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Discussion Starter #1
Okay let me set this up real quick. My wife has a brother, a sister, and a Mom and Dad that are horrible with money (Thank God my Wife is totally the opposite). Anyway over the years we have probably lent my in-laws 10K (They have paid back most of it) and given her sister and brother another 5K a piece. While they have all had some circumstances that led to their money problems the bottom line is they all suck with money. My in-laws are the worst. They are in their mid 50's and make a six figure income, yet they don't own a house anymore (Foreclosure), have no savings, investments, and the scariest part, no retirement plan or savings. Since he owns his own business he's probably looking at a paltry monthly amount from social security. Recently they came to us again and asked for a loan and I said no for the first time, I think they were shocked.

My wife is torn because she knows her family sucks with money yet she's a "Daddy's little princess" type who has a hard time saying no to her parents but she understood and supported the decision. We have our own goals and dreams and I get the feeling that I am going to help support them as they get older and I resent it only because they make more than I do but we live within our means. So I need opinions, did I do the right thing or am I being coldhearted? Do you help your family regardless of the circumstances? I do feel a little bad but my parents make half of what they do yet they own a few houses and have saved for a comfortable retirement. I've tried to talk with my father in law about a financial plan but I don't want him to feel that I'm talking down to him. I do love my wife's family but the way they handle money is terrible. Any suggestions on how to diplomatically get my in-laws to see the light?
 

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In all likelihood, they probably aren't going to easily change their financial habits. Some people are "prodigious acculumators of wealth," while others are "under accumulators of wealth." Since I don't know all of the facts behind the situation and the depth of your relationship with your in-laws, I can't really say whether or not you "did the right thing." In some cultures, children are expected to take care of their parents when they get older; while in other cultures, it's "everyone for themselves." 8)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Lexarkana,

So even if your family continued to spend every cent they earned you would still help them no matter what? I guess that's what I have a problem with. It's not like they live in squalor on 15K a year. They probably net at least 10K a month, it's just frustrating.
 

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Mike12 said:
Lexarkana,

So even if your family continued to spend every cent they earned you would still help them no matter what? I guess that's what I have a problem with. It's not like they live in squalor on 15K a year. They probably net at least 10K a month, it's just frustrating.

It's really hard to say. My family is not like that, so I am only speculating. I know my father repeatedly gives money to his 2 brothers and their children. They are not appreciative, and have come to expect it. He continually helps them out even though they don't deserve it. I can't say for certain what I would do in your situation. I do not know your wifes family.
 

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Well I have devoted a lot of time and money into my family. It is hard to say no and inmy case, saying no was not an option.

Your situation on the other hand is different because you don't want to upset your wife. Luckily for you, your wife supported your decision and that's a great thing. I feel that you made the right decision because if you keep continuing to do give your in-laws money, then you will begin to resent them.

You and your wife need to sit down and talk with them, because both you care about them and you don't want this situation to get worse. If they are good people they will see the value in your efforts to take time and go over certain money saving plans with them. If they are offended and prideful, then don't be surprised, it might take them time to realize what kind of damage they are doing. Being sincere can go a long way, it makes communication a lot more easier, but it seems like you already know that.

Getting them back on the right track instead of feeding into their debt shows you care about them, and more importantly it shows how much you love your wife. Your in-laws are going to be in your life for a fair amount of time. It will only increase once you have kids and stuff, if you already have kids then I'm sure you know what I'm talking about.

I have never been offered any money by my family to help me out, and I never asked for any either. Now that I think about it I probably would not have taken it. If it came from my two older sisters then I might have but I am the youngest out of three kids and I am the one who is taking care of business.

I hope I was able to help you a little, and I wish you the best of luck because this deffinatly is not an easy situation.
 
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