Looking for a bridge over troubled water? Krithvi Shyam, our young psychologist, addresses your worst anxieties. 

Financially, my parents have become weak and adding to that they spend too much money on unnecessary things like going to the hotel every week, donating Rs. 500 every time my mother visits the temple and incentives for servants. There is no savings at all. My father finds it difficult to manage the expenses and uses the credit card and his life goes into paying all the debts for the credit cards. I am trying my best to cut down my expenses but my parents aren’t.

Another thing that worries me is that, whenever mom is washing the dishes, she repeatedly collects water from the tap and pours it over tap for about 10 times and then washes her hand for five-long minutes. She repeats the former process again! Her hands have become very rough and it is very painful for her too. I have spoken to her about this and she sees reason but goes back to doing it the next time. But again after this the next minute she goes to the tap and does the same. Please help .

VOICE OF REASON

You haven’t said anything about it, but I’m going to assume you’re a student since you didn’t mention employment or your own savings. I’m sorry that you are the sole voice of reason in your family, and I’m glad you’ve decided to seek help. For starters, you could try having a serious discussion with your parents about the long-term repercussions of their spending (talk about the lack of funds to cover big expenses, from higher education fees to medical emergencies or even a wedding). However, if this does not improve the situation, do not try to tackle it alone any longer. Enlist the help of a relative whom you can trust, and who is seen as an authority figure in your family. Explain the situation to him/her. If you are close to achieving financial independence, but have siblings who still have some way to go, you need to discuss this with your relative too, and see if the extended family is willing to help out. If you are in fact employed, then I urge you to start saving immediately, and make it clear to your parents that you will be strictly monitoring the use of your money. Finally, your mother’s compulsive hand washing sounds like it might require the attentions of a psychiatrist, but resolve your financial situation first before addressing this issue.

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