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Author Topic: Money Woes: Am I Being Scrooge? Sort of Update @ 45  (Read 23216 times)

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Re: Money Woes: Am I Being Scrooge Like, Profligate or Am I Justified?
« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2013, 04:43:29 PM »
They can't make you do any of these things.

Decide what you are willing to do when you are calm and composed and then stick to it.  Nobody can make you get on a plane, or write a check or buy lottery tickets!  Really that is the part that stuns me the most.  I know you FEEL like these people are making you do these things but they aren't.  You are choosing to in order to avoid conflict or be nice or avoid false guilt....whatever the reason, you are CHOOSING to buy lottery tickets for your dad.  Just choose not to. 

And even if a landscape guy is standing there asking for money, all you have to do is say "oh I don't live here!  I'll be happy to leave the bill here for you if you'd like".  There is no reason to pay him, it's not your bill.  Would you also pay the mortgage just because you were staying there? 

People can only take advantage of you if you let them.


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Re: Money Woes: Am I Being Scrooge Like, Profligate or Am I Justified?
« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2013, 04:52:05 PM »
Why were you buying him $50 in lottery tickets a week? If he asked you to, you should tell him, "here are your tickets. That'll be fifty dollars, please," and not buy any more until he p ways you for the last batch.

If you're buying them because "Dad likes his tickets, and I'll get them for him," you need to ask yourself why. Don't give them as a gift, and expect to be repaid.
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Re: Money Woes: Am I Being Scrooge Like, Profligate or Am I Justified?
« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2013, 04:56:56 PM »
You should ask to be reimbursed for the pet food and lawn care.

Who pays for your Dads food and lottery tickets when your not around? If he has his own income, it should still be used when he us with you. If he doesn't, I can see you paying when with him, but you need to set limits. Tell him you can't afford lottery tickets and fancy food, he has to pick one or the other.

Well, I wrote a whole post that got eaten, somehow, but I do agree with Hmmmmm. Is your brother usually responsible for paying all of your Father's bills, or does your Dad have his own money? If your Dad usually buys his own food and lottery tickets, why did that change with you?

Might this be your brother's PA way of getting you to contribute to your Father's upkeep, if he feels that he bears the brunt of those expenses? But definitely, the landscaping and pet food you should be reimbursed for.


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Re: Money Woes: Am I Being Scrooge Like, Profligate or Am I Justified?
« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2013, 05:05:57 PM »
Depending on your place of work, can you schedule your vacation at the beginning of the year? For me, I often schedule time and change it as needed but that way I get some of the hot dates.

Anyway,if you already have all your time scheduled, it's much easier to say, "Sorry, I don't have anymore vacation time left." I think it would be a helpful "backbone back-up".

They will never change if they don't face consequences.


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Re: Money Woes: Am I Being Scrooge Like, Profligate or Am I Justified?
« Reply #19 on: August 18, 2013, 05:15:40 PM »
You just need to say no - "No, I'm sorry, I don't have the time/money this year".  And stick with it.

Your relatives sound completely oblivious - but I also read your post thinking of our own situation.  We have a family member with a health problem and we frequently ask for ( and receive ) assistance from our family for either care in our home or outside of it. 

I hope we are always appreciative and considerate, I hope we are never putting someone in a bad situation, we always try to make it clear that we are requesting help, and answers of 'no' are perfectly acceptable - but I still wonder sometimes if someone isn't gritting their teeth and thinking "Yea, I'll come down, but I can't believe those turnips needs me _again_!  Can't they get their affairs in order?  Last time I bought X and Y out of my own pocket and they never even mentioned it!"

I'd be horrified, obviously - but I also can't read minds.  If someone really doesn't have the time or the money or the inclination I'd hope they would tell me so.


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Re: Money Woes: Am I Being Scrooge Like, Profligate or Am I Justified?
« Reply #20 on: August 18, 2013, 05:25:25 PM »
OP here...should have clarified:  Dad pays for all his stuff when at my brother's.  He's got his own car and drives still.   He can get out and buy his lotto tickets and scratch cards (and I can't help but note that he's only bought a couple of them whileI have been here).  He buys his own soup, sandwiches and so on...and often picks up all paper goods needed as well as the pet food.  He also gives them $XXX each month for rent, heat and so on.  This morning he needed to give the landscaper $XX and didn't have it so asked if I had any promising he would pay me back. 

Bro and SIL aren't looking for more time away from dad.   When he's visiting me they call every night to talk to him.  They want me here so they don't have to pay for pet sittersd and are using Dad as an excuse. This is what SIL does by the way...she makes money hand over fist and has a small staff that could do this for her, but she doesn't want to pay them her own rates I think.  They are very generous when it comes to gift giving, but because they "have Dad" they feel I have no worries. 

Even when we were living an hour apart, they couldn't come to visit because "It's really SUCH a long drive."  That excuse didn't seem to matter when they had to drive to the town or state beyond where I lived.  One time I suggested they come to my house for SUnday dinner and they said "Let's meet half wat at XYZ Diner in ThisTown"...which was actually half an hour further for them to drive  but less than forty five minutes for me.   I said I thought they just didn't like to be around ME.  "Oh, no!  We LOVE you!" 
I think they really mean that, but I don't think they realize that their motives are less than altruistic.  (They are still trying to convince me that I want to move in with themwhen I retire and I have told them absolutely not.  They want more money to pay the mortgage down.)

I am going to take everyone's advice very seriously and consider what I am doing next year for vacation and will try to get Dad to my place early on or later on.  I go on one vacation a year, usually in July...and that always seems to be when they want to go on their vacay, too.  I'd love to be able to say "Sorry, going to Europe for three weeks, sorry but I can't be the house sitter and baby sitter.  Good luck!"


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Re: Money Woes: Am I Being Scrooge Like, Profligate or Am I Justified?
« Reply #21 on: August 18, 2013, 05:34:20 PM »
 Is it possible for your Dad to fly to you a second time(he was willing to pay for your airfare, so it shouldn't matter wheter its you flying to them or him flying to you) ?
 They apparently want you to fly to them tobe a house and petsitter( to take care of all the bills in their absence) and not just to take care of your Dad.
When your dad spends their vacation time at your place again, they are forced to find a petsitter and you don't need to pay for all the petfood (and other bills that would probably sooner or later appear)

Is it not possible for you to simply tell them that you won't be able to petsit anymore?
I know that i am from another culture where we are rather direct with things that do not agree with us and are often perceived as rude or cold (by tourists) but i think it would be rather beneficial for you if you took the same route and said
"I am sorry DB and SIL but i don't want to spend all my vacation money for your convenience or pay all your bills again. You will have to find your own arrangements concerning petsitting, housesitting and landscaping. Dad is welcome to visit me again during your vacation time but everything else is a too great a burden on my wallet."
DB/SIL: "But you can use our Pool,house,car for free that should be worth all that..."
"Sorry but it just won't be possible anymore. If i wanted a Pool a car and a house like that i would put money aside but not "rent" it."

And just to add:

I always watch my brothers and his GFs house and Pets when they're vacationing. They have 10 cats. It was their choice.
Everytime they leave for a vacation, they stock up on petfood and litter, stock up the fridge and food pantry and leave me cash for emergencies. Gas and extra food that i want I pay out of my own pocket
They try not to inconvenience me for the favour I'm doing them and i appreciate this very much...especially after reading this story here. ~


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Re: Money Woes: Am I Being Scrooge Like, Profligate or Am I Justified?
« Reply #22 on: August 18, 2013, 05:45:06 PM »
OP, it is perfectly reasonable to write up a list of what you spent and to tell them frankly you do NOT HAVE THE MONEY! And in the future prior to any visits they must purchase you ticket and send you money in advance or you will not be on the plane.
I advise you to call a few home care companies and get a quote for a live in companion for whatever time period you usually stay and give them that figure and number if they don't want to reimburse you.
As a matter of fact, with your experience with your father, you could probably get a job  as a live in companion. I'm not joking.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2013, 05:47:44 PM by JoyinVirginia »


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Re: Money Woes: Am I Being Scrooge Like, Profligate or Am I Justified?
« Reply #23 on: August 18, 2013, 05:47:25 PM »
Stop being their pet sitter. Plan your vacation as soon as you are allowed under your rules. (My vacation is set by the district so not sure how that works). When they call you to come pet sit, play your Dad card before they can. Sure make arrangements to send Dad up here. Tell them flat out their house and pets are NOT your concern. Oh and of course since Dad won't be there he won't be paying them rent but using that money to pay for the expenses of his trip to see you.

Start the ball rolling by presenting them with an itemized bill when they get back for the expenses of maintaining their house.
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Re: Money Woes: Am I Being Scrooge Like, Profligate or Am I Justified?
« Reply #24 on: August 18, 2013, 05:51:06 PM »
You are expecting them to change when for years you have caved to their demands.  Why are you beating your head against a wall and expecting change now? 

I don't understand why you would even think their behavior is normal and yours is selfish.  THEY moved away.  THEY can't seem to make plans that coordinate with yours.  And they know you will never put yout foot down because it sounds like you never have.

You need to set a schedule for 2014 regarding dad's visitation and vacation.  And then do not change it for anything.  Keep referring them to the prior conversation.  They'll get the picture and if anyone leaves dad in the lurch, it's clearly them.  And it's not your problem if they change their mind about the schedule.


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Re: Money Woes: Am I Being Scrooge Like, Profligate or Am I Justified?
« Reply #25 on: August 18, 2013, 06:08:57 PM »
Oh, Yarnspinner...I am so sorry you're going through this. Are you sure we don't share the same brother?

They are taking such advantage of you. You are too kind, thoughtful, generous and loving for such ingrates. Have you thought about what they would do if you simply said "no"? I bet dollars to doughnuts they'd figure out alternate arrangements real fast. Maybe a good thing to try would be the don't JADE rule and just start practicing "no, that won't be possible", lather, rinse and repeat. And save your vacation time for something YOU want to do or where you'd like to go.

Your Dad is a little bit more complicated an issue, but at then end of the day your brother insisted he move in with him. That means he accepted all that goes with it, including the expense and inconvenience. That doesn't mean you can't help out occasionally, but people who are grown up realize that they have to negotiate terms that are acceptable to everyone involved - not issue demands or orders like a field marshal. And they certainly have no right to spend your money for you, or dictate how or what you spend money on.

I'm going to have to think on this some more to figure out some ideas, but certainly there is a path to negotiating a solution for helping out with your father in an appropriate way that respects your time, resources, geographical location and life.



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Re: Money Woes: Am I Being Scrooge Like, Profligate or Am I Justified?
« Reply #26 on: August 18, 2013, 06:22:43 PM »
With the update it actually sounds like your dad is the one taking advantage. He normally pays for his own groceries, meals out and lotto tickets, plus pays for the pet food and landscaping for the household. It isn't your brother and SIL sticking you with those expenses when you're with your dad, it's him. I wonder if he feels that buying your ticket entitles him to ask you to cover his expenses to a similar amount?

I amend my previous post - still talk to B&SIL about how much vacation time you're willing to spend down there, but talk to your dad about how much cash you can contribute when he visits you and when you visit him!
« Last Edit: August 18, 2013, 06:59:25 PM by JenJay »


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Re: Money Woes: Am I Being Scrooge Like, Profligate or Am I Justified?
« Reply #27 on: August 18, 2013, 06:52:14 PM »
When your dad stays with you - instead of paying rent to SIL and brother - let him pay YOU rent. 

If they don't get their vacation while he's with you - then that is their scheduling problem.  You have a convention for work, two training classes, a vacation already booked (I suggest a cruise - turn your phone OFF), and you can't get any extra time off because StoneCold has reduced the number of people working there so much that there just isn't anyone to cover any extra days you'd be gone.

Unless, of course, they make it worth your while?  Say they pay for your air fare, leave money to cover what you need to pay for (or set up a debit card for you to use on their account) while they are gone, AND a thousand dollars a week?  Of if they can book Dad his OWN cabin on the same cruise?  As you just can't handle Dad in the same room....sorry about that. 

Just remember, you are educated, experienced, and should charge exorbitant rates because you are just that good at what you do!

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Re: Money Woes: Am I Being Scrooge Like, Profligate or Am I Justified?
« Reply #28 on: August 18, 2013, 07:04:20 PM »
I think I have a way to give you a titanium spine transplant.  This is as I understand things:

  • You would be retired by now if it wasn't for unexpected expenses.  So, basically, money.
  • They are draining you of serious money.
  • and time.  If you weren't spending your vacations with dad, you could be relaxing and shooting darts at a photo of big boss (I forget the name.   I don't know how I could have)
  • Therefore, THEY are delaying your retirement.  Put an image of big boss in your mind when you have to say No to them. 


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Re: Money Woes: Am I Being Scrooge Like, Profligate or Am I Justified?
« Reply #29 on: August 18, 2013, 07:54:14 PM »

POD to the other posters.

I also agree that both sets are taking advantage of you. If your father asks you to buy $50 a week of lottery tickets when he's with you, and buys a lot less when he's paying himself, yeah, that's a problem.

A couple of things to think about

 - you want to train them to reasonable responses *before* you retire. Because the expectations will probably get worse when you do - you're not working, so of course you can come down whenever they want. And they've already got you trained to pay for stuff, so the expenses won't go down.

- The only way to stop this is to say NO. The next time your SIL calls and asks you to come down you can say "Oh, I'm sorry, I don't have any vacation left" or "Oh, it's really busy at work and I can't make it" or simply "No, I can't do it this time."

You're not actually causing them a hardship. They could easily pay for a pet sitter, and there's got to be someone who can look in on your dad once a day, or be in phone contact, or pick up something from the store for him.

But what it comes down to is that they are taking advantage of you because you let them. They've got a pretty sweet deal going, so they're not going to give it up voluntarily. So you have to say no, learn to make it stick, and weather the storm if you want it to stop.