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family always asking for money

(46 Posts)
lucyB456 Sun 01-Nov-15 20:37:25

Hi all,

Sorry in advance for the long post.

I'm from a single parent family with a younger sister (25). I'm in my mid-30's and pregnant with my first baby (30 weeks). I've always been the fall-back option for my mum and sister - the sensible one, sort of, or at least the only one they could ask for anything - favours, money usually but also to organise things, listen to problems.

My mother has no family or friends and relies on me emotionally. My sister undertook a pretty risky and very expensive career move a few months ago. I warned her at the time that she should be careful with her money because her outgoings were more than what she had coming in. Similarly with my mum - my whole adult life I've advised her not to spend every spare penny she gets and to save something for emergencies, but she can't and laughs at me when I warn her. Then, as predicted, when things go wrong, I'll get a phone call.

When I got pregnant, things were tough financially for my partner and me. I had decided a few months before I got pregnant to go back to college to do a PhD. My partner works in a steady job with good potential but his wage is quite low. I had saved money to see me through my studies so between that and my partners wages we get by, but only just manage. We were turned down for a mortgage so have to pay very high rent when we moved from our flat (which was unsuitable for a baby) into something larger. I went back to work (part-time, temp work) to help tide us over, which I'll have to give up in a few weeks.

So when I got pregnant I spoke to my family and said I could no longer be the fall-back person for money or moral support. I have had a tough pregnancy (terrible morning sickness, SPD, frequent bouts of colds and flu) and felt I couldn't shoulder extra burden. They said they understand, but nothing really changed.

Anyway, this week my sister asks me for £1000 to fund something related to her career. I'll have no guarantee of ever seeing this money again yet I know she has no other way of getting the money. I was annoyed with her for asking in the first place. I have a baby on the way, things are expensive. Yet now both her and my mother are angry with me. They think I'm cheap and say that I'll get the money back. They say I can take a loan or ask my partner and keep pleading with me.

I'd like to get out of this role and distance myself from my family but I'm all they have. My sister has had issues with depression in the past, as has my mother, and I always feel guilty if I'm not there for them. Its got serious, with my sister talking about suicide a few years ago, so my mother is always very concerned for her well-being, hence probably why she's angry with me for not giving her the money.

Any advice much appreciated. Its an ongoing issue I just can't seem to shake.

KirstyJC Sun 01-Nov-15 20:41:13

Have they ever paid back any of the money they borrowed before?

Tell your sister to get a loan. You need to save every penny for the baby - that is now your priority, not your sister or mother. Your family is the baby and your partner now, not them.

Sounds harsh but they are taking the piss.

Unsurechicken Sun 01-Nov-15 20:42:32

No just say no. You have a baby on the way okay babies are cheap to start with but once you get to weaning that's when it starts to cost. Maybe suggest to your mum and sister to start selling things on eBay. Maybe you could give her £100 for Christmas and call it a day at that?

NoArmaniNoPunani Sun 01-Nov-15 20:43:47

They sound awful. Why should you get into debt to help them?

KirstyJC Sun 01-Nov-15 20:44:29

And if your sister has no other way to get the money, ie can't get a loan - then it suggests she isn't a good risk to lend to. So don't.

Meow75 Sun 01-Nov-15 20:46:12

My default phrase would be "You DO realise I am having a baby in the next 3 months, right? So, no, I cannot afford to lend you any more money."

Full stop, end of story. If they call, text or email, ask your partner to screen them first to ask for the reason for the contact and warn them that if the conversation goes towards money, it will be terminated. First and last warning.

watchingthedetectives Sun 01-Nov-15 20:46:26

I think you have to say no - you warned them both and it isn't fair to keep relying on you

Does or could your mother work and help out if she feels strongly?

The problem is there has to be some sort of a stop on this or it will just keep on and on. You will either feel bad now or later when they put up the next demand.

It is not fair for them to emotionally blackmail you - I do feel for you

FlappyRose Sun 01-Nov-15 20:47:10

You need to put a stop to it or you'll never break the cycle. Just tell them that your baby is your priority now.

PuellaEstCornelia Sun 01-Nov-15 20:48:59

Or you could ask them for a loan - tell them you need the money cause you're not working, surely they can help you after all the help you've given them?

AnotherCider Sun 01-Nov-15 20:51:15

They are like spoilt children who have never had to be responsible for the consequences of their behaviour and this is the first time you are saying no. Its a shock to them, and like children they will tantrum until they get their way, or until they finally realise that you are absolutely serious. So expect their behaviour to be worse than you have ever encountered before. If you give in, next time you try to be strong they will be even worse, so don't give in!!!

Gazelda Sun 01-Nov-15 20:51:32

They are being very unfair.
But I think you have to say no, and feel no guilt. If you lent it then you would be feeling guilty for putting your DP and Baby's financial security under threat.
It's time for your DM and DSis to realise your priorities have changed.

LuluJakey1 Sun 01-Nov-15 20:52:36

Just say you don't have the money.

Unless you tell them about how much you have saved, why would they think you had a spare £1000 lying around to lend them. You are hardly income heavy. Just say you haven't got it. End of.

Never tell them your savings- it is none of their business.

Fannyupcrutch Sun 01-Nov-15 20:57:03

Please, please PLEASE stop giving them money!

You are not all they have, they have themselves and each other. You are not their banker, credit facility or ATM. Stop it and stop it now or you will carry this on for the rest of your life. They need to be held accountable for their own financial responsibility and for sorting themselves out. They are adults, after all.

Tell your sister to ask the job centre for a career development loan and tell them in no uncertain terms, the bank of you is CLOSED.

FannyFanakapan Sun 01-Nov-15 21:02:12

Have they ever paid back anything they have "borrowed" - if so, Id be asking them...as in

DSis "can I borrow £1k" -

You: no sorry, totally skint with baby - I actually need the £xxx back that I lent you last time, as Ill have to give up working - you can pay me in installments of £20 a week if things are tough right now..."

AnnaMarlowe Sun 01-Nov-15 21:11:40

"If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always got."

They won't ever learn if you always give in to tantrums.

Think if it like practice for the baby, sometimes to be a good parent you have to say 'no' for their own good even though they cry.

TBH it's long time past your Mother and Sister needing to learn this lesson.

tribpot Sun 01-Nov-15 21:12:51

my mother is always very concerned for her well-being

She's not so concerned about your well-being, I note.

You gave them fair warning. The Bank of lucyB is shut. Not just financially but in other ways too you are playing a role which isn't fair to ask of anyone, but certainly won't be sustainable whilst you juggle a baby and a PhD. It's time to cut them off. I don't mean go no contact, although I can see them doing that to you to punish you and bring you back into line. But cut them off from the emotional, practical and financial crutch you've been providing that's prevented them from ever having to grow up.

It will be tough to break them of the habit - they are very well used to you saying 'now don't spend all your cash' and then bailing them out when they do just that. It will take a while to sink in that this time you're not going to. Stand firm - this will be harder to do the next time if you cave in this time.

Puzzledandpissedoff Sun 01-Nov-15 21:22:13

I agree with everyone else; unless you're prepared for this to get worse and worse (and put your own child behind their "needs") it needs to stop now

Of course they won't like it - they've didn't expect their cash cow to run dry, so the strops and MH issues will no doubt be ramped up while they get used to the new reality. All you'd do by giving in is just make things harder next time ...

Puzzledandpissedoff Sun 01-Nov-15 21:31:19

I wouldn't do too much justifying, either; people like this will always weasel their way round it, as in the impertinent suggestions that you take a loan or ask your OH

"I simply can't do that any more"
Why not?
"Because it won't work for me"
Why not?
"Because I simply can't do it any more"

And repeat wink

goddessofsmallthings Sun 01-Nov-15 21:43:26

You gave them fair warning and they've got a damn cheek for asking.

You're not "all they have"; they've got each other to moan to about your unreasonableness. Let them get on with it and find other dupes to get cash out of because your priorities have changed - and the sooner they come to realise that fact, the better.

In continually bailing them out you really haven't done them any favours and you should now start to reflect on the wisdom that lies behind the adage of having to be 'cruel to be kind'.

annandale Sun 01-Nov-15 21:53:54

Of course you should refuse. It's horrible - I have a relative who used to go round a group of us in sequence getting money out of us. You feel angry if you give in, and furious, ashamed, doubtful and embarrassed if you refuse. Which is what they rely on.

You must say no and stick to it. There are loans, benefits, debt advice and bankruptcy procedures out there. Going bankrupt could be the best possible outcome for your sister but she is an adult and I is for her to decide.

BitterAndOnlySlightlyTwisted Sun 01-Nov-15 22:19:50

You gave them fair warning some time ago that the bank of lucyb456 is closed. And now the cheeky buggers are suggesting you take out a loan!

"No can do. I warned you before that I can't and won't give you any more money. I don't think I would want to even if I had it. Now feck off!"

You need to stand firm now or you'll just get more of the same forever. Which would be OK if you were an eccentric millionaire but you're not.

annandale Sun 01-Nov-15 22:41:10

I found it hard to stick to not giving money until I was open about it with other relatives and we all told each other about the multiple requests and supported each other. Tell your dh how much of a struggle it is to deal with the emotional blackmail, get his support.

AnnaMarlowe Sun 01-Nov-15 22:45:42

You do realise that constantly handing out money to your family isn't normal by the way?

Neither my DH or I have ever lent money to our siblings or parents. Nor have we ever borrowed from them.

LuluJakey1 Sun 01-Nov-15 23:10:33

Same as Anna.^^
DH and I have never loaned to or borrowed from his sister or parents (I don't have any siblings or parents). They have never asked us and we have never asked them. Nor would we tell them how much money we have saved, nor would I expect them to be telling us how much they have. That is our/their business
There comes an age where you take responsibility for yourself financially.

They must know you have this money. Do you talk to them about your money and financial circumstances. If you do, stop now. It is none of their business.

Shelby2010 Sun 01-Nov-15 23:37:25

If you give them the money from your savings, you may have to go back to work & leave your baby sooner than you would otherwise have chosen to.

What does your DP think of you giving away money to your sister, presumably it will affect him too if he has to help cover the shortfall?

Just don't do it - you gave them fair warning.

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