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Jen Helant
Jen Helant, Child Care
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1386
Experience:  I have my bachelors degree in psychology. I worked with children. Since then I have raised and still raising 3 wonderful boys.
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I have a daughter who came to me crying a few years back that

Customer Question

I have a daughter who came to me crying a few years back that her and her husband were on the verge of losing their house and everything because they were in so much debt. My husband and I helped them get out of debt trouble and spent a lot of our money doing it. It wouldn't have been as big a worry but they have 4 children. Now I find out they bought a dog for $700. which really shocked me after all we went through. I thought it was quite extravagant since everything that we all have been through and they always seem to be living on the edge of another financial disaster. She now seems to be mad that I mentioned that I was shocked at the cost of the dog. Was I wrong in saying something?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Jen Helant replied 2 years ago.
Hi, You said they were in financial trouble a few years ago. Do they owe you any money?Has their financial situation changed recently or have they still been in financial trouble?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Before I got your response I decided to apologize to my daughter. To me a $700. puppy was wasteful when there are so many free dogs that need a home. She and my son-in-law have been working their butts off to stay ahead of their bills now. We gave them them money in the past and told them we do not expect it back so they could consider it a gift. I guess they deserve some happiness with their new $700. puppy. If they get into financial trouble again than I will think harder about giving them money. I would like to hear your thoughts about this.
Expert:  Jen Helant replied 2 years ago.
Hi, Thanks for explaining. I do agree with you that their are so many free dogs that need homes that can also make nice pets. In addition a pet in general is a huge expense in itself just having it. God forbid it was to get sick. However, the truth of the matter is that everyone has the right to make their own choices and spend their money as they please (if it is their own money ). And as you stated they do not owe you and have been working hard, so that is good. But I do agree with you that this will automatically cause you to think twice next time when giving money. You may want to considerer lending next time instead of giving if you want to help. Since you already gave them maybe next you could be lending then from there maybe nothing at all if they were to not pay you back. In any case even though individuals can spend their money as they please it is not wise to spend it foolishly. Even though we can not judge individuals do open themselves up to criticism when they need help. I would just continue from here and see how things go. If you feel they continue to spend above their means then you may not want to give as you said since they may feel they can spend as they wish as you are always going to be there. So they can buy what they want then ask for help for what they need as it would be very different if they bought what they need and asked you for what they wanted. If they do this in general on a regular basis than that is not right. However, if they made a few purchases that you do not agree with, but overall they are working hard and spending wisely and still got into a difficult situation maybe because hours were cut or etc then in that case you may consider helping since you see they are not taking you forgranted or advantage. All in all you have no obligation to help, but since you are her Mom naturally you would want to. In my opinion the main foundation of helping is to ensure it is help and not the other taking advantage because when that happens it is no longer help, but one becoming dependent. In your case based on what you explained I believe they are working hard and just got into a tight spot few years ago. Now they may feel that they are in a better spot and this is what they felt would make them happy. They must believe they are now capable of having a dog financially. I think It was wonderful of you to help and apologize for what you said to her about the dog. I wish you the very best and please let me know if I can be of further help.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you. It was nice to have someone to talk to about this.
Expert:  Jen Helant replied 2 years ago.
No problem. It was my pleasure to help!