Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Family frustration

Last night something strange occurred.  In fact, I have no recollection when this event last happened but it was totally random and unplanned.  I had dinner with my old nuclear family.  My Dad flew in from Florida early.  His plan was to get to Michigan today, late at night, rent a car and drive home to Midland.  Instead, he switched flights and Mom drove down to pick him up.  My brother was planning to spend the night at my place in order to get to his iron workers job in Detroit.  GJS was in Lansing working on a painting project for his parents and there you have it.  Mom, Dad, Gina and brother sitting in a booth at Beirut By Night, a local middle eastern restaurant.

The conversation shifted around quite a bit but I found myself in the odd position of totally disagreeing with my family on a number of  financial issues.  The funny part is I definitely have my financial house in way better order than any of them.  But it is no big shocker that they have all bought into the ideas that get people in money trouble.  For instance, my Dad rented a 2013 Chrysler 200 for 8 days while in Florida.  He is raving about how great this vehicle is and that he wants to get a new car for Mom as soon as they pay off their house.  I pipe up that perhaps buying a car that is a year or so older than brand new would make more sense and they would have more value for their money.  My brother starts talking about getting a car lease and I instantly feel the financial red flags going up and whipping violently in the wind of my disapproval.

The moral of the story is, you can lead a person to good financial advice, but you can't make them drink.  My hope is that whatever happens I can stick to the side lines and not become the pushy unwanted family member.  The likely reality is I'll continue to give me two cents and hope my relatives will eventually have enough sense to listen to me about how they spend their cents.

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