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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/im-sorry-about-your-sisters-situation-gurupa-i-13298532.aspx

Subject:  Re: helping out family Date:  9/13/2000  4:00 PM
Author:  BigMoneyJim Number:  44182 of 312033

I'm sorry about your sister's situation, Gurupa.

I don't think sending them money will help. I think it will only prolong a decision on their part.

My brief experience is that people who won't help themselves won't follow advice. They may take your money, but they'll probably resent your conditions, and they'll most likely spend it and be unable to pay you back. You're family, so you won't take their house or their car away, and you won't put bad marks on their credit.

I like the advice of bstroh in the previous post. I don't see any way to stop a couple from spending themselves into oblivion. It's a decision on their part, and in my experience someone who contiues to follow a bad decision usually gets mad at people who point out to him or her that it is a bad decision.

I know it hurts. My only other suggestion would be to think ahead and be sure the children's welfare is considered. Will they be sure to have shelter, food, attention and protection? Might it get so bad that a family member consider taking custody? (I hope not!) The adults are making the decisions; someone needs to make sure the children are factored in. If, at some point, it becomes necessary for you to provide financial help for the children, make donations of diapers, food & such and not of money. (Again, I hope it doesn't come to that!)

Oh, here's a positive idea: perhaps you can send them a book. They would be free to read it or ignore it, but it may help. Perhaps _The Wealthy Barber_, _Personal Finance For Dummies_ or _Get a Financial Life_? Any suggestions from others? (They may take slight offense, but less offense than sending money with very strict strings tied to it, and they won't feel embarassed or intimidated when reading the book; they may when being lectured by a family member.)

Good Luck,
Jim
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