Money Manners

Tuition fundraisers aren’t the new normal

DEAR JEANNE AND LEONARD: Friends have invited my sister to a “fundraiser spaghetti feed” to raise money for their daughter. The “door charge” is $20 per person, and there also will be a raffle and a silent auction. It seems that “Taylor,” who is 20, needs $8,200 for tuition and expenses to enroll in a program where she will earn a certificate as a dog obedience instructor. To me, this event is terrible on every level.

Money Manners

Brother stole from mom, so make him pay it back

DEAR JEANNE AND LEONARD: After my father passed away in 2008, my brother Jake offered to take Dad and Mom’s life savings and invest it for Mom. Since our father had always taken care of their money, Mom was happy to have Jake’s help. Long story short, my brother lost his job and used all of Mom’s savings, about $95,000, to live on. When Mom could no longer afford to live in her own home, my husband and I took her in.

Money Manners

If you know what’s detailed in trust, you’ll know what you’re due

DEAR JEANNE AND LEONARD: My grandparents put their home and farm into a living trust. After they died, the property was managed by my uncle, and my three siblings and I were supposed to inherit it when he died. Well, he passed three years ago, and my brother became the trustee, but not much else has happened. My siblings and I get a small check after each crop is sold, but my mother thinks we’re getting very little money compared with what the crops are worth. Meanwhile, my brother has never said anything about our inheritance.

Money Manners

Be honest with in-laws about finances

DEAR JEANNE AND LEONARD: I own a piece of investment real estate, a house, that I recently rented to my mother-in-law. She’s living on a fixed income, so I’m charging her only half of what the place normally rents for. I made her promise, though, not to tell anyone about the sweetheart deal I’ve given her. That’s because my wife is one of eight children, and I don’t want the others thinking I’m made of money and coming to me with their hands out any more than they already do.

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