My Mum.

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My Mum.

Postby Jodi » Sat Feb 08, 2014 8:17 pm

Ok, Here is my situation. Sorry this is long and complicated. Thanks for reading if you get through the whole thing.

I am currently living with my partner. Between us we earn enough to cover our outgoings. I have more debt than my partner, but even though I earn less than her I am still able to cover my debts by myself, whilst I share the bills and rent with my partner. This is fair and I don't want my problems to spread to her.

The problem lies here. My Mum is permanently in debt and constantly asking me for money. These are for various things ranging from not being able to pay her rent, to having to pay court fees for her car being taken away from her and points on her license. She always promises to pay me back somehow but she never does. She owes me thousands of pounds by this point as most of the debts that I owe are from helping her out with her various crises which seem to happen on a regular basis. It has gotten to the stage where I dread talking to her, because there is a 50/50 chance the conversation is going to end up costing me money and feeling horrible and stupid and like this is also my fault for letting it happen. I love my mum, but I am starting to feel very resentful and taken advantage of. I work hard but as yet have never been able to save properly for my future and never been totally out of debt. I am now in my mid 30s and desperate to be able to afford to have a child. I even have some teeth missing because I ended up giving her the money I put by for a couple of root canals.

I understand how bad it is to keep lending her money, that I am enabling her rather than helping her in the long run, because she is now in her 50s, works full time and is never going to change. I have made promises to myself time and again that I won't help her financially any more, but it is difficult when she starts crying (or the time she actually got evicted and moved into my flat whilst I was at work). She also had a heart attack last year so I am very concerned for her health. I know she feels bad about asking me for money and sometimes she will go for days at a time without proper food or electricity (she has a meter). Other times she has gotten payday loans because she has been too ashamed to ask me for help, which has just made the situation even worse. Sometimes she has not asked for help over something fairly minor and something I wouldn't have minded helping her with (like helping her get her car through its MOT), and only when the problem has grown into a giant financial mess and she is in lots of trouble, has she decided to come to me.

She does not go out much and always seems to be broke the day after she gets paid, so I am sure she isn't frivolously spending money. She hasn't smoked or drunk alcohol since her heart attack and she rarely goes out. She is not social, doesn't really have any friends and likes to be alone.

I know she has debts, and I know these are partly from years ago when she became a guarantor for my brother who then left the country, leaving her to pay off his loans. I don't think she is completely honest with me about where her money is going, even though I have tried to get her to tell me. It just doesn't add up, she can be extremely vague.

I have tried suggesting various places she can go to for help, including citizens advice and other debt advice charities and agencies. She always says she will look into it but never does. I would go myself, but I think they would want a full rundown of where her money is going and I don't know how to get that information from her.

On top of all this. I am going to immigrate later this year and am desperately trying to pay off the debts I have accumulated from helping Mum out. So far it isn't going well. she has borrowed another £700 in the past few months. I cannot help her any more, I simply can't afford it. I have promised myself I am not going to give her any more money. I am already going to move to another country with next to nothing. I don't want to leave with debts still to pay and I am really worried about what will happen to Mum if she doesn't start to manage her own finances. She doesn't really have anyone else, apart from my brother, who is more likely to want to borrow off her than help her out.

My partner is moving away in a few months (I can't follow right away for visa reasons). Without my partner's contribution I won't be able to manage these debts. I don't think Mum will ever be able to pay me back and I wish I didn't have to ask for it. I doubt she will be able to contribute. She is moving in with me when my partner moves out to try to help me until I leave, but deep down I am dreading it because I don't know what debts she is bringing with her. She wants to take over my flat when I go, which is sensible because my rent is cheaper than hers (much nicer flat too), but I will be harder to say no to her if she asks me for money.

I feel like a bad daughter if I say no and a complete mug and like I brought this on myself if I say yes. I can't win. I don't know what to do.
Jodi
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Re: My Mum.

Postby ILoveChristmas » Thu Feb 13, 2014 9:33 am

Hi Jodi,

I actually wrote a fairly in-depth reply to you a few days ago but for whatever reason it doesn't seem to have saved. Perhaps I hit the wrong button. Anyway, the gist of my post was that you're certainly not being a bad daughter to put the reigns on your mum's 'borrowing', particularly as it's been shown that she's not actually borrowing anything, borrowing of course works on the basis that you'll get it back.

The rest of my post outlined how I suggest you help her, the first step being to sit down with your mum and explain face-to-face what your situation is and that you can no longer afford to keep bailing her out. From that point you must put a stop to it. It'll be extremely hard given that it's your own mother but you need to think about the bigger picture, including your future and your partner. Financial strain is one of the biggest issues in relationships so you don't want it becoming one in yours.

What I think you should do differently this time is to spend time with your mum and explain that yes you're putting a stop to the borrowing, but that doesn't mean you're leaving her to the wolves. I would suggest that you both sit and pour over her bank statements and establish what she has coming in, what she's got going out and where it's going to. Build a spreadsheet and highlight what's essential, what could be cut back and what's a luxury purchase.

Once you've done that, help your mum to get in touch with her lenders and try to arrange a repayment plan that's more inline with her ability to pay. Most reputable lenders will be open to discussions like this because they're better off in the long term. Getting their money back slower is better for them than your mum declaring herself bankrupt and them getting nothing, so have the conversation with them about how much she can afford to repay and over what term.

If the lenders won't budge with you and your mum talking to them I'd advise going via the CAB. They'll have experience of helping other people arrange these kinds of things.

The point of this whole process is to withdraw your financial bail-outs without leaving your mum feeling totally abandoned. You helping her also means she can't fob you off like she has done previously. She either takes your help, opens up to you about her financial situation or she loses all support altogether. You have to be strong though, your own future depends on it.
Christmas to a child is the first terrible proof that to travel hopefully is better than to arrive. - Stephen Fry.

The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel. — Steve Furtick
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Re: My Mum.

Postby Jodi » Fri Feb 14, 2014 12:20 pm

Hi. Thank you for your response. It makes me feel a little better.

I have sat down with her before and tried to go through things, but like I said before , she was quite evasive and I don't think she told me about everything, not by a long way.It just didn't add up or make sense. However, when she moves in I will have to go over things with her again. My partner and I have a spreadsheet which lets us know how much we need to contribute to the joint account each month. This way it is all on Direct Debit and we don't even need to think about it or worry because everything is covered The money is all taken out at the beginning of the month, meaning that anything left (not that it is much) is ours to do what we want with. I want her to try doing things this way so I can see exactly what's going on. I am going to try again to get some information out of her. I just can't guarantee she will tell me about everything though. I didn't get to see statements last time, there were plenty of excuses, so I am just going to have to insist. If she cooperates and it turns out she is not earning enough to cover outgoings we can go from there, but she doesn't respond well to being told what to do.

My partner is actually a whole lot better at managing finances than me, (I guess it's genetic). I hope I can do it without her.
Jodi
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Re: My Mum.

Postby ILoveChristmas » Fri Feb 14, 2014 1:32 pm

Hi, let us know how you get on.

Unfortunately if she isn't prepared to be completely open with you there's nothing more you can do. Hopefully when you tell her you cannot possibly afford to support her any longer it'll give her the shock she needs to sort it out.
Christmas to a child is the first terrible proof that to travel hopefully is better than to arrive. - Stephen Fry.

The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel. — Steve Furtick
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