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Suze wants to know what Nicole and Cynthia think Kelly would do if for some reason they were out of her life. "I have no earthly clue, and that's what I worry about," Nicole says. "I think I delude myself in thinking Kelly's going to get it, you know, if I continue to give through this period. This one more time, then next time she'll get it."

As a result of what they have given to Kelly, neither Nicole nor Cynthia have emergency savings and Nicole has $20,000 in credit card debt. Suze has a hard truth for Nicole and Cynthia to accept: They, in fact, are the ones to blame for Kelly's money problems.

"When you fix a problem with money, you aren't fixing anything. You are keeping it broken. So because they were saying yes, because it was easier to say yes than to do what was right, which was to say no, [Kelly] would never get to understand who she was," Suze says. "What are they really sharing? They are sharing poverty. They are sharing lies. They are sharing powerlessness. They aren't sharing the money. ... They share what Kelly has—nothing."

But Kelly isn't off the hook. "Every time that you spend money that you don't have, you're lying," Suze says. "Every time you don't pay your sister the rent, you are lying. Every time you avoid your car payment, you are lying. Every time you don't do something that's responsible with money, you are lying. And you are lying because you aren't living the truth with who you are. So stop it and stop it right now! Let's start turning our lives around right now."

To start, Suze has Kelly, Nicole and Cynthia sign a contract stating that Kelly will no longer rely on her family for loans.

Download a sample contract to use if you're in a similar situation. PDF

"When they say no to you [Kelly], you are to go back and read this letter," Suze says.
FROM: What Happened to the Mom Who Shopped Her Family Broke?
Published on March 14, 2008


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