I got into debt helping my mother financially. I even bought him a house and a car. Don’t I have the right to put my husband first?

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Dear Moneyist: I was raised by a single mother who sacrificed and worked very hard to give me and my siblings everything we needed to grow. Throughout my life I have tried to take care of my mother the best I can, I give her money twice a month. I gave him my car. I paid the down payment on his house. I even built a house in his country so that he would have a place to stay when visiting his family.

About six years ago, my brother passed away and my mother took in his wife and two young children. They have been living with my mom and although the wife now works, she doesn’t earn enough to move in alone. My sister and I do the best we can to help my mom pay the bills and the mortgage. Since I earn more money than my sister, I give her more. You’d think I’m rich, but I’m not. I serve in the United States Army and have had to take out personal and credit card loans to help our mother. She has asked for financial support in the past, but I have also volunteered to help out when I have seen her struggle.

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“‘I serve in the United States Army and have had to borrow from personal and credit cards to help our mother.’ ”

My mother had minimum wage jobs, but she has been unemployed for a year. She is over 50 years old and has found it difficult to find work. Currently, she is making money as a caregiver and doing odd jobs to survive with the help of my sister and me. Recently, I made the decision not to buy my mom a car after telling her that I would buy her one. (Your old car is 13 years old and needs constant repair.) I decided not to go through with this because, frankly, I don’t have the money and I don’t want to go into debt anymore. I don’t even have a car of my own. Since then I got married, I want to have a child and be able to support my family. I am still paying for the house that I bought for my mother and I am over $ 50,000 in debt. I decided that it‘s time to stop buying things I can’t afford, pay off my debt, and create my savings account. I don’t want to close the door on my mom, but haven’t I done enough to help her? We have done more than most of our family members. I feel like if I don’t help her, no one else can. Am I wrong in wanting to focus on my spouse and future children? A Loving Daughter at a Crossroads You can email The Moneyist with any financial and ethical questions related to the coronavirus at qfottrell@marketwatch.com Dear Darling, The salsa train has long been sold out, and the train of the sauce has run out of sauce. You did the right thing by helping your mother in the beginning, but you can’t do much. You cannot make up for the decisions other people have made in your life by writing checks. To use this frequently used emergency flight procedure instruction, you must put the oxygen mask over your own mouth before you can help another person with your mask. Your oxygen (money) is running low and you should NOT go into debt to pay other people’s bills. Helping your mother should allow you to help yourself: balance your own budget, live within your means, live with your daughter-in-law and children so you can SHARE the household expenses. If not, you are not helping her at all, and are actually facilitating potentially bad decisions. If she looks for a car in you, knowing that you don’t have one yourself, why should she bother saving for one? Put bluntly, these are financial and life lessons that I should have taught you. One way to help your mother become financially independent is to lead by example, helping her keep track of her own income and expenses, including with the help of a financial planner from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, a non-profit organization. profit. Call a family reunion. Bring these problems out into the open. There are many resources you can take advantage of to help your mother in ways that do not require her to rack up a credit card bill. Your mother did the best she could and I applaud her for that. Don’t delay in having a family because of this lifelong debt to your mother. The Moneyist: My daughter-in-law will only have a second child by surrogacy and she wants to use $ 200,000 from my son’s inheritance to pay for it Hi MarketWatchers. Take a look at Moneyist’s private FB Facebook group, + 1.28%, where we search for answers to life’s thorniest money problems. Readers write to me with all kinds of dilemmas. Post your questions, tell me what you want to know more about, or rate the latest Moneyist columns.