By Quentin Fottrell, MarketWatch
MarketWatch is revisiting some favorite Moneyologist dilemmas for Mother’s Day on May 14.
Many years ago, my mother regularly put money into an emergency fund for her and my dad. She didn’t tell my dad about it at the time, because it was just a few dollars here and there. However, it eventually grew to $10,000. As they got financially stable, she earmarked that $10,000 to give me as a wedding gift. Fast forward to now. I’m 41 and have never married.
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I’m looking at buying a house and my mother has offered the $10,000 toward my down payment, if I want it. Otherwise, I can wait and I will get it if I ever marry. I’m not dating anyone, and I’m not looking to get married (if someone came along, great, but I’m happy with my single life). I feel that at this point in my life, if I do decide to get married, both of us would probably be fairly well established already.
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I should mention: If I used the gift toward the down payment I could, of course, afford more for a house. While I could afford a 20% down payment on a decent house now, with her money I could find a place with a few more things I want — a fireplace, attached garage, etc.
So now I have to decide. Do I put the money from my mother toward a down payment?
Jennifer in Michigan
P.S. Send my compliments to your mother!
Do you have questions about inheritance, tipping, weddings, family feuds, friends or any tricky issues relating to manners and money? Send them to MarketWatch’s Moneyologist and please include the state where you live (no full names will be used).
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Hello there, MarketWatchers. Check out the Moneyologist private Facebook group, where we look for answers to life’s thorniest money issues. Readers write in to me with all sorts of dilemmas: inheritance, wills, divorce, tipping, gifting. I often talk to lawyers, accountants, financial advisers and other experts, in addition to offering my own thoughts. I receive more letters than I could ever answer, so I’ll be bringing all of that guidance — including some you might not see in these columns — to this group. Post your questions, tell me what you want to know more about, or weigh in on the latest Moneyologist columns.