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"Just give them what they expect!"

Valued Contributor

"Just give them what they expect!"



My well meaning son called me today to inform me that he had a talk his grandparents (my adopted parents) and gave me a list of do's/don't's.


Like don't talk about money - they feel like I am taking control.


Do give them what they expect - cable tv, landline, air conditioning, their own fridge, etc.


Do let them move in ALL of their stuff.  EVERY single thing they own should come with them when they move in with me.


Do coordinate their move and be prepared to pay for it.


Uh, what???  


He went on to explain that they do not understand why I live so austerely!  And for so many years!  Um, because I can't afford to pay for cable tv?  Um, because I just finished putting a kid through college, paying cash?  Um, because I live within my means, even if that means I have to sacrifice and go without things?  My son's graduation present will be the tshirt that I wore through pregnancy.  Yep - I still have it and wear it.  It's ratty but it's still functional.


I was really was bewildered by his comment.  I had to do reverse thinking.  To me, it's logical to live within my means.  To know the monthly and annual cost of something before I commit to it.  To have a budget and massage it as needed.  To save a little from each paycheck to be able to pay for things like auto insurance, taxes, etc.  


To them, they get what they expect they should have, like cable tv and landlines and newspapers, and then figure out later how to pay for it.  When a bill comes, THEN they scramble to figure out how to pay for it, if they can.  Ah.  My aha moment!


So this is going to be super hard to reconstruct my thinking in working with them.  The offer to move in has been out there for years.  Apparently, it seems like they are way closer to accepting it now than ever before.  BUT I am not allowed to treat them the way they treated their folks when they had them move in.  Nor am I allowed to be detail orientated in this whole thing.  Like not mention paying rent, but maybe allow them to pay half the utilities.  (DON'T think that will work.  My electric bill is $18 a month.  Theirs varies between $200-450.)  


I called Direct TV to find out about rates.  MAYBE I could swing it.  They won't give me pricing without pulling my credit first.  (Well, forget that!)  So I went with the online pricing and guessed at taxes and at fees.  There's no way I can swing that right now.  No way.  And I don't want to commit to a two year contract if they won't commit to moving in and a move in date.


I'm suppose to have everything set up to the life that they expect (see above and then some) but can't afford to get to that point.  And I certainly can't afford to move them unless I have notice NOW and can save for it.  Even then, it will be really tough to do.  


This hurts just thinking about it.  


I'll figure something out - maybe a compromise.  Them moving in with me is the best thing for them on many levels.Smiley Frustrated





Message 1 of 9
Established Contributor

Re: "Just give them what they expect!"

I think its awesome that you want to help out your family.  


Definately needs to be a long talk though to get some things straight.


You shouldnt put yourself in a financial jam just because they "expect" certain things.  If their older then they should realize sometimes you have to meet in the middle at times.


Hope y'all can work things out.  Family is super important in life.

Message 2 of 9
Valued Contributor

Re: "Just give them what they expect!"

I'm working on the new thinking patterns.


I'm working on the new behaviors.


I'm praying that I am successful in helping my folks feel wanted and good about making the decision to move in.


I'd love for them to be here!  Sounds weird huh?  I didn't grow up with them, so it's not like we have bad teenage years between us. Smiley Very Happy

Message 3 of 9
Valued Contributor

Re: "Just give them what they expect!"

Oh - and the long conversations?  Per my son, NOT to happen.


So it will be a bit here and a bit there, but nothing head on.  Smiley Mad  So not my style.


Message 4 of 9
Valued Contributor

Re: "Just give them what they expect!"

Good luck... and imo if they want cable, etc., let them put it in their name and pull their credit, not yours. Maybe that can't be done with electric (because you'll be in trouble too if it's shut off), but any non-necessities, I would say that in a second.

TU FICO 8: 745 (1/18) — Ex FICO 8: 738 (1/18)
Message 5 of 9
Senior Contributor

Re: "Just give them what they expect!"

They are coming to live with you and it's rent-free I assume.  That's something nice to do for your parents, but why are they moving in with you?  Is it becaues they screwed up their credit enough that they're losing their home?  If that's the case, you really have to institute a proper "my home, my rules" plan.  Even if it isn't the case and you're just going to be a caregiver for them, it's still "my house, my rules."


If they're getting social security, I assume they can more than help pay for the entire DirecTV bill that only they will use.  If they want a fridge, they can afford to buy one and give you the $5-10 a month that will be the difference in electric bills, etc.


If either of my parents wanted to come live with me, they could have the guest room, but my home, my rules, 100% of the time.  I let a sibling stay with me 3 months in a spare bedroom and they were not a good roommate -- robbing the fridge, not pitching in for things they were using (paper towels, toilet paper, etc) and not even emptying the dryer lint filter ever.  After 3 months I just told them while I love them, they are not a useful addition to MY HOME, and they were going to have 60 days to find a new place to stay or they would need to sign a lease and abide by the costs and rules in the lease.  They moved out and the relationship is healthier.

Message 6 of 9
Regular Contributor

Re: "Just give them what they expect!"

I let my father move in. He has an income of his own but was living alone 3000 miles away where there was no family. When I decided to move to Florida I asked him if he would like to come live with me and he said yes. He never once expected me to support him or give him what he wanted. He always tells me your house your rules even though I try to tell him over and over it is OUR house. I tell everyone who lives with me this is OUR house not just my house because I own it, though I do have certain rules I do ask them to respect as I try to respect their wishes as well as I have my childhood friend living with me as well.


They both help me with mortgage payment in the form of "rent" at a greatly of course reduced rate because I'd be paying my mortgage with or without them. Every little bit helps though and if I had to get another house to accomodate them then I'd expect a much larger portion from them for house expenses.


The way we work things and I am not saying this is the best way to do for you but this is how I handle expenses. I pay house alarm and lawn care and anything I had prior to them coming into my home. This is part of my monthly budget and I'd have it whether they were here or not.


Utilities I know how much my utilities were prior to them moving in I told them that any extra utility costs above what my normal ones were would be split between the 2 of them. I am fortunate enough that they wanted to split them 3 ways to help me out which works well. If they want extra cable channels, faster internet things like that they pay the difference from what I had before.  Their extras their expense pure and simple.


I provide toilet paper, paper towels, paper plates, garbage bags and laundry supplies etc, etc. Every month they give me a little bit of money to cover those expenses included in their rent.  Each one contributes $100 towards my grocery expenses. This covers meals, snacks and things we all eat together above and beyond what they buy for themselves to cook and eat.  I cook 2xs a week if I feel like it and I always share,  and I cook things like steak dinners, or large baked pastas that can be containered up for lunches and what not. We have things like sandwich meat and snacks or drinks in the pantry and those are things the extra $100 covers. That just gives you an idea.


Any extra food they want they buy themselves. If you are cooking daily for them which I do not then I'd  ask for a bit of grocery money from them because believe me you will not even understand how much your grocery bill will go up cooking daily for them especially if they want all 3 meals. I tried it at first and my grocery bill was over $800++ a month for 4 people, my son lives here too. I got stuck shouldering that $800+ at first and said OH HECK NO I'm not doing this every month as my whole monthly grocery cost for my son and I was maybe $400 but that was including pet food, the above mentioned paper supplies and other non food items. That $800++ was for just food and I put an end to that quickly and said you can either contribute more money for groceries or do your own and both decided to do their own and cook or go out to eat which ever they decide for the month it is their choice plus I was breaking my neck trying to prepare enough food for them. I was shocked at how much 2 extra people wanting multiple meals a day, with different tastes could cost me. 


This set up works great for us. Will it work for you? From the sounds of things it sounds like your parents want to move in expense free and I can tell you that you will end up resenting them for not contributing and when you try to shoulder all the extra expenses from having them there on your own it is going to hurt finacially especially if you are like me and budget everything for the month and pay your credit cards in full every month. I know before the next month how much everything is going to cost me. I have it written out on a list and I can even tell you how much my grocery bill will be based on what I have on my list and I stick to it. 


If you are not ready to shoulder the cost and can not get them to compromise with you on expenses my advice would be maybe to find other housing options for them because as I said before you will end up resenting them and it may cause a strain in your relationship. 

Message 7 of 9
Established Contributor

Re: "Just give them what they expect!"

IOBA wrote:



My well meaning son called me today to inform me that he had a talk his grandparents (my adopted parents) and gave me a list of do's/don't's.


Like don't talk about money - they feel like I am taking control. Nope.


Do give them what they expect - cable tv, landline, air conditioning, their own fridge, etc. They can pay for any "extras" they want that aren't currently in your budget or that you do with out.


Do let them move in ALL of their stuff.  EVERY single thing they own should come with them when they move in with me. Nope. GIve them a room or two to furnish as they like. If it pains them to get rid of their stuff they can't bring, they can waste their own money on a storage unit.


Do coordinate their move and be prepared to pay for it. Nope.







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Message 8 of 9
Valued Contributor

Re: "Just give them what they expect!"

I  would expect them to pay 1) their food 2) their portion of electric 3) their cable. 4) rent depends on whats left after 1,2,3 leaving them some pocket money.   If they are going to stay their I would also expect them to clean clothes and vacum/dust.  They woul not like me. Carpooling them around very limited. 


   My oldest son who lives only 45 minutes away in a small apartment has hinted several times about "moving in to take care of me and dw"  I think its the flip side and he just wants some one to pay his way.  He spends his pay check as soon as  it comes in. My kitchen is bigger than an his apartment.   He always needs money and 2 years ago we took the vow of NO.    He comes over 1 weekend a month because he knows we will take him out to a show or something  and dinner.  We still take him out even though we have the VOW of NO  cash. 

Message 9 of 9