I love my parents dearly [both are in their 90's and live independently in their own home] but it drive me batty when they nickel and dime when it comes to purchases. Being a sharp shopper is one thing, using coupons is good, but my parents tend to go overboard.

I been getting my parents groceries weekly for the past 5 years, I hate driving but I do it, and several times an item was over charged and my Mom insisted I return to the grocery store and get the money back. Or if one of their coupons wasn't deducted, back to the store for a 35 cent coupon. I use to go back to the store, hated doing it.... since this was so stressful for me I finally pretended I went to the store, scribbled on the receipt and dug into my own pocket and gave the money to my parents.

Other day, my parents were looking for a bottle brush, it cost $7.99 and no way were my parents going to pay THAT much. They said they wanted to go to other stores to check their prices. No way am I going to drive over hill and dale looking for a cheaper bottle brush. What part of I hate to drive don't they understand???? Yeah, when I was 18 I loved driving, but not at 68 years old.

Dad wanted me to get a dozen bags of mulch for his yard and help spread it... I said no, told him I am going to pay a landscaper to do that work on my yard as I just don't have the time or energy. Suggested Dad do the same, but he wouldn't. Every time he talks about his yard, he makes me feel guilty... [sigh].

Well, I shouldn't have done this, but when I was taking my parents income tax files over to the Accountant, I peeked into the file...... I thought my parents were being frugal because at their age their life savings was slowly running out. I was totally wrong, with all their extra income they could have hired a full-time chauffer to drive them around.... I was so upset.... all the unnecessary stress my parents have put me though these past 5 years because I the older I got the more panicky I got driving... I now have serious stress related illnesses. I honest believe my parents will out live me.

Lesson learned for everyone out there that has a large estate, please use it for yourself. Don't save it for your grown children if you rely on them, they would be too stressed out to enjoy it.

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Amen to knowing when to say you are too old yourself for all this. Amen to spending their money for care. When my MIL needed a hospital bed, she refused to spend the money. So I ordered one on line for $800. I told her it would be there in two days. "I'm not spending that kind of money!" she insisted.
I told her fine, no problem, I've got it covered. Once she slept in it, her back pain went away. She wrote me a check.
For her yard, I picked up ten bags of good mulch. She thought two was plenty. I had her landscaper throw it down and she was amazed how it disappeared. She paid me for it. They are too proud to let you pay for it. Just get it done, pay the man and play the martyr. Guilt cards work for you, too.
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I would love to say, "they are so wealthy BECAUSE they nickel and dime everything and everyone" but I won't. Where I work, the older people that work here are the cheapest people....grabbing more catsup pkts and salt then needed, leave the tiniest tips when at restaurants, and are the first ones to gripe when a holiday function costs $15/person and they won't bring a spouse becasue of the cost. They also will only bring a tiny bowl of something at potlucks! In the mean time, they drive Mercedes, Lexus, Cadillacs, too. My inlaws are very much the same way...they still own many, many acres of farm land, their home, certificates of deposits, etc. Your folks probably lived through the Great Depression or very hard times , and are very thrifty-frugal-savy about their money and always have been. To them, the rainy days they saved for are occurring now with rising healthcare costs for seniors, and less and less covered by Medicare. And, it's hard to let go of that money once you have worked so hard to save it. I came to understand this when my husband and I hit 6 figures in our savings account. Any money over the 6 figures was fair game, but dipping below that 6 figure mark drove me CRAZY! I would do anything just so I wouldn't have to dip below that amount. In my inlaw's case, they raised 4 children on one (good) income most of the time. They canned all vegetables, raised cattle and horses, chickens and pigs. Their kids worked on the farm from sun-up to sundown on the weekends, and before and after school almost daily for years and years. They the inlaws have a huge nest egg, and are proud that they can afford their medical bills, and anything else they may need, to include NH care if necessary. My MIL went into rehab at a NH for 90 days, and my FIL went in with her as a full pay patient, just so they could be together. FIL was lost without Mom at home so he joined her, and with ALZ, the change without her at home would probably have been too much for him to take. Now, my husband definately knows the value of time, and a dollar! Now my inlaws are in bad shape, MIL with her body (stroke, paralysis, A-fib), and FIL (ALZ and A-fib). Both my husband and I care for them in our home, purchase whatever medical supplies they need to make their ending journey pleasant and comfortable, and my MIL is very happy she has the funds to do so. She scrimped and saved for their entire marriage. My husband has learned a lesson as well, the lesson that "you can't take the money to Heaven with you". He is now loosening up a little and making some frivolous purchases (to him, frivolous is a new workbench to replace his old ratty one, or a new pair of jeans instead of the ones he has been wearing for years). We still shop for bargains, use coupons, and my favorite activity is bargain hunting at consignment shops for furniture, clothing, etc. You never know when it's your "time to go", so you always have to save for a rainy day.
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Wow I can really relate to all this! My mother came from a totally dysfunctional family. She told me that, while dating my father (he was in the royal navy in WWII) she told him she was dating another sailor as well, which was likely a manipulation, "and he cried, so I married him". And so Mommie Dearest was born. To her my father and I were dirt under her feet, merely there to instantly fulfill her every whim and desire or be verbally and emotionally beaten for it. At one point she got a puppy and insisted it slept in the bed. My father said "No dogs in the bed" so she moved herself and the pup into the spare room. For the next twelve years until he died my father, along with putting up with her tantrums, slept alone and went everywhere by himself. Nice lady huh?

In the latter years my father was around (he passed 15 years ago) they had a huge mansion type house but the heat was rarely on and you had to pee three times before you were allowed to flush. A new development at the time, they were on a well and, as the water tank never emptied and refilled with fresh, the water stank like rotten eggs. Visiting from the city I wouldn't drink it and had to hold my nose to clean my teeth or I'd gag.

She was a narcissist of course, always looking to use people to get what she wanted for free and the hell with anyone else, even myself and my dear father, who bore the brunt of her tantrums, manipulative, mean, evil and spiteful ways until he died and I became the favourite slave/whipping boy/punching bag.

She's been in a NH for 18 months now, still driving me to the point I became ill. I changed my phone number and have been careful not to give her my address as, if I don't visit and jump to her demands right away, she'll likely call the cops on me - she's done that before. So I've virtually gone into hiding, in my own home, where she can't get at me any more.

Freqflyer why do they do this to us? The same reason a dog licks himself ... because he can!!
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Guilt! The gift that keeps giving!
Because you let them get away with it... Put your foot down.. Tell them to pay up or do without.. As they would say "I guess you don't need it that bad"..
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