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To be annoyed at my parents for wasting money then crying poverty

(35 Posts)
CatsCatsCatsCatsCats1980 Thu 11-Apr-19 16:13:05

Over winter they complained they couldn't afford to put the heating on. My brother lives away, currently going through some personal problems. They wish they could visit him but "they can't afford it".

In the last few weeks they have bought a new tumble dryer & new kettle. They've been on four days out dining out three of those. A couple of weeks ago mum bought herself a new handbag. She buys new clothes, decides she doesnt like it then instead of taking it back just throws it in the wardrobe. Just recently they have started driving to a farm shop about 45 minutes away just to buy potatoes.

What they actually mean is they can afford stuff they just choose to spend it on other things.

It's upto them what they spend money on but when they complain to me especially about how upset they are not being able to afford to visit my brother I have to really bite my lip.

AIBU to let this wind me up?

Chocolateisfab Thu 11-Apr-19 16:14:55

Show her how to ebay her unused stuff!! Suggest she uses the cash to see db!

Knitclubchatter Thu 11-Apr-19 16:14:58

Call them out on it. Why bite your lip?

lboogy Thu 11-Apr-19 16:21:06

Are they expecting money off you? If not then I'd just ignore them. They clearly know how to prioritise otherwise they wouldn't be spending on things that you deem unnecessary

CatsCatsCatsCatsCats1980 Thu 11-Apr-19 16:22:36

I have tried calling them out in the past but I end up getting wound up then when I get home I can't function properly I'm that wound up then I end up snapping at DH so now I just try and let it go over my head.

They don't understand the concept of saving up. You decide you want to visit DB, save up then go. But what they're waiting for is to win the lottery or win on the horses so they don't have to save up and go without the luxeries they enjoy.

CatsCatsCatsCatsCats1980 Thu 11-Apr-19 16:27:33

They don't ask for money but for example the tumble dryer. It had been faulty and they kept saying -hinting- they needed a new one but couldn't afford it. Yet when it eventually broke they just went out and bought a new one no problem.

I don't care what they do with money but it's the constant "we can't afford it" that drives me mad and I'm sat there expected to be sympathetic when in my head I'm thinking just stop wasting money and you could afford it.

Youngandfree Thu 11-Apr-19 16:29:03

People only afford what they WANT to afford and that’s it. We all do it, we spend money on what we really want to spend it on not on what we should spend it on. As long as they are not asking you for money then leave them off I suppose

CatsCatsCatsCatsCats1980 Thu 11-Apr-19 16:29:15


AguerosAngel Thu 11-Apr-19 16:31:37

I feel your pain OP, I’m currently trying to unravel the mess that my DF has got himself into (completely unnecessarily!)

It’s not for lack of cash, he has a huge final salary pension and various other incomes, house paid for (but he’s released a massive chunk of equity and blown that), racked up thousands on credit cards! He’s 70 odd and an intelligent, educated man so fuck knows what he’s been playing at!

sockatoe Thu 11-Apr-19 16:32:37

Oh dear, I think all families have some high spending poverty stricken members!!! Takeaways, fags and booze are the usual culprits in my experience. Not a fat lot you can do other than change your reaction to it. They can do what they want with their money, no matter how ill advised or irresponsible. Terribly irritating to listen to the woes though, I totally agree!

Fairylea Thu 11-Apr-19 16:35:20

It’s a bit of a red herring I know but with the tumble dryer are you sure they’re not buying it interest free or on some monthly deal from AO or somewhere? They don’t necessarily have to spend out in a lump sum for one.

It sounds like they’re definitely having issues budgeting and don’t know how to prioritise.

SweetSummerchild Thu 11-Apr-19 16:35:33

My sister does this. If we ever discuss anything we’ve bought/done she often comes back with the “It’s alright for you, we could never afford...”

What she forgets about is the brand new caravan they bought and go away in 3 times a year including 3 weeks in France, the 2 trips to Center Parcs, the endless visits to the cinema and restaurants. However, we’re all supposed to feel sorry for her if we choose to spend our money on something that she can’t.

CatsCatsCatsCatsCats1980 Thu 11-Apr-19 16:41:01

It's the emotional support they expect that I can't give. I feel hard faced but I can't sit there going how terrible when they refuse to prioritise/budget. They bought the tumble dryer cash as she commented they now couldn't afford days out but have gone out/dined out nearly every week since confused

Slippingcareer Thu 11-Apr-19 16:41:02

This reminds me of the year me and my sister decided to give my mum some money towards her heating for the winter as she’d mentioned how expensive it was. Nobody wants to think of their mother home on her own in the cold.....she bought herself a new coat with it! Not quite what we had in mind.

What I would say is try not to get caught in a trap of giving them money, if you know they don’t need it as it will become expected.

My brother is currently the most well off of my siblings and my mum has pleaded poverty a few times, and he’s sent her money to help her out. Now she complains a lot to him about money problems whereas she knows there’s no point with me and my sister.

DontCallMeShitley Thu 11-Apr-19 16:43:58

It is annoying isn't it?

I have a friend who always pleads poverty over certain things 'I can't afford it'. However he can go out and buy tobacco, and wine just for himself, or a meal, but will happily accept things from other people, never takes anyone out for a meal though, even when we know he is flush.

His partner had to sell her home because she got into debt, at the same time as buying new clothes....hmmm.

Priorities are skewed. Nothing you say makes a difference, they don't see it.

User457990033gYpovd7 Thu 11-Apr-19 16:48:25

Are your DP retired? If so I wonder if they have savings but don't know long they have to make them last?

Maybe they get in first and plead poverty to prevent anyone ever asking them for loans/handouts etc?

billysboy Thu 11-Apr-19 16:48:33

Brilliant, equity release and cruise round the world a few times and then cant afford to heat the house

Lovemusic33 Thu 11-Apr-19 16:51:15

slipping you didn’t want her too be cold, she bought a coat, seems logical to me 🤣

I say I’m skint sometimes, it usually means my outgoings are more than what I have coming in, it doesn’t necessarily mean I have no money, I always keep money aside for things like the washing machine breaking or the car needing repairs.

As long as they are not asking you for money then I don’t see the issue, just ignore the comments she makes about being hard up.

Acis Thu 11-Apr-19 16:54:13

I can't understand why you don't call them out on it. There's no need to get wound up, you can just make short factual statements and refuse to discuss it further. For example:

DM: Oh dear, we can't afford to visit DB, what a shame.
OP: If you hadn't bought that new handbag/ gone on those days out you'd be able to. Now, did you watch Line of Duty/Corrie/whatever last night?

Purpleartichoke Thu 11-Apr-19 16:54:59

A dryer and a kettle are hardly frivolous purchases.

UnusualBluePenguin Thu 11-Apr-19 16:55:27

It does sound like they are the ones losing out by their poor prioritization of what to spend on. Being unable to put the heating on and so on. Its not like they are using it as an excuse to not buy things for others.

FunnyHappyGirl Thu 11-Apr-19 17:12:20

This annoys me too. Extremely well paid colleagues of my DP often say they "can't afford" something and my DP started saying the same thing. It bugged me as I grew up with very little money and to see someone saying they can't afford something when they just don't want to pay for it is insulting to those that genuinely can't afford it. (or perhaps I'm just a bit sensitive!)

I said to my DP "You can afford it. You just don't want to afford it. There's a difference."! He took the point admirably and has used the same comment on them since.

Singlenotsingle Thu 11-Apr-19 17:17:57

Can't you just laugh at her? Say "come on dm, I saw your handbag/tumble dryer/new dress etc. Hahaha!"

NigesFakeWalkingStick Thu 11-Apr-19 17:22:08

My ex PIL were classic for this. Would always plead poverty around birthdays and Christmas, often ask to borrow money despite having decent wages. We always said don't worry about presents, just come over - apparently they couldn't afford petrol.

Yet buy a new sofa every other year, a new car, new extension on the house, new kitchen.

We stopped giving handouts. They've now got an IVA last I heard.

Hahaha88 Thu 11-Apr-19 17:35:13

I have a friend who does this all the time it drives me mad. She said to me the other day she couldn't afford a particular shampoo for her DD (which cost £3) whilst eating a Gregg's 🙄

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