Yesterday my sister called and let me know that she's been getting letters and phone calls from bill collectors looking for my Mom. Apparently Mom has fallen behind on paying some bills. Why did my sister call me instead of Mom? Because I'm Mom's payee for her disability benefits and I'm supposed to make sure she isn't mis-managing her funds.
Well, obviously I'm falling a little short on that job. *insert shameful downcast eyes here*
I did get all of her finances in order when she got her own place (Did I tell y'all she's in her own place now? It's a very recent development.) and fixed her up on a working budget that left her plenty of extra spending money in addition to paying for all of her needs. I tried to give her a little responsibility of her own so she wouldn't feel like I was sassing her. Moms don't stand for sass here in the South, believe me.
She gets a nice disability check, plus my Dad, who's still very much in love with her even though they're divorced, gives her generous
I'm very concerned because little idiosyncrasies like this always creep up right before her schizo-affective disorder breaks out for another run. Retail therapy has always been one of her pre-relapse symptoms. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a reprieve, but not holding my breath.
So this weekend, I have the unnatural and awkward task of going to Mom's house and auditing her finances to see where all of her money is going. The hardest part is that she will not cooperate freely and it's going to be a painful power struggle, but it's a struggle I have to win. I'm considering taking full responsibility for paying her bills and setting her up on an allowance instead of just trusting her to follow through on the budget I've created for her. We're not talking about a senile old lady; Mom's in her mid-fifties and very strong willed. So sad.
Sometimes it's such a chore being the oldest child.
Wish me luck!
Until next time . . .