Monday, November 5, 2007

Ending economic outpatient care. How do I get my parents to stop buying me stuff?

My parents keep trying to subsidize me even more than they already are. They keep insisting that since they aren't paying for college for their kids, they can afford to be generous. I'm grateful, but it's driving me a bit crazy.

When I first started looking for an apartment, I had just moved a big chunk of change into my online savings account and had a bare minimum in checking. Getting an apartment wasn't in my plans. My mother was very persistent in asking if I was sure I wouldn't be happier living somewhere else, and it became clear that she thought I should move out. (Now she thinks I ought to move home, but that's another story entirely.) Since I couldn't access my money without a three day delay for the transfer, she offered to lend me the first month's rent and pay the deposit. I promptly repaid her, but a couple of weeks ago she shredded my check and told me to keep the money.

I think I'm going to have to stop shopping with my parents entirely if I want to cut down on the amount of things they buy me. Last weekend, my father and I went to go buy some car repair supplies, and I decided to buy a pack of chewing gum. He refused to let me pay. I tagged along with my mother on a trip to Sam's Club so I could stock up on food using her membership. I offered to pay, but she said no. Arguing with her about this only makes her angry, and when I tried sneaking money into her wallet, my brother ratted me out. The fridge and pantry contain perhaps $40 of food I didn't get to pay for.

My parents want to take care of me. I appreciate their emotional support, but it's time for them to reduce their financial support. It would be much better for them to invest this money for retirement or spend it on things that give them pleasure. I have to learn to support myself and live within my means, not on my father's income.


Evan said...

My parents are the same way... I've become completely independent, however they still insist on randomly bringing over groceries or paying for a meal even when I say I want to take THEM out. I was against it at first, wanting them to spend their $$, like you said, on things that give them pleasure. It took me a while to realize that supporting me and helping me build a better future was something that did indeed make them happy. I say enjoy their generosity, hopefully you will be in a position later in your life to care for them as they have done for you!

plonkee said...

Parents are odd people. If it really bothers you that much, take the money that you would have spent and put it into savings or investments.