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I just don't want to be mean....

Regular Contributor

I just don't want to be mean....

So a couple years ago I gave my sister a credit card to use.   She can spend 300 a month and I pay it.   She doesn't work and her husband doesn't make very much.  Lately they have been asking me to cosign or loan large sums of cash.   I've always mumbled a reply of I don't think I can at this time.   ... I'm feeling like the only time I get calls from my sister is to ask about money.   When I say no the conversation turns to dead air or she starts arguing and saying it's just a piece of paper.   My sister is my only family and I want to help but I feel that she is using me.   What is a good way to let her know I don't want her using my money anymore?  Like I still want to stay in touch.   I'm worried she will be mad.   I can't say I don't have the money because she knows how much I make. 

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Message 1 of 15
14 REPLIES
Established Contributor

Re: I just don't want to be mean....

This is so tough and definitely something I've struggled with for years with both family and friends. I haven't found a nice way to say "no more" so I've lost touch with some... They come back eventually with a better understanding but it takes time. My husband and I finally told stepson at the end of 2014 that the gravy train was over. It lasted a year and a few months then he asked again (without my knowledge) and we thought he was making it. His wife had to borrow $6k from her mom for all the bills he didn't pay for several months. That lack of responsibility with money (along with self destructive behavior) was the unraveling of his marriage. He always left us holding the bag and we just won't help him anymore. Just because you have more doesn't mean your family is entitled to it. Hope you find a way to communicate your frustration and maintain the relationship, but she doesn't sound like she understands your position. You've been very generous and asking for more is ungrateful of her.
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Message 2 of 15
Regular Contributor

Re: I just don't want to be mean....

Smiley Sad sorry you know what I'm going through. I was hoping someone would give me a step by step guide to telling family you care but just don't want money involved anymore. It was a slim hope but still....
Steeling myself for her reaction is all I can do I guess. With how upset she got when I told her I would not loan them money I don't imagine we'll be on speaking terms when I cancel my credit card.
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Message 3 of 15
Regular Contributor

Re: I just don't want to be mean....

Unfortunately there is no easy to way to say no, and I'm sure it will cause some friction. It sounds like she/they haven't been very appreciative and don't fully understand the implications of having you help them further. I think it's always important to think about you and your wife and kids (if applicable) first, especially when helping your sister will be a never ending downward spiral. 

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Message 4 of 15
Established Contributor

Re: I just don't want to be mean....

I'm sorry your sister continues to take advantage of you. I talk a tough game in these situations, but when it comes right down to it I would probably lie just to make it easier. So if you don't feel you are able to confront her and tell her the Bank of Sis is closed, tell her you have had credit problems, the card has been closed, and you can't sign becouse of negative marks. Just because she knows how much money you make doesn't mean she knows the situation of all your creditors. Tell her you overextended. If she does cut you out of her life hopefully she will come to realize that she has to stand on her own feet.



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Message 5 of 15
Valued Contributor

Re: I just don't want to be mean....


ginger1477 wrote:
Smiley Sad sorry you know what I'm going through. I was hoping someone would give me a step by step guide to telling family you care but just don't want money involved anymore. It was a slim hope but still....
Steeling myself for her reaction is all I can do I guess. With how upset she got when I told her I would not loan them money I don't imagine we'll be on speaking terms when I cancel my credit card.

Unfortunately if she stops speaking to you over a cancelled credit card that YOU pay for then maybe thats the best thing for her. It sounds like she is getting deeper and deeper in debt. Really it would be good if she could budget herself out for the month. Im not sure if shes tried before but it sure changed my life. Best wishes and good luck with the outcome! You are doing the right thing even though it hurts. 

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Message 6 of 15
Moderator

Re: I just don't want to be mean....


tidegirl wrote:

I'm sorry your sister continues to take advantage of you. I talk a tough game in these situations, but when it comes right down to it I would probably lie just to make it easier. So if you don't feel you are able to confront her and tell her the Bank of Sis is closed, tell her you have had credit problems, the card has been closed, and you can't sign becouse of negative marks. Just because she knows how much money you make doesn't mean she knows the situation of all your creditors. Tell her you overextended. If she does cut you out of her life hopefully she will come to realize that she has to stand on her own feet.


Hrmm, I wouldn't suggest compounding the situation with a potential falsehood if in this case it's not accurate: that's not likely to help in the future for potential reconciliation.  If the end result is potentially or likely the same in the best case scenario when I can envision more than one way it goes wrong (Google will quickly figure that if used, negative marks and overextension aren't a credit death sentence these days)... yuck. 

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Message 7 of 15
Valued Contributor

Re: I just don't want to be mean....

This is quite a difficult situation. You have set a precedent saying that you will support her with $300 monthly. Withdrawing this from a family with few resources will likely have a big impact. Obviously she has come to rely on your support and had now painted herself into a position the she requires additional money.

 

You are of course not obligated to help her. An option would be to give her $300 and let her know you have cancelled the credit card account. If you have the means to help her another month, let her know that you will also give her $300 next month but that will be the last you are able to support her. Or wean her down with the support by X amount over a few months.

 

Just trying to give you another angle to look at things.

 

Good luck.

 

 

Message 8 of 15
Regular Contributor

Re: I just don't want to be mean....

Thanks for the replies and advice everyone.   I did speak with my sister and told her the card was cancelled because I was late on a payment.  She's not one to Google everything so hopefully she won't say anything else on it.   I hate to lie but I really didn't want to defend why I do not wish to help in this way anymore.   Also I likely will give her money later on,  but not anything this consistent.   It's been a few days and I haven't heard from her since.   This was a difficult decision to reach as it is pretty much instinct to want to help her in any way I can but it really was at the point where I was being taken advantage of.  

To anyone considering helping anyone financially I suggest that (unlike me) you think about how long this might go on and what may happen once you withdraw support.   

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Message 9 of 15
Valued Contributor

Re: I just don't want to be mean....

It is very difficult, but you had to do what you had to do for yourself first. And as you said, you can still help down the road, but be able to pick and choose your spots when it makes sense to you and her.
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Message 10 of 15