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Giving money to family AIBU

(84 Posts)
Aliensstolemychocolate Mon 20-Jun-11 14:07:10

Potted history, my husband is one of a large family all the family are very 'pro family' when it comes to sharing. They were not well off growing up, but managed fine. My family were better off but certainly not rolling in it and my husband and I have worked very hard to get the jobs we have and earn the money we do.

Anyway, we have had an email today from our nephew (21) who lives in the USA with his mum and her husband (essentially my SIL/BIL). He has said he cannot pay his college fees and is having to work instead of study but really wants to go to school - the email is very emotional but says his stepdad wont pay (but still has money for other stuff) so could we help him out.

Now this is not a first by any means,my DH family have struggled financially and we have helped significantly for all of his siblings, and it was not long ago she was asking for money to leave him (our BIL) but that is another story.

DH is worried that he will be viewed as mean and spiteful if he doesn't give the money (that goes back to another story in the family about money) but thinks, like me that we should all take personal responsibility for ourselves/children.

So much so we have argued about this in the past and I am fearing another set of monumental arguments (including MIL phoning to say we need to help).

AIBU (and mean) not to want to help out (again)? I am starting to feel like giving into the pressure may be easier angry

breatheslowly Mon 20-Jun-11 14:13:55

Are you absolutely filthy rich? Will your own DC end up in debt going to university? How much money is it? How do other students in the US fund college? Will this be the beginning of funding a multitude of nieces and nephews through university? So many questions. But ultimately I agree that we should take personal responsibility for ourselves/children.

PaisleyLeaf Mon 20-Jun-11 14:17:02

How many nieces/nephews are there?

Aliensstolemychocolate Mon 20-Jun-11 14:18:15

There are 12 nieces and nephews altogether and 2 DC of my own.

jeee Mon 20-Jun-11 14:18:52

Can't your nephew get a loan?

LeggyBlondeNE Mon 20-Jun-11 14:23:25

If he has a British parent, tell him to get his UK passport and apply to somewhere over here, where there are loans and no upfront fees to stop him attending as soon as he likes. You could even offer to fly him over for his first term. Much cheaper than funding him (it was a very cheeky request IMHO!) and pushing him to solve the problem through his own means.

Teachermumof3 Mon 20-Jun-11 14:25:03

Erm, I suppose you'd need to know the details. How much is he asking for? College fees aren't cheap-does he want you to pay for everything for the duration? Does he want a one-off amount? How much is the amount he wants in relation to what you earn-a month's salary? 6 months' salary?

Has your DH been helped out financially by his family over the years, or is it just a case of you helping everybody else out?

I would be inclined to invent a large building/repair/tax bill you'd just had to pay so you didn't have any disposable income at the moment.

I can't quite imagine a family member asking for cash, you refusing and then your MIL ringing you to tell you to cough up! It's a bit of a cheek! Why can't your MIL help!?

Aliensstolemychocolate Mon 20-Jun-11 14:26:28

I would be confident that he could get a loan, but this doesn't seem to appeal as a solution. As for the passport, he relinquished it when he was 18 to hold only the US passport (I think), we did indeed suggest studying over here but no go. He is a talented musician and could probably get a scholarship if he tried hard enough (or had support locally as there is little we can do here)

AliGrylls Mon 20-Jun-11 14:27:49

I don't think you should. You don't your DCs - but I would tend to think that anything you need for them now and (potentially) in the future is a priority. Your direct family comes first, if after taking all that into account you have money that you can afford to give away that is the amount that you should give.

As you say, principally it is his responsibility to sort himself out and if you bail him out now you will be setting a precedent for the future, that it is okay to ask people for money. Don't be pushed into it - I think it is really wrong that they are making you feel guilty about it.

JudysJudgement Mon 20-Jun-11 14:28:11

but this doesn't seem to appeal as a solution.

of course it doesnt, that requires repayment sad

waitfortheblackout Mon 20-Jun-11 14:28:44

Not your problem.

We used to have this problem with our MIL/FIL until my DH finally realised that his parents are not his/our responsibility. They don't ask for money any more - although I do know that they still ask BIL for money which I am really angry about as they have 3 children and are hardly rich!

M&FIL are just crap with money and think it's the family's duty to look after each other. Which is fine, but it only ever goes in one direction, because they never have any money.

You have 2 DC, they are your responsibility. Your nephew has parents too. He is their responsibility, or his own. He is not yours.

Aliensstolemychocolate Mon 20-Jun-11 14:29:37

Teacher he isn't asking for a certain amount but ' a couple of thousand dollars, maybe ten' was what was written - in relation to what we earn its not impossible but not affordable.
We have never been helped out by the family financially, MIL has looked after the children occasionally but we don't live that close (and she is a little wrapped up with the other 6 GC she is always looking after).

I think the crux of the problem may be the attitude that if 'someone in the family has it and someone else needs it' then it's given. A bit like communism if you ask me!

waitfortheblackout Mon 20-Jun-11 14:30:37

"a couple of thousand dollars, maybe 10"???!!!

A couple = 2.

There's a big difference between a couple and 10!

TheMagnificentBathykolpian Mon 20-Jun-11 14:31:08

If you don't want to, (and I wouldn't!) then simply say sorry, I'd love to help but I don't want to I don't have any spare money at all. I know that you wouldn't want me to be unable to pay my mortgage so that you don't have to get a job. I hope you manage to raise the money. I know that many people go to college and hold down a job to pay for it, perhaps this is something you should consider.

The problem is that when you give to one, you set a precedent. And then another one asks, and how can you say no when you said yes to someone else? And before you know it, you are chucking money at 20 people and they start to expect that they have a right to your money.

I feel sorry for him if he's desperate, but he needs to understand that in the real world, you have to pay your own way. Many many people get a job to pay their way through university. There is no reason why he can't do this.

jeee Mon 20-Jun-11 14:32:06

Put that "couple of thousand.... maybe 10" in the bank for your own DC. And just say no.

JudysJudgement Mon 20-Jun-11 14:32:50

and like Judge Judy says every episode:

NEVER lend to family or friends unless you get a WRITTEN CONTRACT!!! or unless you dont want the money back

TheMagnificentBathykolpian Mon 20-Jun-11 14:32:55


Oh come on! That is taking the piss. Tell him to get a job like everyone else has to and juggle work and study!

warthog Mon 20-Jun-11 14:32:59

if you give him money it's at the expense of your kids, no?

SenoritaViva Mon 20-Jun-11 14:33:12

YANBU. unless of course the amount is a drop in the ocean to you? Why are you some kind of family bank? How much would the loan impact you?

I come from quite a well off family and we expect each other to stand on our own two feet. We are there to help one another, moral support, have fun together but we don't take one another's money. Ages ago my brother gave me a job for a few months inbetween my travels but I worked hard for that money - I think this is the right kind of scenario.

I don't know how the USA works their college systems but the family obviously chose to live over there, perhaps they should have thought this through before going?

SenoritaViva Mon 20-Jun-11 14:36:20

Sorry X posted. And what will happen when your DC's want to go to university? It is looking like it might cost you £9,000 per year and if you can give your DCs the luxury of leaving with few loans outstanding it will be an amazing gift. Start saving for that rather than nephew.

Plus, you support him, who else do you support???? The 6 your MIL support at 9k per year?????

Smacks of communism to me too.

cat64 Mon 20-Jun-11 14:37:20

Message withdrawn

controlpantsandgladrags Mon 20-Jun-11 14:42:37

You need to say no IMO. If you agree to fund him you set a precedent whereby you're expected to give 10 grand to all your other relatives. It was bloody cheeky of him to ask. Tell him giving that amount away would leave you short yourselves and you're not prepared to get yourself into debt to help him.

Aliensstolemychocolate Mon 20-Jun-11 14:42:59

Just to set the record straight I have not won the lottery and things are pretty expensive here at the moment as it is.

I suppose we may have to batten down the hatches while the storm passes and hope that the family will still talk to my DH ( I couldn't give a damn if they never spoke to me again btw)

risingstar Mon 20-Jun-11 14:44:05

nope - i wouldnt. if he is an american citizen and done high school there, he will have had it drilled into him about various ways of financing college. this includes working and taking out loans and qualifying for scolarships.

as he has approached you directly i would reply to him directly saying that he does not seem to have a proper understanding of your means. it is not feasible for you to offer support to him and in any case this would set a precedent for all of his cousins. you love them equally and think it would cause upset down the line. wish him well and hope that he finds a solution. and refuse to discuss it further with anyone.

IDrinkFromTheirSkulls Mon 20-Jun-11 14:48:42

So he could work but doesn't want to? hmm I think he will find that most people don't wantto work but have to to get through life. Cheeky sod.

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