Friday, December 30, 2005

My Mind on My Money

I have issues with my Hillbilly Husband. Yes, I know how much
that surprises you. HH always wants to make me the bad guy. I
can do it on my own without his help. It is just annoying that he
will not make a decision. We won't get into the minor ones, like
being unable to decide what to throw away (the Diet Coke can
on the TV table would be a start, honey), what to get a person
as a gift, where to go eat, what movie to see, what to buy for
groceries, what to have for supper, or when to get a refill on a
prescription (the day after you run out is not the RIGHT decision,
sweetie).

Last night HH got a call from a relative of a relative of his. The
guy wanted to borrow $1000. First of all, I'm glad HH didn't
make the decision to loan it without consulting me, so I'll have
to give him a bonus point for that. I asked him, "Do you really
think you should loan him $1000?" HH said, "No. I told him
I didn't handle the money, that I would have to check with you
to see if we had it, because you take care of the money, and
we just bought that land." Notice he didn't mention that he'd
also just bought himself a $3900 golf cart thingy.

Thank you so much. Now I can be the wicked evil b**** who
says we can't loan the money. But I will do it, because hey,
the alternative is actually loaning the money. That takes
a lot of nerve, don't you think, to ask for $1000 right after
Christmas, from somebody you haven't talked to since last
year, when you called to ask for $200 to bail one of your
relatives out of the county jail?

Am I cold-hearted? Yes. I can not change my nature. I have
worked hard for HH's money. I am not an heiress. I grew up
in a trailer, back before they were called "prefabricated homes."
Both my parents worked. I went to college to get a good job.
A career, so I could support myself. I had way more money
saved up than HH when we were married. In fact, he was in
debt. So I don't feel a bit bad for controlling our money now.

What is this money wanted for? An ailing grandmother's surgery?
To build a burn ward at the orphan's hospital? No. For a car.

The Borrower needs to make a "Note to Self". He needs to
get one of those big ol' Big Chief tablets to write it in. "Dear
Self: I am 30 years old, live with my grandma, and have never
paid a day's rent in my life. I am calling from my uncle's house
because I do not have a phone. I am not married. I have no
responsibilities other than myself. My mother never paid rent,
so we moved every three months of my childhood. Education
was not important in our family, so I never graduated from
high school. Whenever we needed something, we went to my
grandma, or welfare. Sometimes we stole out of backyards,
and took stuff to the pawn shop. Now I want $1000 so I can
buy a car. I will call the person I know who has always had
a place to live and a steady job. I will offer to pay him back
at $200 a month. If he doesn't give it to me, it will be because
his wife is a wicked evil b**** who doesn't like me."

Yeah, well, he didn't get the right idea with his Note to Self.
And his spelling was exemplary, don't you think? May I point
out, Borrower, the connection between 'steady job' and 'place
to live'? If you are not responsible enough to live on your own,
and the bank is not an option to borrow money, why do you
think we should loan it to you? Hmm...what says you'll pay it
back? All we could take was the car, and I'm pretty sure you'd
call the police if we did. So I am rejecting your loan application,
sonny. How about this: Save $200 a month for 5 months, and
then buy yourself a car? I know, it's a novel idea, but it just
might solve the little 'wanting to buy a car' problem.

Now don't think I am being cruel to Borrower because he didn't
have the advantages of a good upbringing. There were plenty of
immediate family and relatives of relatives who had jobs and
didn't sponge off everyone else. These people told Borrower
that the way he was living was not right, that people have to
work to make something of themselves, that school is important.
But Borrower took the easy way.

This is not the first time HH's relatives have wanted to borrow
our money. His brother was first, right after we got married,
before we had much money. I had just bought a $17,900 house
(WooHoo! We were livin' high on the hog in them days, puttin'
on airs cause we was so rich!). HHB wanted $1000 to use as
a downpayment on a house. He had some of his own money
to go with it. He worked, and his wife at the time worked. I
still didn't want to loan it. We only had about $3000 in savings
at the time. HH persuaded me. It WAS his brother. The deal
was that we would get paid back in full on HHB's next payday,
in two weeks. HH wired him the money to Las Vegas. Really,
that's where he lived. HHB and his wife were tour bus drivers.
Two weeks rolled around, and nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zip. The
Big Goose-Egg. No check in the mail. HH was a bit sheepish,
and I got to say "I told you so" a LOT. After about 6 more
weeks, we got a check for $1000. And it was good.

HHB did this again a couple years ago. Different wife. I don't
know what the money was for this time. Some kind of debt,
I think, maybe to do with child support. HH loaned it again.
We could better afford it this time. Again, no timely payment.
But we did get it back, in installments, over several months.

I just do not like to loan money. We did not have any special
advantages that these people did not have. HH grew up in a
house with no indoor plumbing, for goodness sake. He has
made something of himself, and all without a college education.
These people could do it too, if they made better choices.
Sometimes it means you have to get a city job, find a ride, travel
for 3 hours a day. But you have to make your own breaks. It
doesn't happen overnight. I, myself, had to travel to the bowels
of Missouri, and teach for a salary of $8700 one year. I would
have qualified for food stamps. With a 'real' job and a college
education.

Times are hard, people, but you have to make an effort. Living
with grandma at 30, with no money, is not making that effort.
An effort is having something to show for that hard work. Maybe
some property, or a bank account, or a car, or a family that you
are feeding and clothing and teaching right from wrong.

I will now climb down off my high horse, onto my soapbox, and
down to the floor. I sometimes get wound up on this issue. People
working for cash to avoid paying child support, quitting a job
because the boss told them what to do, needing the day off to
go to a concert, don't want to work in the cold, have to get up
too early to drive to the city, etc. I was better before I worked
for the unemployment office. In the city. A 3-hour round trip
each day, getting up at 5:00 a.m. to leave home by 6:00. So
don't come cryin' to me for money, ya hear?

7 Comments:

Blogger Stacie said...

Amen! When my husband's brother borrowed $500 from us and never paid it back, my husband went over to his parents' house (because that's where the loser lived at 27 years old) and "went shopping" in his bedrdoom. He took a gun and some cd's. When he got home he showed me the gun and said "Payment in full". I'm sure his brother was not happy about it when he got home and discovered his gun and some of his cd's gone, but he has never mentioned it to us.

6:21 PM  
Blogger MamaKBear said...

I don't blame you one bit Hillbilly Mom! That'd be like my BIL asking to borrow money...it ain't happening!!

That's a whole 'nother rant I won't bore you with now...but just know I am on your side with this one.

7:40 PM  
Blogger Chickadee said...

I don't think you're being a bitch at all not loaning money out. You're not a frickin' bank. It's YOUR money. YOU earned it. Sounds like bro-in-law needs to grow up and take on some responsibility.

http://www.danno.org/blogs

11:09 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

Hi Hillbilly Mom,
So I guess this is the wrong time of the year to ask you for a loan? I'd pay it back, honestly, I would. I don;t know when, but I would at some point in time.
How about if I say pretty please with suger on top, and an extra cherry in your sonic?
Nah forget it! I will just stick to working this fulltime job and save it up myself.
HooRoo
Rebecca

12:37 AM  
Blogger Rachy said...

I don't think you're being a bitch at all. I don't like the situations where people ask for unreasonable things and shift the onus of responsibility onto the person from whom they are asking a favour. I would naturally help a close friend or family member if I could, and if I knew they were honourable. I would find it difficult not to laugh or have my BP explode at a request from such a lazy bastard. It's not your fault he doesn't have that money, it's his.

Get a haircut and get a real job. Simple.

2:46 AM  
Blogger Hillbilly Mom said...

Stacie,
Way to collect on that loan! I'm afraid this guy would have the nerve to call the police if we took a car.

MKB,
Thanks for the support.

Chick,
Yeah, why should I feel guilty because we've WORKED for what we have?

Bec,
I knew you'd come around asking for a loan. Why didn't you pawn the Royal Crown of Hillmomba while you had it, huh? SOMEbody's not as clever as they THINK they are, now are they?

Rachy,
I agree. A downpayment on a house, when you already have MOST of the money, is one thing. A car? That's a luxury. What has he been doing for transportation for the last 14 years?

4:36 PM  
Blogger Redneck Diva said...

Recently Mr. Diva's stinky brother (literally stinky - the man does not bathe AT ALL) called wanting to "go into business" with my husband. NUH UH. If you can't bathe and take care of your children and quit drinking then you are NOT going into business with my hard-working Wal*Mart employed husband. The whole "go into business" thing basically amounted to "So how much money do you have to put into it? 'Cuz I only got a couple thousand..."

No, you are not being a bitch. You are being wise.

10:18 AM  

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