I read this article on Yahoo on WHY you shouldn’t let family control your financial decisions.
They’re familiar refrains.
My parents think we should buy a house, but I don’t think our finances are ready for that.
My grandfather says only fools invest in the stock market.
Uncle Lewis invests a lot of his money in gold and insists we should all be doing the same.
My brothers say buying a car that’s less than five years old is a waste of money.
Family members and loved ones can be incredibly compelling. We trust them. We love them. We value their input. Sometimes, they frustrate us with their opinions, but we know it usually stems from love and concern.
How can we not listen to them? How can we not value their input? Here are a few things to keep in mind when your relatives start doling out money advice…. …
…. …(Read more here)
The bottom line: Unwanted financial advice doesn’t have to be a source of disagreement or family discord. You just have to respond in a polite, respectful way. Simply saying, “Interesting! I’ll look into that,” or “We plan on doing just that when we knock our student loans down a little more,” shows respect for the advice giver without having to accept the advice.
Remember, family members can be wonderful, caring people, but that doesn’t make them financial advisors.
Author: Trent Hamm is the founder of the personal finance website TheSimpleDollar.com, which provides consumers with resources and tools to make informed financial decisions.
Pap is the sole breadwinner in my family. He works as a factory assistant in the chemistry industry. Actually not, my sister, Gina works to support herself. She’s a freelance worker as a waitress my family calls it. Somewhere along the service line I guess. As for me, I am under a scholarship at the moment. Am graduating with a bachelor degree in June next year, I am provided with an additional living allowance of approximately 500 dollars monthly (Allowance given annually). My the other two youngest siblings are under the financial scheme in two secondary schools (Free study materials, lunch coupons to be use in the school canteens and subsidised school fees). Me and Gina went through the almost same thing when we were young, as in when we were in primary or secondary schools. Mommy couldn’t work because she is depending on a hearing aid for both ears. That gives her difficulty to communicate well with her colleagues (she did went for many job interviews and failed, worked part-time for some and failed too). I mean the hearing aid should be a helping tool, but the aid is of more than 15 years old and we couldn’t afford the servicing every 3-6 months I guess. So the aid becomes an on and off device, sometimes working in good condition, sometimes cranky on its owner. The financial status of our family is considerably bad.
Somehow, we’re still alive! Kind souls from churches and other family service/counselling centres gift us packets of food. It usually contain rice, sweetened confectionaries such as biscuits or Swiss rolls, Milo powder, Salt/Sugar, canned food, and Instant noodles. As much as I know, many many processed foods because it is affordable to buy in bulks, long shelf-life, and easier to transport around for distribution. Hence, my family feeds on these highly processed food and become OBESE. Not that serious though, but I still believe these foods play a part in modifying our diet towards the unhealthy version. These food encourages snacking!! So I look upon these packages as poisonous food except salt and sugar can be used for cooking OR Milo as an energy drink. The rest are untouchable. So I admit they are of a great help financially after several years because imagine all the grocery expenses are savedddddddddddd :D:D
And our living expenses lighten up A LOT. Usually our family will receive comments from ignorant and insensitive people like: Why do you wanna give birth to so many piglets since you can’t afford it?!.. ..blahblah.. ..Do you want to give up your kids for adoption?.. ..You could actually take up a job without having to talk or listen.. ….Move into a smaller house then!! (Mind those bunch of damn onlookers, we’re already staying under the roof of the cheapest rented house one could ever find in Singapore), Why not you all stop schooling and go work to support yourself?.. ..WHO ASK YOU GIVE BIRTH TO SO MANY KIDS?!
I am sick and tired of all these shitty comments from random ignorant strangers, insensitive neighbours and unprofessional counsellors. Especially those from the weird sort of isolated community centres. It does not solve our problem, relieve our heavy load. It only adds on to our worries, and I can prove that I have been worrying since young about our family financial condition, look at my white hair! (And all the gone hair in the dustbin) Hence I’ve been very particular about my expenses.
These are what I did for my expenses:
1) I kept my bills (boyfriend found out after looking through my stuff) and did a record keeping for what I pay monthly
2) I take note of what I eat so much that I measure the amount of food I eat not in terms of calories but in terms of price (e.g. Amount not to exceed 10 dollars daily)
3) I must at least have some savings in my bank which can last me up to 3 months jobless (it didn’t work, I usually ran out of money sooner than I’ve expected)
4) Because Mommy controls the flow of my money, she kept my bank book etc. So I have to memorize and report to her what, how, why, who and where I spent my money on occasions. (This is the most difficult part, so I’ll made it up most of the time)
5) Sometimes I’ll shrimp and save to that extend if I am spending more than I should, I’ll stop spending the day or week after, in which I’ll isolate myself at home so that I can survive on snacks and not go out and SPEND MORE.
Mommy takes control of my expenses because she knows I am not very good at that. But I tried to control my own too. So I needed to let her now I can do it and she don’t have to look or update my bank book DAILY. Whats more, my earnings (worked sometimes during term breaks) or allowances are split among my siblings and parents because they need it for daily expenses too. To be truthful, pap’s earnings can only support himself and the house bills (Rented apartments). I am in charge of the groceries and food items, sometimes even bills, my own bills, siblings telephone bills, electricity blahblah, EVEN if it means I AM NOT WORKING.
Worst still, pap even told me he wants to retire after I started working, which means I’ll have to be the sole breadwinner of the family, and I believe if my salary is below 2k after the deduction of CPF, I might die.
and because Mommy knows my expenses and savings everything, she might just take ALL.
With all these, I told myself umpteenth times never never to become a burden for my boyfriend and my friends (Many did those I wish they didn’t become victims, I went around borrowing money from classmates for lunch money since young). Often, my friends invite me to their house for lunch/dinner, some, like QAD actually gave me life-saving food from her house *tears of gratitude*, Laode ended up treating me eat because I seem like a poor cad in school, boyfriend even has to pay for some of my expenses and he paid for most of what we both spend (though very very occasionally I do pay.. .hmm), even Xin has to pay for my admission tickets to some fun outdoor attractions and recreational activities ):
I must do something. I must do something.. .