Dealing with financial obligation is a big deal for just about everyone because without money it’s hard to pay for all those things you have budgeted.
When you have kids you have a financial obligation to care for them and make sure they are kept safe.
Nowhere do I ever remember reading that we have a financial obligation to care for our siblings and parents “wants” just because we earn more money than they do.
I received an email from a fan who is clearly upset about the way his brother is treating him and hopes that maybe we can all shed some light on the definition of financial obligation surrounding family and who should pay for what or if anything at all.
Family financial obligation dilemma
I’m hoping you can clear up an argument my brother and I are having about our parents. Our parents are not wealthy and when they retire they will have some retirement savings and their house to sell so they can downsize so they can afford to live.
The problem is they always need something done around the house whether it’s the roof or other maintenance items which they need to save for but in the mean-time they aren’t able to update the inside of the house. These updates are mostly ‘wants’ not ‘needs’.
They are frugal so they do save money when it comes to groceries and most times they go without buying clothes and other things they need until it is necessary because they just don’t have the cash.
My brother seems to think that just because I make more money and am wealthier than he is that I have a financial obligation to help our parents. Any time he does anything for the family financially, we hear about it.
He makes us feel guilty and communicates to me like a bully so I feel like crap because I am not forking over the cash to help them update their home or fix things that need to be fixed. Sometimes it’s just a random gift he buys them which always ends up being something for the house that costs lots of money and I get told I should donate to the cause.
Another thing is he brings our parents out for dinner and we don’t really eat out and besides we live 2 hours away and I work full-time to provide for my family and I have to take care of our own home. My brother on the other hand is single, has no kids and a decent job but blows his money eating out, partying and buying crap he doesn’t need. That’s not my problem.
So, just because he feels that I make more money I am obligated to help our parents and not him. I find it funny how he assumes that just because someone earns more money or has more in the bank that they should have any financial obligation to others, even if they are your parents.
I know these are my parents we’re talking about but the stuff they need is more what my mother wishes and dreams she can have. My brother then tries to make it a reality for her. She complains all the time to my brother about what I do and don’t do and then he pulls this emotional bullying on me and makes me feel guilty about it.
Don’t get me wrong, I talk to my mother on the phone and when I am home I don’t make her pay for anything when we go out. If they did need money and asked me for it I would help out but no one ever talks to me about anything. Only once did I wire them $2000 because they needed it for something important and I’ve never asked for that money back.
Personally, I think they believe I am too cheap to hand over my hard-earned money and you know what, I kind of am. My mother always seems to complain to my brother who in-turn gives me crap for not doing something that I was apparently supposed to be doing, like calling home more often.
I do my best but I can’t call every day although I know I could make a better effort. My mother is lonely now that we don’t live at home so I feel like she is inadvertently pitting us against each other even if she denies it.
I do earn a good living but raising a family is tough and along with our budget we pay for all the typical things most people do for their retirement or children’s education funds. There isn’t much money left at the end of the month.
I’m just not sure if I’m just being the rotten brother or if my brother is just being a bully and making me feel bad because I don’t own up to helping my parents the way he has, financially. Let me also point out that my parents allowed him to live at home rent free until he was 30 where I had to pay rent right after I moved back from college and I was 21. I moved out again when I was 24, debt free and with a full-time job.
Maybe my younger brother feels guilty that he never paid them a cent but I don’t because I did and I also don’t feel that I should be forking out cash to help them right now because they don’t need most of the stuff he buys. It’s mostly my mother who does all the wanting but like most people we all want stuff but if we can’t afford it, we don’t get it.
I love my mother, father and brother but I just wish they would treat me like a son/brother and not a bank machine.
-Annoyed by it all
What do you think I should do and why do I feel do guilty about this?
Family, Respect, Love and Money
Hi Annoyed by it all,
Dealing with bullies is not easy but when it is your sibling that is doing the emotional bullying I bet it hurts even more. I’ve never been in this type of situation before however I do know that sibling rivalry does happen and most often money is the cause behind it all. Jealousy is a major factor when siblings fight about money especially if one has a better career or earns more money.
I’m not a trained expert when it come to bullies and how to approach the situation but I’ll certainly tell you what I think of the situation.
It sounds to me like your brother needs to learn how to communicate better and find ways to express himself without coming off as a bully. Emotional bullying is just as bad as someone physically pushing you around which is what it sounds like is happening to you. I can’t imagine what you are going through and I know it must be tough on you especially if you are writing to me and it’s affecting your life.
Your mother needs to learn that what happens between the two of you should stay between the two of you. Talking to your brother about all the things you did or didn’t do will only fuel his emotions and make him more upset when she is upset. It’s a roller-coaster ride that never ends.
Although I do believe that we should all help our parents if they need it and are able to because they’ve fallen on difficult financial times but to pay to update their house or fund large gifts that is not in your budget is unreasonable.
Your financial obligation should be to your family which is your children and your wife first. You can’t be responsible for everyone’s financial situation. If he wants to buy your parents stuff then he shouldn’t be asking for portions of the expenses to be paid unless he discusses it well in advance and gives you the opportunity to save for it or decline. You shouldn’t be made to feel guilty because you can’t meet the financial obligation that your brother thinks you should have.
It’s great that you keep in touch but I only talk to my parents once a month and if your mother is expecting more from you than she needs to remember what it was like to raise her own kids. Not only is it difficult working full-time and having responsibilities to look after the family and the house the last thing people do is spend hours on the phone. If calling her once a week for 15 minutes works for you then that’s great but if it doesn’t she needs to respect that you can’t do everything.
If buying her something small that they need around the house can be worked into your budget then you could consider it but again there are no rules about it. They could sell their house and downsize now so they don’t have all the maintenance costs.
What you choose as your financial obligation is up to you and not for anyone else to tell you how to spend your money. Keep in mind that if your parents are suffering financially and you can help think about how you can make their world a better place for them. Maybe you can offer suggestions on how they can lessen their financial burden with the house and buy something smaller. There are always options. I wish you and your family luck.
What do you all think he should do? Do you think the wealthier sibling should be paying to help the parents out when they need it?
CBB Week At A Glance
This week was no different from any other as we made our way to the community pool for a swim with our son. We did manage to go to the Goodwill to see if there was anything we wanted to buy.
We picked up a pair of Oshkosh Jeans for $0.75 which likely sell for about $30 and there is nothing wrong with them. When kids are young they hardly wear out clothes until they are about 2 when they really get into the muck and playing at the parks.
So far we’ve been lucky with finding clothes for our son for a reasonable price and we sold many pieces for more than what we purchased them for which was a bonus.
Other than that, it’s been another fun-filled week of work and play with our boy. Next week I have to finish up the Fall outdoor cleaning and get ready for Halloween!
Published This Week
Just in case you’ve missed any of my blog posts this week I will share them all below. If you are looking for past Saturday Weekend Review posts scroll down to the bottom of this post where I will list up to 5 previous weeks for you to read.
If you have a question that you would like to ask Mr.CBB fill out the Contact Mr.CBB form on the Home Page and send in your questions. If you want to share a story via a Fan Question only please ensure that there is minimum 500 words and lots of details…we love details!
Right now CBB is posting Tuesday (Grocery Game Challenge) , Thursday (Personal Finance Post), Saturday (Personal Finance and Weekly Wrap-Up and a recipe on Sunday!
- Are you happy with your current financial situation? Our September Net Worth Update
- Is being a Grocery Clerk a bad job?- The Grocery Game Challenge #2 October
- Amazing pumpkin scones with pumpkin spice icing
Submit your Deal or Brag:
Saving money while grocery shopping is essential in the CBB family and that’s why we share our grocery shops every week in The Grocery Game Challenge 2015.
What I love the most is when my fans share their amazing shops with me whether it be groceries or other deals they find at a garage sale, online or freebies!!!
If you have a brag that you want me to share email me at canadianbudgetbinder@yahoo.(ca) < remove brackets) or fill out my contact form by Friday each week to have your brag considered for the Saturday post.
Today the budget brag belongs to Jen P. who wanted to share these awesome deals she picked up at the grocery store.
- Enfamil regularly $43.99 on sale at RCSS for 2 x $37.98 – 2 x $15.00 coupons=2 x $22.98
- Chapmans premium ice cream PM Highland Farms $3.99 – $4.00 coupon=free
- Chapmans regular ice cream PM T&T 2 x $2.00 – $4.00 coupon=free
Big thanks to Jen for sending this brag in! 🙂 Brownies are in the mail… not!
Making A Difference (MAD)
Note: If you are a personal finance blogger (anywhere around the world) and would like your blog to be MAD featured simply drop me an email and I’ll explain the process to you.
This is my way of giving back to the personal finance community through networking and sharing knowledge with my fans.
Hello to all the CBB Readers,
I’m Mike and I’m passionate about helping people obtain and maintain personal financial freedom. I run a newly launched financial freedom wordpress blog, youcanbefree123 and you can also find me helping people on Twitter and Facebook at youcanbefree123.
For more than fifteen years I have helped people with their personal finances as a Finance Pastor at a mega-church in Austin Texas. What started out as a way to help people with something I know very well turned into a way to help marriages, families and communities reach their goals and dreams.
Only recently have I been using social media to connect with people all around the world and soon I hope to launch comprehensive online training that provides detailed, easy-to-follow “How To” personal finance classes.
Today I want to encourage every one of the CBB readers to strive for financial freedom. One of the first things I have learned, and share with you here today, is that financial freedom starts with three requirements: a common goal, the right attitude and regular communication.
When these three requirements are properly in place, the dream of financial freedom is not overwhelming and very attainable. In fact, most times, the journey to financial freedom, and the efforts to keep it, bring families and communities together and form a stronger bond with richer relationships.
Our culture today does a very good job of defining success as getting “more”. More money, more things and more status. Unfortunately having more stuff does not lead to sustained happiness and many times we find ourselves only deeper in debt. The first step for a couple or family to gain financial freedom is to have a common goal(s) that is the priority for the whole family.
Maybe the goal is to be “debt free in 12 months.” Or maybe the goal is to “pay off the home mortgage in 3 years” or “live within your means”. Whatever the goal is, I believe the entire family has to know it and agree to it.
I always suggest it is written and placed in a common area in the home so everyone is frequently reminded because when “opportunities” to stray away from the goal rear up, and they do, the visible common goal can help quickly bring everyone back onto the same page.
The Right Attitude
I believe that more than half of the battle to be financially free is to have the right attitude about money and life. That attitude includes gratitude for what you have and contentment where you are.
Being grateful for what we have keeps up from concentrating on what we don’t have, (envy), and from what our neighbor has, (covetousness). Being content in our life involves having peace of mind with our situation, decisions and priorities. It removes worry and anxiety that can steal from the financial freedom we are trying to maintain.
We must communicate our common goals and priorities in order for all members of the family to work toward that end. How can everyone contribute to the goal(s) if they don’t know what they are? Just as important, it is important to communicate and celebrate when goals and milestones are obtained, which motivates the family and rewards them for doing their part.
I want to encourage everyone to pursue financial freedom. Freedom from worry and freedom to pursue your passions in life. Financial freedom is not easy but it definitely is worth it.
My favorite part of helping people is equipping and encouraging them towards their lifelong goals and dreams and watch those dreams come to fruition. With everyone in the family working towards common financial goals, maintaining a grateful/contented attitude and communicating frequently, financial freedom can be a reality and a fulfilling lifestyle.
I want to thank CBB for this opportunity to speak to you today and I look forward to seeing more and more people prosper in financial freedom!
Food and grocery shopping is a BIG part of CBB because food is a large part of the budget which people struggle the most with.
If you are someone who would rather buy convenience meals or products consider cooking homemade meals or baking from scratch.
Not only will you save money but you will be proud of what you accomplished and you’ll see that from the smiles on those you feed.
If you don’t already know I have a second Facebook page called The Free Recipe Depot where I share recipes from other Food Bloggers from around the world.
I also share recipes on the blog once a week on Sundays either made by my in-house home blog cook Nicola Don or myself. So we’re not just a boring personal finance blog. This is a fun, interactive blog where we talk about everything that happens in our world.
This week our Top Recipe Pick goes to Heather over at Sugar Dish Me for this mouth-watering looking Peanut Butter Apple Cheesecake.
Every week I will pick a blog post of the week from around the web that I found interesting and want to share with you and an Editor’s top blog post pick.
Editor’s pick (That’s me Mr.CBB) goes to Finance Zombie for writing a short post about personal finance and how the heart and the brain are involved with our financial decisions. Most times it’s a tug of war for me but the brain seems to take first place in the winning department.
How people find CBB
Every week I get thousands of people visit Canadian Budget Binder because they did a search online and found my blog. Keep in mind any spelling errors below are because I share with you the exact way they typed their search engine query to land on my blog.
- I spend too much on my wife- This is unusual as I typically have men saying the wife spend too much on themselves.
- Is Bulk Barn a good deal?– It is and it isn’t. It depends if you only buy items on sale and use their spend $10 save $3 coupon and even then you still need to know your prices.
- Animated grocery cart- I don’t even want to think about the future and how grocery carts could all come equipped with televisions to market products while you shop or monitor the area you are in and talk about all the weekly deals of that section.
- What is called when stores list something for sale and then they don’t have it?– A crappy sale, but a rain check.
- What happens when you get caught selling formula samples?- The formula police come for you! You just shouldn’t do that. It was free so just offer to another mum or dad for free and pass it along.
That’s all for this week friends but be back here next Saturday to enjoy the next edition in the Saturday Weekend Review Series. Don’t forget to subscribe to my daily blog post by entering your email address on the home page and verifying the subscription email once it is sent to you.
- The Saturday Weekend Review #138: Is a housewarming party another Money Grab for free stuff?
- The Saturday Weekend Review #139: There’s a cheaper way to save when buying used stuff
- The Saturday Weekend Review #140: How Distraction Theft Will Make You Their Next Win
- The Saturday Weekend Review #141: Could your budget handle a 6 hour workday?
- The Saturday Weekend Review #142: 5 Things I’m thankful for everyday not just Thanksgiving Day