In this current economic slump, the freeloaders are starting to come out of the woodwork, like leeches wanting to suck your blood dry; or in the case of the freeloaders, suck your wallet dry. Family members that you haven’t seen in 5-6 years are now at your door step asking if they can stay with you until they can get a job and get back on their feet. Unfortunately, for the freeloader, a job is what other people do during the day, while the freeloader lounges around playing Farmville on Facebook or World of Warcraft. Of course, while your freeloader is not playing video games, he’ll be enjoying a good movie on your cable, while snacking on the food you bought and paid for. The freeloader has no respect for boundaries and certainly no remorse for raising your electric bill, grocery bill, and all other household bills. In fact, most freeloaders think that you should feel grateful that you are in their presence and it should be a privilege that they chose you to support them. Over the years, I’ve had more than my fair share of freeloading family members and each and every time the outcome is always the same; I get left with debt. There are many different types of freeloaders, but they all share common traits and love to appeal to your empathy and generosity.
My freeloading brother is the world’s worst for trying to lay a guilt trip on you while continuously draining your pocketbook dry. My brother is what I like to call the “working freeloader”, because he actually has a job, but he doesn’t believe he should have to pay bills with his hard earned money; instead he uses every excuse in the book to live off other people and never getting a place of his own. My brother uses his children to get sympathy and to avoid helping pay his share of electricity, cable, internet, food, or rent. He has always been able to get a decent paying job and his children do not live with him, yet he still can’t manage to buy his own food or pay for the gas in your car to take him back and forth to work. He does however manage to smoke Marlboros every day, buy cell phone minutes every other day, and is constantly buying new tools. Until this day, my brother is still leeching off of other people and he has even stooped as low as to ask my sister’s ex for a place to live!
Next on my freeloading list, is my brother-in-law; he is the worst kind of freeloader and what I like to call “the narcissistic sociopath” freeloader. He has been in and out of jail for most of his life and he hasn’t worked a job in years and the last job he had, he stoled from and served a hefty jail sentence. His main goal in life in to find a sugar mama and sadly enough that is not a joke! He spends hours every day looking on Facebook for insecure women that he can victimize. He lives in a delusional world where he thinks he is the greatest thing since sliced bread and all women should feel honored to go to work every day and pay his bills. He loves telling these insecure women his sob stories and how everything is always someone else’s fault. He is beyond lazy as well; in fact, bathing on a weekly bases is too much work for him. He is currently living in a camper behind a relative’s house still mooching electricity, food, and searching the internet for his sugar mama.
Finally, we have the “likable freeloader”, the cousin that you actually enjoy sharing a conversation with, but you always know that having their company means that it’s going to cost you. The “likable freeloader” might have done something to help you in the past and they will make sure to remind you of that fact as they are leeching you dry. My “likable freeloader” came to mooch off me and my husband around 10 years ago and during his stay, he got tired of going to the laundry mat and decided to get a washer and dryer for our home. He ended up getting in some trouble and decided to move 5 states away leaving the washer and dryer that we did not ask for. Although, he had no way of hauling his washer and dryer 5 states away and we never ask him for it, he feels in some way that we should be indebted to him 10 years later, after not even seeing him for 5-6 years after he left. We came to find out that he never even paid for the washer and dryer, so it didn’t cost him anything! He also loves to give you stuff, then take it back as well. He has gave my husband broken tools and after my husband fixes them, the tools are his again now and he’ll remind you every time he visits. Another thing with this type of freeloader is how they will actually praise you for helping them and tell you how thankful they are for your help, but they can never manage to pay you back. Against my better judgment, I let this freeloader convince me of adding him to my cell phone plan. We made an agreement that he’d pay me $20 per month for his cell phone and I was thinking who can’t afford $20 per month? Well, it’s been 4 months now and not even one payment, although he still has his War of Warcraft subscription and manages to buy booze, he can’t pay me a mere $20. This freeloader has been the hardest for me to start making boundaries with and he is still a leech and still trying to mooch every chance he gets. He’ll work a week or two every couple months, then call me crying about his electricity getting turned off or how they can’t afford food. Not only is he too lazy to work, but him and his family are too lazy to apply for food stamps or visit a food pantry. I’ve learned to tune out all of his sob stories, because I’m not responsible for him choosing not to work.
The reason I decided to share my experience with family freeloaders is to inform others that you are not responsible for you family member CHOOSING not to get a job and support themselves. They made the decision not to work and that is a decision they have to deal with. I’m not saying not to help those who are truly in need, but there is a difference between helping and giving them a hand-out. If you’re already in a situation dealing with a family freeloader, then I’ve put some tips together on how to get rid of them.
1.) Make sure your freeloader knows that living with you is NOT a permanent arrangement and you expect them to get a job and move out. Set a time limit. Decide how long the freeloader can stay with you rather it be one month or two months, and stick with it.
2.) Never loan them money or buy your freeloader anything. Instead, make them work for everything you give them. If you decide to give your freeloader money, make him/her mow the grass, do dishes, paint a room, anything that you may not feel like doing. The chances of loaning a freeloader money and actually getting paid back is slim to none, so make them work for everything.
3.) Tune out all sob stories. When your freeloaders calls to tell you that his electricity is getting turned off, ask him/her have they tried getting help from the local energy assistance location. If they call telling you how they’ve been eating beans and can’t afford food, ask them have they applied for food stamps or have they visited the local food pantry. Chances are that they’ve done nothing to help themselves or they will have an excuse why they couldn’t; don’t fall for it!
4.) Make them feel uncomfortable. Never let them think they have free roam of your house. Make them ask for everything, rather it be an aspirin or a band-aid; make them ask for it!
5.) If they are using your internet, unhook their connection all the time. Make sure they can’t get online to victimize others. Make sure that their internet experience is never a good one when you’re paying for it!
6.) Cook foods that your freeloader doesn’t like and keep the bare minimum in the refrigerator. Most freeloaders love drinking expensive soda on your dollar, so stock the fridge with water or a diet drink, anything they don’t like.
Most important, remember it’s not your fault and you should not feel guilty. Just like your freeloader made the decision not to work, you have to make the decision to take care of you and your household.