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Money mean son is refusing to bring his family to a family vacation.

Tagged as: Big Questions, Family, Health, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (13 March 2018) 9 Answers - (Newest, 14 March 2018)
A female United States age , anonymous writes:

My youngest son has a good job with the US Postal Service. He has a wife and a daughter. His wife is a nurse.

The problem is he is really tight with his money. I think he goes overboard with being tight with his money. He has always been tight with his money since he was a kid.

My husband and I are trying to plan a family vacation with all of our kids and grandkids. He is refusing to come saying that all of his money is tied up and won't be able to go. My other children and grandchildren are coming.

Is there any thing I can do to help convince him and his wife to come?

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (14 March 2018):

Maybe if you pay for the whole vacation they would go.They have small kids they cannot afford it.When my kids were at home we had to make ends meet.It was hard.School always wanting money for this and that...money for activities...the food bill alone was crazy...more people using the electric..gas..etc.Oh boy I will never forget when they all got so sick at the same time 750 dollars in medicine.Thank God I scraped together so we could get some food that week.Now we are retired.We have way more disposal income.We can afford vacations.We also have time.They might not get time off work..so they are supposed to lose their family supporting job just to go on vacation with you? Maybe they can get off work but do not get paid for time off what bill should they not pay that month just to vacation with you.Unless you are prepared to pay for time missed from work the whole vacation with food and spending money leave them alone.Your daughter in law is a nurse? I bet she has over a hundred thousand in student loans.My brother was a mail man for years yes it is a stable job but I tell you it don't pay as good as you think.Leave them alone they told you they cannot afford it why can't you believe them?You are making a wedge between you guys if you do not stop harping on them they will get sick of this and distance themselves from you.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (14 March 2018):

Honeypie agony auntHe might be tight with money for a reason. After all it IS his income.

And he might have declined coming NOT for money reason but because he doesn't WANT to or CAN'T make it or having OTHER plans.

He might not want to SPEND a large amount on a vacation. He might not like the destination... who knows. HIS prerogative to decline.

You can offer to pay (if you can afford that) but he might still decline.

He is a GROWN man and can CHOOSE what he wants to do for his family vacation time and money. He doesn't HAVE to do what YOU want. (as nice as a family vacation is)

If you want to spend time with him and his family you can always arrange a weekend near them.

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A male reader, TylerSage United States + , writes (14 March 2018):

TylerSage agony auntMean or not, he's not obligated to spend money under your instructions, that's one of the main freedoms of living on his own not to mention being head of a family.

I understand you raised him and knew he was a miser since day one but not much can be done here if he chooses not to spend HIS money on things that make YOU happy. Truth is, he may have some strict goals in place you don't know about to make him rich. Stingy people tend to become quite affluent. Maybe business or investment plans that need reliable sums of money per paycheck.

The most you can do is offer to pay. If not for him, then the wife and your grand-daughter.

All the best.

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A female reader, aunt honesty Ireland + , writes (13 March 2018):

aunt honesty agony auntIf it means that much to you then offer to pay for them to come. If that is not in your budget then don't press the situation. Maybe his money is tied up. You never know what situation people are in, good jobs or not. It is his money and if he doesn't want to spend it on a family vacation then that is his choice and there is nothing that you can do.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (13 March 2018):

If you want everybody to come then I suggest you pay a decent contribution towards everyone's expenditure. He may not be as well off as you assume especially if he has a family to look after.

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A male reader, Fatherly Advice United States + , writes (13 March 2018):

Fatherly Advice agony auntIt never ceases to amaze me how much better other people are at spending money. If only I was as wise as the average Joe on the street I would know that a Chevy is better value than a Ford. The local politicians would stop wasting so much money on schools or police cars, or whatever if they would just let these wise and all knowing other people make all of the spending decisilons.

You have unilaterally decided how all of your children and grand children are going to spent their vacation this year. Did you do any research? Take a poll? Did you evaluate budgets? Or did you DICTATE? Apparently it's not the courteous invitation method that you used. Now you are resorting to name calling and peer pressure to get your way.

Here is the deal. Your son left your home. He invested in a long term stable career. He married a strong partner. He has his head on straight. He does not ask you for money to pay his bills. He and his wife have both shown responsibility in financial affairs. They have no need of you making money decisions for them.

When you spend their money (yes you are coveting their possessions), and schedule their time (also coveted), Then their power to operate their family is stolen. They can not buy the thing they planned (home, home improvement, medical treatments, Cars, Kids sports, or even the vacation that they had planned). By planning an involuntary vacation for the extended family you are making a mockery of their family. By refusing to participate he is not rejecting you as parents, he is acting as the parent and leader of his family.

My own Father (RIP) was quite domineering and the extended family organizations had multiple events planned every year. I went to him for council as a young father. I said there are so many family events every year, and also my father in law would like to spend time with us. In order to cover half of them I would nee a month off every summer, and I just can't afford that, besides what about the things I would like to do? His council was very wise and quite surprising to me. He said you know what your resources are and you know what your priorities are, These events are not required they are just choices. You have the right to choose which to attend. In the end I rather capriciously chose to attend one family weekend per year on each side of the family. I choose based one very simple criteria. I choose the one that was the most fun.

My suggestion is that you cut that apron string, and give your son the same freedom my Dad pointed out to me.

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A male reader, Code Warrior United States + , writes (13 March 2018):

Code Warrior agony auntYour opinion of his spending habits is irrelevant. You have no idea what his financial situation is, you just think you know. You say he is tight with his money, but maybe he's just a budget minded person that has specific plans for all of his money and he hasn't planned a vaction into his immediate budget.

Why don't you ask him how long it would take for him to budget money for a future vacation of the type you're asking him to take now? Also, if this is really about you seeing your grandchildren, what's stopping you from arranging to visit his family? You can stay in a hotel near his house so as to not impose. It doesn't have to be a big, whole family, vacation, it can be a separate weekend thing.

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A female reader, chigirl Norway + , writes (13 March 2018):

chigirl agony auntYes, pay for them.

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A female reader, Aunty BimBim Australia + , writes (13 March 2018):

Aunty BimBim agony auntTell your son that you and your husband are not getting any younger and this might be the last chance for you all to be together .... and that you would like this to happen before you and/or his father feel the effects of aging and have health problems.

If he still wont be in it pay for his wife and children to attend the vacation, include some spending money for them, and then rewrite your will so that the amount you spend on this family vacation is taken from his share of your estate.

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