I can’t afford the family trip my siblings are planning

Your Life
January, 2017

My siblings want to go in together on a cruise for my parents as a 50th anniversary gift. I just can’t afford to do this, but they are insisting I need to do my share. How can I get out of this without losing my family?

I understand why this is causing you such stress, no one wants to risk losing the most important relationships in their lives – their family.

The first thing you need to do is communicate; it may sound like a cliché, but communication really does solve a lot of problems. Do your siblings know your financial situation? Have you told them you cannot afford this gift? Schedule a family get-together or a conference call to talk honestly about what you can contribute. Each of your siblings may be able to chip in a little more so that you can participate in the gift and attend.

Since you cannot contribute as much financially, perhaps there is another way you can help with the anniversary celebration. You might volunteer to help your parents shop and pack for the trip when the time comes, or to drive them to the airport and assist them while traveling. Those acts of service are concrete ways you can keep the fourth commandment and honor your parents – they are also very valuable, and your siblings should recognize that.