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Mum is constantly "borrowing"
; and stealing money, don't know what to do :(
So, I'm 21 and currently living with my mum. I'm a student and work 14 hours per week in a small clothes shop. I have a decent income but that's severely reduced by my travel costs which are over £300 monthly. I pay £35 a week to her which is an amount she suggested. I've offered her more in the past when I've known things are tight for her and I always try to give her extra when I can. For example, I gave her £100 of the £200 that had backdated into my account because I was overtaxed in my last job. For the most part, we have a good relationship and get along well but her "borrowing" and stealing is getting out of control.
Almost every week she asks to borrow money, normally between £30 - £50. I totally don't mind just giving her extra money occasionally but I can't afford this every week. In the past month I've lent her £200 and I now can't afford to pay my overdue phone bill until I get paid next Friday. I know you're probably thinking I should just say no but it's not that easy. If I say no she goes absolutely mad. Rants and screams that I'm selfish and I don't appreciate all that she's done for me, I do but I just can't afford to lend her money all the time. She also NEVER gives me back the money I lend her, it's the same story as above, I ask for the money back and she starts ranting and raving. It leads to a horrible atmosphere in the house for days.
Most of the time when she steals it's change from my purse. For example, this morning I got up and realised she'd taken roughly £4.50 out of my purse which was in my bag. I ended up having to walk to work and I was late because that money was my bus fare. I told her this and she didn't really respond, she didn't seem to care at all. Occasionally she'll lift £10 or £20 from my purse and when I ask her about it she'll deny taking it.
I understand I do owe her to an extent for raising me and taking care of me but I feel the situation is getting out of hand. I'm preparing myself to get flamed if I'm honest.
Sorry for the slightly ranty post and I'll answer anything that needs cleared up. Just don't know what to do at the moment and I was really angry this morning when I realised I was going to be late because of her.
Tell her you can't afford to lend her any more money and if she takes any more that you will report it to the police.
Tune out her angry ranting and look for other accommodation ASAP.
Firstly can I just say you don't owe her anything. I'm a mum of a DD a few years younger than you but I wouldn't dream of helping myself to her money or asking to borrow anything either. Her money is hers, she's earned it.
What is your mum spending this money on?
Is there anyway you can get a season bus ticket and then not have cash in the house. Or get a safe with a combination on it rather than a key.
Bloody hell, no one should have to live like this. I'd start stashing as much money away as possible and move out. A house share has to be better than this.
Thanks for the replies
I'm moving out in September so it'll be over soon and I do mean to hide my purse/bag but I'm very forgetful so end up forgetting to do it before I fall asleep I'll definitely be doing it from now on though.
I do think you need to start saying no as much as possible. It's very unfair for her to ask you every week
Do you know why she needs this extra money? Does she work?
So, I'm a little embarrassed to admit this and I was debating whether or not to post on here at all about it but it will give you a better idea of the situation.
My mum smokes cannabis. A LOT of cannabis. I don't have any plans to intervene as she's an adult who can make her own decisions and I know if I did try she would shoot me down completely. She's the type who thinks cannabis isn't a big deal and I imagine a lot of her money is spent on that.
She does work and receives working tax credits as far as I'm aware.
Get a little mini safe to put in your room until September?
get a disguised one like this?
Ah that explains a lot. You definitely need to safeguard anything you have that you value. If you stop giving her money then she may well start flogging stuff out of the house to fund her habit.
Do you have a trusted friend you can leave things with if needed? And please stop giving her your wages. You already give her digs money and she really should not be expecting you to fund her drug habit.
I think if it's at all possible I'd be looking to sofa surf until September. Anything has to be better than living like this. I'm so sorry you are having to deal with this.
You're right but I still feel terrible
In all ways bar this one she's a great mum.
I was just coming to ask if she's an alcoholic but I've just seen your last post.
In my experience she won't stop stealing until the addiction is under control. The only thing you can do to help yourself is to move out and and rediscover what is normal. It's so tiring and confusing living with someone with an addiction, you might not realise how knackered you are from it until you get out.
Good luck OP.
Do you have younger dbs and dsis. Is that why your Mum gets tax credits? Does your employer pay your 14 hrs straight into your account if not I would make sure there's no cash around. Just tell your Mum you only work 14 hours and can't afford to help her out.
Do you have a mate who might have room until September?
I have taken in my dc's friends for various parental issues.
Or a room to let until September. One
Of my ds's mates lives in a room in a shared place. The owner has a
Number of properties that he runs and the best way to describe them are hostels. Rent a room. Shared facilities. Bills included. Weeks notice.
As a compromise can you offer her say £70 a week but then refuse to lend her any more money.
Also don't keep any or as little as possible money in your purse if you can and also take it with you to bed and hide it or sleep with it under the pillow. Get a weekly or monthly season ticket. Get something to hide cash in if you need to keep it in your room.
Are you seriously going to manage to keep this going until September? That's another five months of having a constant drain on your finances. Look for somewhere else to live now, and get yourself out of this horrible situation. And when you leave, tell your Mum exactly why you are going. It might just be the wake-up call she needs. And if it isn't, there is absolutely nothing more you can do to help her. She's got you in a very vulnerable position, and is exploiting your relationship to get the cash she needs. Your unpaid phone bill etc means nothing to her in comparison to her need for more cannabis. She will bleed you dry unless you leave. Sorry to be so blunt, but addicts are utterly selfish and a nightmare to live with. You owe it to yourself to get out. Good luck
Unfortunately I really don't think moving out before September is feasible, I'm moving into student accommodation and all my savings (only £1400) has to be kept aside for deposit, books and equipment for university.
Over the summer I'll lose my student loan and I'm not entirely sure if I'll get any extra hours at work so I probably won't be able to afford it.
I think I'll need to resort to sleeping with my purse under my pillow and saying no then leaving the house for the time being. Sigh.
She's an addict. It's not going to change.
Move out if you can.
I'm so sorry to say this to you, but she isn't a good mum.
Not by a long chalk.
What others say - you owe her nothing beyond the financial keep you've agreed already and the common decency and respect due to a decent parent.
When she chose to have a child, she took on a 'no-strings for you' responsibility to raise you to adulthood as best she could. She has no right to call you on any of that now. If you choose to have kids, the same will apply to you. So please don't feel bad.
The trouble is, you aren't 'helping' her by giving her this money.
Basically, either she comes to the realisation that cannabis is controlling her behaviour and takes action, or she doesn't. You are probably best to create a loving relationship at a bit of a distance so you don't get angry with her and you can be in the position to support her in a way that doesn't rebound on you if she chooses that in the future.
Except for some small change, can you put your money somewhere she won't find it? And if she asks, tell her you haven't got any more, or you've paid it into your bank account.
Say to her firmly, once, that you cannot lend her any more until she pays back what you've already lent, that it has nothing to do with not appreciating her but you simply don't have the money to spare, and that screaming and shouting is not going to make any difference. Thereafter, every time she asks you, say "No, mum, I've already told you I can't lend you anything and I need you to pay back what you've already borrowed" and, if she goes into shouting mode put on some earmuffs and lock yourself in your room.
This is awful for you. Your DM is a nasty bully. Don't keep much cash on you. If she's stoned all the time it won't be that difficult to keep money away from her or on your person.
Are you in the UK? Cannabis isn't that expensive. Class A drugs are cheaper than smoking fags, for a start. What else is she doing with the money?
You cannot help her but you can certainly help your own self.
You need to move out now, this situation is intolerable and she will continue to steal from you to pay for her addiction to cannabis. Her addiction is getting out of hand. You are going to end up being bled dry by September, your money is being used by her to enable her addiction. You may not also realise how much you are being used here by her until you completely remove yourself from this situation.
You do not mention your dad at all; is he still around?. Is there anyone you could stay now with other than your mother?. Other family members, friends?.
I would agree that she is not a good mum to you either. I would report her thefts to the police, she needs to see that there are consequences for her actions. You would report anyone else for stealing from you, your mother is really no different in that regard.
Thank you everyone
Here's the thing that complicates the situation further. My dad passed away in December of 2015 and she's really struggling to deal with the grief. She's always smoked cannabis but it's been since my dad passed away that she's increased how much she's smoked and started asking to borrow money. That's when the stealing starting as well. I think the cannabis is a way for her to cope with losing my dad.
I know she doesn't sound it but when I was growing up she was a good mum
My DD1 steals from money from me and her younger siblings and it is horrible. I can't imagine how it would feel if it was my mother.
The only thing I have found to stop my DD is to not have money in the house. Though if I was you I would be moving out as soon as possible.
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