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She keeps spending money on trips and other unnecessary things that are adding up. I feel like she needs a financial plan of action for the little bit of money she has saved up or she's just going to blow through all of it.

This is very scary! Your mother doesn't have much money and she can, indeed, blow through it very quickly. I'm wondering, first of all, if she's a wee bit depressed -- she has reason to be. First, of course, your Dad's death. Then, it's difficult to work with a lot of younger people in a job where appearance is such an important aspect of the job. Put on top of that, the simple fact that it's probably more difficult physically for her to be on her feet all day.

I don't know how close you are (and I mean that geographically and emotionally) but if you're "kindred spirits" perhaps you can have a heart to heart. Perhaps you can get her permission to speak with her doctor. Perhaps your sister can participate in a family talk.

If your mother "chips in" with your sister to buy a house, won't she have a share of the mortgage to pay? I'd be wary to have your mother pay part of the cost of the house without being part owner.

Your mother needs to learn something about financial management -- Suze Orman is controvsial around here (not this board, specifically but other boards) but she has certainly popularized the concept of managing your money. She's always on PBS so perhaps you and your mother could watch together -- you could tape the program or buy the DVD.

Let us know how things progress. I wish you all the best...
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