Dad of 3 demands $500 per month from ‘frugal’ brother to fund lavish lifestyle as household bills skyrocket

Gillian Sisley

A brother's request for money from his family member has caused a rift in the family, as detailed in a viral Mumsnet post.

*This is a work of non-fiction sourced from social media discussion boards and verified experts/specialists.*

The author begins by explaining that she is married, and her brother-in-law recently made a rather surprising inquiry of the author’s partner. She details the incident:

“Brother started asking my partner how we are coping with cost of living and partner was just honest and said that energy bills are more expensive, etc. but because our expenses have always been so low, we are ok. The brother kept asking questions and partner did not think of any hidden intentions and answered and gave details about our financial situation.”

However, the questions weren’t exactly innocent, as the brother went on to ask his sibling to give him money every month, as the couple, who have been living a frugal lifestyle, and are able to save around $2,000 per month. The author continues:

“His brother started almost crying to him asking if we could give them around $500 per month during an indefinite amount of time to help with the expenses. My partner is a really soft person who always wants to help everyone. I've had a few arguments with him because of this. So he didn't say a straight ‘no’ and from what he has told me he made it sound like he would talk with me about it and almost like a ‘yes’. Apparently, the brother said things like ‘it wouldn't make any difference to you two, right? It seems you are really very comfortable with your life but we are really struggling at the moment’.”

According to the U.S. & World News Report, balancing family loyalty and financial responsibility can be very complicated, and can have a significant effect on the health of familial relationships involved. Ultimately, this situation is a reminder that financial decisions can be difficult, but it is most important to be mindful of one's own finances and security in these uncertain economic times, as suggested by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

The author adds the context that she and her husband have no children, no car, no pets, and enjoy cooking their own meals, and live quite frugally, which allows them to invest and save a lot of money. The brother's family, on the other hand, has three children, two expensive cars, a dog, a cat, and two rabbits. They often go out to dinner or go away for the weekend, and their children have expensive hobbies and after-school activities. The author concludes with:

“My partner feels very sad for them and thinks it's not fair for the children not to be able to enjoy their life as usual. I feel very very angry that his brother feels entitled to my partner's money just because he has chosen to live a frugal life. I am really disappointed with my partner for allowing this to happen.”

What do you think?

Is the author justified in not wanting to financially support her in-law’s family at the expense of her own investments and savings, and for her brother-in-law to expect such a thing is absolutely entitled?

Or should family members always be ready to support one another, and since the author and her husband are able to save up so much money, they should be willing to offer a monthly allowance to family every month?

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