Go back to search results

Recent Letter to the ElderWisdomCircle™

FAMILY: Family Living With Me is Financial and Emotional Strain
Letter #: 383086
Category: Family

Original Letter

So about a year ago I was moving down to Oregon and my sister was going to move back to Montana where I was living and need a place to stay so since I was moving down to Oregon I let her move into my trailer hom. So I ran into some issues while living in Oregon and had to come back to Montana when I came back to Montana my uncle and my sister and the rest my family promise that my bills and other things would be taking care of because they knew that I would take me a while to get a job and I had little to no income. 

So since I've been back they haven't helped me whatsoever with any of my financial responsibilities also they haven't help me with babysitting all three of my children like they said they would so that I could have a job to pay my bills. My sister lives in my home rent free doesn't do you need anything has completely destroyed all the remodeling stuff I done to it. I live in a tiny tiny three bedroom trailer next-door paying $725 a month. I also have a $500 month cell phone bill I also have $140 a month car insurance bill and at this point I am going to be kicked out of the place and I have no money to pay for my kids diapers or clothes that they need. 

If I tell my sister that she has to move out is because huge fights baby even physical ones with my sister her husband and my uncle my aunt and my other uncle she also has two kids of her own they are older. But I am having problems with deciding if I should have her removed because my kids lives in the fight and argument that would ensue is worth making sure that my kids are stable.

Elder Response

You have written in to the Elder Wisdom Circle, Toonice, because you would like an opinion, so I’ll give you mine. Before I do, however, you need to understand that I don’t know any of the players in your situation, especially you. The only information I have to go on is the letter you wrote. So, having said that, this is what I think.

Since you have no job, yet, the first thing you would need to do is to reduce your expenses. I’m confused about the $500 cell phone bill when I see advertisements for cell phones at $30/month. I don’t know how many lines you are paying for, but you should cut them down to a single, no frills, line just for communication and emergencies. When you get a job, and are back on your feet financially, you can always change your plan.

Next, I’m a firm believer in discussion as a first step. I think you should talk with your family, especially your sister. DO NOT enter into this conversation with accusations or with the intent of creating an argument, but instead, remind them about their statements (notice I did not say promises) that they would help. Ask them if they are going to help you and if so, how. As I said, the point of this conversation is to gain information, not persuade or argue. If they say they will not help, simply say OK.

Next, you wrote that you let your sister move into your trailer home. I don’t know if you mean you own the trailer, or if you were renting it and let your sister take over the rent. Since I don’t know, let’s deal with both.

If you own the trailer, you need to talk with your sister and explain that she needs to either pay rent or move out. In your financial situation, you cannot afford to pay her rent for her. You mentioned you needed some help with babysitting so you can look for work. Perhaps you can work something out with your sister to reduce her rent. It’s a thought.

If the trailer was rented by you, and you just let your sister move in, then you would need to ensure that your name is no longer on the rental agreement. If you rented, I don’t think you have the ability to have your sister removed, and even if you did, I don’t see how that would help you. What you don’t want to do is be responsible for whatever you sister does to that trailer, so get with whoever owns the trailer and get your name off the rental agreement. Then your sister’s rent is between her and the landlord.

Lastly, until you get a job, you should look into whatever public assistance is available to you either city, county or state. I’m not saying you should become a welfare mom forever and a day, but these programs were implemented specifically for people like you who have hit a rough spot in the road, and need a little help to get past it. Once you get a job, you will be OK.

What I’m trying to say in all this is you should focus on solving your problems, instead of how your family has “done you wrong.” Take care of your kids.

I hope what I’ve written helps you, Toonice, even if it’s just a little. I hope things work out for you. Write us again in the future if you need any more advice. Good luck.

Best Regards,



 Give feedback on this letter

The ElderWisdomCircle™ program has been made possible in part through a generous grant from Google. || Administration
Copyright © 2014 ElderWisdomCircle™. All Rights Reserved. Design by Elana Churchill


 Site Map   |   Contact Us