I don't usually share these sorts of details but then again, CreditBoards often breaks the barrier of what is usually considered "polite conversation."
First, once a buckeye always one. The OSU-Michigan game is still bigger than the Superbowl to me, 5 years after moving.
But your last comment is something I found I could relate to.
Growing up, we had a very close-knit extended family. My dad has 6 siblings and all but one lived within 2 blocks and we spent a lot of time together. My cousins are like my brothers.
Five of his 6 siblings are, like him, average middle class wage earners. They were making $25-35k, which was in the late 80s and 90s more like 40-50k is now, which is probably about what most of them earn. A good enough income. You can raise a family on it if you had a second income or were good at making a dollar stretch.
One of them, though, the oldest sibling, worked his butt off in the 70s and earned a Journeymans card and "got in" at the local Jeep factory. That's the mentality of good jobs where I grew up. If you were lucky, you "got in" some where. But nobody else in my family would have worked that opportunity like my uncle. He worked, often, 80-100 hour weeks. Now, a lot of this was because of the nature of his job as a millwright (fixing the machines when they broke) involved a decent amount of sitting around until something broke, making those long hours possible. But he was earning 75-100k+ which today is a good living and back then was simply fantastic.
As a kid, I observed all this. His nice cars. His nice things. His nice vacations. And when my aunts and uncles, but not really my own parents, would have hardships any thought of asking him for a loan or a little cash to help out or a favor was always talked about in hushed tones and rolled eyes. "He'll tell you he doesn't have the money to help, that he would if he could." And of course that was absurd to these people and as a kid that made an impression on me.
Today, I'm fortunate to be in a position similar to his. I also work long hours (As a Software Engineer), and I also make quite a bit more than my siblings and cousins. And honestly for the most part I don't help out family financially. My parents and to a lesser extent my siblings, yes. And I try to give really great graduation and wedding gifts, things like that. But all this set-up was to make this point:
To my aunts and uncles, used to living pay-to-pay, used to literally having $100 or less in their checking account on a regular basis, used to not having any meaningful savings, used to running up credit card bills and paying them slowly down, used to filing bankruptcy, to these people, knowing that their older brother made six figures and surely had at least a few thousand bucks liquid in his account at any given time, to them, hearing him say he had "no money" is absurd and a little insulting.
But I get it now a little. I'm 31. I started my career almost exactly 10 years ago. The first 5 years or so, I lived that same way. I get paid, and try to "spread it out" till my next pay. I had student loans to pay and I wasn't earning all that much. My first job as a "programmer" paid $12/hr for 20-25 hours a week.
As I progressed in my career, and grew more skilled at salary negotiation, and knew how much I was really worth, that began to change.
And once I crossed that line, from paycheck to paycheck to always having money to having a few months expenses to having a few months income, once I progressed up that ladder... I am not interested in EVER going back to $10 checking account balances. You start to feel like you need it because of how valuable that security becomes. If a cousin, who is literally broke, asked me for a few hundred bucks, I'd do it probably. As a gift, never a loan with family. But a few thousand? No way. Because I no longer have that mentality that every dollary in my account is spendable. It's not. It's not.
Anyway, that's a lot of writing, sorry for going on so long. But I thought it could be an interesting POV.
Now, in his older age, my uncle does help his parents -- my grandparents -- and he has softened a little.
I hope this wasn't boring or seemingly callous. Somebody fortunate SHOULD help others. And I fully expect to: While we have earned a good living these last few years, I'm still just beginning this and I expect as we build more wealth into the future that I will find good uses for it. But yeah, your situation may be different, but this is how it was and is in my family and with me.