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2 Bumps

Sharing a home with family VENTING

Me, my DH and my dd (5) share a home with my mom and my brother (10). Due to being separated from my dad my mom can't afford to stay in the home, yet since there is no CO yet, my mom can't sell it either so she is kinda stuck. My DH and I are saving for a home. We are buying a condo that will be done in 5 months. We pay my mom $475 for rent (which is more the half the mortgage) half the utilities, and we buy our own groceries. We have no cable or home phone, we just pay for our own cell phones but we pay the internet and the netflix that everyone uses. So like I said, we are supposed to buy our own groceries but everytime I go to get something from the fridge, it seems my brother or mom (usually brother) has eaten it. I don't want to sound petty but it does add up after a while. Or if we order pizza for dinner and my mom and brother are out, they often come home and my mom will say something like " I don't feel like going and getting anything, can we just have a couple slices of pizza?" Meanwhile, we were going to have it for lunch (and if we are not home, she will just take it and "hope we don't mind". A couple of times I have said something like, well we were going to have it for lunch, and she gets all pissy. If I bring it up to her that my brother has eaten an entire bag of chips we bought, or my DD's whole pack of yogurt she will get mad and say dang fine I'll buy you a new one (which she never does). Like I have said I don't want to sound cheap or petty but it's annoying because right now me and my DH only have one care (to save money) so if he is at work, I can't just go to the store to get what I need and also because it's getting to the point where we are paying an extra $150-200 a month for food that they eat. We keep a lot of the things that don't need the refrigerated in mine and my DH's room but still, the cold stuff seems like it is fair game. Also, I make dinner every night, my mom and my brother often join us, this I don't mind since there is always so much extra that would never get eaten but I am always the one doing the cleaning unless my DH helps after work. I would think that at least, if I buy the food, prepare the food, my mom could clean up or at least help. Plus my mom works nights 3 nights a week, we don't mind watching my brother those nights and even getting up early to get him off to school but most of the other nights, my mom goes to her boyfriend's house (who I can't stand) and just says "hey I'm going" not hey do you mind watching him? I really don't know what to do, I don't want the next 5 months to be a fight but I feel like my mom and brother take and take and I get nothing back. How do I handle this with someone who blows up about everything?
FYI we could afford to get our own place but there's no where around here that does anything less then 6 months so we would have to pay an extra months rent plus have less saved up anyway.

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Asked by Anonymous at 3:16 PM on Jun. 1, 2011 in Relationships

Answers (13)
  • Why don't you suggest to your mom that you will do the cooking every night if she will contribute a certain amount of money towards the food. Since they eat with you most nights anyway, it wouldn't be a big deal and maybe it would at least cover some of your expenses.
    Have you looked to see if you can get a small dorm size frig for cheap on craigslist to keep in your room for the things that you don't want eaten?

    Answer by missanc at 3:21 PM on Jun. 1, 2011

  • What about getting a mini fridge for your room you are in? I think you can get a pretty big one for $100 and then get a lock for your door, tell them you don't want to be rude but its costing too much for them to eat your food , even if its only SOMETIMES, which I am sure you know its more than that even.. make a rule before dinner of Whoever cooks, doesn't have to clean - so before anyone eats, see who will be cleaning up - you shouldn't have to parent your mom and brother along with your DD, I'm sorry. I understand trying to keep the peace though as i might be in the same situation soon -So stay and save but make some rules for ALL - that seem like common sense rules but apparently aren't to your mom and brother- the fridge in your room might be a good idea and in your new place you can use it for events or sell it

    Answer by maxsmom11807 at 3:22 PM on Jun. 1, 2011

  • Have you guys sat down and ironed out some ground rules? Sounds like you need to.

    Answer by pookiekins34 at 3:23 PM on Jun. 1, 2011

  • Maybe you need to stop doing separate groceries and do groceries as a whole family and get some money from your mom every months towards this.

    Answer by riotgrrl at 3:24 PM on Jun. 1, 2011

  • We have thought about a mini fridge but it holds so little we would still have to put most of the things in the kitchen fridge and we don't have room for a full sized one.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 3:26 PM on Jun. 1, 2011

  • I hear you.

    We have a roommate, DH's younger brother, and it seems like he's always using the last of the laundry soap or eating the last cookie...We don't have the $ problem because we include it in his rent but having a roommate is tough on a family.

    Answer by UpSheRises at 3:27 PM on Jun. 1, 2011

  • riotgirl, that makes sense. I tried to do this by telling my mom that since buying separate groceries isn't working, maybe we just buy all of the and take $200 off of the rent but she said she "needs the money".

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 3:27 PM on Jun. 1, 2011

  • Then I would sit them down and tell this Ok, this really isn't working - we don't mind sharing but somehow WE are spending almost $200 more in groceries, maybe we could each take a shelf in the fridge, if its not yours don't eat it - you don't have to be rude but I do agree there needs to be rules set. family or not, this isn't working or fair to you

    Answer by maxsmom11807 at 3:29 PM on Jun. 1, 2011

  • Have you tried writing your name really big on everything? We had to do that when we shared a home with my sister and bil. I hated doing it, but it kind of took the burden off me having to say that so and so is ours and whatever. And if that doesn't work, I'd start paying your mom less regardless of what she says, and when she asks where the rest is, you can tell her they ate it up in food you spent money on.

    Answer by lovingmy4babies at 3:46 PM on Jun. 1, 2011

  • Oh, I feel your pain... I've never had a good roommate situation and living with family is even harder because they feel entitled.

    The minifridge won't work, but I'm assuming this house has a garage/basement/storage room with electricity. You can easily and cheaply pick up a used fridge (you'll have to bleach it before use, but that is easy enough) and install a hasp with a lock on it (the hasp prevents removal of the lock).

    It sounds as though she isn't going to budge. Were I in your shoes, I would get a second fridge, lock it and not say a single word to her about it.

    Answer by ObbyDobbie at 3:51 PM on Jun. 1, 2011

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