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talljasperman's avatar

How do you handle a wage gap between siblings?

Asked by talljasperman (21858points) December 9th, 2014

Let’s say one makes $20K a year another makes $50K a year. How to go on a vacation together? Who hosts family dinners? Parents are still alive and divorced.

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12 Answers

Coloma's avatar

The person who makes more needs to be understanding of the person who makes less and if the lesser salaried sibling has to bow out on certain pricier events it should not be an issue.
The more well off sibling should offer to treat the less well off sibling if having them take part in whatever celebration, activity is really important to them.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

Planning in advance. Think about what kind of activities and restaurants will be chosen. Then if either sibling has kids things could get tricky as there will be more requirements. Planning and discussion before setting off wiĺl put things in order so each side knows what to expect and where the financiaĺly stronger one will step in while the economicaĺly weaker one wiĺl know where to step back. Such discreet planning will save them from unpleasant surprises, unreasonable demands and inconvenience.

stanleybmanly's avatar

There are plenty of variables, but here’s hoping the one with the bucks will pick up the check in proportion to the obvious need.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

Communication is key. Don’t book anything without speaking to the other, and assessing the contribution they can make. I make more than my brother, and have plenty more to spare considering I’m single and he’s married. I just talk to him openly and honestly about what we can each contribute, and we make a decision from there.

JLeslie's avatar

Do the parents have some money? For a family vacation maybe they can chip in more than the kids to begin with if the parents have the money to afford it.

If not, the sibling who makes less money cannot be put in a position that they will be financially harmed by going on vacation. If the other family members aren’t adjusting for that, then the one who makes less might not be able to participate. I’m not saying the other family members have to pay the way of the one who makes less, it might be that you all stay somewhere less expensive if need be. Or, yes, the family members who make more might help pick up the costs of some things.

If you stay in a condo or two bedroom suite, or one bedroom suit with a pull out sofa, the family member who makes more money should take the master bedroom and pay a little more for the luxury. Sharing a suit is almost always cheaper than everyone having their own room.

canidmajor's avatar

Are we assuming that all else is equal? Otherwise there are too many variables. The sib making $20K may have more disposable income than the one making $50K, if one takes location, lifestyle, number of children, etc etc into account. How is the family dynamic? That factors in as well.
I have never seen a situation where all else is equal, so I think it’s rather naive for anyone to assert that the sib with more income “should” shell out for the sib with less income.

@FireMadeFlesh has a sensible response here.

JLeslie's avatar

@canidmajor I would think if the $50k family member has a ton more expenses then they also can’t spend a lot on getting together and there wouldn’t be a big problem.

I agree multiple factors can change how much disposable income the person has.

What you wrote makes me wonder if the one who earns less money expects the others to pay, or if the one with more money is planning something others can’t afford and they aren’t mindful of it.

Coloma's avatar

Well of course there are variables, and nobody should expect anything but, in general, it stands to reason the higher earning individual, unless buried in debt, will have more disposable income. Not always but falls into the Possibility vs. probability category.
Obviously it is dependent on individual circumstance.

janbb's avatar

To speak in broad generalities, I think the person with the greater income doesn’t owe the other sib anything but consideration of what they can afford to do. So if they are looking to plan a trip or a family reunion, it should be based on what the poorer one can afford. If the richer one wants to treat occasionally, that is lovely but not owed. In cases of family emergencies, it is hoped that the richer one might help out but that might also be based on family history.

Coloma's avatar

^^^ Agreed, but it’s nice to be generous if able. I love treating others. :-)

JLeslie's avatar

I agree also. The person with more money is not obligated. We’ve helped family members more than once by paying for their hotel or travel. The way I look at it, I wanted to be with them, so I invited them and treated them. It’s not usually paying for everything, they still might pick up a meal or something else.

Sometimes you treat someone even if they can afford it for the same reason. When my parents invite us on vacation they pay for part of it usually and we can afford it. They paid for the cruise fares for my husband and I a few years ago when we went to Alaska with them, but we paid out flights and also excursions in port. They like to treat us and they want to be with us.

Coloma's avatar

My good friend who has known me for the last 10 years just treated me to a 3 day weekend in Tahoe in Oct. She has known me through prosperity and my nose dive into insolvency this last couple years. For years I would hostess her at my place when she lived a few hours away. It’s hard being on the receiving end of good will these days after being the good will woman myself, but, what comes around goes around.

I am learning to accept gifts more gracefully after being the giver forever.

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