She gets mad at her husband because he asks her to find a job so they can have extra money and move out of her parents’ house, but she wants to be a stay-at-home mom. He works under the table at a restaurant, and he supposedly gets paid every other week but sometimes it’s only once a month. Thankfully, they get WIC and food stamps so food isn’t a problem. He gets sent home whenever it’s slow or when the restaurant needs a host (he isn’t trained for seating people). She says he needs a new job. When I ask if he has applied at grocery stores or something similar, she acts like it’s the worst job ever even though it’s a steady income vs. being a server and depending on tips.
I try to give her advice, such as to get rid of one of the cars (neither of them will get rid of his or her car because they both say, “we deserve something new”), switch to a cheaper phone company, etc. She’ll get snippy and treat me like an idiot. I understand she just wants to complain and I’m all ears, but I feel like they are both being irresponsible. She always tells me I don’t know how hard it is, yet my husband and I have lived off one income for almost three years while he was finishing school. We were down to our last 100 dollars less than three weeks ago (I freaked out thinking we couldn’t pay rent) and our card has been declined a few times for groceries. I know it’s hard.
I guess what I’m asking here is should I tell her they are both being irresponsible twits? I don’t like seeing her struggle and I want to help them, but I don’t know how. I send job postings whenever I see new ones and coupons for diapers and such. Or should I just let her complain and leave it at that? — Sister of a Struggling Twit
Leave your sister alone. She’s not asking for advice. Why are you making her issues your issues? Frankly, it sounds like you have more than enough to worry about in your own financial situation. Your credit card is declined multiple times and you freak out about how you’re going to pay rent? You don’t sound like someone who should be advising anyone else how to live a more financially responsible life. Focus on yourself, don’t give your sister unsolicited advice, and, when she starts complaining to you, change the subject or get off the phone and leave the scene. It’s not that hard.
Are you jealous that your sister is living rent-free at “her parents'” place? (I put “her parents” in quotation marks because it seems odd that you referred to your sister’s parents as her parents rather than our parents.) Do you resent that she’s getting help that you could use? That’s a valid feeling and would be worth discussing with your family. Are there ways they can help you and ease some of your financial burden? If not, you have to accept that. You’re all adults here and, if your sister’s sense of entitlement disgusts you as much as it understandably does, you especially need to keep your own in check.
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