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Anyone have moocher-repellent?
Old 06-14-2011, 06:20 PM   #1
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Anyone have moocher-repellent?

I'm sure every family has some.... relatives who think nothing of inviting themselves over for a long-stay "vacation" at your expense.

I received an email from someone today asking if she could camp with me for "just a week". She said she'd be happy to sleep in her tent: she's 67, overweight and has bad knees and a bad back. Anyone want to start a pool to guess how fast she'd be hinting about sleeping in the trailer?

This would be a very bad move on my part: her entire family (siblings and kids) thrives on mooching off others. I've seen them bring 5 hot dogs to feed two adults and 3 kids for an entire day - and then spend their time going in and out of the trailer looking for chips, soda, condiments, etc. If I let her stay, it would be only a matter of hours before her siblings showed up for a "family get together". And then they would make it an annual event.

Normally, I'm a soft touch but for once I stayed firm and said no. I said that I'll be happy to see her but that she has to pay for her own lot and that I can't have anyone stay with me.

She's not happy.

How do you deal with problems like this?
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Old 06-14-2011, 06:47 PM   #2
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I guess my family is relatively easy to deal with in cases like this. If it's someone I don't want to put up, I just firmly but pleasantly (I hope) suggest a couple of nearby motels or hotels, and they make reservations. No big deal.
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Old 06-14-2011, 06:59 PM   #3
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Normally, I'm a soft touch but for once I stayed firm and said no. I said that I'll be happy to see her but that she has to pay for her own lot and that I can't have anyone stay with me.

She's not happy.

How do you deal with problems like this?
I'd say you dealt with it just fine, there is no easy way but to be polite but clear. It's your house...
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Old 06-14-2011, 08:11 PM   #4
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Normally, I'm a soft touch but for once I stayed firm and said no. I said that I'll be happy to see her but that she has to pay for her own lot and that I can't have anyone stay with me.
How do you deal with problems like this?
I think you've revealed both the source of and the solution to the problem.

A few more firm & polite answers like that, and the problem will stop.
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Old 06-14-2011, 08:31 PM   #5
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I think you already did. Good for you!
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Old 06-14-2011, 09:49 PM   #6
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You did the right thing. Just because someone is related to you does not mean you owe them anything unless you are their parent. Or maybe their child.

The same answer goes for asking to borrow our truck or borrow money. Sorry but that just isn't going to work for us. If they ask why, we just say it isn't going to work for us. End of story. Sometimes people get so mad they tell everyone else and they get mad at you too and then you don't have to deal with the whole lot of them. Then you have more time and money for relatives and friends you like. A win-win situation.
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Old 06-14-2011, 11:17 PM   #7
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I have gotten a spine over the years, being the boss over about 80 women, who often like to argue about something you ask them to do. It doesn't bother me to say no to someone anymore. I've learned how to say no firmly, but reasonably and it seems to work on relatives who mooch, too.
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Old 06-15-2011, 12:12 AM   #8
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Since we moved to the sunny (and dry) South (Utah's Dixie believe it or not), we have had family and friends come out of the woodwork to come and "visit" for a while; especially in Winter. We have one family that thought it would be great to spend their annual vacation with us for a week...for the past 3 years without contributing a dime to the food bill. This is a family of 5; two adults and three grandkids they are raising, all under 13. It is DW's family and they are VERY tight so saying NO is not a safe option for me. Last year, they "invited" their other kids to come for a few days...that resulted in 12 additional people in the house...most of them young teenage girls (way too much drama for me). This year we will just have the 5 it seems. Close family makes it much harder to say NO. My family is very small and they don't visit much at all. Her family is a different story.

One thing I have learned over the years; some things are better unsaid for your own well being. One week out of 52 is not that bad in the big picture. My alcohol consumption does seem to go up during that week for some reason...gotta cope somehow.
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Old 06-15-2011, 12:32 AM   #9
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Moochers will usually use guilt trips to try and make you feel bad for saying "no" to them. Be aware and recognize when it is being used in order to manipulate you. Stand your ground. You aren't being mean, you're just setting a reasonable boundary.

Good luck!
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Old 06-15-2011, 01:05 AM   #10
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I have the opposite problem. I would love for some family members to come crash in our guest room! My family has not come visit us in almost 10 years. They do live on another continent though...
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Old 06-15-2011, 02:10 AM   #11
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We share homes with a lot of people in our families if there is a chance to visit and we also are member of Servas, a kind of hospitality club.
Fortunately no moochers yet.
We are very clear what can be expected from us and what we expect the guest to provide. I am not shy to send the guest to the supermarket or to have him/her help fixing dinner, mowing the lawn or do other tasks.
It works the same if we stay in other homes. We would invite our hosts for eating out some nights, offer to cook my favorite dinner(+ purchase the food), to do some "honey-dos".
We would not expect our guests/hosts to be around all the time but discuss everyone's plans to make sure that we share the same understanding how much time should be spent together or seperate.
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Old 06-15-2011, 11:08 AM   #12
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If you guests are driving in, it is not as bad as when they are flying in. If they are flying in, they will ask you to pick them up at the airport (and bring them back) and be the chauffer for the duration of their visit. Since their goal is save at your expense, they will get the cheapest air fare, which means they arrive and/or depart at the most incovenient time and take the airport farthest from my home (Midway vs O'Hare).

After a few of these incidences, I have been hinting at my guests to rent a car or tell them to use O'Hare and come in/out at a certain time.
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Old 06-15-2011, 11:48 AM   #13
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I have the opposite problem. I would love for some family members to come crash in our guest room! My family has not come visit us in almost 10 years. They do live on another continent though...
I was going to express the same sentiment. My extended family (remaining grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, niece, nephews, on both my mom's and dad's side) all live about 4 hours drive away. In the 30+ years since my parents move away from "home" (where they grew up) to where we currently live (4 hrs away, but in same state), with rare exceptions, I don't think the extended family have ever come to visit us (except my maternal grandmother who comes frequently). We are expected to go visit all of them. Number wise, the branch of the family where I live has about the same number of people as the branch back "home" (~12 people in each place). So mobilizing 12 people is the same level of difficulty regardless of which way you are traveling. We would love to host the other branch of the family, but suggestions to this have been turned down with various excuses (gas is sooo expensive or we don't have time). The result is that I limit family visits to around 1x a year. It is (literally) a two way street.

I would say guide the moochers to what you view as reasonable and don't let them take advantage of you. If they value the relationship, then they will act reasonably and get the message. If they value your free accommodations, then they will realize the well has run dry and they will stop pumping.

As for financial mooching, we have that problem with my in-laws. Frequent requests to borrow money. We have taken the course of managing expectations by always saying "sorry, all our money is tied up in investments. We would lose a lot of money and owe even more tax if we touched any of that money today". This way they don't expect to come to us and get a huge cash loan that day. If a true emergency came up, we would of course help out to some extent, but they understand that buying a new car, house, or investment property, or having a baby (with 9 month lead times) does not constitute an emergency.
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Old 06-15-2011, 12:14 PM   #14
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Wow, did I dodge a bullet!

Turns out that my lone relative who wanted to pitch a tent next to my trailer is, in fact, planning a family reunion for that exact week. I would have wound up hosting upwards of 50 people for 8 days!!!

She has some nerve, I think. Did she think I wouldn't notice when everyone showed up?!?!?

If any of you recall the discussion on INTJ types, you will understand how just the thought of all those people for all that time gives me the willies!!!

I'm so glad I got my spine firmed up!

Nui
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Old 06-15-2011, 12:21 PM   #15
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She's not happy.

How do you deal with problems like this?
It's not your j*b to make her happy ...

She will get over it. And if not? It doesn’t matter.

I cannot fathom why anybody would accept somebody who pushes their way into their lives (family or not) and expect me to entertain them.

If they want to see me? Great - I'll suggest a hotel.

If they need to eat? Great - I'll suggest a restaurant.

If they want to be entertained? Great - I'll give them the web address of the local Chamber of Commerce.

If they don't like it? That's their problem; what they think of me is none of my business (the title of a book)...
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Old 06-15-2011, 12:21 PM   #16
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Old 06-15-2011, 12:25 PM   #17
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Wow, did I dodge a bullet!

Turns out that my lone relative who wanted to pitch a tent next to my trailer is, in fact, planning a family reunion for that exact week. I would have wound up hosting upwards of 50 people for 8 days!!!

She has some nerve, I think. Did she think I wouldn't notice when everyone showed up?!?!?

If any of you recall the discussion on INTJ types, you will understand how just the thought of all those people for all that time gives me the willies!!!

I'm so glad I got my spine firmed up!

Nui
Me too! That would have been awful. 50+ uninvited guests? What a nightmare.
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Old 06-15-2011, 12:27 PM   #18
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You really did dodge a bullet Nu! Good for you! That would totally give me the heebie jeebies!
Fuego, I love the description you used of managing expectations. The very first time my brother asked for money, I told him we were fully invested and couldn't liquidate anything. That was mercifully the only time.
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Old 06-15-2011, 01:30 PM   #19
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You really did dodge a bullet Nu! Good for you! That would totally give me the heebie jeebies!
Fuego, I love the description you used of managing expectations. The very first time my brother asked for money, I told him we were fully invested and couldn't liquidate anything. That was mercifully the only time.
How much do ya want for that Band-aid I borrowed from ya?
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Old 06-15-2011, 01:35 PM   #20
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Hey, I forgot about that! You can pay me back on your next visit! Just call it Southern hospitality for now!
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