Gransnet forums


Money to children

(80 Posts)
Buffy Fri 31-Jul-20 13:19:48

Our son and daughter-in-law both work and never ask for anything but we like to help them out financially if we think they need it. Now daughter-in-law’s parents see they are doing well and think they should financially support a brother and partner who are VERY extravagant and in debt. This couple are now splitting up and our son says maybe he should subsidise them, but that’s our hard earned money they would be parting with. Are we being unfair to be annoyed?

timetogo2016 Fri 31-Jul-20 13:24:32

No you are not.
I would pull back on being generous as ds wants to help his brother out, he IS doing it with your money.
And i would be inclined to say that to him tbh.

Hithere Fri 31-Jul-20 14:35:24

"we like to help them out financially if we think they need it."
What if they don't need it? Why not wait for them to ask you of they need help?

I would back off. What your son and dil decide to do with their finances is their business

For the record- moochers shouldn't be given any money "just because".
They should work and earn their own money to afford their own extravagant tastes, not living on somebody else's dime.

Urmstongran Fri 31-Jul-20 14:48:50

I always think that money, once I’ve given it away, is no longer mine.

Daisymae Fri 31-Jul-20 14:54:19

I think that when you give money it's gone and no strings attached. Otherwise it's just a form of control. A gift is just that.

Hetty58 Fri 31-Jul-20 14:55:46

Buffy, yet again the same old dilemma appears on GN. How many times have I repeated this I wonder? When you give something away, it belongs to the person you gave it to.

Still, you state (quite illogically):

'that’s our hard earned money they would be parting with'

No, it isn't, it's theirs!

V3ra Fri 31-Jul-20 15:06:14

Why don't your daughter-in-law's parents help her brother out? Presumably he's their son?
He's certainly not your responsibility!

We occasionally help our daughter and her partner financially but not to subsidise their day to day living, that's up to them to decide their priorities over.

For example we sometimes pay for self-catering holiday accommodation as a treat: last year eight of us went to Lanzarote (four generations!), this year just the three of them are going to Devon.

ladymuck Fri 31-Jul-20 15:06:55

So in a roundabout way, you are subsidising this other brother?
It's up to you to decide whether to continue giving money where it obviously isn't needed.

TrendyNannie6 Fri 31-Jul-20 15:14:14

I think once money is given to someone regardless of who it is, it’s then theirs to do what they wish with it, you can’t have any say where it’s going! I can see in one respect what you mean,, it WAS your hard earned money, but it isn’t now

Sussexborn Fri 31-Jul-20 15:18:50

Handing over money to pay off debts will probably mean the debts will just build up again as there haven’t been any adverse consequences.

MellowYellow Sat 01-Aug-20 08:00:13

I gave my children their inheritance years ago, so it would be useful long before I died. I'm really close to them all but I've never asked what they did with the money, nor ever will. It's not your money once you give it and I find it a little strange that you keep tabs on it. No offence meant.

AnnaC Sat 01-Aug-20 09:17:46

Absolutely agree that once given the money ceases to be yours - but if you are concerned how it’s being used then think about giving it in a different way??
Maybe financial gifts for the future to grandchildren if there are any? What about a shared holiday that you pay for? Or gift of a holiday for the two of them?
But still doesn’t stop them spending money they have saved on spendthrift relatives!!

Froglady Sat 01-Aug-20 09:22:35

Is this your son's brother or his brother-in-law?

jenpax Sat 01-Aug-20 09:24:02

Agree with most of what’s said here. Once given money should be a gift no strings attached or explanation needed. If you don’t want any of your money going to your son’s brother in law just stop giving him any money, and they can sort things without you being involved.
Someone asked why daughter in laws parents don’t help! Firstly we don’t know if they have, and now can’t? or secondly don’t have the resources to do so; not everyone is in a comfortable position in the middle and older years!

Apricity Sat 01-Aug-20 09:24:41

Agree with other posters that money once given is given. You may not like what happens next but you don't control what someone does with a gift. You may want to discuss your concerns with your family members but once gifted it is no longer your money. However, this may well effect how you bestow your generosity in the future.

Coconut Sat 01-Aug-20 09:26:02

What a totally absurd situation I cannot understand what parent would even suggest that someone helps their adult sibling out, especially knowing that they are extravagant. Even if he gave them cash, where’s the guarantee it would go on the debt, if they are that irresponsible, that cash could also be squandered away.

wildswan16 Sat 01-Aug-20 09:26:06

Their money is their own to do with as they wish. If you disagree with this then just don't give them any more. It doesn't sound like they needed it anyway.

inishowen Sat 01-Aug-20 09:35:44

Maybe you should stop giving them money. I'm reminded of when our son was a student. He and his girlfriend were going back to uni after the summer break. At the airport my husband slipped my son a wad of cash, thinking it would help out with food and rent. When he later asked what he'd used the money for, my son said he'd given it to his girlfriend and she'd bought things in the airport shop i.e ornaments and jewellery. We were not best pleased.

CrazyGrandma2 Sat 01-Aug-20 09:44:27

Like others I believe that the money ceases to be yours the moment it is handed over and what they do with it is down to them, as it is now their money. Would you put any stipulations on the use of a physical gift?

I can understand why you feel annoyed but really it's none of your business. No offence intended.

CarlyD7 Sat 01-Aug-20 09:46:14

Agree with other posters that you should STOP giving your son money (and tell him why you're doing it). It's clearly giving the wrong impression to your DIL's family that they're rolling in it. As for having a responsibility for bankrolling her brother - of course they're not - her brother is an adult and is responsible for his own poor money management (and it sounds as though her parents are passing the buck here); bailing him out = he will never learn the financial lessons he so clearly needs to learn (so, in the long run, your son wouldn't be doing him any favours). They're going to have to say No and take the consequences, but they have to sort that out - you should stop your part in it immediately (and tell them why you're doing it). Apart from anything-else, if they feel they have the spare money to be able to even consider doing this, they clearly don't need money from you!

Jude10 Sat 01-Aug-20 09:57:03

You are being totally unreasonable
You got gifted that money and it’s now theirs to do with what they wish.

CarlyD7 Sat 01-Aug-20 09:59:11

This post reminds me of what happened to our niece. She and her husband didn't have a lot of money but they were very careful, did without a lot of things to make sure that they were able to save money towards buying a new house. Unfortunately, she made the mistake of telling her mother about their savings; her mother, using tons of emotional cajolling, insisted that she give the money to her younger brother who was in massive debt. (Looking back, of course, the mum couldn't bear his moaning and threats to move back home and wanted someone-else to bail him out). My niece, without her husband knowing, gave him the money "as a loan" which he promised to pay back, and then spent it all on a holiday with his mates! You can imagine the fallout - I thought that my niece and her husband were going to part - he was SO mad. The brother has, of course, never paid them back, is back on mum's sofa, and is still being chased for the debts, and mum still badgers my niece to help him out (but all their savings are now in her husband's name, because he no longer trusts her, and husband no longer speaks to his MIL). Sometimes, you have to learn to say NO - even to family (especially to family!)

SylviaPlathssister Sat 01-Aug-20 09:59:20

With children and money, only one rule applies. You gave it to them so forget it. We learned early on never to mention it again. Our choice was to give it.
Children do not have the same attitude to your money as you do. Saying that, our children are all well off and don’t need our money. We have been lucky.
But once your money has being given away....then it’s not your money any more. Keep stum, and don’t give your son any more.....

GoldenAge Sat 01-Aug-20 10:00:23

Personally I don’t see the problem with giving money and earmarking it for some special purpose - this has been the case in legacies for years - a grandparent will leave money for a grandchild and it will be intended to be used for education or for a deposit on a house and the wording in the will expressly says this - if your right to give money to another person without stipulating what it’s for is taken away by another who wishes to control that person’s finances like your son’s in laws and you don’t challenge that you are acquiescing - this is about rights and obligations not control. Unfortunately in our current society there’s a lot said about rights but much less about obligations so actually I would have the conversation openly with your daughter and sil - ask if they can afford to support dil’s brother as his parents wish. Ask if they want to support him and that’s the bit where their right to make that decision and be charitable comes in, and then ask if they are still in need of the financial handouts you give them. If they still want to receive your money yet also want to support the dil’s brother then you have a responsibility to ask them how they would finance their lives if they didn’t have your money and yet shared what they have with the dil’s brother. We all have different views on this - my OH has given money on countless occasions to his daughters supposedly for important bills only to find that a week later they’ve bought expensive clothes or had beauty treatments and he always uses the same old line that once he’s given it he doesn’t care what they do with it - this is totally irresponsible because they never learn and still manage their money so badly that the next time they want an expensive night out they fabricate a utility bill so his philosophy is one that encourages deceit - be open in your feelings about this situation and if you can’t get answers to your questions stop giving.

Patticake123 Sat 01-Aug-20 10:01:03

I agree with other people here. I gave my son some money with a clear idea of what he should spend my gift on and he blew it on something I saw as an extravagance. A friend pointed out to me that as I’d given him the money it was now his to do as he liked with. On reflection I realised she was absolutely right. If you want to control what the money is spent on, don’t give It!