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I know, I know, the two should never mix, but.......

 

I'll apologize ahead of time if this gets long. :) I started working at 14 and since then my sister (younger, and my mom, but that's another story) has come to me for money. Long story short, I finally stopped loaning my sister money when we got into our late 20s because she would either never pay me back or would only partially pay me back. She's terrible with money. If she has $5 in her pocket, she finds a way to spend rather than just putting it away. I have always been good with money and because of that I'm financially better off than she is.

 

The problem is that I've never been able to deny her when it came to her kids (she had kids long before I did). If we were out together and the kids wanted something she'd look to me and I was the "bad aunt" if I didn't buy it for the kids. It got to where I stopped going anywhere with them because I was sick of paying for everything.

 

Now that I have kids, I want our kids to grow up together and be close, but I'm back to where I'm paying for everything (or at least until she finally pays me back). We take an annual camping trip that I pay for up front (she doesn't have the credit to do it) and it takes MONTHS of me HOUNDING her for her to pay me. We also try to do little excursions here and there and every single time, I pay for it, then bug her for the money. She could obviously say no to doing these things if she couldn't afford them, but I know her and she'll just spend her money somewhere else. This way, at least the kids are doing things together.

 

Well, I finally lost it the other day when she invited me to where she works (a store in the mall) during a sale where I'd get a regular discount along with her employee discount. She owed me $127 for buying tickets to a show for all of us and I reminded her about the money and that I would need it to shop (she's owed it to me now for about 2 months). When I got to the store I asked for my money and she gave me $100. I looked at her and she said "I'm not going to the bank for $7." I said "$27" and she goes "No, I think you said -" and I cut her off. I REPEATEDLY told her in email and in texts how much she owed me and once again, she short changed me. But that's not the best part. The best part is that she threw some stuff into my cart and when we went to check out (she had to physically pay for it - I gave her the money - to get her discount) I asked if she was going to do two separate orders. She said she couldn't because it would be obvious she was buying my stuff then. So can you figure out what that meant??? Not only did she short me $27, but I paid for her stuff!!!!!! She didn't ask if it was ok, she didn't ask if I minded, NOTHING! She just tossed her stuff in my cart and thought nothing of making me pay for it!!!!

 

Now, I'm not a millionaire by any means. We're not even a six figure income family. We just know how to budget our money and save it. She and her husband use the system and get all sorts of free stuff from the government. They could easily better themselves, but choose not to. That's one of the reasons (besides loving them) that I want to stay so close to my niece and nephews and do things with them because I'm hoping my husband and I are good influences on them. I do NOT want them growing up like their parents!

 

What I'm conflicted about now, is how do I include her kids on trips and such without paying for it all?? If I stop doing it now I'll be the "bad aunt." As it is, I found out awhile ago that she bad mouths me to people because I apparently don't help anyone out. This was after I lent her best friend $300 and foolishly expected it back and after about 6 months of asking for it the best friend told me my sister was right and that I don't help anyone and I "can't take it to the grave" and basically implied that I should be giving my money away!!

 

I saw that there's this event at a local park where Santa is going to be there and I want to take my children. Normally I'd invite my sister and her kids, but I just can't do it. I won't get my money and it will put me in a bad mood. If there's anything to buy I'd end up paying for it. And I'm conflicted now because I had told my sister that for my daughter's birthday (in a couple months) I wanted to do a night at this local hotel that has a water park. I asked her if she wanted to go, but I just can't deal with paying for yet ANOTHER thing and then having to ask for my money! So now we're just canceling it because I don't want to go and have her kids upset that they didn't go as well.

 

I've tried telling her that I don't like having to ask for my money all the time. If she paid me back in a timely manner it wouldn't bother me, but I shouldn't have to ask for months and months. She doesn't seem to care though, and the only solutions I can come up with mean her kids don't join us on events and my kids don't have as much as they would have if their cousins were there.

 

Any advice? :(

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Don't loan your sister any more money. It is not worth the stress to you and the damage to your relationship w/ her kids.

 

This means you either GIVE her the money and tell her it's a gift - no repayment expected. OR you say NO. Those are your only choices.

 

(this advice isn't mine - it's direct from Dave Ramsey)

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Like it or not, you've allowed this to happen by continuing to lend money and pay for things.

 

Say no, mean it, stick to it.

 

Don't punish your dd by canceling the water park, just go w/your dh and kids. Your sister's kids are her responsibility, not yours. I'd point blank tell her, "We're going to the water park on x date. You're welcome to join us, but I do NOT have the money to pay for you." Or simply just go without saying anything to her.

 

Quit allowing her to emotionally blackmail you.

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Looks like you're either going to have to KNOW that you're paying for stuff and budget for it or don't include her in your trips. Either way means you won't feel so resentful...which makes the whole "being close" thing sort of a meaningless point. If we do anything with certain members of dh's family, we just know we are footing the bill. We plan for it and it also means we limit how much we plan with them. It's all good. You aren't going to change her, just love her for who she is and decide how much is worth it to you and budget a limited amount!

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Don't loan your sister any more money. It is not worth the stress to you and the damage to your relationship w/ her kids.

 

This means you either GIVE her the money and tell her it's a gift - no repayment expected. OR you say NO. Those are your only choices.

 

(this advice isn't mine - it's direct from Dave Ramsey)

 

I agree, and totally understand where you are coming from! One thing that has helped us is the cousins are now old enough to be okay away from their parents for a day or two so instead of footing the bill for everyone, we just take the kids places and leave the adults at home- unless they buy their own tickets.

 

I feel much better about inviting the kiddos to join us now, and I just budget things as if we have 3 or 4 kids, depending on who were taking. Yes we are still paying for it, but it's not as bad as paying for their parents too.

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Go see Santa with your kids. If you do tell her you are going, do not pay for anything. Let her know up front that you won't be. When she put that stuff in your cart, you should have either taken it out or just paid full price for your stuff. Or alternatively taken her stuff home with you. She could have it when she paid for it, or you could give it to your kids or you could return it later. You should have never paid for it in the first place.

 

Don't loan $ to her friends. And don't hang out with her if she is talking bad about you.

 

You could invite her kids to go with you, but not her. Just ask if you can pick up the kids to go with you to see Santa.

 

Don't front $ for trips. If they can't afford to go, they can't afford it. Don't let that stop your family from doing fun things that you have earned and can afford.

 

And I agree. If you really want them to come either just pay for it all, and don't ask for it back. Or again, just take the kids. And don't buy their kids junk they don't need just to be a good aunt. You don't owe them that!

 

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If you can afford it, pick up her kids and take them with you. Don't expect payment for her kids.

 

Do not use her employee discount. That is stealing from her employer.

 

Your kids can play with her kids at your house where it doesn't cost you anything to host them but maybe a snack.

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When people are financially irresponsible the only rational thing to do is allow them to experience the consequences of their poor choices or bad decisions.

 

Each time you lend your sister money, you validate her lifestyle choices (to not save) and imply, through your action of lending or paying for things, that you're okay with how she is managing money. You have essentially set yourself up as her personal ATM and now are frustrated that your generosity has not led to her making any changes in her behaviors. Einstein once said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different outcome. Continuing to finance your sister is insanity!

 

Her children will not learn about money management by you bailing your sister out and paying for things - instead they will learn someone will bail them out too (likely you) when they grow up, it works for their mom, so it'll work for them! While you do not want to intentionally hurt the kids, you refusing to finance her anymore is not YOU hurting them if she doesn't figure things out - it's HER not YOU. They'll figure that out in time, even if their mom bad-mouths you.

 

Which she is doing - even with your generosity, she's telling others that you don't do anything to help, to the point where they too see you asking for what is rightfully yours - your money back that you lent - as being selfish and greedy! Umm - who is being selfish? It isn't you!

 

If you want your kids and her kids to do things together - find activities that are FREE. If they're not good enough for her, then she'll find a way to get the money together to make the $ ones happen....you'll likely see she doesn't since your free-ride will end and it's just not that important to her when she can't use you. I know that's harsh, but really, she is using you and you're continuing to let her do so in the mistaken idea that you're helping her kids.

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If you can afford it, pick up her kids and take them with you. Don't expect payment for her kids.

 

Do not use her employee discount. That is stealing from her employer.

 

Your kids can play with her kids at your house where it doesn't cost you anything to host them but maybe a snack.

 

:iagree:

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Like it or not, you've allowed this to happen by continuing to lend money and pay for things.

 

Say no, mean it, stick to it.

 

Don't punish your dd by canceling the water park, just go w/your dh and kids. Your sister's kids are her responsibility, not yours. I'd point blank tell her, "We're going to the water park on x date. You're welcome to join us, but I do NOT have the money to pay for you." Or simply just go without saying anything to her.

 

Quit allowing her to emotionally blackmail you.

:iagree::iagree::iagree:

 

I have STRUGGLED mightily with boundary issues and family, and I totally emphathize with you!!! It's not easy when you are the "good guy" and getting taken advantage of by family, no less.

 

The bottom line is that you have to stop thinking your sister will ever be "fair" about this, or ever change. She will not. She will continue to take advantage of your generosity, until you don't let her anymore. She will not stop herself. That is something you just have to work on accepting.

 

If it were me I would call her and say, "We are going to X, I will not be paying for your children. If you want to come and pay for them you are welcome." Then I would be prepared to have her cause some sort of incident. When you get to the counter to pay suddenly she doesn't have the money, and you are literally going to have to say to her children, "Gee I am sorry, guess you'll have to come back next time." And, it will be painful. Your sister will be counting on you feeling guilty and giving in. She won't give in without a fight.

 

But, if you ever want to get free from this you are going to have to be stronger than she is. :grouphug:

 

Remember, you aren't HARMING anyone by not paying for them.

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Why don't you and your children do things without your sister and her kids? It seems like you NEED their company. I think when you do a few things on your own, your sister will find the money for an outing or two in her budget.

 

I have people in my family much richer than we are. I would never think of asking them to be responsible for me, nor do I enjoy owing others money. When I can afford something, I accept. When I can't, I decline. It doesn't hurt our relationship to not be together for every single event.

 

Love is more than trips and outings. It's certainly a lot more than money.

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Don't loan your sister any more money. It is not worth the stress to you and the damage to your relationship w/ her kids.

 

This means you either GIVE her the money and tell her it's a gift - no repayment expected. OR you say NO. Those are your only choices.

 

(this advice isn't mine - it's direct from Dave Ramsey)

 

:iagree: This was my first thought, too.

 

If you want your kids to get together just invite them over for an afternoon of play. No need for every get-together to be an expensive outing. If there are particular outings you want the kids to enjoy together perhaps plan for 2 or 3 through the year and invite your sis and kids as your guests and plan to pay for everyone.

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Why don't you and your children do things without your sister and her kids? It seems like you NEED their company.

 

It's not that I *need* their company, it's just probably because my sister and I grew up not knowing family outside of our parents. It always made us sad to know we had family out there, but for many reasons my parents didn't stay in contact with either side. We're recently connected with a second cousin and found out we have 2 older sisters (yes, I could write a book on my family). :lol: So it's important to me that my children know their family and are close to them. My husband grew up with his family constantly around him, at his house, their houses, on vacations, out to dinner, etc, and today he's still very close with all of them. I actually went to high school with a cousin of mine (didn't know she was my cousin until I started there) and I STILL never got to know her because she said if we hadn't met by now then she wanted nothing to do with me. :(

 

So I guess because of all that I want my kids to know what having a family is like. I want them to grow up with their cousins and be close to them.

 

Thanks for all of the responses so far. They're really helping me! :)

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Well, your kids do have family around... your dh's family. If theirs is a healthy family then that is good. Then you will always be around when they grow up and have kids, so there will be extended family for them.

 

I wouldn't cut off all contact, but I would cut off a lot of it. It isn't healthy or even nice.

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Now, I'm not a millionaire by any means. We're not even a six figure income family. We just know how to budget our money and save it. She and her husband use the system and get all sorts of free stuff from the government. They could easily better themselves, but choose not to. That's one of the reasons (besides loving them) that I want to stay so close to my niece and nephews and do things with them because I'm hoping my husband and I are good influences on them. I do NOT want them growing up like their parents!

 

 

First of all, if I was in your shoes and I truly wanted my children to be close to hers, I'd just accept that I was going to have to pay for everything. It really comes down to whether you value the money or the relationships more. You know that nagging and nagging to get your sister to pay for her half is going to cause endless stress and resentment, so if it isn't really a financial burden for you, I would just pay for it and let it go.

 

Second, as to the above that I quoted, you seem extremely judgmental. Yes, I'm guessing your sister probably doesn't budget well, but there's a lot more to a person than how they are with money. I know people that can't save a penny but have many other wonderful qualities, and I love them to pieces. I would never dream of saying that I "don't want their children to grow up like them" because they are terrible with their finances. The idea that you seem to have that you and your husband are just better overall, and you want to be around her kids because you want them to be like you, not like her, must be extremely hurtful to your sister if she's picked up on it. Honestly, if one of my relatives had that opinion about my family over anything, I would probably cut them out of our lives. That's just not a healthy way to be thinking.

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Start telling her, "I don't want to let money come between us and I can't afford that." every time she asks for a loan, tries to piggyback on a purchase, etc. Maybe she's convinced herself that you must be rich, or at least well-to-do. The comments about how you don't help anyone, if I assume she's not deliberately trying to steal money you need to live, make me think she imagines you have plenty extra.

 

It's easy to fritter away your dollars on little things and then envy someone making a big purchase, without stopping to think that you easily spend that much on mindless impulse buys throughout the month. Meanwhile the other person has been saving and NOT making those little silly purchases, but you don't know that.

 

If your sister is assuming you can blow money on her family all the time, you could either budget for that when you consider the cost of the activity, or tell her straight that you can't afford it. If she hears it enough she might start to believe you.

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I wouldn't want the kids to grow up like the parents, not because they are bad with money, but because they feel entitled to other people's money.

 

If the parents just aren't good with their own $ it wouldn't affect anyone else. But she is putting her items in someone else's cart without even asking. That is crazy bad manners.

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If you can afford it, pick up her kids and take them with you. Don't expect payment for her kids.

 

Do not use her employee discount. That is stealing from her employer.

 

Your kids can play with her kids at your house where it doesn't cost you anything to host them but maybe a snack.

:iagree::iagree::iagree:

What bothers me about the OP is why do the activities have to be $$$ related? Why can't the cousins do free or homemade activities like movie night, picnics, video gaming night, etc?

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Her children will not learn about money management by you bailing your sister out and paying for things - instead they will learn someone will bail them out too (likely you) when they grow up, it works for their mom, so it'll work for them! While you do not want to intentionally hurt the kids, you refusing to finance her anymore is not YOU hurting them if she doesn't figure things out - it's HER not YOU. They'll figure that out in time, even if their mom bad-mouths you.

 

 

:iagree:You are also teaching YOUR children that they should bail family out regardless of circumstance as well. And while they may enjoy seeing their cousins, they AREN'T enjoying seeing their mother so stressed about the outings they go on. You can either invite them and expect to pay, invite just the kids and expect to pay, go to free events (don't suggest going to a meal or if you do, expect to pay) or just host them at your house. It will be hard at first, but eventually it WILL get better. I know from experience.

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Based on what you wrote, your sister is a leach. Recognizing that doesn't make you judgmental, but if it's upsetting you, I think it's time to make a decision. Either stop paying for her, or pay cheerfully and without any expectation of proper repayment. If you can't afford the second, then it looks like the first option is best.

 

:grouphug: You are not alone in having weird family dynamics! :grouphug::grouphug::grouphug:

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Like it or not, you've allowed this to happen by continuing to lend money and pay for things.

 

Say no, mean it, stick to it.

 

Don't punish your dd by canceling the water park, just go w/your dh and kids. Your sister's kids are her responsibility, not yours. I'd point blank tell her, "We're going to the water park on x date. You're welcome to join us, but I do NOT have the money to pay for you." Or simply just go without saying anything to her.

 

Quit allowing her to emotionally blackmail you.

 

Financial vampires are just like emotional vampires. Ones we're related to are the worst. We willingly participate by opening up our collars to let them drink of us. If we don't we are made to feel guilty (again we play our part by wearing the "victim" cape and "feeling guilty").

 

Stop! There may be a painful adjustment period, but you'll find that you will feel healthier for being authentic. Love doesn't cost anything. :)

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:iagree::iagree::iagree:

What bothers me about the OP is why do the activities have to be $$$ related? Why can't the cousins do free or homemade activities like movie night, picnics, video gaming night, etc?

 

We do those as well. We have "movie night" at our house and my husband borrows a projector from work and we watch movies like they're on the big screen. We also have them over for fires and my husband plays video games with the boys all the time. And I bake with my niece. :)

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First of all, if I was in your shoes and I truly wanted my children to be close to hers, I'd just accept that I was going to have to pay for everything. It really comes down to whether you value the money or the relationships more. You know that nagging and nagging to get your sister to pay for her half is going to cause endless stress and resentment, so if it isn't really a financial burden for you, I would just pay for it and let it go.

 

Second, as to the above that I quoted, you seem extremely judgmental. Yes, I'm guessing your sister probably doesn't budget well, but there's a lot more to a person than how they are with money. I know people that can't save a penny but have many other wonderful qualities, and I love them to pieces. I would never dream of saying that I "don't want their children to grow up like them" because they are terrible with their finances. The idea that you seem to have that you and your husband are just better overall, and you want to be around her kids because you want them to be like you, not like her, must be extremely hurtful to your sister if she's picked up on it. Honestly, if one of my relatives had that opinion about my family over anything, I would probably cut them out of our lives. That's just not a healthy way to be thinking.

 

I'm not judgmental, but I can see where you'd think that with the limited information you have. Here are some other reasons I don't want my niece and nephews growing up to be like their parents - They were both drug users at one time. My sister stopped when she got pregnant, but her husband continued to do it for years and the kids are well aware of it. My sister is on her way to becoming an alcoholic. Like I mentioned, they use the system. My BIL is "disabled" but really isn't so he sits at home collecting money and getting free stuff from the government. They didn't get married for many years because they wanted the benefits that single parents get from the state and even told me I should have had kids BEFORE getting married. There's more, but I think those should be reasons enough why I don't want my niece and nephews following in their footsteps. :)

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We do those as well. We have "movie night" at our house and my husband borrows a projector from work and we watch movies like they're on the big screen. We also have them over for fires and my husband plays video games with the boys all the time. And I bake with my niece. :)

Coming from a dysfunctional family like your sister's...

 

I would suggest keeping up with the family times instead of the $$$ events. Those kids most likely look forward to spending time with your family. The older ones can see through their parent's behaviors and most likely have made a vow to never be like them (I did this at 10 years old) -- you need to show them what potential they have in life. But you can do this without spending $$$. Just be there for them. Tell the sister no to $$$ tricks.

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I'm not judgmental, but I can see where you'd think that with the limited information you have. Here are some other reasons I don't want my niece and nephews growing up to be like their parents - They were both drug users at one time. My sister stopped when she got pregnant, but her husband continued to do it for years and the kids are well aware of it. My sister is on her way to becoming an alcoholic. Like I mentioned, they use the system. My BIL is "disabled" but really isn't so he sits at home collecting money and getting free stuff from the government. They didn't get married for many years because they wanted the benefits that single parents get from the state and even told me I should have had kids BEFORE getting married. There's more, but I think those should be reasons enough why I don't want my niece and nephews following in their footsteps. :)

 

Yeah, that makes a little more sense.

 

From my (still quite limited) perspective, it sounds like they have many more serious issues than money to contend with. I'd probably suggest that she meet with somebody trained to deal with mental health and addiction issues. Alcoholism makes it really, really difficult to manage everyday things like finances.

 

If it was my sister, I'd do a little research and have a conversation that went something like this:

 

Sister: "Hey, could I borrow money for [whatever]?"

Me: "Actually, I've been setting some money aside because I heard about this great guy who helps people that are having issues with drinking, and I wanted to help you afford to go see him."

 

Or something like that. If there are alcohol and/or possible drug issues in the home, getting my sister help for that would be my first priority. And I am married to an alcoholic and former drug user, so I've been there.

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Yeah, that makes a little more sense.

 

From my (still quite limited) perspective, it sounds like they have many more serious issues than money to contend with. I'd probably suggest that she meet with somebody trained to deal with mental health and addiction issues. Alcoholism makes it really, really difficult to manage everyday things like finances.

 

If it was my sister, I'd do a little research and have a conversation that went something like this:

 

Sister: "Hey, could I borrow money for [whatever]?"

Me: "Actually, I've been setting some money aside because I heard about this great guy who helps people that are having issues with drinking, and I wanted to help you afford to go see him."

 

Or something like that. If there are alcohol and/or possible drug issues in the home, getting my sister help for that would be my first priority. And I am married to an alcoholic and former drug user, so I've been there.

 

Oh how I wish she'd listen to me on this. I tried for so long to help her help her husband get help and it got all of us no where. Her husband was finally the one who went and got help, and is continuing to get help, so I'm optimistic that his drug use is over for good. My sister knows how I feel about her drinking and she doesn't see anything wrong with it (of course). I've even offered to pay for her treatments to help her quit smoking and she would never take me up on it. I think because of the crowd that she hangs out with now she'll never change. We have a huge history of alcohol abuse in my family so I don't see much hope for her.

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Did I give birth to you?

 

Seriously, you could be my daughter 'R' talking about her sister 'M'. So I will tell you what I tell 'R'. Quit paying for 'M' and her kids. Quit giving her money.

 

Only invite her kids to go with your family now and then (for the sake of family) and just figure that you will be paying for them whenever you do invite them, so ONLY choose to invite them out for things you are willing to foot the bill for. Otherwise, do not go anywhere with 'M' and her kids where there will be things to buy or pay for, even fast food. Invite 'M' and her kids to your house, to the park (if there is no concession stand) or whatever is free.

 

Let me spell it out for you- YOUR SISTER IS A FREELOADER, AND SHE ISN"T GONNA CHANGE. All you can do is change what YOU allow her to get away with.

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They clearly cannot afford these outings, and you should stop asking them to go. It's like them having a credit card that they use but do not have the money to pay off. It's not your fault they cannot afford to do these things, so stop feeling guilty about it and stop asking them to do it. I bet it puts pressure on your sister, anyway. She probably wants to do these things, but knows she can't afford it. But when you loan her the money, just like a credit card, it's hard for her to resist. I would not keep inviting a poor friend to stuff they cannot afford. I would only ask them to go to stuff when I was feeling generous wanted to pay for it.

 

As far as your children spending time together, what's wrong with playing at a park or hanging around one of your homes? Do stuff that does not require any money.

 

Her friend is way out of line. That's all I'm going to say about that.

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It's not that I *need* their company, it's just probably because my sister and I grew up not knowing family outside of our parents. It always made us sad to know we had family out there, but for many reasons my parents didn't stay in contact with either side. We're recently connected with a second cousin and found out we have 2 older sisters (yes, I could write a book on my family). :lol: So it's important to me that my children know their family and are close to them. My husband grew up with his family constantly around him, at his house, their houses, on vacations, out to dinner, etc, and today he's still very close with all of them. I actually went to high school with a cousin of mine (didn't know she was my cousin until I started there) and I STILL never got to know her because she said if we hadn't met by now then she wanted nothing to do with me. :(

 

So I guess because of all that I want my kids to know what having a family is like. I want them to grow up with their cousins and be close to them.

 

Thanks for all of the responses so far. They're really helping me! :)

 

Just putting this out there - because the kids grow up together and do things together does NOT mean they will be close. And while younger kids may not get the dynamics, as they get older, the money issues will impact them even if you never say one mean word about paying for stuff. I grew up in the poor family that couldn't afford to do everything my cousins did. Aunts wanted us to be together, so we'd be included - but we *knew* it was an imposition on them. My parents didn't ask them to. It wasn't the exact same situation, but the result was still hurt and ugliness when we got older.

 

Sometimes just letting them do their own thing and not forcing the issue is more of a kindness.

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Oh how I wish she'd listen to me on this. I tried for so long to help her help her husband get help and it got all of us no where. Her husband was finally the one who went and got help, and is continuing to get help, so I'm optimistic that his drug use is over for good. My sister knows how I feel about her drinking and she doesn't see anything wrong with it (of course). I've even offered to pay for her treatments to help her quit smoking and she would never take me up on it. I think because of the crowd that she hangs out with now she'll never change. We have a huge history of alcohol abuse in my family so I don't see much hope for her.

 

:grouphug: It's really hard when someone you love is dealing with something like that and won't get help. Been there. And came out happily on the other side, so don't give up.

 

As we were discussing in a different thread- don't know if you saw it or not- a lot of people who do this are self-medicating because of more serious mental health issues. Have you tried suggesting she just seek treatment for mental health stuff, without bringing the alcoholism into it? I'd encourage that first, because a good therapist will help her get it all under control. I know that with my dh, though, we absolutely had to treat his bipolar disorder before we treated his alcoholism.

 

With my dh, I also found that once I quit nagging, and was ONLY supportive, it was a lot easier to get him to really hear me. From the outside, it's so easy to want to rip your hair out and yell, "Ohmygod, just quit drinking already! Duh!" But they get really good at tuning that out. When I stopped doing that, and switched to, "Hey, you didn't drink today, I'm so proud of you," it made a huge difference.

 

For the sake of her kids, though, don't give up. :grouphug:

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Just putting this out there - because the kids grow up together and do things together does NOT mean they will be close. And while younger kids may not get the dynamics, as they get older, the money issues will impact them even if you never say one mean word about paying for stuff. I grew up in the poor family that couldn't afford to do everything my cousins did. Aunts wanted us to be together, so we'd be included - but we *knew* it was an imposition on them. My parents didn't ask them to. It wasn't the exact same situation, but the result was still hurt and ugliness when we got older.

 

Sometimes just letting them do their own thing and not forcing the issue is more of a kindness.

 

I agree that unfortunately they might not be close as adults, but at least they're getting something my sister and I never had - family other than each other and our parents. I know that can most definitely be enough, but when you know the rest of your family is out there, it hurts not knowing them. Or at least it did for us.

 

And I'm pretty sure my niece and nephews know *they* are NEVER an imposition. In fact, I've offered to take them on vacations and pay for it all myself and was told no, my sister had to go. Before my husband and I had kids we wanted to take them to Disney and were told no. I can understand not wanting to be away from your kids, but my niece let it slip that they "didn't trust us." Why, I don't know because I never brought it up.

 

My niece and older nephew have already stated that when they're 18 they're coming to live with me and often fight over the fact my older nephew will be 18 first and my niece doesn't think it's fair that he can live with me and she has to wait. :) So I'm pretty sure they don't harbor any negative feelings about anything. :)

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:grouphug: It's really hard when someone you love is dealing with something like that and won't get help. Been there. And came out happily on the other side, so don't give up.

 

As we were discussing in a different thread- don't know if you saw it or not- a lot of people who do this are self-medicating because of more serious mental health issues. Have you tried suggesting she just seek treatment for mental health stuff, without bringing the alcoholism into it? I'd encourage that first, because a good therapist will help her get it all under control. I know that with my dh, though, we absolutely had to treat his bipolar disorder before we treated his alcoholism.

 

With my dh, I also found that once I quit nagging, and was ONLY supportive, it was a lot easier to get him to really hear me. From the outside, it's so easy to want to rip your hair out and yell, "Ohmygod, just quit drinking already! Duh!" But they get really good at tuning that out. When I stopped doing that, and switched to, "Hey, you didn't drink today, I'm so proud of you," it made a huge difference.

 

For the sake of her kids, though, don't give up. :grouphug:

 

I've brought up counselling before and she laughs it off and says she can't afford it. *sigh*

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I've brought up counselling before and she laughs it off and says she can't afford it. *sigh*

 

Maybe if you just offered to pay....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kidding! But I have a brother who lives his life on the brink of disaster, and it's like a bottomless pit when it comes to money. For some people I don't think there is enough money in the world to meet whatever need it is they have inside. Is your sister like that?

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Maybe if you just offered to pay....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kidding! But I have a brother who lives his life on the brink of disaster, and it's like a bottomless pit when it comes to money. For some people I don't think there is enough money in the world to meet whatever need it is they have inside. Is your sister like that?

 

:lol::lol:

 

I would say my sister is like that after thinking about it. I think no matter how much money she has it's never enough and she blows through it in no time.

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I am pretty tough I guess. I wouldn't allow my kids regular contact with almost-alcoholics and drug abusers. I have seen such associations go south fast. About the topic of money....errrr....nope. Being guilted into handing over your money is just unacceptable. Your sister and her dh already take money from the taxpayers that they do not deserve if they are able-bodied and getting "free" stuff from the government. I'm sorry you have to deal with this...I would take a hardline.

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If you can afford it, pick up her kids and take them with you. Don't expect payment for her kids.

 

Do not use her employee discount. That is stealing from her employer.

 

Your kids can play with her kids at your house where it doesn't cost you anything to host them but maybe a snack.

 

:iagree: Only invite her and her kids to free things unless you want to pay. You are well aware you will pay for everything, so don't go anywhere with them that leaves you in that spot.

 

I would go to the water park with your kids for your dd's birthday. Your responsibility is to your family, and no matter what you do for her kids they are learning the ways of their parents, and they are learning to depend on you. Your kids and their happiness is more important. Find friends to go do things with who will pay their own way so your kids will see it is not normal for people to take advantage of others. Your kids are watching them and how they treat you.

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I agree that unfortunately they might not be close as adults, but at least they're getting something my sister and I never had - family other than each other and our parents. I know that can most definitely be enough, but when you know the rest of your family is out there, it hurts not knowing them. Or at least it did for us.

 

And I'm pretty sure my niece and nephews know *they* are NEVER an imposition. In fact, I've offered to take them on vacations and pay for it all myself and was told no, my sister had to go. Before my husband and I had kids we wanted to take them to Disney and were told no. I can understand not wanting to be away from your kids, but my niece let it slip that they "didn't trust us." Why, I don't know because I never brought it up.

 

My niece and older nephew have already stated that when they're 18 they're coming to live with me and often fight over the fact my older nephew will be 18 first and my niece doesn't think it's fair that he can live with me and she has to wait. :) So I'm pretty sure they don't harbor any negative feelings about anything. :)

 

:grouphug: You seem like a really great aunt. I would just like to encourage you to keep your niece and nephew in your life by doing fun and free things with them. As for your sister, a clear "No" about anything related to money should be your answer. She really does sound like a leech and unfortunately, there's nothing you can do to change that. Just keep on with the "NO". She sounds very immature and selfish. Kinda like a 3 year old. And like a 3 year old, I would expect her to lash out when you tell her no. I just have a feeling it will get worse before it gets better. Hold your ground.

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Like it or not, you've allowed this to happen by continuing to lend money and pay for things.

 

Say no, mean it, stick to it.

 

Don't punish your dd by canceling the water park, just go w/your dh and kids. Your sister's kids are her responsibility, not yours. I'd point blank tell her, "We're going to the water park on x date. You're welcome to join us, but I do NOT have the money to pay for you." Or simply just go without saying anything to her.

 

Quit allowing her to emotionally blackmail you.

 

 

:iagree: There's no easy way about it, you just have to cut. her. OFF. Now.

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My two cents:

 

You can't fix your sister. You can't fix her kids. You can't "make" any of them do anything and it's not your responsibility to do so.

 

Your responsibility to keep to your own budget and set boundaries on your relationships in a way that nourishes you.

 

So......

 

If you are going to stay home, go to a park, etc. - invite sister and kids.

 

If you are going to something that costs money - invite someone else who can afford it.

 

Don't make any pronouncements to your sister about this; just stop putting yourself in any situations with her that involve spending money.

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I believe I'd have one conversation with her, something like this:

 

"Sis, right now you owe me $xx. And as of this moment, I'm forgiving that debt. Now you owe me nothing. But I will never loan you money or pay your way, or your kids' way again. Not one more time. I love you, and this has nothing to do with my affection for you. But I'm done being the first bank of our family."

 

So, next week when you want to go to the mall or whatever, you say, "Sis, I'd love for you and the kids to join me at the mall. But just a reminder, I will NOT be buying your lunch or your gifts. Do you want to come?"

 

When you get to the mall and she suggests lunch, you say, "I'd love to, but lunch in there with your kids will cost around $35. Do you have $35? Because I will not be paying for you and your kids, and it will be VERY embarrassing for you if you can't pay. But I will NOT bail you out."

 

And when you shop together and she tosses something in your cart, you say, "No, no no! I will not be buying that! I'm sorry! Either take it out of my cart, or I'm leaving the store right now."

 

I'm not kidding. You have to be ugly-rude. She has been ugly-rude to you since you were a child! Draw a big ugly line in the sand.

 

Yes, she'll be mad for about a month. Then she'll either get over it and be a regular sister or she'll cut off communication with you. Either way, you're ahead.

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If you want your children to grow up together then stop doing activities with her that cost money. Park dates, slumber parties, playing in the sprinkler . . . It's not necessary to go to a water park or a big camping trip to build memories.

And like everyone else has said -- stop giving her money.

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My mom is over 50 years old and is still a mooch off her mother. If you don't cut them off, it's never ending. They will never change, you have to want to change before you can change. And if your sister does not want to change, she won't.

 

I had to stop inviting my sister and her family places for the same reasons. I was sick of footing the bill. Sadly, the only way to stop it is to be firm and just not open your wallet....ever.

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