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money sense doesn't run in the family...

March 28th, 2008 at 07:23 am

My sister stayed over last night. We were talking about tax refunds and such. Somehow, the subject of savings accounts came up. I asked her if she had a high-interest savings account and she looked at me like I was crazy. She said "my bank doesn't pay interest on my savings account."

So I asked her if she'd considered opening an online account and she said "You know that stuff makes my head spin."

We've gone around and around on money. Last year, I had to help her refinance her house so she didn't lose it. She had refinanced a few years before to pay off her car and credit card debt. Do you know how she found the loan? she answered an add on television-- then didn't even read the terms. it was an adjustable rate mortgage with rates about 4 percent higher than what she could have gotten at the local bank-- and it was about to reset to about 15 percent. Ugh. Luckily, we avoided that mess.

That inspired her to ask me to help her develop a financial plan and a budget. So I went through all of her documents, bills, etc. and set up a relatively easy to follow and not too onerous saving and debt reduction plan. 2 years later, it's still gathering dust. And I just found out she cashed out her entire retirement plan to pay off credit card debt. (She's 38).

(This isn't even going into the times I've had to bail her out. I've paid her monthly mortgage twice-- due to no emergency fund when she lost her job. I've also moved in with her to help her save and get ahead on bills, only to have her immediately quit her job after I moved in, because she could now afford to...)

Ugh. It's like she doesn't want to deal with money at all, because she doesn't want to sacrifice or deal with her demons. But yet, the longer you let things go, the bigger the demons.

And here is the worst part-- she works in accounting. She loves her job, but yet she can't seem to translate that into her personal life.

Sorry for the rant. I just worry about her and sometimes it makes me mad.

6 Responses to “money sense doesn't run in the family...”

  1. luxlivingfrugalis Says:

    I have a sibling that doesn't take care of his financial life too well, so I know the feeling.

    What will happen if you aren't there to bail her out?

  2. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    Ya know-- on these blogs and forums I've noticed the peculiar presence of people who have personal money troubles yet actually work in businesses where money IS their business. Odd isn't it?

  3. thriftorama Says:

    If I don't bail her out, she borrows money from my parents. Our dad is 74 and disabled and my mother is a catholic school teacher who has never made more than $38,000 a year in her life and wants to retire in a couple of years.

    The last thing I want is for my parents to have an added financial burden, so I usually step in.

  4. seven of seven Says:

    She needs to be mindful of her credit. One day, she will apply for an accounting job and she won't get it because she has credit issues. Companies are looking not only at criminal reports, but credit reports more and more.

  5. Carolina Bound Says:

    My sister is absolutely stupid about money, and I have finally learned I can't help her. She doesn't want it. She wants to pretend she can spend whatever she likes with no consequences. It's a terrible feeling knowing she's going to crash, and all I can do is watch.

    The funny thing is she's actually very intelligent in other ways, just brain-dead in the financial arena.

  6. thriftorama Says:

    My sister is the same way. Unfortunately, I know she's going to expect it to become my job to take care of her when she is old and broke, so I still keep trying to break through. And her credit is borderline subprime. I think she had a score of 680 when we refinanced the house? Why? She thought she paid off a credit card but fell short by $20. She never opened a statement from them again, so she was reported late to the credit bureaus!! Who doesn't check to make sure the stuff is paid off? It's very frustrating.

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