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by Abigail Van Buren

Slow Payment for Bookkeeping Is Costing Family Its Harmony

DEAR ABBY: I take care of my daughter-in-law's taxes and have for the past 15 years. I have never charged her for it. When she brings me the paperwork, it is always a mess. I told her I would be her full-time bookkeeper and charge her $300 a month, but it's like getting blood from a turnip. I have to beg her each month for my pay.

My husband said I should stop doing it for her. What should I do? I feel that this is driving a wedge between us. She owns a small construction cleaning service and makes good money. -- GOOD WITH FIGURES IN FLORIDA

DEAR GOOD: Your daughter-in-law may resent the fact that you want payment for keeping her finances in order, but I'll bet you're charging far less than a nonfamily member would. It's time to tell her that dunning her for money every month has become too stressful. Suggest that she set up an automatic fund transfer to your account to cover the monthly fee. If she's unwilling to do that, then your husband has the right idea and it would be better for both of you if she hired someone else for these services.

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