Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Parents & money

The last time I talked to the Great & All Powerful Mummy she’d had a rough night at work at the nursing home. On the night shift there are fewer people on staff, so she had more people to deal with and those people had bowel movement issues of the really stinky kind. So she was musing about quitting her part-time job and getting something in retail or switching to another nursing home. I asked her when she was going to retire. She’s of the age to do so. She said she had too many bills.
Now I would love to help my mother but there are several problems. One problem being my mother, the other, my father. My mother is much better with money than daddy, who is very good at making it, but is most excellent in blowing it leaving a ditch of debt behind. Mommy will go along to get along and will walk into the kind of debt that traps poor people. And middle class people. For example, I’ll be damned to figure out her mortgage rate. Seriously. We know how much she owes, but looking at the statements I can’t figure out the rate to save my life. I got two graduate degrees. Yes, neither of them in anything mathematical, but I know the company and they’re evil. They gave my my 1st credit card. I dropped them when I noticed I was getting charged 25% interest. And her credit cards and store cards slowly build up on odd purchases for herself or the girls.
Now the plan is no longer to buy my parent’s house and set it on fire. I seriously have to fix my basement. And so I am saving up money for that and that is in a two year plan, the ‘rent’s house is in a 4 year plan. Daddy, is thinking that I will get them a new house, he’s wrong. I’ve looked at my own goals and there is no money for that…. Unless the Florida housing market is still sucking mightily in 4 years. Though I will not be buying my parent’s house and setting the damned thing on fire, I do plan on cancelling out my mother’s mortgage, which is her largest monthly expense. With that gone she could possibly retire fully. My fear is that she or daddy will find some very legitimate reason to remortgage the house at a crappy interest rate (consolidate credit cards, fix the house, etc) and put themselves in the same mess. It’s her bills that keep her working, and she keeps adding to them little by little. A few months back she was pondering buying someone’s car from church and taking over the payments. I gently tried to tell her she didn’t need payments and would be better off fixing her ugly old hoopdie or that car my sister left in her yard for 2 years. Really, mom does not need a car note on top of her house note and all those high interest credit cards she has. Even if the note was just $100 that would be $100 more dollars she’d have to earn, and she’s not making enough now without a car note.
I will try to honor my mother and father, provided they don’t sabotage the plan to help them

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