Recently, a man, who we’ll call Jake, found himself in a difficult situation with his partner’s family. Jake’s partner and her family have always struggled with money management. Despite Jake helping his partner create a budget and live within her means, her family members refuse to live within their means and continue to rely on her for financial support.
There Is Such a Thing As ‘Too Generous’
For the past year, Jake’s partner has been lending money to her mother, sister, and brother each month to help them pay their bills. While Jake understands the desire to help the family, he worries that the constant financial assistance has only enabled their poor budgeting habits rather than encouraging them to make changes.
Last month, Jake’s partner asked him to lend money to her family when she found herself in a tight spot after experiencing a flat tire. Jake agreed to lend them the money but insisted that they work on creating a budget to prevent the need for future loans. However, when the money was finally repaid, Jake realized that his partner had used her budget to repay him.
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Now, her family is again asking for financial assistance, and Jake is hesitant. He believes that continuing to bail them out will only prolong their issues and prevent them from learning how to manage their finances. When Jake asked for a complete list of their monthly bills and income, his partner hesitated to ask them, stating that it would be embarrassing. However, Jake found out that two of them had spent significant money on expensive Valentine’s Day hotel stays.
Despite his partner’s pleas for help, Jake ultimately said no to their request for money. The family members now say they will struggle to pay for necessities like groceries and car payments.
Jake feels guilty, and his partner is upset, but he believes that continuing to lend money will only enable their poor financial habits. He wonders if he is in the wrong for refusing to help them.
What Are Your Thoughts?
The first person suggested that Jake send his partner’s family a link to money management courses and consider sponsoring them. They agreed with his decision to stop enabling their poor money management practices and lending them money. By offering to sponsor them in money management courses, the user felt that the family might be more likely to learn how to manage their finances better and not rely on others for financial assistance.
Somebody pointed out that while wanting to help family members in need is admirable, grown adults should be responsible for their bills and necessities. The person further commended Jake for trying to help initially but emphasized that it’s unacceptable for the partner’s family to constantly rely on them for financial support.
A user wisely noted that while showing support to the family is crucial, establishing limits is equally significant. They suggested that lending money to family members can quickly become a habitual expectation, which is not a healthy dynamic. They also emphasized the importance of taking care of one’s financial well-being and not sacrificing it for the sake of others unwilling to take responsibility for their financial situation.
Finally, somebody shared suggested that the family members can afford to pay their bills, but they are simply choosing not to. The person further argued that the family members’ Valentine’s Day hotel stay is evidence of this.
The user believes that Jake should not feel responsible for their poor financial decisions and that if the family members face the consequences of their actions, they may learn to make better choices. Finally, the user advised Jake’s partner to stop enabling her family members.
This thread inspired this post.
This article first appeared on The Cents of Money.