Author Topic: Navigating money issues with parents - long  (Read 8652 times)

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AylaM

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Re: Navigating money issues with parents - long
« Reply #45 on: September 23, 2013, 07:38:23 PM »
OP Here!  I figure I should elaborate on a few points.

First, when I say I can't afford to move out it is because while I've started a new job I've yet to be paid.  The only reason I've already started paying rent is that we had an unexpected expenditure come up.  I pitched in with what would have been my insurance premium had my benefits from work not kicked in.  We called it rent.  I am not worried about being able to afford to move out in time.  I just need a little time to actually get paid   :).

Second, I paid rent for the first 6 months I was here.  After that I was unemployed and went through my savings rather quickly.  Then I had no money.  My parents fully supported me while I applied for work, at least until I started school on the stipend.   After graduation they also covered another month or two until I was able to cover my expenses.  That job (part time and minimum wage) only covered my bills.  So they really did do me a big favor.

That being said, I have realized that I am not off of probationary status at work until December, so I am not even going to think about moving out until after the probationary status is over.  I also intend to save as much money as possible in that time anyways.   How fortunate that mom and dad will have made a decision by then  ;).  If they stay, I'll start dropping hints.

Regarding mom's complaining I'll take your advice on that and stop being so receptive.


Slartibartfast

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Re: Navigating money issues with parents - long
« Reply #46 on: September 23, 2013, 09:16:16 PM »
Advice-dump here, so apologies if it ends up being long:

1) You should be able to sit down with your own budget and figure out what your timetable is, regardless of what your parents/grandparents are doing.  Now that you have an income  :) you can start doing the math and looking at if there are places you can cut corners.  One example might be groceries: if your grandparents have expensive tastes and the costs are shared, can you get your own mini-fridge and hot plate and withdraw from the family grocery pool?  You don't necessarily have to do spaghetti and ramen, but if you cook for yourself and you have simple tastes you will spend a lot less than if the family budget involves ordering pizza and eating steak a lot.  (On the other hand, cooking for a larger group tends to be cheaper per head than cooking for one, so you may be better off sharing the costs if your family is more frugal in their culinary tastes.)  Particularly look at any ongoing monthly bills you are or will be paying - cell phone?  Cable?  Internet?  Is it something you can go to a cheaper plan or skip altogether for a while?  The faster you can save up a financial cushion, the less stressful this will be.  Even if you're not paying these yourself yet, you will be when you move out, so account for them somewhere!

2) Once you have your budget worked out, look up the cost of renting somewhere (with a roommate, probably) in an area you'd be okay living in.  Browse Craigslist for "roommate wanted" listings to get an idea of the price range and what extras (utilities, etc.) you'd be expected to pay.  ($ Expected Rent Cost) / (Your Monthly Budget Surplus) = (# Months Until You Can Move Out).  That may be next September, but it may also be a lot sooner than that - and I encourage you to aim for sooner if you can.  (Yes, unforeseen financial setbacks may push your move-out date back a month or two, but at least this way you have a plan!)

3) Then once you have all THAT worked out, have a sit-down with your parents.  Let them know that you intend to move out by such-and-such a date, and you'll be paying $X in rent in the meantime.  You will also be contributing $Y toward ABC expense but you will be handling DEFG on your own.  Don't be apologetic - you're doing them a favor by giving them advance notice (which in no way is dependent on whether they move or not!) and you're helping give them the information they need to make their own decisions.  (In this case, decisions like "Should we move?" and "Why the heck are your parents still mooching off of us, honey?")

4) Your grandparents' financial situation?  Not your problem.  Your mom's potential job?  Not your problem.  Your dad's temperament?  Not your problem (or rather, it won't be soon, which really helps you get through the day-to-day stuff now!)  Don't let your parents dump their issues on you - all you're responsible for is your own choices.

5) Most important: stick with it, even if it sounds like there will be an alternate way out in the future.  Even if your parents decide tomorrow that they're moving to Alaska and giving you the house outright, stick to your budget so you can save up a bit of a cushion.  Having that financial padding will mean you don't have to stress about this ever again!  Isn't that worth a few months/years of scrimping and saving?

wyliefool

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Re: Navigating money issues with parents - long
« Reply #47 on: September 24, 2013, 08:47:16 AM »
Quote
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 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'm sorry, are you actually saying that you would be willing to pay your parents a stipend after you move out on your own?? Oh hell no! Don't even think about doing such a thing!! You have absolutely no obligation to support your parents, who are fully capable adults. They may be making stupid decisions, but that's not your fault nor your problem.

You've grown up, of course you're going to move out on your own, and support yourself, just as they did when they grew up. Just because your dad is making some cockamamie plans whereby you spend the rest of their lives living w/ them and paying rent while his parents sponge off them, doesn't mean you have to go along w/ it!

Here's the thing: your parents had a child (you) and were morally and legally obliged to raise that child and support her and prepare her for adulthood. Now that you're an adult, that obligation is at an end. HOWEVER, it did not in any way create an obligation on the part of the child to spend her youth supporting them at her own expense. That's not how it works. If it were, then frankly no one would ever have a life until they were old and their parents finally dead.

As for the arguing, take yourself out of the middle. It took me many years to learn that my parents' relationship is none of my business and not my problem. Their relationship is bizarre and dysfunctional, and I used to struggle to understand it and listen sympathetically to their complaints, but I don't anymore. It's very freeing to realize that it's between them and there's nothing you can do about it so you shouldn't worry over it or let them complain to you. This is especially true in your case. Think about it: they're still treating you as a child--expecting you to live w/ them under their rules--and yet by complaining to you about each other they're actually treating you more as a peer. So, which is it folks? Am I a child to be bossed around or your friend to complain about relationships over coffee? (The answer, of course, is neither.)

Take it from someone probably twice your age, who has learned the hard way how to deal w/ parents: Move out ASAP. Don't wait a whole year, for crying out loud. Whatever it takes to get your finances in order and get out, do it. And stop letting them whine to you about their problems. If you have to, start telling them your opinions. If nothing else works, that will probably make them stop the whining. It's no fun whining if you get advice instead of sympathy.  >:D

TootsNYC

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Re: Navigating money issues with parents - long
« Reply #48 on: September 24, 2013, 08:54:58 AM »
Quote

If you have to, start telling them your opinions. If nothing else works, that will probably make them stop the whining. It's no fun whining if you get advice instead of sympathy.  >:D

Not a bad tactic--just make sure that advice is overbearing. It's not a "let me help them think it through carefully and suggest things that might actually work in their circumstances."

It's "let me think of things that are sort of unrealistic and then just blithely, bossily tell them they ought to do this, that or the other thing.  Say, 'You should go find a job as a plumber's helper--they need people to hand them their tools, and nobody outsources toilets to China! Why wouldn't a plumber need a helper?"

Remember that the goal is not to actually have a sensible dialog. It's to provide negative reinforcement--create an unpleasant situation the moment your mom starts whining to you.

wyliefool

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Re: Navigating money issues with parents - long
« Reply #49 on: September 24, 2013, 09:02:35 AM »
...   I started paying rent at 16 to help me be responsible.  My mom, instead of putting that money aside, made it apart of her income.  It took until I was 25 for me to make enough money to move out on my own and I'm still paying $1k a month to her so she can stay in her house.  ...

Why are you still paying $1000 a month so she can stay in her house?  That just doesn't compute.

Seconded! Stop that right now! It's not your responsibility, and it's holding you back in your own life. If you have to, lie and say your pay was cut and you don't have the money. Jeez louise, that $$ would buy a nice house where I live.

Winterlight

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Re: Navigating money issues with parents - long
« Reply #50 on: September 24, 2013, 09:14:40 AM »
Quote
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 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'm sorry, are you actually saying that you would be willing to pay your parents a stipend after you move out on your own?? Oh hell no! Don't even think about doing such a thing!! You have absolutely no obligation to support your parents, who are fully capable adults. They may be making stupid decisions, but that's not your fault nor your problem.

You've grown up, of course you're going to move out on your own, and support yourself, just as they did when they grew up. Just because your dad is making some cockamamie plans whereby you spend the rest of their lives living w/ them and paying rent while his parents sponge off them, doesn't mean you have to go along w/ it!

Here's the thing: your parents had a child (you) and were morally and legally obliged to raise that child and support her and prepare her for adulthood. Now that you're an adult, that obligation is at an end. HOWEVER, it did not in any way create an obligation on the part of the child to spend her youth supporting them at her own expense. That's not how it works. If it were, then frankly no one would ever have a life until they were old and their parents finally dead.

This!

The people who should be paying rent when you leave are the ones actually living in that house- i.e., your grandparents. If your parents won't ask them for the money, it's not your problem. They can put on their grownup clothes and deal.
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saki

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Re: Navigating money issues with parents - long
« Reply #51 on: September 24, 2013, 01:27:06 PM »
Of course adult children don't have an obligation to support their parents. But then again the OP has had lots of support from her parents that they weren't obligated to giver either. The world would be a horrible place if we only helped one another when we were required to. If the OP would like to help her parents out financially, she should. But it should be something she is doing because she wants to.

I don't really get all of the negativity towards the parents here. Of course they factored in the OP's rent - it is part of their income and the OP hasn't indicated any plan for it to stop. They probably assume that she'll tell them her plans well in advance - which seems only reasonable. She should talk to them, not assume that they'll be upset, just set it out as the perfectly reasonable thing it is.

TootsNYC

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Re: Navigating money issues with parents - long
« Reply #52 on: September 24, 2013, 01:39:27 PM »
I agree that children CAN certainly help their parents. But the OP's parents helped her in a way that didn't actually cost them that much of a cash outlay. They simply let her live in their home, something she'd done all her life until college. And she lightened that burden by pitching in, loaning her car, etc.

That's the kind of help i think is appropriate in most instances--not financial handouts.

The OP's comments make me fear that she is taking on, emotionally and mentally, a feeling of responsibility for taking care of her parents. That's not an appropriate burden.

After she moves out, an appropriate way to help (given her place in life & her income; and her parents' place in life) would be to loan her mom her car for  day, or to drive her mom somewhere, or share a commute. Or to come over to help clean out the gutters, or get the house ready to sell.
   It would be appropriate (my opinion) for the OP to give them money when a sudden and unpredictable disaster struck.
   Not to help them meet their daily living expenses. Not to help them meet the intermittent expenses of living (to afford eyeglasses, for example). Those are their problems, not the OP's.

I'm also cognizant lately of the concept of enabling--that by helping someone with things like that, you train them not to be reliant on themselves. It's a very tempting thing--to count on other people--and her parents are already doing that in this situation.
   So I believe it would be unwise for the OP to continue to give them money--it's bad for them. It's the financial equivalent of feeding them junk food.

EllenS

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Re: Navigating money issues with parents - long
« Reply #53 on: September 24, 2013, 03:40:08 PM »
Of course adult children don't have an obligation to support their parents. But then again the OP has had lots of support from her parents that they weren't obligated to giver either. The world would be a horrible place if we only helped one another when we were required to. If the OP would like to help her parents out financially, she should. But it should be something she is doing because she wants to.

I don't really get all of the negativity towards the parents here. Of course they factored in the OP's rent - it is part of their income and the OP hasn't indicated any plan for it to stop. They probably assume that she'll tell them her plans well in advance - which seems only reasonable. She should talk to them, not assume that they'll be upset, just set it out as the perfectly reasonable thing it is.

Yes, people helping each other makes the world a liveable place.  However, the people who can actually HELP others, are those who are already able to care for themselves.  OP is broke.  She has not yet been paid from her job, and has burned up her entire savings account helping her parents "help" her.

Nobody is actually doing anything in each other's long-term best interests.  Parents should not count on being dependent on their children, when 1) they are perfectly capable of working and supporting themselves, they just choose to wait for the "perfect" job opportunity, and 2) the grown child in question is FLAT BROKE.

I agree that OP should alert her parents sooner, rather than later, about her plans to move so they have time to prepare for the financial changes.
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jaxsue

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Re: Navigating money issues with parents - long
« Reply #54 on: September 24, 2013, 03:57:23 PM »
The OP might need up to 3x the first month's rent just to secure a place- some require first month, 1 month security deposit and possibly last month's depending on local laws all up front. For a $500/month apartment that's $1000-1500.

This. And the credit check that is common. Landlords look at every aspect of the prospective tenant.

Edited to add: Apt costs vary widely, of course. Where I live (near NYC), a $500 apt is called "section 8." A 1-2 bedroom, decent place will cost $1500 or more a month. Life ain't cheap here!  :-[
But there is also nothing wrong with scanning the "housemates wanted" section of the newspaper (or Craigslist!). Moving out of your parents' home does not mean you have to move into your own apartment right away, especially if money is tight. Many group houses see frequent turnover of one of the housemates and not all of them require a credit check or much money up front.

It's okay to struggle and eat ramen noodles and live in a group house for a couple of years.

You are correct. I'd be wary of Craigslist, though. A lot of scams on there. Sharing a room here comes to about $500/month. An option that might appeal to the OP.