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Discussion Starter #1
My nieces husbands' unemployment checks are supposed to end soon. She recently let it slip that he plays the lottery and goes to casinos. Still owe over 6k in back taxes and both vehicles have title loans on them. A few weeks ago she gave him the money to pay the water bill, BUT then their water was turned off later. Bill never paid, no explanation given, clammed up. So pawned some more stuff out of the house to pay for the loan from their daughter to get back on.

Now niece is supposed to get approx. 8k from estate settlement soon. Told her in email not to let him get any of it, that this is the time to pay taxes, bills. Think she's mad, oh well. He is NOT looking for a job, I can't even feel sorry for her now. He inherited several hundred k about 10 years ago, nothing to show for it except a 125k house close to a school with outrageous taxes. She spends just like him so is not innocent. Will NOT leave TX. This is just a vent, they do what they want with no thought for the future. In early 50's, will never change. Live exact opposite of us. How do I fade away slowly, without making her more mad?
 

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Tell her you can't do this anymore as you can't take the stress, etc. Make it all about you and what you are willing/not willing to do - then stick to it! Keep it short and simple. Do not get into a protracted discussion over this as the message will loose it's effectiveness. Above all, keep reminding her you do love her and will emotionally support her in other things, just not in money issues.

Do not try to rescue or enable her to continue her part in their irresponsibility with money. That is their issue and they will probably have to "hit bottom" before they change. Sounds like there's a real gambling problem in the family - not your issue.

I'm sure this will not be the first discussion you've had over money, but be strong in your resolve to make sure it's the last. If she brings the subject up after you've said the above, tell her you will walk out of the room if the topic does not change, then do it if it continues. And continue to do it whenever she brings the subject up again. She will eventually get the message. Much better than words.

You can't tell someone to change their ways, but you can change yours if you're motivated enough.

Although it's a lot harder, it's more honest than just "fading out" of the picture.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Wolf mom, we are in MO, they are in TX. We email since I quit fb. No phone calls. They haven't asked for money. For some reason I do find hearing all this very stressful though. She is holding on to me because I'm basically the only one left on her mothers side. I am going to keep any emails few and far between. I have no choice.
 

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Enter farm name here
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If I were in your shoes, I wouldn't engage her in conversations. If she reaches out to you first, I would respond but only to be polite. Don't discuss their financial situation. You are living your life the way you feel you should. She is living very differently from you and you have no control over her/their actions.

If you previously loaned her money, I don't think you'll see any of it paid back. Sounds like their lifestyle is catching up with them and neither of them are making good choices.

You can't "save" people like that. They will either learn from their mistakes or they will end up in foreclosure/bankruptcy and lose their possessions.

Again, if I were in your shoes, I would worry for any children and would maybe help the kids so they didn't have to suffer because of their parents poor choices.

You have your own burdens to carry, it is not your responsibility to carry hers, too.
 

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Be very slow about answering emails and needless to say but don't give them any money.

You can not save anyone in a situation like this, they have to save themselves.
 

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If you are only doing emails, you can flat out state that you don't want to read ANYTHING about their finances, but she is welcome to talk about how they are, other family matters, and so on. If she persists, just say that all her emails for the next month will be deleted without reading and you will stop sending email to her, and she can try again next month. Bluntly, who cares if she gets mad? Her feelings are not your responsibility. I know that I would work in "no overnight visitors" as soon as possible. That escape outlet at your expense needs to be scotched before it is even considered.
 

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You can love your niece and correspond with her without getting into their money affairs. Plenty of other stuff to talk about. I'm assuming you have already given her advice which has gone unheeded, also you set an example to follow-but she didn't. So if she launches into her money troubles, the response is, sorry you are in such a bad spot, period. No need for I told you so, excess sympathy, or offers to enable, er, help them. Until they deal with the gambling, you could give them a million and it wouldn't last long.
 

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You can love your niece and correspond with her without getting into their money affairs. Plenty of other stuff to talk about. I'm assuming you have already given her advice which has gone unheeded, also you set an example to follow-but she didn't. So if she launches into her money troubles, the response is, sorry you are in such a bad spot, period. No need for I told you so, excess sympathy, or offers to enable, er, help them. Until they deal with the gambling, you could give them a million and it wouldn't last long.
Yep :thumb: My thing I tell those folks is .I know how you feel things are tough all over ,we even had to add more water to our soup the other night :sing:
 

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If your niece ASKS for advice or she is the one bringing up the subject - and sounds like it is just to complain - then be completely honest with her and do not feel that you have to be diplomatic or hold back. In all probability she will be mad at you anyways and be aware that your advice or comments will probably be ignored. Do not help them to solve any financial problems. Money does not solve bad money behaviour. They must do it for themselves. They are about to hit rock bottom and this will either be the cure or just a new branch on the road that they are choosing to take.
 

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You don't have to make an announcement about anything. You don't have to make excuses, or give advice. It's her life and she can live it however she pleases. I would just ignore anything that has to do with money, budget etc. Only respond to things that ate general info such as...."It's so exciting that Susie is in the school play! I know she will be great in it" if she asks for money, just say "No I'm sorry.". No excuses. If you want to give her money fine, but don't expect it to be paid back. Whenever I've loaned money I make sure I can afford this "gift". (I'll tell the person it is a loan and expect it to be paid back, but there's no guarantee, so I make sure I can afford NOT to be paid back)
 
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