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Old 01-06-2014, 06:47 AM
 
25,953 posts, read 26,641,453 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaseMan View Post
I wouldn't be surprised if there are some addiction issues at play here that are draining their finances. Then again, eating out multiple times a week can add up very quickly.

Have you thought about writing them a short email or letter, and simply say, "I love you guys and appreciate things can get tight some times. I am saving up for grad school and my own finances are very limited. Please don't ask me for any more money, as I simply don't have any extra available." Then leave it at that. If they ever ask again, just say, "You know I can't afford it," and change the subject or hang up the phone.
Yeah, she's a compulsive shopper and it's even worse for people like this in this day and age with multiple credit cards and internet shopping access 24/7.
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Old 01-06-2014, 09:56 AM
 
4,586 posts, read 4,598,066 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by futureATLien View Post
My sister gives them money for food and the car insurance. They'll ask for money to go on dinner dates. Which is not the responsibility of sister and I to finance
Why is the sister still living at home? and with a kid? she needs to move out...your mom probably feels that if she continues to pay for your sister to have a roof, she deserves some of that money back! Why does your mom have to pay for your sister to live there? is your sister even saving money to buy her own place at least?
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Old 01-06-2014, 12:48 PM
 
Location: Jamestown, NY
7,841 posts, read 7,279,087 times
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OP, you need to take control of your life and let your family deal with their own problems.
  • Your Mom, your step father, and your sister are all adults who are NOT your responsibility. They never were your responsibility, although it seems that Mom is attempting to manipulate you into thinking that they are.
  • There are three of them living under the same roof, all adults, so they are certainly capable of providing for themselves. If they were all working FT at minimum wage, they'd have a household income of $45,000+. If they were all working half time (20 hours) at minimum wage, they'd still be making $23,000. If that's NOT enough, well, then somebody will have to work more hours or find something that pays better.
  • Mom did NOT "sacrifice" her college education to take care of you; she chose NOT to go to college because lots of mothers with young/school age kids go to college.
  • That Mom gave you some money while you were in school does NOT give her the right to milk you for money now; parents are expected to contribute financially to sending their kids to college as your FAFSA and other FA docs told you -- and your mom -- repeatedly.
Certainly close your current bank account and open a new one. If I were you, I'd join a full service credit union and keep my money there because you won't be paying fees, and you'll get better interest. When you need a loan for a car or house, they offer better rates.


The next time Mom asks for money, tell her "no". If she lays the guilt trip on you, tell her good by and don't answer her calls for a bit. If she pressures your sister for money or to ask you money for herself, that's your sister's problem. Tell Sis "no", too. She's the one who had a kid without a husband, not you. If Sis becomes a PITA, then don't answer her calls for a while, too.


Finally, I think the debt consolidation/credit counseling through a non-profit group is an excellent idea. When/if you find a group that you like, have them send their literature directly to your mom, step-father, and sister. Maybe somebody in the family will take the hint before a real financial disaster strikes.


It's time for your family to grow up and take responsibility for themselves. They are acting like leeches, not like kin.
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Old 01-06-2014, 02:02 PM
 
Location: Not where I want to be
4,827 posts, read 7,232,932 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thursday007 View Post
Before you jump on me and bite my head off - there are firms which are non-profit to help people with credit card debt. They actually take your credit cards, negotiate with the credit card firms to reduce the debt and interest and often consolidate and then she would make weekly or monthly payments to the non profit agency instead of to the credit card company. You just need to do a little homework to find them which is easily done on the internet and I would suggest a local one in her area. They also have contractual rules about obtaining any more credit cards during this process too and 'holds' on a person's credit so they can't just go out and obtain more cards during this process. They also provide financial counseling for all other areas to reduce the likelihood of this happening again.

When I was at my former job I had an account with a Credit Union and they would consolidate your credit cards and take them and you just made payments to them. It was much easier to get a consolidation loan with them than a bank.

So, there are options which are FREE. So, just calm down.

No, they are not "free". The initial consultations are free but to be in their program, you have to pay them a fee each month. How do you think they stay in business???? Just because they are "non-profit" doesn't mean they provide free services. They still have rent, payroll, and other bills to pay.

Many will charge a fee based upon how many accounts you have in their program. Others charge a flat fee. Either way, it's extra money you're paying each month and that pretty much makes up for what you're saving in interest fees, etc.

I doubt the OPs mother/stepfather would qualify for a consolidation loan through any bank or credit union. If they're in this much of a financial pickle, their credit scores are probably pretty bad.
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Old 01-06-2014, 02:17 PM
 
25,953 posts, read 26,641,453 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amisi View Post
No, they are not "free". The initial consultations are free but to be in their program, you have to pay them a fee each month. How do you think they stay in business???? Just because they are "non-profit" doesn't mean they provide free services. They still have rent, payroll, and other bills to pay.

Many will charge a fee based upon how many accounts you have in their program. Others charge a flat fee. Either way, it's extra money you're paying each month and that pretty much makes up for what you're saving in interest fees, etc.

I doubt the OPs mother/stepfather would qualify for a consolidation loan through any bank or credit union. If they're in this much of a financial pickle, their credit scores are probably pretty bad.
Uhm, you are mistaken to a degree. There are financial 'intervention' companies which negotiate anything for a fee or take a percentage of what they negotiate I have come across these so you are correct they are what you describe, but there are also financial non-profit no fee to you credit counseling and credit card assistance places. It's your tax dollars hard at work. But it's not much different then if you look at a tax form and see 'gambling debts' as a tax deductible expense. Why that and not other things? But I digress. You need to do a little more homework on assistance programs before you start barking. One of my friend's husband's got sick of her credit card spending and hooked her up with one - so I know how they work.

I once did nothing but find 'free' money for people and write grants and discovered all kinds of stuff was available to people which wasn't broadcast. I found funding for individuals for everything and all the way up to major manufacturing grants to pay for them to manufacture a product.

I discovered a 'free to me' grant available that helped with home improvement and they paid the entire $10,000 to put a new roof on my house. This grant is available in every state and they vie for funds from the federal government for it and it's called a CHIP grant - Community Housing Improvement Program. But if you don't read it correctly you would be misinformed as well with it. Under a certain amount was free and over a certain amount was not payable back unless you ever sold your house and it was interest free. You didn't need to hire a grant writer, but you did have to provide a lot of documentation which usually deters 'lazy' people from taking advantage of these programs or end up paying someone else to do. You also don't have to be in financial dire straights to obtain these funds.

Sometimes, poking around to find out what's available pays off and sometimes if you just type in something like 'Home Improvement Assistance' you'll find all kinds of things. It doesn't always take a grant writer to do.

I also actually read the booklet and description for every line of tax deductible expense for your tax form. What I discovered even shocked me - but it's all there in black and white and if people took the time to actually read what was allowable and how it was allowable they'd be keeping better records of things. People have joked at tried for years to come up with a way to deduct their pets on their taxes - I actually found a way in which you could and no it wasn't just for assistance dogs. Vacations, clothing expenses and even dry cleaning was in there. Every copy, stamp, envelope and phone call to find a job is deductible. People get that booklet and piece of paper every year and spend a ton to have someone look at their receipts and file their taxes solely based on what they give them. It's up to you to find and keep the information to give to your accountant. I discovered my own mother was throwing thousands away by not keeping simple records of things she could deduct.

I'm just providing you with some examples to show I know what I am talking about. There is a ton of free assistance out there.

Last edited by Thursday007; 01-06-2014 at 03:14 PM..
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Old 01-06-2014, 04:24 PM
 
Location: Tucson for awhile longer
8,872 posts, read 13,472,817 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amisi View Post
No, they are not "free". The initial consultations are free but to be in their program, you have to pay them a fee each month. How do you think they stay in business???? Just because they are "non-profit" doesn't mean they provide free services. They still have rent, payroll, and other bills to pay.

Many will charge a fee based upon how many accounts you have in their program. Others charge a flat fee. Either way, it's extra money you're paying each month and that pretty much makes up for what you're saving in interest fees, etc.

I doubt the OPs mother/stepfather would qualify for a consolidation loan through any bank or credit union. If they're in this much of a financial pickle, their credit scores are probably pretty bad.
Thursday007 is correct; free help IS available. Yes, most debt consolidation companies do, indeed, charge fees. I know people who have gotten involved with them and ended up poorer than when they started. BUT those are the ones that advertise on television. If they are advertising for clients on television, they are probably FOR PROFIT. There is a big difference between debt settlement companies (that advertise "making your debt disappear") and credit counseling programs that put you on a debt-reduction program. The latter is safer and cheaper.

But free advice and support DOES exist. I myself once had a free financial planning consultation from a program sponsored by SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives). I believe it was sponsored by a particular city's chapter, so is probably not available nationwide. But I found it and I used it.

As several people have mentioned, credit unions are a much better source of free financial information and support than commercial banks are. My credit union sponsors financial advice workshops on specific topics. The people who run them are not allowed to sell anything, even though they often are people employed in various financial fields where they sell financial products. They volunteer to run the workshops just to get their names out there so if you ever DO want to invest or buy insurance, you'll think of them as a source. The most recent one I attended (held at a hotel ballroom and PACKED with people who had made reservations to attend) was to provide information on options for Social Security. I wanted to educate myself on SS before I start to collect. I got a lot of good information. I also found out that getting the highest SS payments one is legally allowed to collect often depends on providing SS with good information. What the agency needs and how one gathers the info can be especially complicated for widows and people married multiple times.

Oprah has a lot of good information on money management on her website that is free. She even has a newsletter on that particular topic to which one can subscribe. Personal Money Management Advice - Oprah.com
I did a site-wide search using the term "debt consolidation" and all this information came up.
Oprah.com - Live Your Best Life - Oprah.com

Oprah also has run one of her "Your Best Life" classes on the topic of personal finance. She hosted many experts from various areas of family economics to address topics as varied as student loan debt to divorce-related financial problems to how to deal with creditors. Most of the information from that class is on her website. For free. By the way, I'm no big Oprah fan. I could count on my fingers the number of times I've seen one of her TV programs (is it even still on?). But her website is a treasure trove of helpful information on a myriad of topics.

A lot of people are able to consolidate their debt and pay off their credit balances merely with education, rather than enrolling with a firm and having them do it. Financial expert David Bach, author of Debt Free for Life, has a debt reduction challenge for people who want to improve their finances. His books are NY Times bestsellers and he's provided a lot of guidance for people trying to pay off debt. Here's an interesting interview with him:
Be debt free for life, urges author David Bach
Multiple chapters of Bach's book Start Over, Finish Rich are available online for free downloading. This chapter is called Deal With Your Credit Card Debt:
http://static.oprah.com/images/money...inish-rich.pdf
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Old 01-06-2014, 04:35 PM
 
Location: Vero Beach, Fl
2,949 posts, read 12,147,037 times
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As hard as it is ... learn to say "no."
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Old 01-06-2014, 04:36 PM
 
25,953 posts, read 26,641,453 times
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Personally, I recommended the non-profit credit card companies for this particular OP's circumstances because they actually confiscate and cut up your credit cards right in front of you and since her mother lacks the discipline to do much for herself, I think books and simply reading about how to do it would be lost on her. She needs some tough love.

But for general information purposes your information and resources are good.
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Old 01-06-2014, 04:51 PM
 
Location: midtown mile area, Atlanta GA
1,228 posts, read 2,039,722 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by futureATLien View Post
I am! I'm opening up a new bank too so that she doesn't have access to my money
Open up the new account, and then make yourself hard to reach by phone or whatever. I have a younger brother that asks for money every time he calls, and I screen my calls. When you do talk to her, and money comes up, tell her every dime you have is going for bills and school, and end the call.
You are not in a position to support your mother. Cut the money off and she will find someone else to bug for money.
I know it's a hard thing to do, but you have to look out for yourself or you won't be able to take care of what you need.
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Old 01-06-2014, 05:25 PM
 
90 posts, read 88,970 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheryjohns View Post
Nothing - don't enable her bad spending problems. If the cards are maxed out and she stops getting money from other sources, she stops spending. Problem solved. Just say you do not have the money. End of story.
I agree. My family had the same problem with some uncles. They did not change until they run out of people giving them money.

Last edited by SpaniardinTexas; 01-06-2014 at 05:34 PM..
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