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Question about supporting family back home

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First I'd like to say I'm sorry for asking what is likely a common question that has been answered.  However I did some pretty extensive searching using various key words and I'm coming up empty.  I have learned a lot of useful information reading through the site so thank you for that.

 

I'm curious what a reasonable monthly remittance to the wife's mother is and general advice.

 

My wife and I are living here in the USA.  My wife was sending 3k THB monthly to mom back in Thailand as a remittance.  I was OK with this, but since about 6 months ago, this apparently has doubled and I just discovered she’s sending 6k now for the past half year.  The Thai mom is in her 50s and has a little soup cart / restaurant permanently set up next to the local village temple and makes some money that way and it gives her something to do.  She’s out in the provinces and a 45 minute drive from any big city.  The small house she owns and lives in is old, but paid for.  The Thai mom also cares for a 6 year old niece.  My wife’s older adult single brother is capable, but not seeking employment and also lives at home.

 

Mom hit up the wife a few times since we’ve been married pleading for large sums of money on top of the monthly allowance and my wife actually got pissed off and stopped talking with her for a while.  We still sent the monthly payment.  It sounds like the mom has money management issues and has repeatedly gotten herself in debt with the local loan sharks.  My wife had bailed her out several times over the past few years and is trying to be a good wife and not continue the enablement, but has doubled the monthly payments since she loves the family and feels she needs to send it.  She also says she loves her niece and wants to make sure she is taken care of.

 

Mom had some medical issues and we recently paid a few thousand USD to help her get the operations she needed to improve her life. 

 

All in all, with everything combined, we are looking at about 5k USD this year.  I want to respect my wife and her family, but also don’t want to allow this to get out of control and I see the payment situation potentially going downhill.  Now is the time to act.  We are going on vacation to visit the family in Thailand soon and it’s my wife’s first time back in about 5 years.  We want to assess the situation before we jointly make a decision.  I fully expect to provide some support lasting for the rest of mom’s life, but I want to minimize it to a reasonable / minimal level as I have my own retirement to plan for also.  I come from a family where we all financially take care of ourselves and our future so I am having trouble personally accepting this aspect of the culture but I do understand it exists.

 

I work full time and make an average income.  My wife works part time and makes a minimal income.  My wife does have an American degree and has said she would like to find a better job when we get back from vacation.  I’m thinking about pushing for 3k THB a month plus other one off expenses as we see appropriate and we can possibly increase this sum when my wife gets a decent paying job.  Mom continues to ask for things and it bothers me that her large extended family and brother do nothing to assist, but we are asked for financial help.  It seems we need to set proper expectations which in my mind would be first mom making prudential financial decisions and second, the family helping as a whole according to the means.  This is starting to seem reasonable, but unrealistic.  What is your advice given the situation?

 

I also know of a few mixed families who are / have in the past sent large quantities of money back regularly and it seemed the farang partner was getting milked and in some cases involved the Thai lady moving back home after a few years with a new paid off home back in Thailand and a financially drained ex.  I don't see this with my wife so far and don't predict it based on her character but don't want to end up in a situation that slowly edges to this over time.

 

Thanks for your advice.

 

 

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I'd put the proviso on that the lazy brother needs to have a job and you want to see real proof of employment before any increase is even considered. If lazy brother stops working, so does the arrangement.
 
 

That’s funny


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I really appreciate the feedback / confirmation / advice.

 

I don't mind 3k and is sorta sounds like that's OK and reasonable.  I'm not thrilled at 6k per month for life.  We wouldn't be together if it were 10 times @ 30k :)  I see both of our money as both of our money.  Really with the law here, my income is her income so as I provide for everything pretty much, she shouldn't be giving too much of her money away just to live off of me.  I feel that's not what she really wants either.  Funny / sad thing came up in conversation over bringing gifts back and she didn't want to bring the lazy brother anything.  I talked her into getting some Levi's jeans or something like that for him.  I appreciate the comment that it has to come out of the wife's work so hopefully she can appreciate the work it takes to make it.  I think we need to set a limit and if she makes over a certain amount of $ in a month, then we can consider sending more.  We'll decide a limit and agree to stick with it.  Ya, she knows the lazy brother needs to work, but mom does nothing to encourage it and we are across the ocean over here with no say.

 

Thanks for your time.

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Actually, FarangWithAPlan, your right.  Cutting it off altogether until the brother brings home some verifiable bacon is reasonable.

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11 hours ago, CBBC said:

Actually, FarangWithAPlan, your right.  Cutting it off altogether until the brother brings home some verifiable bacon is reasonable.

I have no idea on your family's persona situation. But it might be unfair to cut off the initial 3k in support you have offered for some time. That could cause hardship for your mother in law. 3k can be the difference to eating properly and not eating properly here.

 

But any increase could be dependent on the brother getting off his butt and assisting the family.  It might actually snap the kid into gear and begin to make something of his life.

 

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CBBC why send money for your MILs medical needs?

She would come under the 30 baht health scheme, asking for money for that is a scam.

Your poor wife is being pressured into sending more money, it will never stop, only get worse.

Sadly you have no way out of this situation, because your wife feels she has to help her mother, nothing you can do or say will ever change that.

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On 8/15/2019 at 9:54 AM, CBBC said:

I really appreciate the feedback / confirmation / advice.

 

I don't mind 3k and is sorta sounds like that's OK and reasonable.  I'm not thrilled at 6k per month for life.  We wouldn't be together if it were 10 times @ 30k 🙂I see both of our money as both of our money.  Really with the law here, my income is her income so as I provide for everything pretty much, she shouldn't be giving too much of her money away just to live off of me.  I feel that's not what she really wants either.  Funny / sad thing came up in conversation over bringing gifts back and she didn't want to bring the lazy brother anything.  I talked her into getting some Levi's jeans or something like that for him.  I appreciate the comment that it has to come out of the wife's work so hopefully she can appreciate the work it takes to make it.  I think we need to set a limit and if she makes over a certain amount of $ in a month, then we can consider sending more.  We'll decide a limit and agree to stick with it.  Ya, she knows the lazy brother needs to work, but mom does nothing to encourage it and we are across the ocean over here with no say.

 

Thanks for your time.

Strange as it  is  the lazy brother in law scenario seems to be a common thing here I have one as well lol, my wife and I give my wife's mother 7000 baht per month ( she is pension age) plus she gets another 2000 baht per month from granddaughter and she gets free medical (wife was government worker) here and electricity is paid for by other brother in law. She survives ok on this amount but she is a thrifty women so if you  are giving your mother in law 6000 then she is not living the high life here but just surviving.

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Yes, Thai Mothers can be demanding, many of them like to gamble, that toppled with the fact she has a young 6 year old Grandaughter, and a son who doesn't contribute, doesn't help.

 

I was married for 8 years and no matter how much I sent, my wife and her mother spent every penny, cards, lotto etc.  I built a house and set up a rubber plantation with 2600 trees, the house was because they lived in a one up wooden hut, outside toilets, shower, kitchen, the place was clean but not nice at all, and I wanted my son (now 7) to have a decent place to live, the plantation was to support my him, and save me paying them money every month.

 

Now divorced, I still send a little for my son, was 20K when married, then down to 8k, last month dropped it to 6K as they now get income from the plantation, next year it will be 4K, after that nothing, I have told them I want nothing from my investment in the plantation (on my sons grandfather's land), and the income is to support my son.  I will retire in 18 months time and live in LOS full time (I will be 53), I will still help with school uniforms, clothes etc, but I will not give them cash in hand. 

 

My wife has a new Thai husband and child and does not stay with my son, I refuse to go down the road of supporting her and her new family with handouts, yes she may get a piece of the rubber money, but I can't stop that.

 

Sorry to go on....but it's ok for your wife to send "her" money, but don't fall into the trap od supporting the extended family, of course the 6 year old girl take priority over everything. 

 

 

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