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Currently she pays the electric, water and wifi and cries that she is near poverty every month. I know she has money in the bank and has a fistful of credit cards with packages arriving almost daily full of things she truly does not need. I divided all the utilities into 4 parts (electric, water, tv service and wifi) then added $100 a month towards food (she eats dinner with us every night but just grazes during the day partly on our food and partly on the junk food she buys. I also added on $30 a month for dog treats since her dog lines up every time I give my 2 dogs a treat and those darn things are so expensive. The amount comes to about half of her monthly social security check. This will also include driving her wherever she needs to go and running errands for her since she has decided to sell her car and then will save another $100 a month on her car insurance.


Since we have all moved in together (my house) she has stopped paying cable, home phone, groceries, and now car insurance. I don't want to hobble her, but I also cannot afford to pay her share of the expenses. Before she moved in with us, she rented an apartment and paid all utilities on her own and I am sure that was way more than we will be asking her for. We have a handicapped son who is quite expensive and does not get enough benefits to even cover his needs. Some advice from people who had to do similar types of things would be welcome.

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So we worked on a budget that seemed fair to my mother and got a number that was helpful to us, but not burdensome to her. I told her that starting in August, we would be taking over the electric, water, and wifi (total is about 450 average months) and that we would like her to pay rent. She digested this news and asked for an amount. When I gave it to her; she said that left her $650 for the rest of the month. I said, well I am sure you paid more than that in Ohio. She denies that she paid anything close to the $600 we are asking her, but I know that she paid well above that. It appears that the nonstop shopping will come to a halt at least after she buys the ever growing list of things she "needs" for the new house that I am not going to provide for her. I appreciate the support for our issue and the good advice. We will see how this turns out.
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Rent, she should be paying rent.
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Sendhelp Jul 24, 2018
Oh, apologies....did I state that too bluntly? So sorry.

Just irks me when the elderly take advantage, knowingly, and act like greedy little children to get their way, adding to the stress.
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Take your housing expenses, for a year, divided by the 12 months: mortgage, taxes, insurance, maintenance. Divide that by the number of people in your home, or the number of occupied rooms.
That is her basic living expenses.
Groceries, dog food, and caregiving is extra.

If she rented a room or was in AL or a nursing home, her basic expenses could cost so much more, depending on where. She is at your home, those are the basic expenses to live there. Just the facts, her relationship to you is irrelevant if she can be paying her way.
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Tluther Jul 25, 2018
Thanks. That is what I did to come up with the number. I did not include the mortgage in the figure because she has just one room/bath and when I used that formula at social security for my son; they called me a thief who was trying to get all I could financially from them. So I did utilities, food, transportation and came up with a number we can live with and she will have to get used to.
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I see no problem with this. She should be paying her meds and personal needs. Tell her to stop buying things she doesn't need and has no room for.
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Tluther Jul 25, 2018
Amen to that. If I buy a pair of Toms shoes, she buys two. If I buy a sunhat, she buys three and so on and so on. She has been cleaning out her closet for three weeks trying to sort through what all she has and is planning on giving a ton of stuff to charity that she has never even worn.
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Ah, hindsight is always 20-20. Before she moved in, it would have been a good idea to put, in writing, exactly what you expected Mom to pay every month and why and helped her budget out of her funds. When packages come to the door, raised eyebrows and the comment, “Another one? I thought you were broke?” Could be effectives. When she cries poormouth tell her to stop buying stuff online! I don’t believe in pussy-footing around and internalizing everything. Sorry.

Does she live with you because she can’t live on her own? Maybe consider finding another apartment or independent living for her.

PS: I get my dog treats at Aldi. My picky dog loves them. $30 a month is a bit much unless you buy the home-baked ones.
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Tluther Jul 25, 2018
We have two dogs. They get a "goodbye" treat when I leave the house and a 8:00 treat with our handicapped son. One dog has pancreatitis so the treats have to be low fat. I order in bulk from Chewy and usually stick to the "smart" or "dream" line of items as they seem to be fairly good for them. I will check out Aldi treats, but part of the issue is that they have to be fairly soft as our older rescue has poor teeth and can't eat a lot of crunch things.

She maybe could live on her own for a year or two, but it would not be a long term solution. I can see her becoming more frail, forgetful, and weak each month. When she first moved in, we had just bought the home as a retirement house for ourselves and our son. She moved in believing that she would have the house to herself for about 10 years. She was quite unhappy when my husband got a job here and then we relocated 6 years earlier than expected. Then she paid the utilities and we paid everything else. When we moved in, her diet improved and her entire quality of life.
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What were her monthly expenses when she lived on her own? I think that would be a fair amount.
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Tluther Jul 25, 2018
Her rent was $450 and then cable, electric, cell phone and car insurance. So I am guessing well in excess of the $600 I am planning to ask for.
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