Please help advise, am I doing the right thing?(22 Posts)
I recently made a thread about my mother essentially stealing 5k of my money from an account to pay off an overpayment in housing benefit/council tax during a brief stint of unemployment. She was aware of the overpayment but did not continue to notify them that she was back at work.
To cut a long story short and answer some questions put to me in the other thread, the money was put into a savings account she had already open in her name 4 years ago (I confirmed the dates). It was an account she didn't use and had been unused for years. At the time I had a basic current account only, no savings account and so simply transferred it (of course with hindsight a mistake, but it's done now.). Please don't spend time telling me over and over that I was a fool to put it into her account - I know.
I was not hiding the money, was not on benefits, and was not tax evading. It was there because at the time I didn't need it and didn't want to just end up spending it slowly over a period of time. My mother has always been trustworthy and has never ever done anything like this before, not ever.
I recently decided to withdraw the money for a variety of reasons, and my mother confessed she had used it all bar £130. I was advised on my other thread to tell her to take out a loan, and apply for loans is what she has done. She is likely to get one.
The only problem is now, she will probably have to move home and downsize to repay. She currently lives very close to me, in the home I grew up in. She sees my children, and is active in their lives. If she moves it could be anywhere near or far, potentially far enough away that with worklife, home life etc I won't be able to see her often. I know this is all very stressful for her, she has a heart problem and has recently been diagnosed with high blood pressure. I just feel immense guilt now!
I don't want to cause any pain to my mum, but I will never have a chance to save money like that again. It's not a sum I can just write off, and I am still angry and mostly extremely upset that she stole from me, without ever asking, simply to pay debts which were caused by her own negligence. She told me she took the money last year, so from that time to now has paid absolutely nothing back. Without her taking out a loan, I am not likely to see that money again. Am I doing the right thing proceeding with this?
You did not force her to take steal the money, and you are not forcing her to take the consequences of her decision. Let her take those consequences, as she is offering.
You are doing the right thing, and she knows it.
Aside from the fact she was wrong to spend the money, a £5k loan over a few years doesn't have to be that much to pay back monthly - can't she spread it over a longer period so the payments are lower and she doesn't need to move??
Also, does she own her house? Selling a house costs money too in solicitors fees etc!
how much can she afford to pay each month without moving?
She needs to learn a lesson here and by getting that money back by a way of the loan in her name she should learn it. I think she is incredibly lucky you have been this understanding!!
She will be able to get a loan - it's just the APR would be higher but if she didn't steal and be irresponsible with money then she wouldn't have this problem so don't feel sorry for her.
Maybe check out Martins money tips to check out who would lend to her given her patchy history.
She doesn't own her own house, she has been renting the property for about 30 odd years, but it is larger than she needs and so the rent is higher than it would be in a 1 bed. She is saying now that she will have to move into a bedsit.
She earns roughly 30k or slightly more, and according to her part of the reason why she will have to move, is because she continues to owe money in council tax. How after spending 5k on repaying it, I have absolutely no idea. She lives alone, with 2 pets. She doesn't live a lavish lifestyle, no expensive clothes, electronics, furniture or anything like that, she eats very little. I am totally baffled, but if I even attempt to look over her finances she will bite my head off. She is already avoiding me, and has been very snappy over the issue, although she is actively trying to solve it.
I will attempt to talk to her once more about spreading the repayments over a long period, but I feel like it will be talking to a brick wall. I asked her how she would be able to pay off the money without a loan, and she had no answer. Her first solution was to offer me "1k" in jewellery to sell, but it was actually worth closer to £200 if that.
Maybe she is stressing about moving maybe having to move away from the place she has all her memories?
Is there any possibility that she is gambling? I believe there is a lot of female online gambling available and very easy to get sucked in. Otherwise it's hard to see why she's struggling so much in the circumstances you describe.
If she refuses to discuss her finances it's hard to see how you can help or advise her. Would she accept any outside advice? Even if downsizing is necessary it's a big step down from 3 bed house to a bed sit.
Maybe she is stressing about moving maybe having to move away from the place she has all her memories?
You need to get her to take out a loan to pay you back. I mean you really need to. Its disgusting what she has done!! I wouldn't even be talking to my mother if she had done this... if I could have id have rung the police. This is not a tenner to buy food this is your entire savings!!
She needs to deal with the consequences of her actions.
If she earns 30k she can easily take out a loan for 5 grand. I find it incredible shes making YOU feel guilty about HER stealing 5 grand off of you and her grandchildren!!!!!!!
Is she saying she'll have to move so you feel guilty and say she doesn't have to pay you back?
I wouldn't make her take out a loan but would expect payment back via a standing order.
I'd not expect her to have to move house as that seems very extreme. She is likely very attached to her home.
I'd be cross at myself for being lazy and not opening my own savings account and handing the money over in the first place.
By active in their lives, do you mean she looks after them alone for you? If so, could you agree to help reduce the payment in lieu of babysitting?
Life is short and we only get one mum, is it really worth making her move miles away when there are other ways to work it out like adults? She made a big error and yes it was very wrong but is it worth losing her over?
I think either:
a) She is spending hugely on something possibly gambling
b) She is trying to guilt you into not paying back
Thanks Autumn, but why on earth would I feel guilt at being lazy? I did something that wasn't odd to me at the time. I don't blame myself at all, although on reflection I should have opened my own savings account, what is done is done, and as I said in my early post it achieves nothing to continue to reiterate the same point. She maintains that she 'borrowed' the money, and didn't say anything as I would have moaned at her for being the author of her own misfortune.
She could pay me back via standing order, she has suggested perhaps 3-4 years. The problem will be if once again is made redundant etc. Although she has worked pretty much constantly since her teens, she is now mid 50's with numerous health problems and sadly, I just don't see that as a guarantee that I will get it back if I wait.
She also made my life extremely difficult when it came to babysitting (complaining and calling me to come home etc), so doesn't really do it these days. Her job requires long hours, on call 7 days a week, and is hard work, so I don't think she would even agree to do it. Ironically, I paid her last summer to look after my children while I went on holiday for a week.
I have spoken to her this evening and she has refused to let me look over her finances, not even telling me what she earns per month. She claims that her money goes on rent, council tax and commuting. She has refused to get rid of non essentials such as Sky, and is almost indifferent to looking at newer phone contracts etc (hers is over a decade old) to get better value for money.
All in all it seems as though I am wasting my time. I feel sad about this, but will push on and look over the details of any loans she is offered before she accepts the money.
If the reason she's taken the money is because she can't really cover her bills in her house then maybe she should move anyway because she can afford to live there
She is in denial and there is nothing you can do.
I think sadly she needs to face up to her irresponsible attitude to money, take out the loan and repay you in full.
I remember your other thread OP. She is trying to guilt-trip you about the £5k, I think. I can't figure out if she's gambling or otherwise being self-destructive, but it sounds like she doesn't have a good handle on her finances (to put it mildly). I'd be minded to lay out a final offer to help her look over things, renegotiate contracts etc, then leave it.
I also remember your other thread Op & I agree with the pp about the possibility of her gambling,her money
your money! had gone somewhere,it hadn't vanished into thin air!
I remember you saying that you needed a portion of your money immediately,I would ask her to take out a bank loan for that amount which shouldn't be a problem on her wages then set up a payment plan for the rest.
As for anyone saying you are in the wrong /lazy for putting your money in her account I find that quite strange as if you can't trust your mum who can you trust?
I have actually done this for my daughter In the past.
Thank you, that's actually an idea, to ask for something close to half the amount upfront, and then to pay the rest in instalments. I will discuss this with her before she goes ahead with any loans. On reflection, this is probably the most realistic way of getting it back without too much hassle.
Although without any idea of her financial situation, I have no clue whether she will struggle equally to pay that. In all honestly, I just want the security of knowing I have my money back in full. I feel bad about feeling this way. Maybe I just have to accept that I will not get it all back at once...and give her a chance to pay long term (?)
I don't think she is gambling. I have never noticed her doing so, and lived with her up to the age of 19, and then again from 21 to 25. It's not really her thing, she is more of a Radio 4, Antiques Roadshow with a cup of tea kind of person. That is her idea of fun and relaxation. As I get older I see she just buries her head in the sand when it comes to financial matters good or bad. I'm guessing that she also used the money to keep her head afloat when she initially got the job she is doing now. I believe her wages were only around the 22k mark back then. That is probably where it went, although she won't admit to it, as she is normally too proud to ask for help.
Thanks all for the advice, I hope we will come to a resolution that doesn't damage our relationship too much.
It's possible that if she hadn't kept track of mobile and other bills, that these are eating into her salary - I signed up to a £10 sim only deal in 2011, didn't really keep track and then started getting bills of £80-100 per month for my (reasonable) data usage.
Could she be lending/giving money to someone else? Supporting anyone?
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