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... To Feel Used?

(55 Posts)
JustAPlasticBag Sun 12-Mar-17 23:36:22

My neighbour is a single mum like myself, her DD is in the same class as my DS and we recently got talking and quite friendly (though not 'let's go out for drinks' friendly just more chatty). She and I both work full time, but she doesn't have a bank account so all her money goes into her sisters account, who in turn ensures her rent in paid, bills, takes her food shopping and then gives her an allowance. (Her sister is much, much older and who she considers more 'responsible')

Last month she asked to borrow £25 for a takeaway and some snacks for an unplanned movie night with her friends, as she wouldn't be seeing her sister for a few days. I borrowed her it. A few times after she's asked me to pick her up milk, bread, butter and other small bits throughout the weeks that followed as she wasn't to go shopping with her sister for a while - I did. Last week she asked for £4 to get the bus, as she had no cash on her and again - wouldn't be seeing her sister for a while. I borrowed her it. She then asked for £15 to pay for her taxi she had just got out of as she realised AFTER calling it (hmm) she had no cash on her. Again, I borrowed her it.

I feel like I'm her bank account at the moment and I'm never seeing this money back. If I truly had to add it up (and before typing this I sat and did so) it's around £70ish I've borrowed her, from just picking up odd things to everything else listed above. I'm not even sure how to politely ask either as she never, ever mentions it and I'm not sure how to bring it up! (I'm not a very assertive person blush).

But I don't just buy her things: I'm constantly lending her things too. She doesn't have a kettle, so she is always asking me to borrow mine when she's cooking or has friends round and wants to make coffee etc. She borrows my iron and ironing board 2-3 times a week to do her ironing. She borrows my Hoover ever 2-3 days too, as she doesn't have one. She's got a few of my plates, mugs, one of my pans, bowls, spoons etc because she doesnt have enough for whatever she's doing at that time and I don't see them back. I'm always giving her toilet roll and I'm convinced from the first time I gave her a roll she's not bought one since and instead keeps asking me whenever the roll I give her runs out!

I give batteries, shampoo, washing up liquid, washing powder - basically small things constantly as she's always 'running out' and tonight she knocked on my door asking for some toothpaste (I had to squeeze it onto a plate at her request hmm) and I'm sat here with my cup of tea right now thinking...

I'm an idiot.

I'm actually that idiot I always give advice to others not to be because I've slowly let myself be taken advantage of. And I actually didn't see it happening! It started off small, just little favours and now I feel like I'm in too deep. AIBU and un-neighbourly to think this?? Is this normal neighbour behaviour?! Honestly I feel like she shouldn't bother buying anything other than food because I'm her bloody supermarket!!

How do I get out of this without making an enemy out of my DS's classmates mum and my next door neighbour?? confused

Grilledaubergines Sun 12-Mar-17 23:39:57

"I'm sorry, I really can't afford to lend you x,y,z anymore".

Megatherium Sun 12-Mar-17 23:40:43

It's perfectly reasonable to tell her that you can no longer afford to keep lending her money and buying things for her, and ask her to return the plates etc that you've lent and tell you what her plans are to repay the money you lent her. As for things like the iron and the vacuum cleaner - time for them to break down, I think, and oh dear, you can't afford to get them repaired.

Fluffyears Sun 12-Mar-17 23:44:04

'Sorry I don't have any spare xyz' 'I don't have any cash on me' 'the Hoover is on the blink' 'oh no I need my kettle just now'

user1489189598 Sun 12-Mar-17 23:46:43

You're not an idiot, you're nice.

But, yes, she's (not necessarily nastily) using you. This is probably the reason why her sister is in control of her bank balance. Assuming her sister isn't financially abusing her, this is obviously someone who prioritises her finances unwisely (I'm trying to use kind words).

So, now you've realized it, you need to break that cycle.

Has she paid you back any of the money or are you out of pocket? I think you need to find a way of being in contact with the sister, hopefully with the permission of your neighbour. The sister (if she's doling out money to pay for the very things you're supplying) needs to know this, so she can refund you.

I do hope your neighbour isn't using 'her' money to fund something horrible like drugs or a feckless partner. But she does seem vulnerable.

Remember, you can always say 'no'.

And I hope she's a good neighbour-in-kind to you, and does things like babysitting or school runs or other support to make up for what she's taking from you. If not, she's taking the piss.

ThePants999 Sun 12-Mar-17 23:47:56

"I'm sorry, but I can't afford to lend more until you've repaid what you've already borrowed."

By the way, she "borrows", you "lend" - you don't "borrow".

foxyloxy78 Sun 12-Mar-17 23:48:09

You need to be firm with her that you cannot afford to lend her anymore money or stuff. Very strange set up that she has going in that her sister manages her money for her. Odd indeed.

GoodnightSeattle Sun 12-Mar-17 23:48:42

This is one of the strangest things I've ever heard hmm

Just start saying no from now on. You're busy, you're using something, you don't have much left yourself and can't get to a shop anytime soon, you've lent it to someone else, it's gone missing, you've ran out ... endless easy excuses and she'll eventually get the hint.

Who the hell doesn't have a kettle or a hoover by choice? And it is a choice. She may not see her sister frequently but you'd think the day she moved in with nothing she might have said hey sis can you withdraw this months wages in full, I've got some house basics to purchase confused

And FWIW I don't believe the sister story anyway. Ive had this problem twice now, where I've not had my own account (various reasons) and asked to have wages/benefits paid into my partners. Was told no both times, my name on the pay check so it has to go into an account with my name on it also. You just get a bloody account. Her sister can still help with budgeting if she's really that incompetent she can't remember to pay some bills herself.

I'd stop contact with her. To quote many MNers before me, is she on glue?

Aeroflotgirl Sun 12-Mar-17 23:49:19

Keep saying no.

EatSpamAmandaLamb Sun 12-Mar-17 23:53:14

She is a piss taker and the likelihood is she has pulled this kind of thing with a number of people. Next time she comes round to borrow something simply say "oh how funny, I was just putting my shoes on to nip over and ask if you could lend me the exact same thing! While you're here can you arrange for your sister to call by no later than Friday this week as I need the money I lent to you so I can restock on all the basics you have used up."

EmeraldScorn Sun 12-Mar-17 23:55:28

She obviously sees you as the local bloody shop and she's taking advantage of your kindness. You need to put a stop to it - It's nice to help people (I do it too) but I wouldn't be a soft touch for someone who was blatantly using me and it seems like that's what she's doing with you. Tell her no in future!

avamiah Sun 12-Mar-17 23:55:37

OP,
I'm sorry this has happened to you, but in my opinion there is a reason her sister pays her bills and she doesn't have a bank account.
Also it's very strange she doesn't have a kettle or hoover.
I hope I am wrong but it's sounds to me like she has a drug addiction and could of sold these items to buy drugs.
You really must not lend her anymore money or buy her groceries until she repays you what she owes you.
I hope my post does not offend you as that is not my intention.

JustAPlasticBag Mon 13-Mar-17 00:03:14

Thanks for the replies, I'm aware I'm a completely push over but honestly, she ways she asks / phrases things I feel so guilty considering saying no half the time as I feel I'm depriving her DD of toilet roll at 7am in the morning etc blush I'm not usually a push over (honest!) but I felt a soft spot for her as she's in a similar situation to what I was in (first house away from parents, on her own etc). I was happy enough to give her advise on the bin days / bus times / corner shop opening times as she is honestly just so clueless, and the borrowing of things I thought I was being neighbourly sad).

(She's 4 years younger than I am, and just out of her teens so I felt like she needed the support.)

I'm not struggling financially by any means, I just sort of clocked on tonight that I've actually lent her a Hell of a lot of money considering given we've only been talking 1-2 months-ish and that if this carries on as it is I'm going to turn into a bank account for her! I think I'm going to use the 'ah, I'm using this actually' excuse next time, even if I will feel incredibly guilty doing so.

I can't speak to her sister, as we're not exactly close enough for me to ask for her sisters contact details, but I did meet her two days after my neighbour moved in and she seemed (stereotyping here I apologise) the very firm, high-flying business woman type. Very intimidating, so I'm not surprised my neighbour trusts her with her finances (which I've never thought to question... But good point GoodnightSeatle, I might slide that question in next time we speak.)

TabithaBethia Mon 13-Mar-17 00:11:04

I have the feeling you are a lovely how-can-I-help type of person. Is that right?

However, your neighbour is quite likely needier than you can sustain. Sadly you may struggle to see this money back.

Start looking after you're own here I'd say.

TheWoodlander Mon 13-Mar-17 00:24:19

You don't have to just switch off support for her completely - just maybe be slightly 'less available' to her in the future.

You can be nice, but practice a few phrases in reply to her requests. I wouldn't lend her any more money - next time she asks, just say sorry you can't lend her any more, since she still owes you the £70+ you've already lent her. Or just say you'd like to help, but you haven't got any spare cash at the moment.

GoodDayToYou Mon 13-Mar-17 00:28:03

Op, you're a sweetheart, nothing wrong with that, but I think it's time to put a stop to this now.

I think most of us would have paid you back immediately, unless we forgot, and we wouldn't keep borrowing without return. It sounds like she thinks that's what you do now. You're going to need to correct that assumption.

How about sending her a brief text along the lines of:

Hi! I've been going through my accounts and am surprised at how much all those loans have been adding up - we're up to £70 (or whatever it is)! Can you let me know when you will be able to pay me back? Thanks x

I think from there, it becomes easier to not lend her any more.

Also, in conversation, I would direct her to freebay/car boots for kettles etc.

SewMeARiver Mon 13-Mar-17 00:30:02

She's taking the piss. And no matter how 'nice' she is she knows it. I have had experience of this sort of thing and I too think the sister thing is a fabrication. I had a neighbour, same scenario, who constantly borrowed cash. Our children went to different schools though thank god! I really liked her apart from this annoying habit of asking me for cash. Guess what? She was doing drugs. Found out when she had chicken blood splashed all over her front door with the words 'pay or die' scrawled on it. It was like something from a movie!

My money had gone on the essentials she neglected to spend her own money on.

Just say no, and keep the no consistent. She'll eventually get the message. Also step back on the friendliness.

AnathemaPulsifer Mon 13-Mar-17 00:31:49

Just say 'no, sorry I just can't afford to supply two households. Actually, just realised we're up to about £70 you owe me now - when will you be able to get that for me?'

LolaTheDarkdestroyer Mon 13-Mar-17 00:32:20

Sorry my head is spinning from the word borrowed and borrow.. you lend her stuff by the way. Regardless she is a cadging carol and you won't get rid now.

DistanceCall Mon 13-Mar-17 00:41:33

If she hasn't bought any toilet paper, she can wipe her bottom with newspaper.

You're being a mug. Stop it.

GreyStars Mon 13-Mar-17 00:45:22

I would not be surprised if she disappears to a certain extent when you say no and she realises you actually mean it.

You will need to be very firm when you say no, because she will likely make some excuse as to why she hasn't and tomorrow/next week/next year/when pigs fly will be the actual time you get it back... these things never happen, so don't let it ever be any more than £70 and yes your sorry but your using your things at that time and why doesn't she look on freecycle, you saw something just the other day... etc etc.

I have met many people like this who are only interested in what they can obtain and once you cut off their supply they do usually vanish.

She is very much using you, she is not your friend, she is not a nice person - you are a nice, kind good person saying no makes no difference to that, but there will always be people who take advantage of kind people and this is one of them I'm afraid.

JustAPlasticBag Mon 13-Mar-17 00:49:02

I'll just go ahead and apologise for my terrible English blush

Consider me told - my pockets are well and truly closed off to handouts... Although I think I need to consider the money already lent (wink) gone forever. I don't think my iron, ironing board, hoover and kettle willl be leaving my house again either! The whole thing is just odd, I've never ever had this before and my friends think she's just harmless and clueless and will get used to living alone soon and just needs some neighbourly help until she finds her feet confused

The thought of her being into drugs makes me feel abit uncomfortable though, I really hope this isn't the case!

ThumbWitchesAbroad Mon 13-Mar-17 00:51:45

I have a friend who has a neighbour a little like yours, with one big difference - no child.
When my friend first moved into the street, this neighbour told her that her parents manage all her money and buy all her food, pay all her bills etc. for her, and could my friend possibly lend her money for a bottle of wine?

Well, since then it's come out that the woman has MH issues and is an alcoholic and asks EVERYONE for money for wine (or sometimes food or other stuff when they've realise she shouldn't be having alcohol).

The only way to deal with it is to say no, sorry, you don't have it on you - EVERY time.

My friend is a very straight talker, and when the woman tried wheedling, she told her that, if she persisted in her wheedling and guilt-tripping, then my friend wouldn't speak to her again, which was a shame because she quite liked the woman (when she wasn't asking for alcohol). She told her that seeing her in the street made her anxious and that had to stop. The woman hasn't bothered her since (although there are other new people in the street now, so maybe she has a new "victim")

Just Say No.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Mon 13-Mar-17 00:53:22

Sorry, xpost.

You do have to ask yourself why your neighbour's sister manages all her finances - either your neighbour has some kind of MH issue, or is a vulnerable adult, or has some kind of addiction (whether to shopping or illicit substances).

peaceout Mon 13-Mar-17 01:01:41

she's rinsing you because you're letting her
just say no I cant
dont explain or apologise
stop being a doormat and get up off the floor, if you just lie there anyone who feels like it will walk all over you

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