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11 Dec 2012

Parents and money
Hi there CS

I''m 21 and have been living with my boyfriend since I was 17, we don''t have a lot but we try to work responsibly and we have never been in any kind of financial trouble. We make due but forgo a lot of luxuries. I feel guilty taking or asking for anything from my parents, I don''t feel that it''s their responsibility to support me anymore.
My sister (26) and her husband has been leaning so heavily on my parents, my dad has payed for deposits and flat rent when they couldn''t afford it, they have moved back home and stayed for months at a time, my parents have payed for petrol, outstanding medical bills, speeding tickets, payed off debts etc. they have never repaid a cent of it. My brother-in-laws parents have bought them expensive appliances and even payed for the building materials and labour to build them a house (which they have sold) and now I must wonder what do they spend their OWN money on that they are always in debt.

I speak to my parents frequently and told them some time ago that we are plannning to move in to a bigger apartment at the end of the year. This weekend my dad told me that if we manage to find a place he wants to pay the deposit for us. He also told me that he wants to give me the same wedding he was able to give my sister, if we decide on something smaller they want to give us the difference as a wedding gift. They feel that they owe me this because of what they have been doing to help my sister over the years.

It would be so nice to be able to accept those gifts, but I don''t feel that they owe me anything and I would probably end up feeling guilty for taking what little they have for their retirement and I know they are not that well off.

I see my friends who recieve expensive gifts like cars, who doesn''t have to pay a cent towards their own studies, whose nails and hair are always done etc.( I haven''t even been able to get haircut this year!), no one seems to feel remotely bad for taking things from their parents. What''s right and what''s wrong?
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Its not necessarily about what they might feel they owe you ( and still less about what you feel they owe you )- sometimes you need to be generous enough to allow people who sincerely want to give you something, to make that gift, and accept gracefully.
No need to automatically feel guilty, and it might put you in a better position to be able to help them in turn if later they need assistance.
Yes, apparently your sister is a shameless leach, and the many gifts have not in a very important sense actually helped her, as they don't seem to have learned any basic realism in managing their finances, and may run into awful problems when the gift-givers are no longer around.
Also, maybe one needs also to look at the fact that what they give you will at least not get wasted on your wastrel sister.
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