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Is this "greedy"? Really?

sylvan8798sylvan8798 Registered User Posts: 5,948 Senior Member
FIL passed away recently. FIL (and the sons) were terrible about money in the sense that they were always throwing wads of money at each other. "Here let me pay for that. No really I INSIST." "No really WE INSIST." Yada, yada.

Typical situation: When everyone was returning to base for the funeral week, SIL spent $200 to stock up the MIL/FIL house with food for the incoming hoard (it was empty for the season when they winter over in the south). H gave SIL $100 because MONEY. Not sure why it was our responsibility to pay for stocking the house (there are 5 siblings) since we live in the same place and were not the ones eating all that food, but that's how it is. We're wealthy - it's not like it matters.

So people were spending hither and yon, and H and I had a discussion about whether everyone was going to keep track and start billing each other. We agreed that since MIL is not poor in any sense of the word, and all this tracking and billing would be a PITA (and why?), we would generally have MIL pay for her own expenditures as we went along.

Since she has a hard time getting around, one of the things I am trying to do now is pick up things at the market once a week or when I happen to be going I ask if she needs something. I get a separate bill and have them bagged separately and she reimburses me when I take them in. Tonight, I picked up a few things she asked for and made dinner at her house as well. H showed up and tried to waive off the $10 for her groceries. I took the money because that was the plan. Now he is having fits and says I'm just greedy. I basically told him to pound salt.


Replies to: Is this "greedy"? Really?

  • AllThisIsNewToMeAllThisIsNewToMe Registered User Posts: 2,252 Senior Member
    I'm with your hubby, but sounds like there are other issues at play.
  • bookwormbookworm Registered User Posts: 7,691 Senior Member
    I'm with you. Time for shopping and cooking matters. It is the local,person that does everything, like taking the ill,one to MD appointments, shopping, cooking, home repairs, etc., Lots,of time beyond costs. Never appreciated. Stick to your guns. Buy prepared foods. No reward in being a martyr.
  • JoblueJoblue Registered User Posts: 1,178 Senior Member
    I don't think it's greedy at all. I realize that you all are well off and no one really needs money and if you and his mom had agreed in advance that she would reimburse you, then what's wrong with taking the money (especially since you also made dinner for her)? I imagine it's a very emotional time for your husband and maybe that's why he's behaving a bit irrationally. Has he stopped to consider that maybe his mother actually would prefer to not be treated like some pitiful charity case? Just because you could afford to pay for all her groceries doesn't mean you shouldn't be reimbursed for your time and trouble. I could afford to buy lunch for my friends and they could afford to buy mine but we normally prefer to pay our own way unless it's a birthday when we treat each other.

    If I were his mother it would be a matter of preserving my own pride and dignity to pay for my own groceries. The fact that you are wealthy should have no bearing on the situation.
  • sylvan8798sylvan8798 Registered User Posts: 5,948 Senior Member
    I'm with your hubby
    Can you elaborate? We had a plan, and now he is apparently mad because he doesn't like the plan we made two weeks ago.

    But he just allowed her to pay for our plane tickets to travel south with her in January (she is too feeble to fly alone). Why wasn't THAT greedy on our part? Shouldn't we pay our own way - and hers too for that matter, since why not?
  • busdriver11busdriver11 Registered User Posts: 14,119 Senior Member
    I agree with Joblue. You said that MIL was fine, financially, it would be a different story if she was suffering and broke, then I'd say do everything with no cost. If she can't reimburse you, she may not want to ask you to pick things up. If that was the agreement, then do it. I would also be preserving my dignity, I would feel very weird about my kids paying for me.
  • CTmom2018CTmom2018 Registered User Posts: 522 Member
    It's okay to let her pay her own way, since she can. Not at all greedy.

  • 1or2Musicians1or2Musicians Registered User Posts: 1,230 Senior Member
    If y'all are going to be shopping for her regularly, you should look into getting added to one of her accounts, or setting up a new joint account, then you can just use her money. I know one of my mom's siblings did this years ago with my grandparents--they were still quite active at the time, but they were away a lot and that enabled her to take care of anything that came up with the house, etc. And my husband did the same with his mom.
  • traveler98traveler98 Registered User Posts: 841 Member
    Family and money, such a potential disaster. Obviously it would be different if you were bringing her items she hadn't requested and then expecting payment, but this sounds completely appropriate to me. You're devoting your time to shopping and cooking for her, and caring for her in other ways as well. She can afford to reimburse you for her shopping and she seems happy to do so. I'd hate to have someone pay for me all the time.
  • busdriver11busdriver11 Registered User Posts: 14,119 Senior Member
    edited December 2016
    Of course, we're just viewing this in a vacuum. You probably have decades of history behind this, and family is complicated!

    If she's doing fine financially and happy to reimburse you, I don't think you should be responsible for paying for her groceries. Because this sounds like a trend, something you are going to do often. If you feel like you'll be resentful doing shopping without being reimbursed, I think you should take the money. This doesn't sound like one time, this could be all the time. I am all for being generous, and I never ask my parents to pay for anything. However, since they are quite well off, my husband is sometimes quite annoyed that once again, I paid. Even though we can afford it, it's the principle.

    And by the way, if your husband has a problem with it, I suggest that he go grocery shopping for her, and cook her dinner. See how long that lasts! :-O
  • HImomHImom Registered User Posts: 29,524 Senior Member
    I agree that if you are already running errands for them, it is fine to allow them to reimburse because they can and it allows them to maintain their dignity and independence.

    When we traveled with them, we paid for our travel and they paid for theirs, even tho we were mainly going because we felt it was unsafe for them to travel unaccompanied. I believe another sib who traveled with them had a similar arrangement and a third sib treated my folks.

    When my sister accompanied her FIL to Europe and he needed a LOT of assistance (pushing wheelchair, etc.), they let FIL pay for her 3 sons who did all the heavy work cheerfully. She and her H paid for themselves.
  • zeebamomzeebamom Registered User Posts: 1,053 Senior Member
    I'll buy my mom bits and bobs, but she's in a care facility and doesn't have a lot. One sister is big on reimbursement and we snort and carry on.
    My SIL does shopping and finances for her parents. Even though they live in AL, they require (I swear) daily shopping. FIL asked H if he minded his sister being paid as well as reimbursed -heck no! She's retired and we're not. H is on one of the bank accounts, so if he buys something, he transfers the money to our account.

    Honestly, when the parents have plenty of money, it's almost more important to get the money right. Setting expectations and getting it written down can ease a multiple of issues after death.
This discussion has been closed.