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Mr Neutron
Ceaseless, Tasteless, and Gormless
Premium
join:2005-05-30
Gorham, ME

What to say/do to get spendthrift relatives to cool it?

Has anyone ever been successful in talking spendthrift (overspending) relatives around to start living within their means? If so, can you please talk about what you said and did?

Likewise, if you tried doing so and it didn't work, that experience might be useful to useful to hear about, too. I realize that some things flat-out shouldn't be done in the first place; perhaps trying to talk a spendthrift into changing their ways is one of them?

I'm kind of new at this sort of thing, so for all I know, spendthrifts might not typically stop on their own, but only when they find themselves so deep in the hole that they just can't go on as they have been.
--
Male Announcer: "The red zone has always been for loading and unloading. There's never stopping in a white zone."

Female Announcer: "Don't tell me which zone is for stopping and which zone is for loading!"


Cabal
Premium
join:2007-01-21

2 recommendations

Unless they're asking you for money, stay out of it (if they are, then you can explain). Most people won't learn the error of their ways *until* they have no other option.
--
If you can't open it, you don't own it.


John Galt
Forward, March
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
kudos:8

1 recommendation

reply to Mr Neutron
Unfortunately, "words of wisdom" is far down on the list of how people learn about things. "Pain and suffering" usually tops that list.


beck
Premium,MVM
join:2002-01-29
On The Road
kudos:1
Reviews:
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reply to Mr Neutron
If they never learned growing up, then there is nothing you can do now. Some people just can't.

You just have to walk away when they ask for money, or make you feel bad because they don't have as much as you, or they are getting evicted from their home, or.......... Same as gambling, drugs, alcohol. They have to want to have a budget and live within it.

BlitzenZeus
Burnt Out Cynic
Premium
join:2000-01-13
kudos:3
reply to Mr Neutron
Compulsive shopping usually goes with hoarding, and if they won't accept help they need to crash, people need to stop enabling them. Some even are in such deep denial when they are basically homeless, and taking them in doesn't help them at all even with setting rules like they cannot buy anything new as long as you don't throw them out at the first sign they haven't stopped.

They clearly cannot think rationally, and require conservatorship if they cannot be prodded to a rational path like they can no longer communicate with their children/grandchildren so they can visit. Some of these people need to be locked up in the damn nut house, and have no access to their money. They tend to destroy any property they own, or rent also.
--
I distrust those people who know so well what god wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires- Susan B. Anthony
Yesterday we obeyed kings, and bent our necks before emperors. But today we kneel only to the truth- Kahlil G.


Xioden
Premium
join:2008-06-10
Monticello, NY
kudos:1

1 recommendation

reply to Mr Neutron
Tell them that you'll offer nothing in way of assistance, be it money, food, or shelter if they end up broke.

When they end up broke and looking for a hand out, shrug your shoulders remind them that they were already informed you would be offering no assistance. They won't like it, but tough love.


Johkal
Cool Cat
Premium,MVM
join:2002-11-13
Happy Valley
kudos:10

1 recommendation

reply to Mr Neutron
Simple rule: Only offer advice when asked.

graniterock
Premium
join:2003-03-14
London, ON
Reviews:
·WIND Mobile
·TekSavvy Cable
reply to Mr Neutron
I help resolve social problems as my day job so i can give some general advice but not specific to spendthrifts. It boils down to context (who: siblings, cousins, children) and to what degree their behavior affects you.

If you are observing a potential crash and burn but they aren't openly asking for advice or for your money the best way to go about things is informally. Try to slowly open the door to the topic and when it comes up try your best to not be judgemental. Your goal is to not scare off further conversation. Some ins could be to talk about those financial reality shows or even your own struggles to be financially responsible. Leave some awkward silences in the conversation and hope that the family member fills the void with some self-disclosure. Hopefully the door will open enough that you can gently offer some assistance in finding them a professional to work with.

If their behavior is directly affecting you and more specifically they are asking you for money (or guilting you into offering it) the door is already open and direct conversation is appropriate (although may not be received well). The important thing is to set clear boundaries and expectations of what you will and won't do and to enforce them. Treat any money you give as gifts and not loans. It will also be helpful to educate yourself about social services in the area such as food banks and soup kitchens. Offer these up as solutions rather than forking over cash. The inconvenience and embarrassment factor of these services may force your family member to reconsider their behavior. When you cut off the money this may not be well received but tell the family member if they want help finding professional financial planning help you are willing to do so.

The above really applies to family not living with you. If we're talking about a spouse or dependent child family councilling and direct, polite and non-judgemental conversation are key. (ie don't say "you are a bad mother for wasting our money." but rather I'm feeling stressed/angry because all of our money was spent on clothes and I'm not sure how we're going to pay for Billy's field trip).

BlitzenZeus
Burnt Out Cynic
Premium
join:2000-01-13
kudos:3
I should add if they are older there may be some social services you can report them to like adult protective services, namely for the elderly who can't take care of themselves, and are living in unsafe and unhealthy conditions. This will help fast track getting them out of that scenario, and making it so they can't return to the property if they even own it.

Even after my stupid moron of a mother would write checks which caused my father to bounce checks, and was removed from the accounts she got credit cards to only further threaten their financial future which she had the bills sent to a p.o box where she used the credit cards to pay each other on crap we never really saw. After she clearly couldn't pay them without his money, and it was clear she did this behind his back I'm sorry he didn't divorce her except he would still owe, probably having to pay her alimony for doing nothing besides putting him in worse position too.

In the event my father passes I will get her in a retirement home, or sanitarium as she clearly can't take care of herself. She'll buy craploads of stuff she doesn't need, and ignore the basics, then blame others for the position she put herself in.
--
I distrust those people who know so well what god wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires- Susan B. Anthony
Yesterday we obeyed kings, and bent our necks before emperors. But today we kneel only to the truth- Kahlil G.


vaxvms
ferroequine fan
Premium
join:2005-03-01
Wormtown
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Charter
reply to Mr Neutron
said by Mr Neutron:

Has anyone ever been successful in talking spendthrift (overspending) relatives around to start living within their means?

Has anyone ever been successful in talking to you about keeping your nose out of other peoples business?
How would you react [try to be honest] to relatives telling you you spent too much (insert action here)?
--
The new Oldsmobiles are in early this year!


pcdebb
RIP lil hurricane
Premium
join:2000-12-03
Brandon, FL
kudos:5
Reviews:
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1 recommendation

reply to Mr Neutron
if they aren't spending your money, the best thing is to stay out of it. I tried to tell a relative about their spending habits and they felt as if I was jealous and was trying to tell them what to do with their money. when times got hard they didnt know how to handle it and wanted to know what to do then. I didn't have any words for them.
--
| map your city |


Snakeoil
Ignore Button. The coward's feature.
Premium
join:2000-08-05
Mentor, OH
kudos:1
reply to Mr Neutron
My wife has been trying to get me to control spending for the last 20 years. To date, no luck. Though I spend less now, then what I used to. Basically, I no longer have credit cards, and only have access to a limited amount of cash.
--
Is a person a failure for doing nothing? Or is he a failure for trying, and not succeeding at what he is attempting to do? What did you fail at today?.


Trihexagonal

join:2004-08-29
US
Reviews:
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reply to BlitzenZeus
I recently saw a woman featured on one of the hoarders shows talking about how she didn't have children or pets and her belongings were like her family. She had crap stacked to the ceiling, had spent her life savings on her junk, and was in danger of being evicted but couldn't bring herself to throw anything away. Ron Jeremy was a friend of hers and appeared on the show as well.

I've never had a credit card and feel like if I can't pull the money for something out of my pocket I can't afford it.

Stumbles

join:2002-12-17
Port Saint Lucie, FL
reply to Mr Neutron
What they do is none of your business unless you have loaned them some money; else butt out.


Johkal
Cool Cat
Premium,MVM
join:2002-11-13
Happy Valley
kudos:10

1 recommendation

reply to Trihexagonal
said by Trihexagonal:

I've never had a credit card and feel like if I can't pull the money for something out of my pocket I can't afford it.

Not entirely true. I have a Citi Rewards Visa that I have all possible bills charged to. I do all my grocery shopping, clothes, etc. & pay off the card in full each month. It affords me insurance on my purchases, extends warranties an extra year & the best part is the rewards. Each year I go on vacation, the points I've earned covers hotel stay, items I want for vacation & even airline tickets if I have a need. During the year, I use points to purchase small items like coffee makers, travel mugs & just about anything you could want.

For responsible people, rewards cards paid in full each month are freaking awesome.
--
In God we trust; all others bring data!



Trihexagonal

join:2004-08-29
US
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·AT&T Midwest
said by Johkal:

said by Trihexagonal:

I've never had a credit card and feel like if I can't pull the money for something out of my pocket I can't afford it.

Not entirely true.

It is for me. I wasn't making a blanket statement and referred to what I felt I could and could not afford.

Not how I felt other people ought to handle their financial affairs.

PX Eliezer
Premium
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Graustark
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·callwithus
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reply to Mr Neutron
I agree with many of the other posts:

Unless they are asking you for money, or want to live with you, it's really none of your business.

------

If you think that they are being victimized by con men you could report it to the police....


nunya
LXI 483
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join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
Reviews:
·Charter
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·surpasshosting
reply to Mr Neutron
I have an in-law relative who has come to me with her hand out many times over the years. I've always said no. I did offer to help her get her finances in order, but she's not interested in advice or guidance. Others have tried to help her as well.
She's into those "payday" and "title" loans so deep, I'm sure the only way out is bankruptcy.
She's pawned pretty much everything of value that she owns. She's middle aged with no future, no education, no "net worth", and no retirement money.
Recently, she called in a panic because she wrote some checks that were going to bounce. There's a fine line between bouncing and fraud. She wrote the check knowing full well she didn't have the money to cover them. I simply told her she would have to call the people she wrote the checks to, and tell them they were no good.
I know people that have filed bankruptcy three or four times in their live. Anyone who gives them credit deserves what they get. Used to be, these people would be thrown into debtors prison.

I agree that unless they are asking you for dough, don't worry about it.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.


Mr Neutron
Ceaseless, Tasteless, and Gormless
Premium
join:2005-05-30
Gorham, ME
reply to Mr Neutron
Message received and understood. Thanks to everyone who took the time and trouble to reply.


intok

join:2012-03-15
reply to Mr Neutron
Get a remote shock collar and every time they make a move at buying something you hit them with it on full blast. After a week of this they'll never buy anything again.


battleop

join:2005-09-28
00000
reply to Mr Neutron
Your parents can't take it with them so you might as well get used to the idea that they are going to blow through your inheritance...
--
I do not, have not, and will not work for AT&T/Comcast/Verizon/Charter or similar sized company.


Archivis
Your Daddy
Premium
join:2001-11-26
Earth
kudos:19
reply to Mr Neutron
said by Mr Neutron:

Message received and understood. Thanks to everyone who took the time and trouble to reply.

Haha, this is the same non-response you'd probably get if you tried to shovel your advice onto someone else.
--
A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have. -MLK
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