A short overview of a long thread is: My parents helped me out when I was unemployed. They are having problems now and I'd like to help. However, they seem to be counting on a situation that I am unhappy with (me continuing to live with them). This presents 2 problems:
- I hate the idea of living with my parents. In part because of the stigma attached to it and in part because I don't get on well with my dad
- It seems to me that they could be doing more to help themselves, but instead are fighting about what to do
I want advice to help me determine what my obligations are and how to bring the subject up. You can skip the background and proceed to the bolded part at the bottom if that is enough info for you.BACKGROUNDMy story:
My parents moved here to MyCity in 2009, because Dad was relocated for work. At that point I was still in school as an undergraduate. They were buying a house and I was no longer able to keep my dorm, so I moved in with them and was paying rent.
I was unable to find a job after graduation and eventually went to grad school using a stipend. I was not paying rent at that point in time, but was trying to keep my expenses to a minimum and was pitching in with groceries and such when I could. They also needed a second car, and since I wasn't working I leant/gave them my car so that they didn't have to buy one. They used it during the day to get to work and I used it at night to get to class.
I graduated and eventually found a job. I'm paying rent again, but I'm not quite on my feet yet, so if I wanted to move out tomorrow, I could not. The amount of rent I pay is about going rate. It is less than a single apartment but more than a room rental/roommate situation.
Also, I love my Dad, but would not choose to live with him if it were not a necessity. I did not learn this until after I had gone to college and come back. As a kid he was just the "mean parent". Now I just think he is a jerk. I think it is probably more of a mix. He might be a bit of a jerk, but I see him as more of a jerk because he is trying to put himself back into the parent role and I am not as accepting of that as I was at 17. At 17 it was "he's my dad, and he's strict, and I have to listen". Now it is "what a complete jerk! he can't order me around like that!"My Grandparents' Story
My Dad's parents moved here when my parents did. They lived in OtherCity , the same city my parents moved from in 2009. Grandparents (GP) decided to move here because there was no family left in OtherCity, and MyCity is much closer to their family. They moved in with my parents as well and were paying rent until they encountered some unexpected debt that required debt counseling. They talked with Dad and he agreed that until the debt repayment plan was done they didn't need to pay rent, but they should pitch in with groceries when they could. Mom initially was ok with this because she figured it would still help them out. It didn't because the GP's idea of helping with groceries was to buy the expensive delivery food that we don't need. So basically my parents were still buying all of the groceries.
GP paid off the debt and now have their money and are using it for other things. According to the agreement they made with Dad, they should be paying rent again, but are not. They are taking expensive vacations and buying frivolous things (think custom car paint job), which Mom notices and gets mad at because they should have been paying rent.My Parents' Story:
Dad is retiring from his current job (Military) and looking for a job as a civilian. Mom, after years of trying and various setbacks, has finally gotten her degree and can (as soon as she finishes the paperwork - she only just passed the required tests) be a teacher.
They have recently started discussing money and future plans. It has come to light that for the last 1.5-2 years they have not been making ends meet. And, apparently, they were not in a great situation before that. The long and short of it is that even with me paying rent again and covering my own expenses, they are not making ends meet. By the sound of it, even if I hadn't moved in with them they'd have been in this situation, but my part in it probably sped it up a little. This is due to both some bad choices on their part and some bad luck in the past.
The parents are fighting about how to fix the debt situation. The original plan was Dad would get a job in MomsHomeCity, which is about 2 hours away and has higher salaries. We've lived there before and Dad likes it better than MyCity. They intended to move in with Mom's mother. She lives alone in 5 bedroom house. They were going to pay enough rent that Mom's mom would come out ahead in the situation and she was happy to have them. It was decided that whoever stayed in this house (me/GP and there was talk of Dad's single brother moving in) would take over the utilities while my parents continued to pay the mortgage. If no one stayed, they would rent it out for at least the amount of the monthly utilities. Houses in our development rent readily.
They'd do this until their debt was paid off (about 3 years, with Dad's strict budget) then decide what to do from there.
This plan worked well for them because the amount they had agreed to pay Mom's mom was less that they were shelling out for groceries/utilities here, so dad would be making more and saving money. It worked well for me because I could agree to take on half the utilities or move.
Now Dad's other brother is being stationed nearby and apparently Dad is reconsidering this plan, as his once dispersed family is congregating around MyCity. He is looking at jobs here that pay less, and is apparently not intending to ask his parents for rent. I happened across Dad's budget and it has my contribution as part of his income and none from my grandparents. With a very strict budget they could get by if I continue to pay my rent and they have a little extra income. This income not outrageous. Either GP paying rent, Mom working, or even some combination of that would cover this small amount. If mom starts working they need to find a way to get her to and from work. And they need to make a firm decision about where they want to live.
Dad is urging mom to take her old job back immediately. She quit in part because she needed the time to do her student teaching and in part because she hated it. It was part time and minimum wage, and she made about the same amount as my Grandparents were supposed to pay in rent. It is apparent that that job is hers for the asking. So there is a big fight about whether she should take back her old job or if the GP should be asked to chip in again.END BACKGROUND My problem has 2 parts:
I have, apparently, become the receiver of all complaints. My mother has taken to unloading me whenever money-related subjects come up. I was originally content to listen, but lately it has become more frustrating because there isn't much I can do to help. I can see both sides of the situation, and honestly feel they are both being stupid. I certainly have my opinion, but I haven't said anything about it.
Mom rarely goes overboard with complaining in general, but this topic is such a big thing. I don't mind discussing it occasionally, but now it seems to come up all the time. I want to be both polite and nice about asking her to not speak to me about the fight about working vs Grandparents. I know polite and nice are not the same, but if it comes to it I'll take the complaints instead of ruining the relationship. I am unsure about the best way to go about it. I would appreciate advice.
If they stay here I honestly can't imagine staying here much longer. They helped me when I was unemployed and would like to pay them back. But, I don't like being an adult living with parents, and I particularly don't get along with Dad. I can't afford to pay them the amount they want for rent and move out, but I know from the budget that they are counting on that extra income. I am thinking of staying until next September (which is when mom should start her teaching job ,if she is lucky). And I think that is fair. They get $$ from me for a year to help while they transition, I have time get on my feet again, and can move later. I think that is also enough time so that if Mom doesn't get a job then that I won't feel like I am leaving them high-and-dry. If they go to MomsHomeCity, I would be content to stay longer and continue with rent/utilities.
I don't want to sound like I'm issuing an ultimatum of "If you don't move, I won't pay you". But I think they should know that if they do stay here, they need to prepare for the fact that I won't be staying. I can still pay them some money if they stay and I move out, but not as much. I also do not I want to come out and say "I hate living with Dad, and refuse to do it". But I honestly can't figure out what to say. Or if I should just wait until they make a decision and then tell them my plans?