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About my DM giving money to my DB

(44 Posts)
lullabybaby01 Thu 20-Feb-14 08:44:25

Ok I'll try to be as brief as possible.

My mum retired a couple of years ago. For the past year I have been supplementing her pension by giving her £150 a week. Why? Myself and my partner are comfortable (not loaded) and my business is going well. DM has always worked hard until she retired and I wanted life to be more comfortable than her having to get by on her pension alone. I am doing this to make her life easier basically, and have told her my reason. Recently (OK - forever) my DB announces he is struggling financially whilst he is setting up a business of his own. My mum has offered to lend him over £2k which is money she saved from what I have been giving her. I feel upset and annoyed about this but haven't said anything yet as she would be upset if she thinks I am! I was m

AIBU to be annoyed?

Chocotrekkie Thu 20-Feb-14 19:25:29

Would it be better for you to offer to pay some of her bills eg gas/electric/phone rather than giving money that she probably doesn't know what to do with.

Tbh if my child was giving me money I think I would save it in case they wanted it back - just like charging working teenagers rent and saving it for them.

leeloo1 Thu 20-Feb-14 19:18:38

Also, consider if your mum is saving it up then - if she needs to go to a nursing home then this money will be used to pay bills first, or if she dies then you'd need to pay inheritance tax on it before it was split between you/your brother (depending on how she's written her will).

If I was you I'd reduce payments to your mum (I initially thought it was a typo and it was £150pm, which'd still be v generous) and get some counselling. I used to feel huge (undeserved) guilt over family issues and (mostly cbt) therapy revolutionised how I felt & I'm now much happier and more comfortable with my family.

Good luck... oh and yanbu. smile

minibmw2010 Thu 20-Feb-14 11:59:51

Has she ever actually asked you for financial help or you just offered it assuming she needed it? If she's been able to save up money you're giving her maybe she doesn't actually need it? Or just give her £50 a week instead of £150, that seems excessive to be honest.

crescentmoon Thu 20-Feb-14 11:30:44

i have had to wrestle with this same problem OP. (not £600 a month, but gosh id love to be in a situation comfortable enough to give my mum that much.) but it killed me to know money i was giving her each month to make things comfortable for her were just going to my feckless younger brother.
i really struggled with that, but then realised for her the pleasure in having extra money to help DB and various assorted relatives was really all she wanted in life. at one point i tried to get around him scrounging off her by swapping to paying off her credit card bills each month to get my mum to spend some money on her own comfort. but that wasnt foolproof,and in the end i took him in to live with us so any finances would be between us and im much harder hearted than my mum! its much better between us as hes great for free babysitting and he gets a free place to stay when he likes, food, heating etc whilst he saves his own money. but sometimes i trip up- like this morning where he asked me to 'lend' him £80! just like my mum i find i cant say no!

ProfPlumSpeaking Thu 20-Feb-14 10:57:33

How about a word with your brother to point out to him that your DM doesn't have much and that he could borrow from you rather than from her next time he is short of cash.. (this worked with my DB, and he even paid me back which I was surprised about).

Pobblewhohasnotoes Thu 20-Feb-14 10:21:41

Why would you worry she is struggling? She obviously isn't. She's been saving your money and getting by perfectly well without it.

Teeb Thu 20-Feb-14 10:17:34

As an aside are your pension plans topped up to the best they can be? If you are giving away £600 a month to an elderly relative to make them more comfortable id want to know i would be pretty comfortable come that time for me.

ADishBestEatenCold Thu 20-Feb-14 10:08:48

My 'bottom line' is that I think if you give money, wholeheartedly with no strings attached, then you should then have no say in what happens to it thereafter.
If you wish to have a say in how money you give will be used, then you should make it clear at the outset that the money you give does have strings attached.

For what it's worth, lullabybaby01, I also think that it sounds like you and your dear mother are both cut from the same lovely, generous, caring cloth! smile

Maybe, for your own piece of mind, have a little word with both your mum and your brother to explain that (while you do know that their arrangements aren't directly your business) your brother must be clear that, as soon as he's on his feet, he must pay your DM back. Just in case there comes a period of time during which you can't help her financially (or can't help her as much), then all three of you would be reassured by the fact that your brother had re-paid her nest egg.

Jinty64 Thu 20-Feb-14 10:08:09

YABU. You gave the money to your Mother. Obviously she could have refused it but she didn't for whatever reason. It is now her money to do as she likes with. She wants to help her son and is able to do so. If you are giving money with strings attached then the recipient needs to know that in advance to decide whether to accept or not.

limitedperiodonly Thu 20-Feb-14 09:59:02

I am someone who carries a lot of guilt and feels responsible for everyone

Do you ever wonder whether you inherited more than your mum's eyes from her? smile

It's very nice of you to give her money, but it looks like she doesn't need it. And she doesn't sound like the sort of person who would ask.

Neither does your brother, really.

Like others have said, have a chat with everyone about this and maybe lend the money to your brother with a proper pay back plan. Maybe your mum would prefer that.

Joysmum Thu 20-Feb-14 09:56:09

I would speak to her about and maybe float the idea of you lending him the money if needed. I'd also speak to him with the offer and explain she isn't well off and gets an allowance from you and he is not to take money from her now he knows.

Chunderella Thu 20-Feb-14 09:48:57

Hmm. I think what she's doing is a bit off, but if you've given her money with no strings you have to accept she can do what she likes with it. If you want to be able to help your mum but have more control, I think you have to stop the payments directly but tell her you've put some aside in a fund in case she needs it. I don't personally have a problem with her having saved some though, it sounds like a good idea that she's prioritised having a couple of grand emergency money. But how much of those savings does this 2k represent? I might not be very keen if she's clearing out her whole emergencies fund for this.

OneMoreCupOfTea Thu 20-Feb-14 09:48:35

I don't think you are being unreasonable to be annoyed as you gave her the money to make her life more comfortable. I would accept that what you have given her so far is hers to lend to your brother if she wants but I would not give her any more money. Could you take her shopping or away for a weekend instead? There is more to life than working every hour available, perhaps learning to enjoy treating yourself and your mother with the money you have worked hard to earn is something to consider in the future.

diddl Thu 20-Feb-14 09:45:48

What does your partner think?

What if for some reason youy could no longer afford it?

lullabybaby01 Thu 20-Feb-14 09:41:47

Thanks again for he replies, it's definitely got me thinking.

Ok this is another problem entirely but If I were to stop I would feel really guilty - partly because I would be taking something good away from her and partly because I would think she was struggling (whether she would be or not is debatable of course).

I am someone who carries a lot of guilt and feels responsible for everyone so stopping the payments would cause me more distress than good even if that was what I wanted to do.

diddl Thu 20-Feb-14 09:32:20

"I don't want to stop the money as once again DM will be left with nothing for herself."

How can she be left with nothing for herself if she's saving?

Does she manage to live on her pension?

If not, why not just give a small top up?

There's clearly no point (imo) in giving what you do for her just to "sit on it"!

LRDtheFeministDragon Thu 20-Feb-14 09:22:06

It's difficult ... but IMO, one of the things that is most unpleasant about being tight for money is not having any savings/anything to give. I can see why it feels to you as if she's not using what you've given, just giving it away, but I imagine too that if she'd been making do on her pension and had no savings, she'd have felt sad she was no longer in a position to help your brother out. It must be pretty odd to get to a point in your life when you can no longer give your children financial help, if you've been used to doing it.

I think you need to clear the air, though, and let your brother know the money is from you. Otherwise you will feel resentful and actually, he will feel awkward if he finds out, too.

lullabybaby01 Thu 20-Feb-14 09:15:58

He wouldn't have put her under pressure as such but just would have made it very clear how much he was struggling - big hints basically. My mum is the type to want to help if she could.

Oh dear this is not easy. I don't want to stop the money as once again DM will be left with nothing for herself. I think I'll just have to have a talk with her and tell her my thoughts on it all. My brother does work hard though and hopefully his business will take off so that he can be financially independent in the future.

Morgause Thu 20-Feb-14 09:15:22

YANBU explain to your mum how you feel. And stop the payments, she obviously doesn't need them.

ProfPlumSpeaking Thu 20-Feb-14 09:14:44

It is very natural to be upset, but U to be annoyed as you gave the money freely. It is simply a risk that you take with gifts, especially of money. My mother is the same, oddly, and "lent" money to my feckless brother when we had been giving her cash to help her out.

You have to remember when you give/lend money that it may not be spent as you anticipate. Lending/giving money does not give you control over other people's lives, and indeed you wouldn't expect it to. Just because you have been generous to your DM does not prohibit her from being allowed to help out another child of hers. But it does imply that she didn't need the money and I would stop if I were you, and simply buy her holidays/ a car/ a dishwasher as and when if you want to help her out.

sleepyhead Thu 20-Feb-14 09:14:12

If I were your mum and my ds needed financial help, and I had the money then of course I would give it to him. And it would make me feel very happy.
Stop the money by all means, but YABU to think you can dictate how your mother finds her happiness with your gift. Maybe feeling like she can still help out her family makes her happier than a new suite or similar.

StrawberryGashes Thu 20-Feb-14 09:12:59

Yanbu at all, I agree with the others who suggest stopping the payments to your mum. Save up instead and then if she is ever stuck you can help her out.

WooWooOwl Thu 20-Feb-14 09:12:24


Stop giving your mum money that she doesn't need, and if you want to help her take her clothes or food shopping sometimes instead.

PicaK Thu 20-Feb-14 09:12:10

Ah, so neither you or your mum are good at spending it on yourselves, only giving it to those you love! She's probably saved it all in case she needs to lend it back to you.

If she's not needing the money to live now it might be better to sit down and discuss if she needs this. Would it be better to save it elsewhere and help her in the future. If the savings are in her name will it be a problem if she needs sheltered housing later on or inheritance tax etc. (No idea - but financial bods on the money section will have good advice)

Don't get cross with her - but do discuss. And give yourself some treats too.

MunchMunch Thu 20-Feb-14 09:11:26


I would also stop giving her money, why is she accepting it if she doesn't really need it?

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