Friday, April 8, 2011

Borrowing Money from Parents

I had a nice trip to the Twin Cities.  While there, I hung out with my friend for two days straight.  Her husband has some unexpected medical expenses and they are going to borrow money from her father-in-law for the deductible to the tune of $3000.  That is the deductible amount plus the maximum out of pocket which they will reach.  I know that they have repeatedly borrowed money from her in-laws for various things like their wedding, downpayment for their current house, and things for their child.  She didn't seem to have a problem borrowing money for their medical needs because they needed the money.  This begs the obvious question, why don't they save money? 

She told me how well they are doing financially.  Her husband has gotten about a 25% raise in the past six months.  Her business is going well.  She is self-employed and told me that she is making about 20K more than her previous full-time job.  Her baby had everything plus some.  She told me that she gets regular massages and buys organic bath products.  These are just a few examples that I saw of how much money she spends. 

I regularly cut corners on day to day things like toiletries.  I don't get massages because I like the idea of getting a massage but I'm really not willing to pay for them.  I'm fine with shopping for clothes at second hand stores because the stuff is still good and works for us.

I don't borrow money from parents or in-laws because I like to be self-sufficient.  I was a little bit surprised the way that she was so nonchalant about borrowing money.  I realize that they didn't plan on the medical expense but apparently they don't have any money saved for the unexpected. 

I know that I shouldn't judge people for their personal money habits but I do find it hard to understand being in the habit of borrowing money when one's spending habits are fairly relaxed.  Before I would spend money on organic bath products, I would try to save my money.

Do you think its okay to borrow money from parents when one could easily cut back their regular spending?

Disclosure:  I would borrow money from my in-laws if we lost a job and were in danger of losing our home or absolutely needed it for my daughter's well-being.


  1. Since your friend and her husband are doing well financially, they should be able to save for emergencies. Do they pay the money back to her in-laws?

    I'm glad you had a good trip to the Cities.

  2. It's hard to ever know why people do the things they do financially, hopefully they don't take advantage of the parents too much.

  3. I personally don't like borrowing money myself, not even from my mom whom I still live with. I work so I should be able to support myself, I already get away with so much living at home.

    I guess though that by having the in laws willingly available to lend money is almost kinda like an emergency fund.... sort of. So long as they pay it back in a timely manner, I have no reason to judge their finances.

    They should implement some sort of savings though. They seem make a good share of money so small things like emergencies shouldn't see them borrowing money.

    Interesting though is that I would borrow money from a family member if they could afford it for a wedding but I wouldn't borrow for a house down payment. Leaves me to wonder

  4. Like Rafiki, I hate borrowing money. When we were younger we borrowed money from friends it was the best day when were able to pay them back. It had taken a long time and it was constantly on my mind. When we did pay our friend back, he was very surprised, he said he wasn't ever expecting it back.
    Ever since then that is our policy for giving money too. Sure I would like to get paid back, but I shouldn't give it if I can't afford to lose it.
    Maybe it is pride, but I couldn't ask for money unless we really needed it and did everything within our power first.

  5. I have been "gifted" money from my parents on occasions. They are older and my mom's rational is that she would rather see ( I am an only child) us enjoy it while she is around. She also does this for her grandchildren too.

    It is her call. And I don't say no..