Posted by Dave on August 2, 2011
This is a guest post by Dave, who is also looking to retire no later than 45, but unlike Tim has no kids and doesn’t want any. Dave is from Ontario and is working towards his CGA certification.
Six weeks ago, I wrote about my sister moving in with my wife and I. I received some feedback that people would like to follow how this turns out. I just recently asked my sister to provide my wife and I printouts of her credit card and bank statements from the time she moved in until the present, along with a spreadsheet reconciling the two, so that I could see where her personal spending money was going, and whether she was able to stick to the budget we had set out.
It turns out that she went over budget by $25, or 50%, included with the spreadsheet was also a note:
I’d rather not talk about this as it feels awkward and I’m not doing anything wrong.
Thanks, enjoy my business!
As I had noted in my previous post, my sister, wife and I had initial discussions regarding what was expected with the arrangement, we explained we were not the bad guys. We wanted to provide her with a fresh start (money-wise) and our intention was not to be “parents” but offer assistance where it was needed. Her note basically shows that she resents our rules and would rather not follow them. My wife and I realized that at some point this would happen, but 6 weeks in seemed a little quick for this kind of backlash to occur.
The $25 doesn’t really concern us, we both understand that sticking to a very strict financial plan is difficult and it would be very easy for her to go over the allotment with a few small purchases that in the past she wouldn’t even have thought of – what makes us mad is the selfish attitude that she has, and the fact that she thinks that reviewing her financial records is something that we want to do.
I read the comments people wrote regarding my original post – especially the ones that dealt with this exact circumstance. Perhaps my wife and I asked for too much of a change from a person who had never had structure or had to explain anything financially to anyone (hence the significant amount of debt). Our bottom line however is that we would like to be of assistance, but at the same time we also really would prefer not to have a roommate, we were doing quite well in our home by ourselves prior to trying to help.
Our “rent” from her is following the financial plan that we set out. If she does not want to pay her “rent” then she is not holding up her end of the agreement. We are not forcing her to stay with us, her alternative choice is to live on her own with nobody overseeing anything.
Due to work schedules and other commitments, my wife and I will not be able to actually sit down and discuss my sister’s finances for a few days, which also gives us some time to cool down as we were a little angered by the whole approach my sister took.
How would you deal with this situation? Would you send her packing as she obviously is not taking our charity all that well, or would you try to reason with her?