There's one in every family—what do you do about the relative who's always asking for money and draining you dry? Meet a family who has reached its breaking point.
Nicole is a 33-year-old chemical engineer who makes a great living. But even though she earns $80,000 a year, Nicole says she's living paycheck to paycheck. "What has really kept me from saving and doing the things that I know I need to do with my money is my sister," Nicole says.
Nicole owns the house her sister Kelly lives in, but has a hard time making the mortgage payment because Kelly is often late with her rent. "If she's late, I allow her to be late on the rent. But the mortgage company doesn't allow me to be late on my mortgage," Nicole says. "So I have to save that money from my tax refund to kind of hedge it out so that when she is late, I still have money in the bank to pay the mortgage on time because I have to preserve my credit."
Nicole and Kelly's mother, Cynthia, says Kelly is always late on her bills. "Everything is always cut off. Her lights...her water...gas," Cynthia says. "Let's not talk about car payments."
It's gotten to the point where Nicole doesn't have any wiggle room in her own budget. "I can't misstep an inch off of my finances because she'll throw a monkey wrench in everything with one phone call—'I need $300 or they'll take my car. I need $500 or they'll kick me out of my house,'" Nicole says.