Author Topic: Money Woes: Am I Being Scrooge? Sort of Update @ 45  (Read 11785 times)

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yellowpaint

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Re: Money Woes: Am I Being Scrooge Like, Profligate or Am I Justified?
« Reply #30 on: August 18, 2013, 09:02:01 PM »
I think you need to take a class in assertiveness. It will teach you how to say no without causeing a big fight or massive guilt on your part.

White Lotus

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Re: Money Woes: Am I Being Scrooge Like, Profligate or Am I Justified?
« Reply #31 on: August 18, 2013, 09:45:18 PM »
I am with Camlan, *inviteseller and others:  say "NO!"  Have your dad visit, sure, but Just Say No to buying things like lottery tickets, expensive meals, special and double food, etc.  He sounds like he is well enough fixed.  Let him chip in, here. You want lottery tickets, Pop?  Hand over the money.  Later?  Then ME buying them Will Not Be Possible.  Make your own vacation plans, and Just Say No.  Do you know what a bundle you are saving them by being a companion/caregiver plus pet sitter -- on top of which paying for things that are in no way your responsibility?  Their gardener?  Really?  Do you have "doormat" tattooed on your back?  They are using you terribly and treating you like a non eHell approved word.  I am furious on your behalf!
I know you love your father, but you truly, for your own sanity, must start saying no. PPs have given you a good idea of what rational boundaries are.  Write them down and stick to them.  They'll get nasty. You stay polite, yet firm.  You win giant karma points for staying calm and solid and not engaging the crazies.  Add those points up and do something extra special on that vacation you are now going to book for next year.  Please!

artk2002

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Re: Money Woes: Am I Being Scrooge Like, Profligate or Am I Justified?
« Reply #32 on: August 18, 2013, 10:03:57 PM »
It's tough. Remember what the original Dear Abby said: "People can only take advantage of you if you let them." These people are taking (big time) advantage of you, playing on the "don't you want to be a good daughter/sibling" guilt-lever.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

stargazer

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Re: Money Woes: Am I Being Scrooge Like, Profligate or Am I Justified?
« Reply #33 on: August 18, 2013, 11:01:56 PM »
When your dad stays with you - instead of paying rent to SIL and brother - let him pay YOU rent. 


I agree with this.  Surely he isn't paying THEM rent for the 4 months he stays with you right?  Why can't he pay you during those months?

lakey

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Re: Money Woes: Am I Being Scrooge Like, Profligate or Am I Justified?
« Reply #34 on: August 19, 2013, 12:25:13 AM »
This is tough to address because a lot is unclear. I gather that your brother and SIL have your father living with them almost all of the time. You care for him 6-12 weeks per year? You don't say much about your father's financial situation. You also don't give many specifics about why your father can't live alone, what kind of health and mental issues he has.

But I will tell you this, because I am retired, I have had to take responsibility for living with my father 5 of 7 days and nights  per week. I have a sister who stays over one night a week, and using my dad's money I pay a family friend to stay over with him one night a week. Depending on your father's state, your brother and SIL may have taken on a lot. You know from having him for 6 weeks straight that living with an elderly person can be overwhelming. They may need the time away from him. You have him for six weeks at a stretch and you are frustrated by it. But if I understand your post correctly, they are dealing with this for even more weeks per year than you are.

And, believe me, I do understand how difficulty this is for you to deal with, especially given the fact that you have a job and have had to take on some expenses. I will confess to you that because I have had to take on the lion's share of the burden of taking care of my father, I sometimes feel resentful of some of my brothers and sisters.

Find someone that you can vent to about your frustrations, there are a lot of people dealing with the over-whelming responsibility of taking care of elderly parents. Try not to let it get to you. There is no perfect, fair solution to this.

johelenc1

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Re: Money Woes: Am I Being Scrooge Like, Profligate or Am I Justified?
« Reply #35 on: August 19, 2013, 12:53:38 AM »
If he pays for his own stuff when at your brother's house, why isn't he paying for it at your house.  You do NOT need to cover all his expenses while he is with you.  It's like you are thinking of him as a guest.  He's not a guest.  He's a part time resident.  When your dad is visiting, you need to go about your daily life - the same as when he isn't there - as much as possible.  You can't "host" someone for 4 months.


lakey

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Re: Money Woes: Am I Being Scrooge Like, Profligate or Am I Justified?
« Reply #36 on: August 19, 2013, 12:55:03 AM »
OP, read your update in which you gave specifics about your father's finances and the fact that he is independent enough to drive himself, etc.
Sounds like he isn't as much of a burden on your brother as I thought. So when you care for him you need to speak up and have him pay for his own food, lotto tickets, and the like. There is no reason for you to cover his living expenses if he has his own money.

As far as your brother and SIL go, they may have over-extended themselves with the new house with the hot tub and pool and all. This may be why they left you at their house without food for yourself  or their pets. It may be why they want you to petsit instead of hiring someone. It may also be why they wanted him to move in with them. If he pays part of the utilities, it takes some of the burden off them. This fits in with their wanting you to move in with them when you retire. Congrats for being smart enough to get into that nightmare.

Slartibartfast

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Re: Money Woes: Am I Being Scrooge Like, Profligate or Am I Justified?
« Reply #37 on: August 19, 2013, 01:18:20 AM »
Money is the best way to keep people from bothering you.  It sounds like this last round *just* happened?  If so, it's a golden opportunity for a new status quo:

"Hey Sis and BIL!  Hope you enjoyed your trip!  Dad seemed to enjoy himself.  As we discussed, you owe me $XXX ($30/day for pet-sitting, $X for dog food, and $Y for paying the yard guy which dad said I'd get paid back for).  Mailing me a check would be fine.  Thanks!"

Put the ball in their court - make them have to argue out loud that they don't think you deserve to be paid for what you're doing.  They may just pay you to avoid the confrontation.  Even if they don't, you've got the upper hand:

Them: Boo-hoo, how could you expect us to pay you?  You should be happy to do this in exchange for our hot tub!

You: I gave up my vacation time to come.  They're not my dogs - why would I pay for their food out of my own pocket?  Same with the lawn care.  And we discussed this before - you'd pay $30/day for pet care, which is what you were asking me to do.  I'm not going to use up my vacation time to come dogsit for you and pay for the privilege!

Even if that doesn't work and they end up taking offense at you asking for money - that still gives you the upper hand when it comes to next year:

Them: Hey, so can you come stay with dad for several weeks next summer?  And let him stay with you for a few months?  We want to take a vacation the same weeks you do, except ours is more important.

You: Seriously?  I'm still waiting for you to pay me back from last summer!  No, I'm not going to use up my vacation time to dog-sit for you for free.  And honestly, it's a financial stretch for me to host dad for that long anyway - is he still paying you rent the months he's living with me?

So yeah, not absolutely guaranteed to avoid drama, but it makes them the ones who have to initiate the confrontation - when they're plenty aware they've got the more ridiculous argument to make.  And it gives you a win/win situation: you either get some financial help with this or you get more say in how exactly the plans get made (in terms of when/how long/where your visits with your dad happen).

Lauds

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Re: Money Woes: Am I Being Scrooge Like, Profligate or Am I Justified?
« Reply #38 on: August 19, 2013, 01:34:32 AM »
My advice regarding making changes is start small and pick your battles. Sit down and work out what you want to change. Then pick out a couple of things that are absolute have to change now things and think about how you can get them done. Possibly your vacation hours. Plan ahead, block out time when you will have a you-vacation, even if its just being a tourist in your own city. That is now your vacation and if they ask if you have time - say no.

Once you've got control back of one thing move onto the next. Don't beat yourself up when you cave on something or it doesn't work out. Pick something small to work on and get your confidence back.

And remember, it's much easier to give advise than follow it!

YummyMummy66

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Re: Money Woes: Am I Being Scrooge Like, Profligate or Am I Justified?
« Reply #39 on: August 19, 2013, 01:40:32 PM »
One word...well, actually a few words...

Number one, "I'm afraid that won't be possible.  I have had dad now for four months.  You were supposed to take yoru vacation in that time period.  You chose not to do so.".

"No" is a complete sentence.

I would not have paid their landscaper.  I don't know why you did.  I would have said, "Oh, I'm sorry.  They did not leave me anything to pay anyone. Please provide me with a bill and I will see that they get it."  Legally, you are not responsible.  you did not sign any contracts for the service.

And last, but not least.....I am a senior caregiver.  I provide for seniors in their homes.  Whether it be the actual senior who employs my agency or a family member for respite care.  There are many agencies all over the US.  Maybe look in the phone book or on the net and get a couple numbers from agencies in your dad's area and next time they try the guilt trip or they want to do something, "Sorry.  Not possible for me at this time.  But, hey, while I was there last time, I checked around.  Here are some numbers to different caregiver agency that you may want to hire for your and dad's needs".

bopper

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Re: Money Woes: Am I Being Scrooge Like, Profligate or Am I Justified?
« Reply #40 on: August 19, 2013, 02:12:52 PM »
When your dad stays with you - instead of paying rent to SIL and brother - let him pay YOU rent. 


I agree with this.  Surely he isn't paying THEM rent for the 4 months he stays with you right?  Why can't he pay you during those months?

They may have bought a larger house with an extra room because Dad was living with them. It may (or may not) be fair to just say "I am away so I won't pay the rent we have agreed on".

johelenc1

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Re: Money Woes: Am I Being Scrooge Like, Profligate or Am I Justified?
« Reply #41 on: August 20, 2013, 01:17:27 PM »
I'm curious about something. 

OP - if you know your dad pays for his own things while at brother's house, why do you feel compelled to pay for everything when he is with you?

Deetee

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Re: Money Woes: Am I Being Scrooge Like, Profligate or Am I Justified?
« Reply #42 on: August 20, 2013, 01:54:13 PM »
It sounds to me (and please correct me if I'm wrong) that were fine with the food and lotto tickets and stuff for your dad as it pretty much evened out with the AC.

The vacation thing is what is botherng you. If it were me, I'd take a semi cowards way out. Before dad comes to visit,  is inform them that they will need to take their vacation during that time as mine  was booked. The semi cowardly part would be that was true. So even if I wanted to cave later on I wouldn't be able to because everything was booked and it would be impossible to take extra time.

Sophia

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Re: Money Woes: Am I Being Scrooge Like, Profligate or Am I Justified?
« Reply #43 on: August 20, 2013, 02:18:40 PM »
...Well, of course I agreed to to make the trip: I had no other vacation going on , couldnt afford it anyway, and hey, you know what they say about a bad day fishing in comparison to a good day at work. ...

This bothered me and it took me a while to figure out why.  It isn't as if extra vacation time magically appeared for you.  It wasn't as if your boss said to you, "I can send you on a work trip to where_your_dad_lives, or you can stay here and work.  Oh, and you won't actually have to do much work work while you are there."  Then, yes, your statement does make sense.  But, you have X amount of vacation time.  They weren't able to give you extra vacation time.  You had to spend some of yours. 


...I am almost afraid to hit th post button since Iknow I need a spine and to grow a pair, but every time I have done so in the past and pointed out that they still do pretty much as they please or that I have Dad for long periods during the year, things either get ugly or they change the subject.  I really don'tknow how to make them listen. ...

To make them listen, you have to show them you mean what you say.  You say that they have to take vacation time while Dad is with you.  But, they know you don't really mean it so it floats in one ear and out the other.  So, when you try to enforce what you said, it is as if you changed the rules.  And people get quite offended when you change the rules.  You have to actually mean it, and you have to say no, and you have to stop feeling guilty. 

PastryGoddess

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Re: Money Woes: Am I Being Scrooge Like, Profligate or Am I Justified?
« Reply #44 on: August 20, 2013, 05:17:24 PM »
I just want to jump in here and say that reading Art2K's post on Magic Words may help you as well.