Kirsty asks :
I'm saving to buy my own home while living with grandparents. I have worked hard all my life to get to where I am now- in a job I’ve always wanted.
One problem is that my mother has always struggled to support me and my sisters so I have always filled in the gaps financially.
She has never liked working and has been in a job which does not pay well but she is reluctant to look for something else more suitable. I have been lending her money which she never repays and I have accepted it. But now it’s got to the point where she’s asking for large sums of money because her wage does not cover her bills and mortgage and I want to say ‘no’, but I feel guilty because it is family.
She has asked for a large sum of money to cover Christmas and I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to upset her but I feel I am working so hard and she is avoided getting a better job. I am basically supporting the family and feel stuck. How can I handle this?
This is an unusual situation because it's generally the other way around. What I would say is that if she can't afford the property she's in, then perhaps she needs to downsize and find something that is more within her budget. Could she house share? Perhaps her tastes exceed what she can actually pay for and she needs to be more realistic about her outgoings.
It sounds like you are the only one out of your sisters who is paying something to your mum- could they help too and chip in to ease the pressure on you in the interim?
Her reliance on your money seems like it's holding you back from getting your own place. So it depends if you want to put yourself first and use your money for your mortgage rather than giving it to her for hers.
In terms of Christmas- if she cannot afford a lavish Christmas then she may need to dial it back to something that reflects her income.
You could sit down with your mum and tell her that this routine of lending her money has to stop and she needs to stand on her own two feet. If she's not paid you back so far, then chances are she won't in the future.
She may need help with budgeting so if you're good at this maybe you could give her some guidance? Alternatively- help her look for a job that pays more money. If you are firm and tell her that you won't give her any more money, she may feel the pressure to look for something new. If she knows that you will rescue her each month then the drive might not be there.
If you need help or advice, you can ask Yin & Yang. It's quick, easy, free and you don't have to leave your real name.