as he would’ve paid a ton of interest (15-20%?) had he gone through a dealership or “loan shark” (rent to own type) lender. It just fell into place as one of his friends had a 4-5k car in great condition they offered to sell to him at a reduced cost. It was really providential. I do believe that Tony is taking responsibility for his situation and the car will help him get a new job. He’s now applying for other positions.

kombat wrote:
Your language reinforced my concern regarding this situation - that this relationship is changing (or has already changed) from "friend-friend" to "teacher-student" (or worse, "master/lender-slave/borrower"), which would fundamentally alter the way you interact with each other, and not necessarily for the better.

Just beware that this friendship might not be salvageable, and if it's not, it's not your fault and you tried the best you could to be the best friend you could be. There's a very fine line between "helping" someone and "enabling" them.


I know Tony appreciates our help. But I agree the relationship is sometimes strained. However, for the past year or so it has been rather good. Tony, begrudgingly at times (lol ;) ) admits that my advice has helped him a lot. However, I do not tell Tony what to do with his money. It’s his life and his responsibility to deal with the consequences of his choices.

I’m aware that at some point we may part ways with Tony. Hopefully it won’t come to that as we share the bond of faith in Christ. I’m sure that is difficult for some to understand. Not saying that we wouldn’t part ways. Just saying we will always be friends.

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~ Eagle


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 Post subject: Re: Soaring Higher
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:01 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:15 pm
Posts: 1095
Quote:
Lol. I think I understand what you’re saying Tightwad. But Tony’s not unlucky. He’s just made poor choices in the past. It took him 10 years to get into the mess he’s in. It is probably going to take at least that long to get out. He’s on the mend though. We didn’t help him for a whole year and he stood on his own two feet financially. Tony walked in the rain and 100+ degree weather for years. He’s not afraid of the elements.

You completely missed the sarcasm oozing off that post. I wasn't insinuating he was unlucky...

Quote:
I know Tony appreciates our help. But I agree the relationship is sometimes strained. However, for the past year or so it has been rather good. Tony, begrudgingly at times (lol ;) ) admits that my advice has helped him a lot. However, I do not tell Tony what to do with his money. It’s his life and his responsibility to deal with the consequences of his choices.


If I was giving him money, you can sure bet I'd be telling what to do with it since he surely isn't capable.

Quote:
I’m aware that at some point we may part ways with Tony. Hopefully it won’t come to that as we share the bond of faith in Christ. I’m sure that is difficult for some to understand. Not saying that we wouldn’t part ways. Just saying we will always be friends.


I have brothers & sisters in Christ who I have given money to in the past......no more though. I gave them a helping hand & they went & bought a Harley Davidson when they didn't have enough to put a roof over their head or food in their mouths. Or better yet on another occasion, they financed their addict son's drug habit. In order words, I feel like I got took for a sucker just like you're doing now.

Since then, I've gotten several of the "woe is me" comments but I'm done helping.


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 Post subject: Re: Soaring Higher
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 12:43 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 10:05 am
Posts: 872
Tightwad wrote:
You completely missed the sarcasm oozing off that post. I wasn't insinuating he was unlucky...


Right. ;)

Tightwad wrote:
Eagle wrote:
I know Tony appreciates our help. But I agree the relationship is sometimes strained. However, for the past year or so it has been rather good. Tony, begrudgingly at times (lol ;) ) admits that my advice has helped him a lot. However, I do not tell Tony what to do with his money. It’s his life and his responsibility to deal with the consequences of his choices.


If I was giving him money, you can sure bet I'd be telling what to do with it since he surely isn't capable.


Okay that is a good point. What would you suggest as a good course of action? Besides giving him the money as a gift... We'd like to keep that on the back burner. I should point out that there is a clause in the contract that requires him to provide his bank statement if he's late before he'll be considered current.

Tightwad wrote:
I have brothers & sisters in Christ who I have given money to in the past......no more though. I gave them a helping hand & they went & bought a Harley Davidson when they didn't have enough to put a roof over their head or food in their mouths. Or better yet on another occasion, they financed their addict son's drug habit. In order words, I feel like I got took for a sucker just like you're doing now.

Since then, I've gotten several of the "woe is me" comments but I'm done helping.


Sorry to hear that about the people with the Harley and the addict son. But I do somewhat understand. We do have friends we've stopped helping financially as well. There is a particular family that is very dear to us but they're constantly in emergency mode. They live in the constant urgency of the present. There is always a fire to put out with them. The washer/dryer needs to be replaced. Or the car breaks down. And they refuse to change their lifestyle, get an emergency fund, get on a budget, and crunch the pennies to get out of debt.

_________________
~ Eagle


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 Post subject: Re: Soaring Higher
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:24 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:15 pm
Posts: 1095
Eagle wrote:
Okay that is a good point. What would you suggest as a good course of action? Besides giving him the money as a gift... We'd like to keep that on the back burner. I should point out that there is a clause in the contract that requires him to provide his bank statement if he's late before he'll be considered current.

After 6 years, I'd be done with "helping". If someone can't learn to fish on his own after that long, then he has deeper issues. I'll tell you like I tell my wife about her brother...it's not up to you to drag him financially thru life. Cut the purse strings.

Quote:
Sorry to hear that about the people with the Harley and the addict son. But I do somewhat understand. We do have friends we've stopped helping financially as well. There is a particular family that is very dear to us but they're constantly in emergency mode. They live in the constant urgency of the present. There is always a fire to put out with them. The washer/dryer needs to be replaced. Or the car breaks down. And they refuse to change their lifestyle, get an emergency fund, get on a budget, and crunch the pennies to get out of debt.

Why did you stop enabling them too? Their bad life choices aren't any different than Tony's.


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 Post subject: Re: Soaring Higher
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 6:21 am 
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Tightwad wrote:
After 6 years, I'd be done with "helping". If someone can't learn to fish on his own after that long, then he has deeper issues. I'll tell you like I tell my wife about her brother...it's not up to you to drag him financially thru life. Cut the purse strings.


Like I said the car loan is the last thing we're going to help Tony with. After that he's on his own.

Tightwad wrote:
Eagle wrote:
Sorry to hear that about the people with the Harley and the addict son. But I do somewhat understand. We do have friends we've stopped helping financially as well.

Why did you stop enabling them too? Their bad life choices aren't any different than Tony's.


The short version is they moved to a different state. And actually thier situation is different than Tony's. We'll call my friend Duane. Duane had a car accident that wasn't his fault that left him paralized and in a comma for a few months. When they put him back together they stitched him up with 100 screws and metalic parts costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. Needless to say he lost everything with that situation. He also has not been able to work full time. He still owes medical bills I believe.

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~ Eagle


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 Post subject: Re: Soaring Higher
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 10:37 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2012 8:28 am
Posts: 88
Eagle -

I'm really glad that you and your wife are certain with your limits and plan to stick to them. Certainly, your desire to help others is admirable and far too often rare.

Try to keep in mind, though, that like parents who try to create happiness for their children by giving them everything they want, when we simply hand out help over and over, we actually destroy others' self esteem and capabilities.

I sincerely hope your friend will consider counseling of some kind. Certainly, some of his difficulties are outside of his control, but simply being angry about that and giving up is not a strategy for success. He needs to find his personal motivation and the inner strength to make the hard choices day after day that will be necessary to move foward. For those who were not blessed with these traits naturally and/or have not had someone patiently instill it in them, this can be a nearly impossible mountain to climb. Having a guide will certainly increase their chances of success.

Again, though, I want to reiterate that I am not trying to judge Tony. I can only relate to what you have shared and my personal experiences both being the helper AND the helpee.

Best of luck on whatever course you take here.


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 Post subject: Re: Soaring Higher
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 11:12 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:15 pm
Posts: 1095
Eagle wrote:

Tightwad wrote:
Eagle wrote:
Sorry to hear that about the people with the Harley and the addict son. But I do somewhat understand. We do have friends we've stopped helping financially as well.

Why did you stop enabling them too? Their bad life choices aren't any different than Tony's.


The short version is they moved to a different state. And actually thier situation is different than Tony's. We'll call my friend Duane. Duane had a car accident that wasn't his fault that left him paralized and in a comma for a few months. When they put him back together they stitched him up with 100 screws and metalic parts costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. Needless to say he lost everything with that situation. He also has not been able to work full time. He still owes medical bills I believe.

Wait a minute....first you said this family needed a handout because they made bad choices & now dude had a car wreck that left him with lots of medical bills?

Which is it?


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 Post subject: Re: Soaring Higher
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 3:43 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:13 pm
Posts: 168
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Tightwad wrote:
Wait a minute....first you said this family needed a handout because they made bad choices & now dude had a car wreck that left him with lots of medical bills?

Which is it?

Bad choice was not having insurance?


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 Post subject: Re: Soaring Higher
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 5:25 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:15 pm
Posts: 1095
geoff_tewierik wrote:
Tightwad wrote:
Wait a minute....first you said this family needed a handout because they made bad choices & now dude had a car wreck that left him with lots of medical bills?

Which is it?

Bad choice was not having insurance?

Looks that way.


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 Post subject: Re: Soaring Higher
PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:52 am 
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@Ms. Kitty Thanks for the encouragement. I think I undersand what you are saying. Trust me Tony doesn't get everything he wants lol. And his self-esteem is at an all time high as he can handle his own errands now, see his daughter when he wants/is able, and get around town in his own vehicle. It was always very frustrating to him when we had to work around my schedule to go to the grocery store, etc.

Today Tony paid me back on the driver's licence as he said he would and paid for last month's car loan payment. Plus a little extra. He was really glad to be able to see his daughter today with is own set of wheels. No news on the job hunt.

Tightwad wrote:
Wait a minute....first you said this family needed a handout because they made bad choices & now dude had a car wreck that left him with lots of medical bills?

Which is it?


{removed}

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~ Eagle


Last edited by Eagle on Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Soaring Higher
PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:32 am 

Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:19 pm
Posts: 1683
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Eagle wrote:
[W]hen [Duane] had the accident he found out his supposed wife (with whom he had 2 kids with) was already married... And she had started using drugs too. They are no longer together. Anyhow it's complicated and a mess as you can see. He's now re-married (or married for the first time?) but to show you his decision making process they're pregnant. The"new" wife already had a son. Plus Duane adopted one too before getting mearried. So this will make 5 kids.


Ever see the movie "Idiocracy?" It was on FX the other day. Great movie.

I think Duane was in it.


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 Post subject: Re: Soaring Higher
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:16 am 
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The Good

We purchased the Wifey’s new Apple laptop this month. The old one’s screen kept deteriorating even with an external monitor. She’s really excited. We used funds from her school savings account since she will primarily be using the laptop for her education.

Started purchasing gifts for Christmas. Going to try to knock the gift shopping out early this year so it doesn’t all hit in December.

Cell phone was about $60 cheaper than what it normally should be. This is left over from the negotiation from last month. So it really ended up being 1 and 1/4 “free” payments.

Travelled for work so got reimbursed for per deems, etc. This usually means about $100-200 extra bucks to the wallet.

Decided we really, really liked the Bed & Breakfast we went to. So we’re sending my parents to it for a couple of nights for their anniversary. Got a good deal - buy one night get one night free. They should have fun!

Tony settled up last month’s car payment and paid early this month! That was a pleasant surprise.

The Bad

Used up most of our gift cards left over from birthdays, baby showers, etc. We also spent more than usual on shopping. We also indulged a little and went over our projected adult allowances. Eh life is short. We’ll try to reign in the spending this next month.

Got into a fender bender so will likely have to pay car deductable of $495 in October. Also need to settle up with the dentist for about $445 in October.

After reviewing the goals for 2012 I believe these goals in red/italics are more realistic. The new goals include about $2,800 in proposed savings for the remaining 3 months left in 2012 for these accounts. The previous month’s goals of $8,150 (Sept-Dec) for the remaining of the month were not attainable. We did spend $2800 on my laptop so that accounts for a portion of it. Plus we didn’t really fully understand all the cost and bills associated with a C-Section childbirth.
--------------------

Account / End Balance /2012 Goals / % Complete Sept ’12 / % Complete Aug ‘12 / % Change
Savings (E Fund) / $7,572.45 / $9,000.00 / 84.14% / 79.69% / 4.44%
Savings (Purchases) / $1,500.13 / $1,600.00 / 93.76% / 42.86% / 50.90%
Savings (Baby) / $2,404.19 / $2,450.00 / 98.13% / 94.16% / 3.97%
Savings (Car Repairs) / $1,075.06 / $1,500.00 / 71.67% / 46.59% / 25.08%
Savings (Car Insurance) / $114.01 / $400.00 / 28.50% / 16.00% / 12.50%
Savings (Medical Exp) / $1,475.08 / $1,600.00 / 92.19% / 36.25% / 55.94%
Savings (Son College) / $412.06 / $600.00 / 68.68% / 44.84% / 23.83%
Savings (Int. Travel) / $200.01 / $400.00 / 50.00% / 10.00% / 40.00%

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~ Eagle


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