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When you attempt to talk about money with family members, the situation is usually pretty tense. I had this happen recently with my mother. My mother has no interest in personal finance. The closest she comes to managing her personal finances is writing out a check and hoping it clears.
I've been after her for years about letting me help her get her finances in order. She finally said that if I "wrote some things down", she would take a look at it.
I knew things were bad, but I didn't think they were this bad.
I setup online access to her bank account and logged in to take a look. There was craziness all over the place. She is paying a maintenance fee of $8.95 a month for her account. She's had the account for over 3 years so she's given the bank almost $300 just for having a plain vanilla checking account. She has bounced a couple of checks so there were more fees for NSF funds.
It only gets better......... Her savings account has a balance of $1.26.
I setup her 401k a few years ago. I thought she was still contributing to the account. Not only is she no longer contributing; she cashed out the account a few months ago. She is 55 years old and has nothing saved for retirement.
My mother filed bankruptcy when I was in my early teens. At the time, I didn't realize what that was or what effect it had on your finances. I knew my mom's credit was probably not good so a few years ago, I put her as an authorized user one of my cards. Apparently, doing this hurt her more than helping her. At some point, she received a credit card from the bank that she has her checking account with. The credit card has a $5000 limit and a balance of $4977.
When I met with her to go over everything, I tried not to let the anger show on my face. I couldn't believe she has been so irresponsible with her money. I wanted to just fix the problems and be done with it. I could pay off her credit card and have her close the account but she would probably just get another one and do the same thing. I could get her account balanced but she would just lose track again.
I told her she was an adult and it was time for her to fix her problems. If she had legitimate questions, I would answer them but she has to be responsible for her own finances. I'm tired of just fixing everything for her. She has just come to expect me to fix it and I don't think I should do it anymore. I love my mother more than anything but I can't be her crutch.