DEAR ABBY: My in-laws think that my husband and I are hard up financially. We both work good jobs that pay well for our area. We have nice cars and own our home.
The in-laws constantly try to give us money! Any little thing we do, they write us a check -- like watching their house while they're on vacation, taking care of their animals, etc.
I haven't cashed their checks in years. I thought that maybe this would do the trick, but it hasn't. We pride ourselves on paying our own way and surviving on our own. What would be a proper and tactful way to tell them we appreciate their thoughtfulness but we're doing just fine? -- INDEPENDENT DUO IN SIOUX FALLS, S.D.
DEAR INDEPENDENT DUO: How about just saying it in English, the way you have said it to me? Your in-laws appear to be caring and generous people who love you both. I'm sure they are not trying to imply that you are not independent and capable when they write those checks -- they are trying to share their wealth. This is perfectly acceptable, by the way, and you should not resent it.
Have a loving chat with them. And if they continue to give you money, bank it and use it to throw them a special celebration on one of their "big" anniversaries.