Family and $$$…Lending money to family can rain on your parade and become an emotional roller coaster. After speaking with several individuals on this subject, their natural instinct was to want to help their loved one. While this is a very sticky subject, it is necessary to address the concerns of viewers that struggle in this area. There are several things to take into consideration before taking the leap into the deep, lending money to family.
- Can I afford to be the lender?
Before deciding to bail out a family member think first, then act. Do not be afraid to ask hard questions of yourself and them. What are the state of my finances? Can I afford to make their emergency mine? How often have I graciously bailed this loved one out? Am I able to teach them how to rise above their financial struggles to lead them down a more stable path? What is their strategy for repayment?
- Am I impeding the process of my family member from working out their situation?
Avoid coming to the rescue without praying first about what you should do, if anything, to help your family member out of their financial issues. At times, encouragement is the best help you can give another individual. Yes, lending a helping hand does have its place in dire situations; but what about the process? Bailing someone out time-after-time could do more harm than good when you seem to be their only way out. How will they survive when you are not there?
- Have I become an enabler of my family member? Does being an enabler boost my ego?
If you have bailed Johnny out five times and he is coming to you again for financial help, something is faulty here. Becoming an enabler is different from assisting in a time of need. It could be possible that Johnny could use help with becoming a better manager of his finances.
- Do I possess the knowledge and skills necessary to share with Johnny to combat the next emergency that arises?
If other types of assistance are needed, work with Johnny to find out what resources are available in his city or state.
- Do I expect to receive the money back? Will they have the money to repay the debt?
Only lend the amount of money that you can afford to lose. Each person’s situation is different, however when a person has fallen on hard times, it is possible they may not be able to afford to repay the money borrowed. In doing so, many relationships are strained or sometimes destroyed over money. It could go either way; your relationship could be strained if you do not lend the money. You decide…
Remember that setting boundaries for your finances should include family members. Rid yourself of the guilt for having to say no, not now and allow their growth process to happen.
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