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to feel annoyed my sister is better off on benefits and handouts

(130 Posts)
GoingSlowly Mon 20-Mar-17 17:27:02

I am close with my sister and love her to bits. She is a single Mum and I know she has a hard time bringing up the children alone much of the time. She always acts as if she is financially much worse off than we are and has an "it's OK for you" attitude when it comes to money. So, since she split with her ex, I've always believed she had a lower income than us, and make allowances for her financially (paying more than half for meals out, etc). My family all treat her as if she is skint all the time and always pay for stuff for her.

I therefore felt annoyed when I found out recently how much she is bringing in each month, she is MUCH better off now than when she was with her ex (who has a low income), mainly due to the benefit payment she receives. Her income is more than ours. I am actually quite astonished.

We are a middle income family and do OK but it feels as if we are always scrimping and saving. My sister, on the other hand, is quite wasteful with money. She wastes a lot on food - buys expensive food/treats and ends up throwing a lot away. She books expensives holidays for the family (like cruises and trips to Disney Land in Florida), then moans she can't afford it and the family stump up the extra cash. We go camping in the UK each year and family do not help. She also 'treats' herself A LOT - clothes, shoes, bags, spa trips, etc. In contrast out life is quite frugal, but I've always thought it was because we try to save money, and she chooses not to.

It's not that her income is more - it's the fact that she acts as if she is the poor relation, and that the family constantly props her up. The reality is that by paying for her holidays, buying her a car, filling her car with petrol, etc, my parents are almost 'rewarding' her for being crap with money. They do not help us at all, even though we actually have less income???

Trifleorbust Mon 20-Mar-17 17:30:09

Do they know that you have a lower income than she does?

GlitterGlue Mon 20-Mar-17 17:30:30

Firstly, I very much doubt she's getting enough to pay for Disney trips.

Secondly, long term she's worse off. No work history and no pension.

Lelloteddy Mon 20-Mar-17 17:31:37

How much is she bringing in each month OP?

GoingSlowly Mon 20-Mar-17 17:34:31

She brings in £2200 altogether a month. Includes some money off her husband and she has a low paid part-time job too since he left. Our total income is £1800.

lavenderandrose Mon 20-Mar-17 17:35:17

It's possible to have a good income from benefits with many children.

Mumgyver Mon 20-Mar-17 17:35:20

Cruises and Disney as a single parent on benefits? Pull the other one, it's got bells on....

GoingSlowly Mon 20-Mar-17 17:36:02

If she doesn't earn enough for Disney trips - why is she booking them? I think it's because she knows that when she complains to Mum that she can't afford it, they will then pay the balance. As they have done with several holidays.

expatinscotland Mon 20-Mar-17 17:36:07

You lost me at cruises and Disney Land. Sure. hmm

0/10, 10/10 for GF post.

Trifleorbust Mon 20-Mar-17 17:36:53

Money off her husband? Do you mean maintenance payments?

Look, she isn't getting anything she isn't entitled to. Her income is reasonable but the fact that it's higher than yours is really neither here nor there.

Mumgyver Mon 20-Mar-17 17:37:20

So she also gets child maintenance and income from work? That's not her being wholly on benefits.

Just stop paying extra for meals and things, OP, let her own way. You can't really do anything about your parents propping her up but you can decide who your own money gets spent on.

Mumgyver Mon 20-Mar-17 17:37:30

So she also gets child maintenance and income from work? That's not her being wholly on benefits.

Just stop paying extra for meals and things, OP, let her own way. You can't really do anything about your parents propping her up but you can decide who your own money gets spent on.

Underthemoonlight Mon 20-Mar-17 17:37:52

Instead of slagging her out it's hard being a single parent why not do something to better yourself?

expatinscotland Mon 20-Mar-17 17:38:09

Mumgyver, the clue was in the title 'handouts'.

HelenaDove Mon 20-Mar-17 17:39:05

I find it an incredible coincidence that this thread has appeared the same evening that Dispatches have an edition on how the benefit cap is affecting single parent families.

Mumgyver Mon 20-Mar-17 17:39:54

I'd love some handouts. Where does one sign up for them? The kids will flip when they find out I've booked a cruise to Disneyland.

Lelloteddy Mon 20-Mar-17 17:40:51


gamerwidow Mon 20-Mar-17 17:40:53

It's fine for her to have a higher income than you as a single mum. It isn't fine for the rest of the family to have to subsidise her.

Nicpem1982 Mon 20-Mar-17 17:41:08

I completely understand where you are coming from op my sis whom I'm nc with now always behaved like she was the poor relation as she was on benefits and at the time I was living with parents and working full time and commuting 2 hours each way.

She asked me to check her benefits letters for her and she was getting much more than me on a monthly basis and tax free and didn't pay rent etc it really annoyed me as the family rallied around her my dad bought her a car and paid her petrol gave her money at Xmas etc and I was expected to "chip in" as she had no money

Skip forward 6 years and I'm fortunate enough to be in a position where I have a decent disposable income each month and a job with a good pension - something my sis will never have as she's got no employment history and realistically could never earn enough to sustain her lifestyle

expatinscotland Mon 20-Mar-17 17:41:13

It's uncanny, isn't it, Helena. Here's a newsflash: if your parents want to throw money out a window, burn it in their fire, push it down a storm drain, that's is their business.

ilovesooty Mon 20-Mar-17 17:41:24

I think you should focus on your own family life.

GoingSlowly Mon 20-Mar-17 17:41:47

Helena - I did not know that programme was on.

expatinscotland Mon 20-Mar-17 17:42:31

'It isn't fine for the rest of the family to have to subsidise her.'

It's perfectly fine if they chose to do that with their money. hmm If the OP has a problem with it she is free to stop doing it.

RachelRagged Mon 20-Mar-17 17:42:50

She is either on the fiddle then or its all on the never never

NOBODY who is claiming benefits the normal legal way can afford all the stuff you mention . Absurd.

joannegrady90 Mon 20-Mar-17 17:44:09

She's your sister and she's a single parent on benefits. How about compassion?

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