Dear Abby: I love my parents and would do anything for them. They have never been good about managing money. They are both retired now and on a fixed income, and they have been asking me or one of my four adult siblings for money to help with their bills each month.
I don’t mind giving, but recently my siblings and I have become annoyed because, while they continue to ask for money, at the same time they are also taking short trips, which include hotels and rental cars, and inviting friends out to dinner.
They also have a storage locker full of junk that eats up several hundred dollars a month. We have offered to help them clean out the locker, and possibly make money from some of the items in there, but they never commit. Should my siblings and I continue to help, or should we put our collective feet down? – Annoyed in Alameda, Calif.
Dear Annoyed: Put your collective feet down. You and your siblings are good children, but it’s time for an intervention. Before giving your parents more money, you should all sit down with them and help them to create a budget, taking into account their fixed income and what you children can afford as a supplement. Then tell your parents they must live within that budget. Period. Their expenses must be trimmed, and the storage unit would be an excellent place to start.
Dear Abby: My 25-year-old daughter suffers from Peter Pan Syndrome. Three years out of college, she wants to live an “extended dorm” lifestyle with other young men/women (and their girlfriends/boyfriends), instead of settling down and moving out with her boyfriend of two years.
She says she has “a high need for affiliation” (she needs a lot of people around 24/7). But she also has a high need for change/variety and rotates roommates every two to three years. Looking for a “mini commune” in a crowded city like San Francisco is very difficult. What makes matters worse is that she also has hobbies like sewing that require a lot of space.
Is there something wrong with this lifestyle preference? And if so, how do I help her break out of it? – Worried Dad in California
Dear Dad: At 25, your daughter is an adult. Many people her age live communally because it’s less costly than living independently, and San Francisco has become so expensive that it’s often their only option.