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How do you help someone to stop living beyond their means.

Discussion in 'Personal' started by ResourceFinder, Dec 30, 2010.

  1. I would say "no" he needs to set himself a budget not to think that problems can be solved by relatives
  2. Please think long and hard before you do this.
    What will you do if he does not pay you back?
    How will it effect your relationship with him and his relationship with his family?
    Remember it isn't paying off debt that is his problem, it is managing his spending habits to avoid debt. So clearing his backlog will only leave him in the same situation, but with more kindly disposed people wanting his cash.
    Having been through a drawn out similar situation I can say that your relative will not be able to thank you if he falls behind in payments, he will resent your interference.
    It is probably a far better idea to suggest he goes to CAB or any of the other free debt management agencies and to get professional help to start managing his money and learning how to avoid overspending.
    I know that sounds hard, but he does need to learn how to manage and bailing him out won't do that. So harden your heart...
    Good luck!
  3. What Pobble said.
  4. doomzebra

    doomzebra Occasional commenter

    Do not lend him money. It will be used to pay off his cards which will then be maxed out again leaaving him with double the debt.
  5. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    If your relative still has assets they can sell to pay off debts and isn't in danger of starving, don't offer the loan.
  6. The only thing that changed me round was having a genuine 'light bulb moment'. People could tell me as much as they wanted to that my spending was out of control but it wasn't until I had that strong realisation and feeling that it had to stop that I actually was able to.
    The loan will not help at all. It will either cause a huge family problem (if not paid back) or it will be a 'free meal ticket' with all debt paid off and no real consequence or battle to get out of them. That in turn could lead to the whole problem starting all over again.
    At times I find it a real struggle to control my spending and pay off my debts but I think the struggle is helping me. Each time I have to put money towards my debt I think about what I could have done with that money if I hadn't overspent so massively in the first place.
  7. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    ..perhaps I should add some context to my last comment. Student offspring notched up huge overdraft in first year through irresponsible spending, was getting clobbered by bank charges, and we refused a bail out. Said offspring ended up in dead end call centre job all summer to try and settle overdraft, then had to take on part time work during the remainder of their course to stay financially afloat. They now have a much healthier and more responsible attitude to money and have accumulated savings for foreign travel. They also have some useful work experience for the CV. Maybe not as desperate a situation as the OP(?), but a similar principle for the solution.
  8. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    I really appreciate these comments.
    I know this has to happen but it scares me to think what it might take to get there.
  9. This is what my experience leads me to believe. My brother and SiL got into a lot of debt and my mother paid it off for them. They then started the cycle again and because they had credit at their disposal they felt, for whatever reason, they could dump my mother. She'd paid off almost £30K worth of debt for them. Now they are getting near their credit limit they've begun sniffing around my mother again and asked for another £10K. Thank goodness she's seen through them and said "no" in a most definite way. Some people are so reliant on other people to pay off their debt and really need to learn.
    Neither a lender nor a borrower be. It's a good thing to bear in mind[​IMG].
    Having said that, you are obviously a very kind and generous person for even considering helping them out[​IMG]
  10. Do you have anything like Australia's "My Budget" company? One relative works for them.
    People have to actually front up with all their bills, they then jointly work out a budget, the company negotiates payment arrangements with creditors and makes all the payments. If the initial consultation shows that the person can't afford the company's fees they refer them elsewhere - I don't know how their charges are worked out. Usually they work it so that there are savings as well as debts paid off.
  11. Never go to a company like the one described above.
    There are charities that offer advice and support in getting on a DMP without charging any fees at all.
  12. doomzebra

    doomzebra Occasional commenter

    Citizens Advice Bureaux and the National Debt Helpline offer invaluable help for free

  13. That's why you need to harden your heart.
    Remember you didn't put him in the situation he is in. You cannot be responsible for his whole life and by trying to be loving and supportive you might be facilitating his currently off balance spending behaviour.
    Cruel to be kind - sounds hard but sometimes the nastiness has to be experienced in order for someone to learn how to make their lives more balanced and happier.

    We clawed our way out of our debt over many years and now have a much more balanced spending habit. It was hard and we experienced many miserable months before we got ourselves sorted. Now we save regularly and are much happier.
    BIL was always bailed out by his mum from when he was a teenager. When he got married she continued to do so regardless of the amount or cause of the debt. Eventually she bailed them out to the tune of 25K that they never did pay back, which caused a huge family rift.
    Now she is gone he does occasionally, OK regularly, ask us to bail him out. We have always said no he has always spat nastiness, yet he has come back 4 times (so far). It seems that he cannot manage himself and believes he is entitled to help - or so he says when he asks! That's what family is for, apparently.
    It is a very horrible situation as we could help but choose not to. Well, tbh, Climber chooses not to and I get blamed for his decision by the rest of the family. So you can see how divisive debt can be.

  14. CCCS are recommended if the DMP route is needed.
  15. As others have said, your offer is kind and thoughtful but will not help him long-term and in fact could make the problem worse. If he gets the money to get out of debt he will not realise the consequences of his actions and may possibly keep spending as the credit cards will be clear for him to do so.

    My OH is in debt and slowly trying to climb out, I have lent him money now and again and he has always given it back (I earn a lot less than him and this is rainy day money). there are times when I have paid all the bills but ultimately we are a team and it's swings and roundabouts.
  16. lurk_much

    lurk_much Occasional commenter

    I can see the temptation but I wouldn't do that. Gifts are better, and you can include a patronising homily with the cheque.

  17. I was considering doing something like this for my cleaner. Lots of people on here advised me against it, and rightly so. I felt bad because I have a lot and she has little. But every time money comes up I realise how far removed her habits/thoughts are from mine. For example, last week she was telling me about her son who was caught up in the late student loan debacle a couple of years ago and left university as he was racking up debts. She took his car and the payments off him and gave him hers, not sure why. He didn't want to drive a girly car 9i don't know what it was but it was a nice-looking Citroen) so they sold it and he bought another. No doubt at a loss, no doubt on finance. You won't change your relative, there is plenty of help around for when he wants to change. Harsh but true. And fair.
  18. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    I was obviously very sensible when I was at uni, because it never occurred to me that I wouldn't get a job whilst at uni to make extra money. Likewise, I always expected to get myself a job for the summer (working practically full time) to be earning. In fact, I believe in the summer between 2nd and 3rd year at uni, I remained in the city I went to uni in, in order to keep my part-time job ticking over so it was there for me in September when uni started up again.
    If I have children who go to university, I will certainly be making them get part-time jobs to support themselves. My parents did lots for me, don't get me wrong, but I worked at least 20 hours per week.
  19. I am in debt and I hate it. I started racking it up when I was 18 and it has got worse and worse. My debt isn't horrific - about 8.5K. My overspending is linked to depression and I tend to spend because it makes me feel better. I tried to get debt free a few years ago and took out a consolidation loan. I wasn't 'ready' to stop the spending and I did it all again, and this time had both the consolidation loan and the credit cards to pay off. I tried again earlier this year and failed once again - it was going well until a massive upheaval in my life which triggered the depression and hence my spending again.

    This time I have seen the light. I can see a life with no debt and that it is what I want. My mum is going to help me out this year, not by paying the debt off but by giving me somewhere to live rent free so I can pay the debts. Living with my mother for a year is not going to be an easy option and hopefully will be enough to make sure I don't do it again.

    Please do not pay off this relatives debt. It may help short term but it won't help in the long run.

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