This issue has to do with my father. He is 60 years old. He has been on Social Security for nearly 15 years, due to a work injury. Despite the fact that he knows just how much money he will be receiving each month (and just about every expense that he has - rent, bills, etc - is discounted) he has a serious issue with not being able to live within his means. He has always been like this, and when he and my mother were still together, they had to file bankrupcy because of it.
The thing is, my dad frequently asks to borrow money from me, usually every couple of months. I know that he also borrows from my other siblings and friends of his. Most of the time I do not really mind that much about lending him a little money, as he always has paid me back. But last week I lent him nearly $100 and when I talked to him the other day, he said that he had overdrawn his bank account and needed to borrow some more. I told him that I couldn't give him anymore, because I will not start working until next month, have only a couple hundred dollars to my name, I have a credit card bill and a doctor bill. Then I felt so guilty afterwards for saying no that I almost threw up.
My father would, and has, done anything he can do for me. I don't currently drive, so he will take me anywhere I need a ride to. But inside I am SO, SO ANGRY with him that after all of this time he still cannot budget his money. Though usually not associated with men, he has a definite shopping compulsion. He goes out and spends his entire SS check on the stupidest possible crap - garage sale and flea market trinkets - and then halfway through the month will need to borrow money for the stuff he needs, like gas, food, car repairs. Part of me feels like I am enabling him by loaning him money, and part of me feels like I should just give him whatever money I have, simply because he is my father and is a good man. I mean, if I had thousands of dollars stashed away it wouldn't even be an issue, by I am just barely making it right now as it is, having been out of work for a couple months.
God, whenever I see him I just want to SCREAM at him that he needs to get his crap together, but I doubt at his age he is going to change when he has been this way forever. I want my parents to be in control of their lives, not having to come to me and ask for help. So, am I totally selfish or what? Should I just silently loan him money whenever he asks? Or what?
You are not helping him, in the long run, by lending him money. I would give him the number to a free consumer credit counseling office. He needs help with his spending habits and you bailing him out, though you mean well, is only letting him continue his poor budgeting.
Your father sounds like a good guy, just not a good budgeter. My father is the same way, he can budget to a point and then he ends up needing more money.
It is just bad. I do not know what to tell you. My parents borrowed about 6 gs a few years back and have been paying me a little each year (tax returns) which is fine, except that this year they really did not pay me the amount they usually do but promised to later.
I feel bad because they are my parents in asking for the money back. You know? They still have other kids to feed, etc, but in my case I am asking for 200 paid back even over the course of 2 months.
I wish I could help, but I think you need to have a serious father-daughter talk with him, maybe you help him budget things. It is hard enough trying to take care of yourself without having to take care of your father too.
Help him out if you want to, and if you do, tell him you cannot be doing that anymore and that is where you say let me help you budget you money for the month. I do not know what else, sorry I could not be much help.
You can't go broke to give him your money when he's just throwing his away on junk at flea markets etc.! The next time he wants money...tell him that! Like Dewdrop said...get a hobbie that isn't spending money!
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Yeah, I think that is my father's problem too, he is bored so he fills up his days with the mini-thrill of shopping. All of us have tried to tell him until we are blue in the face that he needs to keep a budget, he needs to realize how far his money is going to go, etc, but he is in serious denial. I know that he hides his true feelings from himself, as he also has a problem with compulsive eating and is dangerously overweight. I feel so bad, because he is my dad and it is hard to watch him be out of control. I feel like a brat when I tell him "Look, I can't give you anything because you have to learn to manage your money." Like, I have no right to talk to him like that, even though that is what he needs to hear. I just wish the message would get through to him somehow! Argh! It was like, even at Christmas he was dead broke so my mom (even though they are divorced) actually bought all of the presents for HIS family members so he wouldn't have to show up empty handed. And he never even thanked her OR offered to pay her back for the gifts. I don't think she'll do that again. It is almost like he is a child and feels entitled, like it is everyone else's job to take care of him. At least it has made me more careful with my own money and watching how I spend it. Thanks for your responses and sharing your personal experiences.
I wouldn't give him cash for starters.
I'd pay for a budgeting class.
If things were really tight I'd go WITH him to the grocery store and pay for a set amount of groceries (take a calculator)
If his electric was going to be cut off I'd consider paying the UTILTITY Company.
But - this guy is only 9 yrs older than me and I would rather eat popcorn for 2 weeks than ask for help.
It isn't doing ANYone any good to give him cash, and I strongly recommend getting together for a serious talk with your siblings so that you can hopefully all agree about the NO CASH idea.
Do you know that saying about "teach a man to fish and he can eat for ever?"
Your Dad doesn't HAVE to budget because everyone is enabling him.
He could live another 25 - 30 years... where's your children's college fund and your retirement if this keeps up?
(and yes, I know this is all easier said than done...)