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Giving them advice, books, Quicken/MSMoney and cheering them on is the best thing you can do. When your sister is really feeling down, perhaps you can take her out for a special day (get her hair done, manicure and get her a new dress). Peek in their kitchen cabinets and refrigerator when you visit. If things are looking bleak, take her out grocery shopping. Just try to be an encouragement. Do not rob them of the sense of accomplishment that will come from pulling themselves out of the hole.

THis is a really good suggestion! My parents had some friends that were totally unable to control thier money, and did this for them all the time. Instead of giving them money, my mom would go groery shopping with one of them and pick up the bill, or for Thanksgiving, we bought them a turkey and all the fixings.

Also, we took their kids clothes shopping before the school year, and made sure they had a couple of pairs of jeans, and some shirts that were durable too.

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