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I saved the receipts for a week to show my parents what they were spending vs the bills they had to pay. They still spend irresponsibly. What next. Their Jehovah witness devotion alienated most of their friends. They don't want me to help them with their finances anymore, they think I'm telling them what to do. Things are getting cut off as a result. Most recently I had to take another relative to the hospital (40 miles away) and my dad said don't do it. This relative takes them to the doctor when I am working and had taken me too. I went anyway, and my dad told my mom NOT to give me the keys anymore unless he approves. I'm a 50 yeast old woman. I am driving his truck because mine has been in the shop all summer. Overspending so I can't get it out. Whatever my dad says, mom complies, she is afraid I think. It's been 2 years of this cheap and I'm done. I came from 500 miles away to help them now I feel like I'm being slapped in the face.

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You're trying to stop your parents from overspending and potentially losing everything. Good for you! Unfortunately, if they won't cooperate, you're going to be fighting a losing battle. It sounds as if they used to listen to your advice about spending, but they don't anymore. What changed?

Maybe the utilities have to get shut off before they realize they need to start budgeting. What are they overspending on? Trips to the casino? Stuff from HSN? Is this new behavior, or have they always thrown their money around like drunken sailors? It could be a sign of depression.

Maybe you should move out and leave them to sink or swim. It doesn't sound like the situation you're in is a healthy one for you.
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Agilmore, your parents' crises are now spilling onto you. I'll be blunt -- there's nothing you can do for your parents that'll fix their spending habits and their money problems. You need to get your own life in order immediately. Get on your own feet, and do not rely on your parents for anything -- no car, no roof over your head if you're living with them, no financial compensation.
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Did you give up your job and place of residence to come and live with them at their request? If so, and if it's no longer working out, then maybe you need to pack up, find another job and your own residence. Let them fend for themselves. Unless they've been found incompetent, they are adults and can do as they wish, as foolish as they may be.
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Sometimes, if we're too fast or insensitive as we take over more and more things for a parent, they can push back. And often quite firmly. Taking over all of my mom's finances took, probably, three years. I noticed little things...like not paying bills on time or paying something twice. So I suggested, "How about if I write the checks and you sign them, mom?" That was fine with her. Then, gradually, (my name was already on the account), I just took over signing the checks and sending them out...being careful to tell her what her balance was every month, and what her Social Security and pension checks amounted to. Then, as she sunk deeper into dementia, she just really didn't care anymore. "Do whatever you think is best, honey," became her mantra.

If your dad isn't ready for you to take over his finances, there's not much you can do. People are allowed to be irresponsible with their own funds. It's possible, if you back completely off right now, that he'll see that he likes it better when you're taking are of things for them. But, in the meantime, it's their money. If they over-spend, it's on them. Unless you want to pursue a competency hearing, you're left with cajoling them and manipulating them into wanting your help.

It's not easy watching a parent more or less self-destruct. But, even if you had his power of attorney? He's still free to do as he pleases with his own funds.
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This is not about me, perhaps I should not have mentioned my car.
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Maggie I'm sorry. I didn't explain entirely. I moved from md. To sc with my car. Now it's not working. I no longer have a job, and I scrounge whatever $ I get for personal basics. Please don't attack me personally, I feel bad enough. I am trying to help THEM, but there is only so much I can do.
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I'm sorry. I must be missing something. Why does a 50-year-old woman need her parents to pay to get her car out of the shop? Aren't you supposed to be there to help THEM?
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