A parent with money woes

January 21, 2009 at 10:26 pm (house issues, life issues, money, Tina)

When Tina and her family moved to Arizona back in late 1997, they stayed with my mom.  When Tina and her family bought a house, the next year, they moved and took my mother with them.

Cut to a number of years later and my sister finds herself a divorced, single parent, trying to make ends meet on one salary and four people living under one roof (sister, niece, nephew, mother).  Our mother has retired and is getting Social Security.  Before this, she was on the disabled list and was getting disability which was a few hundred dollars more than Social Security.

My mother has a tendency to be constantly overdrawn at the bank and therefore, cannot give my sister the money she needs to run a household.  My mom continues to make her trips into another town, which takes alot of gas and money, and she continues to do some of her hobbies (ceramics and scrapbooking) and lunch with friends, even though she isn’t able to give Tina money and did I mention she’s always overdrawn at the bank?

I always feel guilty that I’m not there and cannot help, monetarily.  I wish I could be my mother’s accountant and help her with her money.  We both have mentioned the money situation to her but it hasn’t sunk in, yet.

I’m deeply concerned that the parent/daughter relationship will be hurt with Tina and my mom.  I can tell that Tina is becoming bitter because her words are falling on deaf ears.

We love our mother deeply and she’s not a nagging, bitchy mother but she has her faults and money is one of them.  Maybe it’s because they never had money when she was growing up?!

If my mother and sister ever part ways, I’m also concerned that my mother will NOT be able to support herself and will have to live with a friend for the rest of her days.

We don’t know what to do.  The aging of the parents, personally, scares me to death because we aren’t prepared for any emergencies or taking care of a parent.



  1. thatgirl said,

    hhhmm …. what to say

    sometimes i feel like a complete HEEL when i think about the alternatives

    other times …. i just don’t know

  2. Cinnkitty said,

    I hate hearing this! Isn’t it weird how the kids go from being the kids to the parent being the kids and the kids taking care of them???

    I feel for you, really I do. Good luck!


  3. Skylers Dad said,

    Tough choices in these days about what to do with aging parents. My wife’s mom passed away recently and her dad is just barely able to take care of himself.

  4. Just Dave said,

    It is a situation in which more and more of us will find ourselves in the coming years. Life spans are getting longer but the ability to care for ones self may not be keeping pace. My MIL lives with us and has Alzheimers related dementia. Money is really not a problem as my wife has a power of attorney and pays her moms bills out of her moms account. In Tina’s situation, this may not be feasible. If the situation gets really bad and you don’t feel that your mother can live on her own, you may have to contact an attorney and gain control of her affairs. This will undoubtably cause hard feelings but might be better than bankruptcy or sending her to “the home”. Unforunately, sometimes, there are just no good solutions. Best of luck/

  5. Teri said,

    Dave and SD, the sad thing is she has total control of her mind, she just SUCKS at handling money. I’ll have to have another in depth discussion with mom and see what the bank situation is really like.

  6. coffeypot said,

    I think there will have to be some tough love involved. Threaten to put her in an assisted living community.

  7. metalmom said,

    Stop doing for her. No laundry, cook enough for sis and the kids,stop providing mom’s toiletries. Maybe if she is told that there isn’t enough household money for those amenities it will be a more “concrete” example for her? Other than that, I don’t know.

    It was so hard when Hub’s mom went through that. But she still had dad to take care of her.

    Hugs to Tina.

  8. joe said,

    It’s tough being a parent to a parent. Good luck.

  9. Philly said,

    Who thought 2 years ago that I would be in the position that I am in today. My mother was 82, took no medications, had her women clubs and trips and also took care of my Dad with parkinsons.
    In a blink of an eye she became ill and died 6 weeks later. My siblings that live in the area all stepped back when the time came to remove him from his home, and I stepped up. Never, ever, ever thought it would be him I would be taking care of. He was suppose to die first. My mom and I had plans on her moving here with her 2 dogs. Thank god he is oblivious to any bills he has and I can access his finances and pay.
    It really, really sucks getting old.


  10. cheer34 said,

    I have the same worry with my mom…..she spends like crazy becasue she never had money…..still doesn’t ….but what are credit cards for anyway?……….she does live on her own in the house she and my dad lived in……dad died almost 6 years ago…..she has a reverse mortgage which was stupid to do…becasue the lump sum payment she took is almost gone……she is only 71 and has many years to go…..I don’t know what she will do when her funds are dry and the credit cards are maxed……she won’t be able to survive on SS alone……and she will not listen to us her kids….she just spends spends spends……..it’s frustrating…..

  11. sexywhispers said,

    Welcome to the sandwich generation. We are caught between our parents and our kids (right…I dont have kids). But, I do understand. I took my parents after my dads heart attack in Nov. It is hard to watch my parents struggle. Loose their pride. You have my love. ~~Dee

  12. Bubbles said,

    Hugs to you and Tina!! That is tough stuff. As tough as it is, it is great that Tina’s kids get that exposure to another generation. I’ll forever be thankful for the time my mom spent with my kids.

  13. Linda said,

    I feel for you and your sister — it can be so hard to be the sandwich generation, as Dee said. I’m not the same financial position with your mom as you and Tina are, but I know a couple of people that have been there — in one case, the mom had early Alzheimer’s that was only diagnosed later (after the mom lost huge amounts of money entering various unnecessary contests), and in the other, the mom was bipolar and doing major manic spending.

    Best of luck to you guys; I wish I had easy answers. As Dave said, you may need to touch base with an attorney and see what options he/she might suggest.

  14. ok, here it is « prissy not girly said,

    […] can either share a room or the little princess can sleep with me but the question was mom and her financial chaos … so i asked teri what all mom knew of my romantic situation and apparently teri already told […]

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