parents need poor skills
My mom is terrible with money. Well, my parents have always had financial difficulties; they just hid it from me very well when I was growing up, so I never knew what was going on. About five years ago, my dad died, and my mom has shared all of her financial info with me since. It has NOT been pretty; I got to see what was REALLY going on all those years when I was just a little kid. Anyway, I'm very frugal and have been coaching my mom for the past several years, helping her pay down her debts and build up some savings. She's retired and should be living comfortably on her pension, doing things retired people do, but instead she basically lives paycheck to paycheck and has no savings. It really scares me. But here's the real problem: she completely ignores my advice. Well, she follows it for a bit, then does something ridiculous like replaces all the windows in the house and we have to start all over. She's refinanced her house three times in the past few years, always to pay off credit card debt, only to have it build up again a few months later. This year it seemed like everything was back on track: I told her to pay a set amount of her credit card bill each month (she figured paying the minimum requirement was just fine) and pay herself a set amount of money each month, and on my plan she would have had a nice amount of emergency savings and zero credit card debt by this October. But just this week, she decided to sell her house and move into a more expensive one... which will pretty much undo all of this, and increase her debt by a lot. I'm an only child and all she has, so I feel like it's my responsibility to take care of her and make sure she doesn't go bankrupt. But she IS an adult, and she should be able to make her own decisions... furthermore, I'm not in any position to help her if she has serious financial troubles. I can give her advice all day long, but I'm a grad student barely getting by, so I can't help her in that way. The other day she asked if she could borrow a few thousand dollars from me and pay it back to me in a year... I wish! I don't have that much sitting around! But now I feel so guilty for being in grad school and living at minimum wage. I feel like I should go out and get a "real" job so I can help her out financially, because clearly this problem isn't going away. Does anyone else experience this? I'm so torn; I should take care of her, but I want to live my own life too.