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Help for mom's serious debt problem

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    I'm familiar with these type of situations from family and friends. The family bit worked out because I kept talking about how I was responsible about x,y and z and they followed suit as they were inspired. I don't hang out much with the financially irresponsible friends so I don't know what became of their situation.

    I agree with the others in that your mother seems like she is relying on you when the house goes out on her. You do need to say something to her when she says things like that. You need to remind her that you have a family of your own that you need to take care of and a husband who is in remission.

    You need to remind her that these problems and not yours but her own. That you can't go out and get handbags and manicures and you are financially stable. That no one is entitled to anything. And that they only people who you need to be accountable financially are your child and your husband. End of story. There is nothing you can do but listen and keep these issues an arm's length away. This is not your burden to carry.


      Originally posted by Petunia 100 View Post
      When she makes remarks like "well I guess I'll have nowhere to go" I just sigh or don't say anything.

      Next time, just tell her point blank "Mom, I love you, but I cannot be financially responsible for you."

      Your mom does not intend to solve her own problems, she is expecting someone else to solve them.

      You sound like a caring daughter, and a caring person in general. Here's the deal: your first responsibility is to your minor child and your husband. There is no need for you to feel guilty. There is no need to take your mom's problems onto your shoulders.
      Petunia, thanks - that's nice of you to say!

      And thanks everyone for the support. It does make me feel better about the situation. I was about to lose it when she posted photos of a new hair color (and we all know dying your hair at a salon isn't cheap) over the weekend. And she's the type of person who will say "but I had a gift card!" and meanwhile the gift card was for $30 and the hair cost $100, you know?

      The only bit of progress has been her saying "well this is my mess and I'll have to figure it out" which honestly shocked me, but she's NOT figuring it out so....

      Oh and I did think about taking over her finances, but I don't think she'd agree to it. It is an idea, though!


        In my opinion, the most useful thing you can do for her is to help educate her on personal finance. The worst thing you can do is do or pay anything for her. Even at 59, some people still need to learn lessons and grow through them, and this includes personal finance. If you help pay any of her debts, it could risk more instability in the future for her.

        Perhaps get her debt consolidated as much as possible, call into the credit card companies for lower rates, etc. In the meantime -- how far does she have left to go on her degree, and is she willing to go back to school to finish? I would not recommend taking out any more student debt, but it may be worth looking into non-traditional student scholarships, and if there's a possibility to go back and finish with such little time left to do, it may be worth it for increased income.

        The next step option beyond budgeting and frugality would be to increase her income -- sell items, sell the house, grow vegetables to sell at a farmers market -- anything. There is balance to be found, it just may take some work to get there.



          Best way to reduce debt is to know how much is incoming and how much is outgoing. If you have more outgoing than is coming in then you will find it very hard to reduce your debt. Trying writing down all your expenses and try to figure out how much you can afford to pay off each and how long it will take.