Bills, bills, bills, we can’t live without them, someone has to pay them, even the all-girl group Destiny’s Child has a song about them. The lyrics were something along the lines of: “Can you pay my bills? Can you pay my telephone bills? Do you pay my automo’ bills?”. But the song had nothing to do with your mom wanting you to pay her bills, and that’s why you are here, your mom has asked you to take her off her financially.
Let’s get straight into what you should do when your mom wants you to pay her bills, all of these solutions are effective.
Should I feel guilty for not giving my mother money?
No, you should not feel guilty for not giving your mom money, you are not responsible for maintaining your mom’s standard of living, if she can work, paying her bills should be something that you want to do without being forced.
7 Things you can do when your mom wants you to pay her bills
Access the situation
If you are still staying at home with your mom and she is starting to force you to pay her bills you need to think if you can continue to live in a situation like that. So start thinking long term, If you live in her house it will always be her rules and will you be able to take the strain of being asked for money? So have a plan in place, maybe put away some money for a rainy day in case she decides she wants you out. You can also look into finding alternative accommodation for yourself, if you can’t afford it you can look into shared accommodation.
Understand that you do not owe her anything
This is a big issue, especially in African families, a lot of parents expect their children to support them financially when they get a job. But you must understand that you don’t owe her anything, it’s not like you signed a contract when she gave birth to you that you will repay her for everything that she has done once you get older and start working.
Your loyalty should always be to yourself, as hard as it is, you need to make sure that you are fine financially or this can make you resent your mom. Giving her money should come with no guilt-tripping or payback obligation, yes you can help her out but only if paying her bills will not put a strain on your finances.
Help where you can
Don’t let the fact that she is your mother, make you go around looking for bank loans, help her out when you can, ideally if when you have extra money. Think about it, what is the use of paying your mom’s bills when you don’t have enough money to pay for gas? So what will happen to you? How will you get to work? And how will you buy food? Helping her out when it will be an inconvenience to you will lead to feelings of worry, you will be worried about how you will make it to the end of the month, and that’s not a nice way to live.
If the situation is dire, and she needs you to pay her bill let it be a necessary bill. For example, when it is winter and she needs to have the heating on that is understandable. Don’t go out of your way to pay her bills if it is something superficial like a clothing account or makeup.
If your mom is sick and needs you to step in, then by all means do that, if she is unable to work or take care of herself because she is getting old, then you can step in.
Stop enabling her
It’s very common especially in African families to want to prove that you are making money and that you have made it in life. Your quest to prove yourself will lead to a situation where you are constantly giving your mom money or paying her bills because you are working and want to show her that you are independent, don’t do that. This creates a huge culture of enabling, and engaging will lead to your mom being lazy and eventually demanding that you pay her bills.
What can you do?
Set boundaries, once again, this is easy to do if your mom working, tell her you will help her when she is in a crisis, not when it comes to paying for her shoe credit account. If you want to give her money, do send money to her, and pay her bills directly.
Do what you can
Doing what you can means being able to say to her that you cannot afford to pay her entire bill, but you will be able to give her money to pay half the bill. You can also tell her when you do not have the money, she can wait until you get paid, don’t go making additional loans to help her because the interest will fall on you. This also means that you can skip a month or two, tell her that you will help her this month but you won’t be able to help her the next month, so you get the idea? Do what you can.
See it from her point of view
In black families, children are expected to support their parents it has been passed on from generation to generation, so try to find common ground. Let’s say that your mom was a single mom and she did her best to raise you, this could mean that she took out a lot of loans and bad made financial choices so that you can get an education. We can understand that, and this situation needs you to help her.
Either way, tell her what your motivations are. If she doesn’t agree, if she can’t see from your point of view, take a deep breath, see the world from her perspective, and do something to bridge an understanding. Cause it would be a shame if the two never reached an understanding
Help her budget
Suppose your mom has a good job and she has no responsivities other than herself, but she still asks you to pay her bills, then it’s time for good financial planning. Sit down with her and ask her what bills she needs to pay and why she is having trouble paying those bills even tho she has a job. You can help her budget and make sure that she sticks to the allocated amount.
Why is my mom making me pay all the bills? Well, she is doing that because she can and you have allowed it to go on for a long time, but its never too late to say to her that you cannot help her, the economy is not great at the moment, your mom needs to see things from your point of view, yes she is your mom but its also your money.