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What to do when family members are not that great with money?

(11 Posts)
greendiary Sat 04-Feb-17 10:22:11

I suppose I'm looking for a bit of advice. My family have always been bad with money and I find it really difficult to not get involved.

I've done better for myself and try to be sensible enough with money - never over stretch things and always ensure the bills are paid.

But I'm really struggling with my brother. He lives with my mum and I'm learning that he's not always paying the rent on time - so much so that he's recently taken out a payday loan to cover overdue rent.

I always offer to help out if there are money issues as I don't want my mum to be on the streets but it's so frustrating. I think I come across as a 'know it all' but I just try to help...because if I don't, I know I'll have to eventually bail them out if the worst comes to the worst.

The frustrating thing is that he has enough money to go out drinking (another story) and often go to the casino - he won't listen to anyone who tries to offer advice.

I think I just need to vent and ask if anyone is in a similar situation.

Jannerite Sat 04-Feb-17 11:16:10

The only advice I can give you, which might seem harsh - and certainly hard to do - is to stop offering money. Trust me, the more you bail somebody out, the more you start to see it as your problem to solve. Think of it like this: by always offering money when there's money issues you are in a sense giving that security blanket. Why should they make sure they have enough money for xyz when along will come greendiary and help out?

My mum has been giving my brother money since he was 17. He's now 32. We're probably talking in the range of between £15k-£20k over the 15 year period. His financial track record is so bad. My brother can afford to drink, take the kids places, drive for miles when he doesn't need to but can't always afford to buy baby milk, wipes, nappies or petrol and then asks my mum for it. My mum has now done it for so long that I now think she sees it as her obligation to make sure he's okay financially, even when she says "this is the last time".

Over the years I've seen my mum fork out for bills, help with deposit/rent, food, petrol, car repairs, parking ticket fines, part of a college course (he couldn't afford the instalment), baby stuff.. and that's just the stuff I can remember. On top of that, he went through a period of stealing from us, in about 6-ish months when I was a young teen (he was early 20s) about £500 went missing from my sister, my mum and me.

You can have all the best intentions in the world, but whilst there's always somebody there to catch them when they start to fall then they'll never want to start helping themselves. That's just the hard truth of it all.

greendiary Sat 04-Feb-17 13:12:16

I know but because my mum and brother live together, it's her I'm worried about - if he doesn't keep up with rent, both are out of a home.

I've always been the one in the family who is 'stable' IYSWIM.

specialsubject Sat 04-Feb-17 14:11:19

It isn't that he is 'not great with money, he is pissing it away. Do not give him yours to piss away.

If he is a drink and gamble addict, then mum needs to downsize and jettison if won't accept help, or he will get them both evicted. If he is just stupid, then the harsh truth needs to be spelled out that rent comes first.

Jannerite Sat 04-Feb-17 14:45:52

IMO selfish people, yes I think your DBro is selfish, only just get more selfish the older they get.

The only thing I can suggest really, apart from to stop giving money, is your DM needs to give an ultimatum - either he makes sure he has enough money to pay his rent or he moves out, and your DM should stand by it. If he isn't prepared to change his ways, which it sounds like he probably won't, then he should go so that your DM doesn't have to worry. If she can't afford to stay without his rent then she should consider downsizing or risk being evicted.

Sometimes putting yourself first isn't selfish.. and I don't think your DM would be in this instance.

rollonthesummer Sat 04-Feb-17 14:54:51

Can your mum pay her share of accommodation or is he paying for her?

Mehfruittea Sun 05-Feb-17 11:56:49

This doesn't sound like he has a problem with money, but an inability to set appropriate priorities. His decision making skills are poor and its potentially skewed by alcohol. Giving him money isn't going to help him learn and develop these skills to get better.

greendiary Sun 05-Feb-17 13:29:05

Sorry for replying late - my mum gives him half the rent money each week on the understanding that he'll pay the full amount but obv this hasn't been happening.

My brother has a hell of a temper and gets very defensive if you try to speak to him - my mum is scared of his reaction if anything is brought up about it. Ideally I'd like her to live alone as she'd only have herself to look after.

It's almost like he needs an intervention. He works hard and thinks he deserves nights out which is fair enough but FGS the bills need paid first.

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 05-Feb-17 15:06:42

I'd stay out of it, good advice is rarely appreciated by his sort.

specialsubject Sun 05-Feb-17 18:24:32

so he is a near-violent bully?

She needs to look into ending the tenancy and getting a new one on her own, which will obviously need careful handling to avoid him starting with the fists. What she does depends on how the tenancy is set up, and how she can get help to get rid of him.

is he decent when sober, or is he never sober?

delilahbucket Mon 06-Feb-17 14:38:54

I speak from experience. Stop. Bailing. Him. Out. You are the crutch. He will never change because you're there to pick up the pieces. If he is not paying rent then your mother needs to ask him to leave. She will not do this while you are bailing him out.

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