What do you do when someone constantly hits you up for money?

A few years ago, I wrote about how to lend money to friends without letting it ruin the friendship. To quickly recap, a friend needed help paying the rent. She had never asked me for money in all the years we’d been friends, so I knew she had to be in a pretty desperate situation. In fact, she was even on medical leave and tried to return to work early, but her doctor (and therefore her employer) refused to sign off on it.

So although I normally think that lending money to friends is a bad idea, this seemed different. I loaned her the money. Although she promised to pay me back, I looked at the loan as a gift, and expected that I would not be repaid. It would have been nice to be repaid, but I was being realistic based on all of the stories I’ve heard about lending money to friends. Therefore, I was only willing to lend what I was willing to lose. I also helped her boyfriend get a job.

My friend never did repay me, which was fine because I’d already assumed that I would not be repaid. Her boyfriend took the job offer and promptly lost the job. (She told me that the boss expected her boyfriend to “just do whatever he was told to do.” Um, yes, that’s how most jobs work, especially when you have next-to-no experience.)

So that whole situation was a one-time thing, over and done. But in the last year or two, someone else I know started hitting me up for money. Money for rent, money to put minutes on his phone. In these situations, I still think my original stance is best, which I wrote about before:

“I don’t believe in loaning money most of the time. It’s not that I don’t want to help make things better, I just think that in most situations it’s a temporary fix. If someone can’t make a house payment this month, what’s going to change next month? In many cases, money troubles are a sign of ongoing issues and habits.”

So I’ve not loaned him any money. But the thing is, so far I’ve made excuses about why I couldn’t loan him money. I dance around the question because I feel like a jerk for saying no, for saying that I’m tired of feeling used (even though I’m not loaning him any money).

Logically, I know that he’s the one who’s being a jerk and trying to take advantage of his friends, but emotionally, it’s not that easy. When he tells me that he sent out resumes but is worried that employers won’t be able to call him because he doesn’t have a lot of minutes on his phone, I feel bad about not helping him. Even though frankly, I don’t even believe his stories and reasons anymore.

He’s also hit up all of his other friends with similar requests. Some of them avoid him now. One mutual friend suspects drug use. Another friend has cut ties by defriending him on Facebook and bluntly saying, “I have my own bills to pay.”

But I have yet to do that. Maybe I don’t want to seem mean, or maybe I’m avoiding confrontation. Maybe I feel bad for him that his life has turned out like this. I’m not sure why it’s so hard for me to be blunt, even when he is trying to take advantage of me.

So readers, if you were me, what would you say to someone who constantly hits you up for money? What if they are someone you were once close to and still care about?

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There are 129 comments to "What do you do when someone constantly hits you up for money?".

  1. Beth says 07 February 2014 at 04:41

    Just my two cents, but have you thought of offering him financial coaching instead? “I’m sorry to hear you’re having trouble. I’d be willing to help you tackle your finances and create a budget.”

    That way you’re not completely cutting him off from help — you’re offering the expertise you have instead. Either he’ll accept the help and maybe you can make a real difference, or he won’t take the advice and he’ll stop asking for cash. (I hope for his sake he takes the help! People already learn so much from you!)

    When it comes to money, there’s a fine line between helping and enabling.

    • cherie says 07 February 2014 at 09:01

      This is the best response. I’ve done it with several people who were constantly complaining about their finances. It lets you do SOMETHING [probably the most helpful thing] and yet not feel taken advantage of.

      The one I was closest to, who we did lend money to more than once until I told my husband to stop offering [he did, and no, it’s MY friend first, not his] took me up on it and I constructed detailed budgets and debt repayment plans TWO TIMES, with long discussions about how to make it work.

      In the past couple of years things have gone downhill due to their choices – but you know what? I really don’t have to hear much about it anymore – which is great and has allowed the friendship to continue.

      I don’t care how much anyone makes or what choices they make with it – but don’t complain about things you’re doing to yourself – hypocrisy is really unpleasant.

    • Kelly says 07 February 2014 at 09:39

      Your suggestion is probably best, but my DH has a method where he will only give (yes, give) 10%-20% of the amount asked for, and it is a gift, no expectation of repayment. This offer is a one time only thing per person, but he has done it about a dozen times. Several years ago, his godson asked him for a (sizable) sum to buy a house; he sent the 10%, and he received a note back saying that the godson was sorry we were suffering such financial hardship, lol… no thank you, just cashed the check. Remember, people believe what they want to believe. My DH says he will give a kidney before a loan to family/friends.

    • Devora says 07 February 2014 at 11:44

      I agree with Beth – often, if it’s someone I care about, I will offer other ideas or suggestions or assistance as opposed to money. I happen to love doing research so I’ve helped friends find gyms, therapists, etc etc.

      With your friend in particular, and with the minutes issue – I’m pretty sure Google Voice is still free if he has computer access and is willing to wait for voicemails, or if he has a smartphone and a wifi connection. It’s not optimal but it’s an idea. Land lines can also be cheaper than mobile plans, depending on your local provider (and there are often local alternatives to big names like Comcast, which can be found with a little research). Just thinking outside the box. If your friend just wants money and doesn’t want to take the time to explore creative options.. I think you’ve done all you could, and aren’t obligated to provide financial support.

      Generally, if it’s someone you care about and are willing to spend some time to help (which it may not actually be worthwhile for you to do, depending on the friend and their set of issues) – information and options, I think, tend to have a longer-lasting effect than money. And maybe you won’t feel so used :/

  2. Randy says 07 February 2014 at 05:00

    Allow me to second that statement that Beth so eloquently makes:
    When it comes to money, there’s a fine line between helping and enabling.
    I have one friend in particular, to whom I’ve made several loans and gifts both. The great thing about my story is that he has ALWAYS paid my loans back.
    I’ve tried to offer my suggestions (gently) about choices he could make to better set himself up for financial success. Concepts such as, “If you can afford to make payments ON your new bedroom furniture, you could have afforded to save up FOR new bedroom furniture instead.”
    But, at the end of the day, my generosity and willingness to help has really just allowed him to continue living the American dream: owning stuff he’s not yet paid for.
    I won’t be offering him any more help. I give to charitable organizations already; I’d much rather give the money to someone who can give medical supplies to children in need, rather than a buddy who is in a tight spot…. again.

    • infmom says 07 February 2014 at 13:11

      The two mooching members of my family could never tell the difference between what they want today and what they need tomorrow. Thus one of my brothers cheerfully blew $100 for a scalped ticket to see Paul McCartney and called me two weeks later in tears because he had no money to take his cat to the vet.

      He didn’t get any money from me, regardless of how sorry I felt for the cat.

      • spiralingsnails says 07 February 2014 at 16:07

        “[They] could never tell the difference between what they want today and what they need tomorrow.”

        A very succinct and accurate way of putting it.

      • Vanessa says 07 February 2014 at 16:29

        But it’s Paul McCartney…I mean, c’mon!

  3. Jen says 07 February 2014 at 05:10

    I’ve been in your situation many, many times. It’s hard to say no. If I do lend the money, I tell the person that I have other financial commitments and that I can’t always help out. If I can help out in any other way then I will try but they cannot just be relying on me.

  4. Elle says 07 February 2014 at 05:14

    This is a tough one. I look forward to seeing the responses.
    In my personal experience, I had a friend like yours in the article and I loaned her what I could afford to never get back. I remember writing the check feeling very wary but also ‘adult’ in the sense that I had it to give at the time (I was about 22 and in my first apt/job, etc). The friend DID pay me back which was a good thing.
    I have a sister who is like your 2nd friend. She has asked for help with things of many people (including co-workers!) since she was in her 20s. Though she makes a good salary, she is frequently down to her last dollar on many occasions. It is definitely bad habits (the worst is a lack of delayed gratification, not saving because “what good is saving $10 a week” (or whatever), or “I work hard I deserve this”.
    This angers me to no end because she’s in her late 40s now and it hasn’t changed. One of my pet peeves is the things she buys that I would never (though I’d like to) because I have a budget and savings. And then is down to ramen noodles and looking for help at the end of the month.
    My sister helps her frequently. I have in the past but not recently. I did offer to use one of my credit cards to consolidate a bunch of her debts (which were at high interest rates) BUT when all was said and done, we didn’t do it. She didn’t want to follow my advice, even though it would have helped her a lot.
    My mother also gives her money, unfortunately. I believe both she and my other sister enable her, but I think they just feel she’ll never change. And I fear they’re right!!

  5. Eric Duminil says 07 February 2014 at 05:36

    Propose to sit down with him, take a look at his expenses/debts/accounts, put them all in a spreadsheet, and see where he could save money and what he really needs.
    As for drugs, you could just ask him face to face. Or pretend a friend of yours needs some, and is looking for supply.

  6. Money Bunny says 07 February 2014 at 05:37

    Limit setting time.

    This type of person does not get it. There are short term cash flow issues from unexpected problems like you described with your friend with medical problems.

    Then there are systemic issues, like the boyfriend, and the person now.

    I’ve tried to counsel people like this, both therapy and finance and it’s usually a dead end since they don’t want to change yet. I usually wait until they ask, and then open my big mouth.

    If I say something before they are ready is usually is not recieved well if at all, and if they are the type that makes themselves the victim then they start targeting you.

    The other thing I would mention is once you have your own financial ducks in a row, is be careful who you help. People talk, and while some people are down on their luck, there are others who are professional moochers.

  7. Amanda @ Passionately Simple Life says 07 February 2014 at 05:55

    I would loan my friends money, but I would be honest with them from the get-go. There are many other ways to help them get back on their feet, including helping them set up a budget if they don’t have one or figure out where their money drain is every month.

    Someone who is constantly asking for a few dollars here and there is going to be asking for more down the road.

  8. Saskia says 07 February 2014 at 05:55

    This shouldn’t be that difficult.

    1) Channel Nancy Reagan and “Just say, ‘No!'”
    2) I never lend money to family and friends.
    3) I’ve never had a positive experience lending money to family and friends so I’ve made it my policy not to do so.
    4) Your friendship is too valuable to me to risk it by loaning you money.

    However – the more you say (and the lower down you go on my list), the more you open yourself up to questions and discussions. Pussyfooting around so far has caused just that. You haven’t stopped the requests, you’ve encouraged them.
    Not that it’s easy for me to say, “no” or to seem mean.

    Offering help budgeting can’t hurt, but if your friend really has a drug problem, it won’t help, either.

    • William Cowie says 07 February 2014 at 06:35

      We’re old and gray and have tons of awesome friends. Some know how to manage money and others don’t.

      I know my friends. The responsible ones rarely need money to begin with, but there have been times when one of those had a need. We lent, and got paid back on time. We’re still friends, only better.

      If I don’t know them well enough, or if I know they’re not smart with money, I go with #4 above, followed by #3.

      If someone wants to cut off a relationship because I won’t lend them money, that tells me what the relationship is all about for them.

      Herb Kelleher, ex-CEO of Southwest had a response when a customer threatened to fly another airline because he backs his employees, rather than unreasonable customers: “We’ll miss you.”

      Enabling poor money managers helps nobody.

  9. Michelle at Making Sense of Cents says 07 February 2014 at 05:57

    I would never lend a friend money. That just never ends well (can someone share a story where it ends well? 😛 ).

    That being said, I have lent money to family though, but I will never do it again. That did not end well and I still hold a grudge (it was a LOT of money though).

    • PB says 07 February 2014 at 08:58

      My BIL owes us thousands of dollars which he refuses to pay. He asked my husband to go halves with him in a lawsuit (long, unedifying story) and even though my husband did not want to do so, he got talked into it. We wound up paying the lawyer as the BIL was overseas at the time, lost the case, BIL blamed my husband, and therefore feels justified in not coming up with his half.

      The larger part of the story is that he is in his 60s, has not put aside a single penny for retirement, has huge debts, and will have to work until he dies. I would have let the whole thing go, except that he is so belligerent and rude about it that he got my temper up.

    • Jenn says 07 February 2014 at 11:00

      I have a story in which it ends well. My second year in grad school, I was facing a cash shortage because of bad choices I had made previously, and I was digging myself out. I was living as frugally as I could (well, self control was still a minor issue but I was trying) and I was throwing every spare penny at my credit card debt, and one of my friends was aware of this, as we are very good friends and I always felt I can discuss anything with him. When I needed a computer for my qualifying exams, I still didn’t have the cash sitting around to just buy one or the available credit to charge one, but I did need a computer for both the exam and future data storage and analysis. You really can’t do science without a computer. Anyway, I went to him, he agreed to help, I got my computer and we worked out a payment plan and stuck with it. I prioritized repaying him and he never even had to ask for a payment. It took me a few more years to solve my cash flow problems, but we’ve been square ever since and he knows I really appreciate that help. Maybe I’ll thank him again when we Skype this weekend.

      • Crystal says 07 February 2014 at 11:54

        I’ve given friends small amounts of money (like $5-$20) to cover dinner and stuff like that, and I am happily surprised when they pay me back or cover my next meal since I forgot about it.

        But the only two people that I’ve ever loaned larger amounts to were actually only acquaintances that needed help. The first was a co-worker in college that wasn’t put in the system fast enough, so she had outstanding paychecks and no rent money. I gave her the $250-$300 that she needed and she paid me back as soon as she finally got her back-due pay.

        I did the same thing for another board gaming acquaintance a few years ago because they had just moved here. They needed a car payment and hadn’t been paid yet. I lent them the $225 and they paid me back when they got paid.

        In short, we weren’t close enough friends for either of them to blow me off, lol. 🙂

    • Michele says 07 February 2014 at 12:03

      My sister went through a terrible “surprise” divorce. Her husband molested her daughter, he got arrested, the whole family left him. Before he went to prison, he squandered, lost, or stole most of their assets leaving her bankrupt. He also had a mother bankroll his side of the divorce so they spent a lot of time in court. My husband and I had been saving money for years to buy some rental property. We were able to buy a house for her to rent, finance her divorce, and open an account in my name at a furniture store for her to purchase some furniture. We set up a payment plan and she paid us back earlier than scheduled. It was alot of money and I never regretted doing it, but I have also said no to loan requests from plenty of other people.

  10. AMW says 07 February 2014 at 06:08

    10 years ago we had a sibling ask for money and we did not have any to give at that time (even if we had wanted but offered to help in other ways but they refused. Ironically, that sibling has not talked to us since then. Sad but good as well, this sibling has borrowed tens of thousands of dollars from other family members that they will most likely never see again.

  11. Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life says 07 February 2014 at 06:22

    I find it so completely disrespectful that so called friends are notorious for not paying back loans. If for some reason I ever felt compelled to give a personal loan, I would probably draw up an agreement stating the conditions and expectations. But I think it’s just best not to get involved at all.

    • Another Beth says 07 February 2014 at 13:33

      I don’t know how these “friends” can look their lenders in the eye. How can you carry on like nothing’s the matter when you owe someone $50, $100, etc.?!

      OP, I think you need to just say “no.” That’s it. I know it’s easier said than done, but if you offer excuses, then he’ll just counter with a loophole. Ex: If you say “I can’t this week,” he’ll just ask you again next week.

  12. Jerome says 07 February 2014 at 06:23

    We had the same situation fa while ago and what made us say ‘no’ was the conviction that saying ‘yes’ would just enable the borrower to keep avoiding changing her lifestyle and start living within her means. Viewed in that light borrowing can even be seen as very detrimental. We did offer to help with budgeting and getting the finances organized, but the offer was never taken up. She explained that by telling us that she simply could not live in an apartment or drive in a smaller car. Which helped us even more with saying ‘no’.

  13. Paul in cAshburn says 07 February 2014 at 06:33

    The key word is “constantly”, and… can you afford it (just this once, for you certainly can’t afford to adopt them, right?)
    I believe two things are true about people:
    1. People are wonderful, and they make your life better, and when you can help – you should.
    2. People suck, they make your life more complicated, and you should not hurt yourself to help them.
    Yes, these two ideas can coexist in your mind simultaneously if you work at it.
    So, make your decision based on your current (and expected future) financial situation – and on whether they are in the first, or second, category of people.
    Good luck!

  14. Alberto says 07 February 2014 at 06:36

    Personally, I would give them a small amount of money and tell them that it is a gift that need not be repaid. That way, you have helped them in a small way, you wouldn’t lose a friendship, and they probably wouldn’t ask again for money. If they did happen to ask again, then I would be more blunt. Just my thoughts.

    • getagrip says 07 February 2014 at 18:27

      Actually I would recommend not making it a gift. I lent a friend who was bad with money $50 over twenty years ago. Anytime he asked me for more money I would just tell him he still owed me $50 and he had to pay me back before I’d lend him more. When he claimed he’d make good and pay me back what he was asking plus the original $50, I’d reply that was what he said the first time and I’m still waiting. He got the hint. He stopped asking, and we’re still friends. We’ve gifted each other dinner, drinks, etc. over the years, but he still owes me $50.

  15. Mrs PoP says 07 February 2014 at 06:44

    I’m in the middle of reading “The Richest Man in Babylon”, and the “rules for lending gold” seem to make sense. They’re basically
    1 – if someone is asking for a loan to pursue a developed business idea or grow their own wealth, it’s probably worth considering and evaluating the merits of the business idea
    2 – if someone is asking for a loan to continue to live a lifestyle their income does not support, it’s not a good idea.

    One of the suggestions for rejections was also placing the loan value in terms of the time it took you to earn and save it. “You’re asking for 1 year of my savings and hard work…” as a way of helping family and friends understand that they are asking for quite a lot from you by requesting loans.

  16. jane savers @ solving the money puzzle says 07 February 2014 at 06:51

    I had to lend one of my sons $1,900 for tuition last fall. He has a good part time job but blew his money on a fancy gym membership, a trip to the southern US and lots of other fun stuff.

    I had to increase my debt but I made it very clear it was a loan and he has to start paying me back shortly after graduation this spring. I have helped him so much and I have also made it very clear that I will not be helping him anymore. He has to start living within his means because the bank of mom is closed.

  17. lmoot says 07 February 2014 at 07:22

    I would offer empathy, but that’s it. I wouldn’t feel badly about not offering money, especially since it’s obvious that you are not the only one he’s hitting up, and I’m sure you’re not that much of a standout if everyone else is saying “no” too. I’m lucky that I haven’t had friends ask me for money other than to spare a few dollars here and there so I can’t really speak to how to deal with the situation.

    I’ve had friends in need before and I’ve helped them in other ways such as offering a place to stay. I lived alone for a few years so it was nice to have a roomy. My best friend stayed with me 1.5 years while she was going to school, helping out with bills, and a coworker for 1 year before I had to politely ask her to leave when I found out she was maknig plans to make a large purchase (motorcycle?!) with the assumption that she would always have a cheap place to stay. She was meant to stay a few months because she just got divorced and was paying child support as she couldn’t afford to have a place of her own, and therefore her daughter couldn’t even stay the night with her (she was living in a bedroom in a man’s house she rented from off of craigslist).

    I empathized, but when it was clear that my help was not really helping her b/c she still continued on the cycle that made her penniless in the first place, I had to cut it off. My family and I get hit up send money to family overseas, in addition to money we send monthly, but I don’t mind as it’s for things such as medical care and school. I actually have just set up a sub-account that I put money into each paycheck for such family-related emergencies.

    Also, this may sound judgemental but if someone constantly asked me for money I would definitely take note on if they have nicer things than me. Petty, I know. But I go without a lot to have the security I have and it goes against my sensibilities to give money to someone with a nicer car, nicer clothes, nicer place to live etc. It’s definitely not jealousy…I don’t know what it is; maybe someone here can pschoanalyze me.

    • cherie says 07 February 2014 at 09:09

      I fully agree – it’s NOT jealousy – I am doing without lots of things I’d ‘like’ to have or do, simply because security is important to me.

      There’s no way I’m willing trade those choices so someone else can have all the things they like if I’m not willing to do it for MYSELF LOL

  18. El Nerdo says 07 February 2014 at 07:26

    if you were me, what would you say to someone who constantly hits you up for money?


    What if they are someone you were once close to and still care about?

    I don’t think giving money willy-nilly really says “I care.” “I care” means finding the truth about the person’s problem and getting involved in their lives, helping the person come to terms with their new situation instead of trying to maintain an artificial status, taking them to see a social worker so they can discuss their options, helping them find counseling, giving help where it really counts, and to some extent taking charge of their lives in areas where they’re unable. Not sure one is willing to do this with just anyone, and even if you’re willing they might not let you.

    Maybe giving money is just a way to hide our guilt for not wanting to get too close to the problem. A kind of ransom– “here’s some money, don’t make me feel bad.”


    Back to the subject of taboos, and how they came to be, this is one of the reasons why “we don’t discuss money.” Once certain people know you have a little money, they will want it for themselves.

    • lmoot says 07 February 2014 at 09:18

      I agree with most everything you said, especially this:

      ‘Maybe giving money is just a way to hide our guilt for not wanting to get too close to the problem. A kind of ransom— “here’s some money, don’t make me feel bad.” ‘

      EXACTLY. Often times the act of lending money is merely a convenience fee being paid…which there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Time equals money and in today’s society the exchange rate for time can be higher. Gone are the Laura Ingalls Wilder days where Pa spends a few back-breaking days helping the neighbors build a new roof. Aint nobody got no time for those sorts of things anymore.

      “Back to the subject of taboos, and how they came to be, this is one of the reasons why “we don’t discuss money.” Once certain people know you have a little money, they will want it for themselves.”

      Regarding the above statement, I find that I can get away with talking about money and avoiding leechers if I attach goals and future expectations to that money, so they know it’s already spoken for. I’m not as vocal about my actual money and earnings as I am about how expensive life will be getting for me in the short term and how I will be dependent on that money. But yes, if some people know that you have unclaimed money sitting around doing nothing but waiting to be spent, they get bolder.

      • William Cowie says 08 February 2014 at 06:03

        When you read stories about lottery winners and pro athletes, the thing you hear about most often is relatives and acquaintances hitting them up with the guilt trip: you have lot, how can you not give me some?

        Those stories end with bankruptcy, and the recipients of those handouts are no better for it.

    • Practical Cents says 08 February 2014 at 10:01

      “Once certain people know you have a little money, they will want it for themselves.”
      This statement is so true. I just advised my sister not to discuss her finances with a particular person who keeps hitting her up for money because of this same reason. This particular person has always been irresponsible with her finances and life in general so lending her money will not solve her problems.

  19. Jon says 07 February 2014 at 07:40

    “I care about you too much to participate in enabling. If you need financial coaching, job coaching, or any other advice – I’m happy to help. But just giving you money or paying for minutes/rent doesn’t help the underlying issues long-term” (but then, my friends are used to me being long-winded and outspoken so they wouldn’t come to me without first expecting a diatribe) :-

  20. CERB says 07 February 2014 at 08:42

    If a friend/acquaintance hints for money, I ignore the hint. The couple of times in the past I lent a small amount of money, it didn’t get repaid and I felt resentful when I witnessed their ongoing poor financial decisions. It also changed the nature of the friendship. I felt that they no longer saw me as a friend but as a giant walking dollar sign. When I saw them coming with their “woe is me” stories, I began to avoid them like the plague.

    If one of my in-laws asks for money I say no. I don’t ignore the hints, I just say that we’re not a bank, and that our paychecks need to go for our own family’s financial needs. I lent the in-laws money in the past. Once again, we were never paid back and the requests just came more often. We had to cut them off, their “needs” were endless and would just suck us dry.

    My in-laws have never seen that they have created their own poverty by: dropping out of school, having children out of wedlock, having numerous significant others, having substance abuse problems, getting in trouble with the law, being lazy, and doing foolish things with their money. No amount of money I lend them can fix those problems for them. And no…they don’t want any counseling or suggestions from us. Just money.

  21. Dee says 07 February 2014 at 08:45

    There are times in everyone’s life when you absolutely must be totally candid and honest and clear in order to set boundaries, because your job, your health, your life, your emotional well-being depend on it.

    I look at situations such as the one you are encountering as an opportunity to practice for those really big boundary moments. If you can’t clearly and politely say no to a friend who asks for money, how are you going to clearly and politely set much bigger and more important boundaries in other areas? The more you practice, the easier it becomes. Try out different responses, even practice in front of the mirror if you have to. Do it enough that it begins to feels natural, not awkward.

    Gracefully maintaining healthy boundaries is one of the best grown-up skills to have. How wonderful that your friend is giving you a chance to practice ;).

    • April Dykman says 07 February 2014 at 09:12

      I love this comment.

      I knew a few people would suggest telling this person to just go away, but I think it’s pretty obvious in my post that I’m not going to treat someone like that, regardless of how they’re treating me.

      But clearly and politely saying no and looking at it as practice in setting boundaries is really useful. I’ve had to end a couple of friendships in the past precisely because I didn’t set boundaries early on. If I had, the friendships would’ve either ended sooner (and more easily) or they would have turned out differently. Thanks, Dee.

    • Beth says 07 February 2014 at 16:25

      Love this comment too! You make an excellent point about boundaries. I wish someone had told me that at sixteen!

    • Christine says 27 October 2019 at 13:24

      I appreciate and agree with this comment. I’m learning that when I’m feeling uncomfortable with a situation I need to look for the lesson. There’s something that I need to learn, something in me that I need to change and maybe there’s a lesson for them too. I am reading this because I have this problem now, a newer friend and her family in financial crisis I give on my own a few bucks here and there and then the requests start… Feeling taken advantage of a take a step back and I see that the financial problems could be resolved if they put the work in to improve their situation. Any situation can be changed. But why step up when they can always find the next someone to latch onto? I need to learn how to say it, nicely, but say it. To say no and also to say why. I’m doing her an injustice by giving her Band-Aids so that she can maintain this lifestyle… Maybe she’s in financial distress because God is trying to squeeze her into change, into doing something to help herself, maybe I’m interfering. Maybe he’s trying to squeeze me into being able to set boundaries and express my feelings. I’ll do that because that is what I feel is my lesson here. I’ll quit interfering with what hes trying to teach her. We all had to deal with our own trials, we all have to go through painful experiences, that is how we grow.
      I can empathize but I can’t take on someone else’s trials.

  22. Renee s says 07 February 2014 at 08:47

    I am not speaking specifically on the person in this story–but from personal experience. I do not lend people money…but sometimes people just need a break. My boyfriend had a car, but needed money for car insurance. He wanted to get a job, but how could he get to the job without a car (no public transportation)? And how could he drive a car without insurance (he doesn’t want to drive illegally)? I lent him money for the car insurance and gas money. It took him a few seasonal/temp jobs, but now he has a full time job that he absolutely loves. He has made payments to me and has listened to my advice and suggestions on how to start saving money and budgeting. He really is doing great and did a complete 180. I’ve been pretty lenient with the loan. I assumed I would not get the money back. In fact, we had just started dating at the time that I lent it to him–I sort of assumed our relationship wouldn’t work out, but it totally has and he’s fantastic. The loan isn’t paid off, yet, but he gives me a little bit towards it every paycheck (he gets paid weekly.)

    I think that this is probably the exception to the rule, but I had money to lend and I knew that he needed help. He wasn’t spending it on alcohol or food or stupid things–he needed the money to make his life better. I am so proud of him 🙂

    • cherie says 07 February 2014 at 09:12

      Thats great to hear – and some people really do need a little help and a few lessons and motivation – I can understand that. And since you were willing to lose the money [and the boyfriend LOL] at the time it wasn’t a bad choice, if it didn’t hurt you in the process

      Glad you were his turnaround moment

  23. SwampWoman says 07 February 2014 at 09:00

    We have a small farm. When people *used* to ask us for money, say $50, that we knew meant “give me money because I want it”, we would tell them things like “Sure! We’re putting up new fence on the weekend, and we could sure use somebody to dig postholes in the 95-degree heat. We’ll pay $5.00 per 3′ deep posthole”. Or “Sure! We need to restack the hay in the barn this weekend. Are you allergic to hornets? We were going to do it ourselves, but if you need the money…” Only one person ever showed up to do any work for the money they wanted to “borrow”. And nobody ever asks us anymore to borrow money.

    • cherie says 07 February 2014 at 09:13

      great solution – I do this now with my 13yo son

    • BD says 07 February 2014 at 23:01

      Are you still hiring? A farm job would be awesome!

      • CCH says 09 February 2014 at 07:19

        Said nobody who has worked on a farm ever!

        • BD says 10 February 2014 at 18:28

          At least it’s a job. Any job is looking good right now. I’ve been unemployed since 2005 (and yes, I’ve applied at fast food and retail places with no results).

  24. Veronica says 07 February 2014 at 09:07

    I’ve both lent and borrowed (in my younger years) to/from friends and family without much of an issue. Yes, some friends haven’t repaid and I haven’t re-lent. Others have repaid, no issue.
    On other occasions I’ve asked if they’d like to work for me in exchange for $. That’s worked out if they’ve got a skill I need (or tell them to get their skills out on one of the job boards like craigslist, or sell something).
    It sounds like it might be time for them to introduced to our social services. I believe for very low income groups a cell phone can be provided (used to be a landline), as well as food stamps, food bank, local job bank, etc. They may dislike that feeling so much that they turn it around.
    I find it’s usually a mindset issue, once they get a job (even minimum wage) then they start to look for other ways of making more money. Sitting around at home ‘wishing’ is very disempowering – movement empowers.

  25. Mortgage Free Mike says 07 February 2014 at 09:09

    I think if the person is CONSTANTLY hitting me up for money, it’s a sign of a deeper problem. I will always help loved ones if it’s not enabling. A one-time gift or loan could help someone out of a bad situation. I’m all for that. If it keeps happening, I wouldn’t let myself be taken advantage of like that.

  26. Kristin Wong says 07 February 2014 at 09:18

    I feel like I know this person. It’s hard when you start getting your crap together and someone close to you doesn’t. Or, worse, their life starts to unravel. This happened to me, I loaned a friend money and our friendship was never the same. I think I loaned the money because, part of me subconsciously felt guilty that I got it together and my friend didn’t.

    It’s easy to blame it on the loan, but I think the loan was just symbolic of the fact that we were growing apart anyway. I was often told that, because I make more money, and we were such close friends, it made sense that I should pay more often. What helped me get through in that scenario was telling this person: “Yes, I make more money. But my lifestyle is also different. My rent is higher, and I have savings goals.” Kind of silly that I had to explain that, but I didn’t want to lose this person as a friend.

    Unfortunately, sometimes you have to let life take its course, though, I think. It has nothing to do with money, just drifting apart.

  27. Nina says 07 February 2014 at 09:27

    This must be because I’m from Finland (and Finns are, in general, notoriously honest – for example, when you go to the doctor, you don’t pay on the spot but they send you an invoice to your home address later on)but I’ve lent money to my friends and never had any problems. The sums have been small though and related to short term cashflow problems. I cannot imagine my friends not paying back at the agreed date unless their house burned down, destroying their electronic banking security devices.

    That being said, I would never lend to a friend with whom I cannot speak about all kinds of money-related topics. Effectively this means I ONLY lend money to my good friends and family members.

    As a comment to el Nerdo’s comment above, I think the culture of not speaking about money is contributing to the development of unsustainable spending habits. Yes, talking about money will give you information about who has it and who doesn’t and some people might try to take advantage of that. However, it also enables for you to openly say “I cannot afford that”, which makes it easier to live within your means in the first place.

  28. Robin Bermel says 07 February 2014 at 09:36

    Agree with the first comment: Financial coaching or help shows that you care, and you want them to experience change. I also think you need to prepare emotionally for a backlash response, so as not to take it personally. You could also give $$ to a benevolence fund (many churches have them) and send your friend there. People who distribute that money have experience. Really good question and thoughtful answers!

  29. Ramblin' Ma'am says 07 February 2014 at 10:07

    People don’t ask me for money to pay the bills or things like that. What I’m seeing a preponderance of now, because of sites like Kickstarter, is a real uptick of people begging “friends” for money on Facebook or through email.

    “Hey, want to donate to my Kickstarter so I can have an art show?”

    This sounds less tacky than simultaneously asking 500 people, “Hey, wanna give me ten bucks?”, but it’s really the same thing.

    There are people who are constantly asking for money for something or other. And I’ve noticed that the people who are always looking for “crowdfunding” are NEVER collecting for charity, or because of a truly desperate financial need. It’s always, at bottom, about fulfulling a “want.” One guy successfully raised thousands of dollars so he could quit his job and write a novel. If that’s what people want to do with their money, OK. But it would never occur to me to ask friends to do that.

    But if someone I knew had hit a rough patch and truly needed money to live on, I would try to help out at least a little. But not so much that it threw my own financial stability into jeopardy.

  30. Tyler Karaszewski says 07 February 2014 at 10:12
  31. Kevin says 07 February 2014 at 10:24

    We’ve only lent money 2ce, once to a family member and once to a friend. The family member HAD the money, in the form of some kind of investments, but just couldn’t get it together to sell the investment and pay off her crippling credit card debt. Why it worked out I don’t know, except she is incredibly hardworking and loyal and faithful and our paying the credit card gave her the impetus to deal with the investment and she paid us back within a few months.
    We lent a few thousand to a friend and I don’t think we’ll ever get it back. When we lent it to him, we agreed that it was likely we wouldn’t get the money back and we were Ok with that. I wish in retrospect we would have just called it what it was, a gift — I am not sure how he feels about it as we’ve rather drifted apart.

    My feeling is loans often aren’t great. We have another friend who has some serious issues in her life that really aren’t her fault, and we have given her some money. I just find that a whole lot easier. No expectations of repayment keeps the friendship on an even keel.

  32. Mike says 07 February 2014 at 10:32

    “In 1998 I made a promise to myself to no longer allow money to be part of my personal relationships.”

    That quote is the only answer I give to any person who is begging for my hard earned money.

  33. EFC says 07 February 2014 at 10:44

    This is additionally tricky when the person or people asking for money are close relatives you don’t want to alienate…in my case, the in-laws (HT to commenter CERB for your ideas on the same situation).

    My husband’s parents ask him for money several times a year; in the past he caved, but now he’s trying to say no without incurring their parental wrath. So I introduced him to “two-level negotiation” (thanks, otherwise useless graduate degree!), in which one party claims to need the buy-in of another to seal a deal. Even though it’s his money and his call whether to give it to his parents, my husband knows he can use me as an excuse: “I wish I could but the wife says no.” That way he keeps the money and saves face with his family. (Good thing I don’t mind looking like the bad guy in the equation.)

  34. Diane says 07 February 2014 at 11:04

    I’ve been on both sides of the coin. I’ve loaned money to friends and coworkers, and was always repaid.

    Several years later when money was really tight and my mother died unexpectedly, a friend loaned me $600 to go to the funeral (it was 1500 miles away). It took me 3 years to repay her but she never complained about getting $20 a month. She knew I worked hard and lived a simple life. We are still good friends.

  35. Honey Smith says 07 February 2014 at 11:26

    I loaned a friend money once, and while she did pay me back, I found myself judging her spending until she did. I did not like that it turned me into the worst version of myself.

    I also loaned Jake money when we’d been dating only a year or two. It was very clear that he was totally committed to paying me back as soon as he could, and that is exactly what he did.

    Now, of course, we’re married so we both try to chip in equally but don’t worry if there is an imbalance for a short while. As far as friends, I wouldn’t lend money anymore, both because of my first experience and also because it’s not just my money anymore. It’s mine and Jake’s.

    • Another Beth says 07 February 2014 at 13:46

      “I loaned a friend money once, and while she did pay me back, I found myself judging her spending until she did.”

      Good point! I would try not to judge if I were to ever make a loan, but it would be hard not to especially if the borrower waltzed in wearing new clothes and clutching a fancy coffee drink.

    • KC in ATX says 11 February 2014 at 18:21

      “I loaned a friend money once, and … I did not like that it turned me into the worst version of myself.”

      This is so true for me, too. I don’t have friends or family that ask me for money, but I recently had to negotiate an insurance payout, and imagine the stresses are similar.

      Until the settlement amount was agreed upon, I was on edge all the time. I basically spent too much time imagining worst-case scenarios and getting riled up over those hypotheticals. I was angry with the insurance adjuster (who was actually kind and patient). My wife thought I was mad at *her* and called me out.

      I don’t like that version of me. I don’t think I’d be good at lending money.

    • Gemgirl says 19 October 2016 at 12:33

      This is so true. I try not to lend anymore but (if I am in a position to give and they are not taking advantage of me) I just tell them it’s a gift. No need to repay. I don’t like ‘that version of myself” either.

  36. Marie says 07 February 2014 at 11:28

    I use the person’s lifestyle as a gauge by which to answer the question. Examples:

    “You’re an avid skier and snowboarder. I could never afford what your season passes cost.”

    “Add up what you spend on cigarettes per week, then set that amount aside. In six months, if you still need money, I’ll help you create a budget.”

    “If I could afford to support four children, I’d have my own.”

    • Tyler Karaszewski says 07 February 2014 at 14:06

      Ah, so be as judgmental as possible. You know, you can just say, “No” if you don’t want to do it.

      • Peach says 08 February 2014 at 16:26

        Oh, for goodness sake! She is voicing her opinion like everyone else. You are one of the snarkiest people when you’re not endlessly complaining yourself, and it’s extremely annoying.

        Give it a rest already.

  37. Sam says 07 February 2014 at 11:33

    Family and close friends, I will do whatever it takes to help them (assuming I’m not feeding a drug habit or whatever). And I have lent and gifted money to family and friends, sometimes it was paid back and sometimes it wasn’t, the relationships are all still good.

    When Mr. Sam and I were living together, but not married, I bought him a replacement vehicle. I’m trying to remember how we handled that, but I don’t remember. I do know that I gave him the money and I also know that I didn’t expect to be paid back, probably b/c we were committed but it was a couple of years prior to our engagement.

  38. Crystal says 07 February 2014 at 11:47

    I’m straight-forward. I’d let him know that it makes you uncomfortable when friends or family ask for money. I’d also say that you don’t loan friends or family money because it leads to awkwardness. If he keeps pushing, I’d stop seeing him/hanging out completely because he obviously doesn’t care how you feel.

    I have a couple of friends that have money troubles all of the time. I’ve even helped one of them set up a budget that they promptly blew off. They don’t ask me for money, so we can stay friends. But if they ever did, I’d explain that I can’t support their continuous bad decisions by enabling them. That may lose me a friend, but it is enabling and I don’t want to give up money for them to spend on cigarettes, nights at the local bars, or other expensive habits that cost way too much for the completely broke to handle.

  39. Art Chester says 07 February 2014 at 11:55

    A lot depends on your relationship with the person asking. I had a case some years back with a friend-of-a-friend, an acquaintance, who rarely appeared in my life except when asking for money. I wanted to help but not to invite dependence. The individual asked for $250 and it was my judgment that if I said yes, I would receive many more such requests. So I said, I’ll be happy to lend you the money, here it is. And after you pay it back, it will be there for you to borrow again if you need it! Of course, the money was never repaid, which was OK with me, but neither did I receive another request for money from that person.

  40. Graham says 07 February 2014 at 12:03

    I’m a fan of the Dave Ramsey approach. If you’re in a position to “gift” someone money they need, go ahead, but be sure to also attempt to tackle the real issue – their poor choices/habits – so as not to enable them. If they really need money to borrow, they should do so at a bank. If the bank will not lend them money, why should you? Sounds harsh, but it’s the cold truth that is so frequently filling people with denial.

  41. Edward says 07 February 2014 at 12:17

    I actually have Len Penzo’s “Dear Friend: Here Are 41 Reasons Why I’m NOT Lending You the Money” laminated. Though they’re initially insulted, friends can’t take it too seriously because it’s laminated (which means I’ve used it before), and I tell them–“this is my policy”. If you haven’t read it before, take a look–it’s hilarious and true.


  42. Mem says 07 February 2014 at 12:40

    Thank you Beth for that piece of advice. I don’t know why that didn’t occur to me.
    I have found myself in similar situations with friends, whom when I was able I gave a gift to help with the cost of a new baby, and have since then been hit up for money multiple times, the children’s father drinks it all away, she lost her job, etc all very heart string pulling situations but I am not able to support my family and hers on my paycheck.
    I also have found myself in other situations, lending to my in laws, or just giving them money outright. I have felt somewhat obligated with them as when my hubby and I were recently married they allowed us to stay with them for a couple of months while we were getting our financial legs under us. But as time has gone by I have come to realize there will be no end, because of their inability to control their spending. I’m not sure how my husband and I can compart our financial wisdom, especially because I feel like as they are so much older they should know more.

    • Beth says 07 February 2014 at 16:53

      I’m been in situations where I haven’t had the expertise to help, but I’ve tried offering to help the person find services and expertise they need, and even go with them for moral support.

      I learned the hard way at a very young age that people don’t change until they want to, and sometimes they have to hit rock bottom first. People have to take responsibility for their own lives. We can offer help, but we can’t take responsibility for them. 🙁

  43. Laura says 07 February 2014 at 12:41

    I’m going to do something I usually don’t do – comment before reading others’ comments. April, when I read your post, I did not think one bit that this is a money problem. This is a self-perception problem. IMHO, you’re dancing around the issue of why you won’t lend your “friend” money because you seem worried about a negative reaction, what he might think, that you might be perceived as “not nice,” etc.

    Whose internalized voice do you hear when you consider being “not nice” to a user and get slammed down? (Hint: the first answer is usually the right one.) That’s your clue to how to deal with this situation. Whoever fed you this line about niceness – and since women get it all their lives, it could easily be society as a whole – needs to be contradicted.

    It is not “nice” to enable a bum. It’s being a doormat. You weren’t put here on this planet for somebody else’s feet. If your “friend” gets po’ed because you won’t help his drug habit or whatever, how does it hurt you? How does that make you a bad person? If he told you to eff off and walked away, will your world crumble? If the answer is no, then it’s time for self-love and self-assertiveness.

    People tell me all the time it’s not that easy. Believe you me, it only gets easier with practice.

    Next time he hits you up for money, tell him, “Sorry, I can’t save you, I’m too busy saving myself.” End of subject. Then do your self-esteem work to counter the internalized voice that tells you you’re bad for protecting yourself instead of submitting to victimhood. And when you realize you’ve lost his “friendship” and realize you feel good and light and free because you no longer have this b.s. in your life, what you’ll have gained is worth more than any amount of money in the world.

    And yes, I’ve done this before with people. They told me to eff off and die and went away from my life when they discovered their feet were just as muddy as when they tried to wipe them on me. Guess what? I didn’t die. Life got better for their leaving it. Come and join me…

    Now I’ll read the rest of the comments. Before I get flamed, yes, I do realize there are legitimate requests for help. This isn’t one of them. Don’t treat it like it is.

    • cherie says 07 February 2014 at 15:02

      I am glad you replied without reading LOL – you hit the nail on what I thought as I read the OP – but by the time I started reading replies . . . well . . .

      There really are two kinds of borrowers, the users and those sincere hard responsible workers who are just in a bad spot for reasons they can’t control

      If someone is asking all their friends for money on a regular basis they’re users and think it’s a fine way to be – I’d be avoiding that person just because of that . . .

  44. Anon says 07 February 2014 at 12:55

    Two different times in my life I have had to tell someone I once considered a good friend to never speak to me again.

    Its hard, but neccessary, and life has gotten much better because of it. Your friend who is constantly asking for money has gone past the point of no return, IMO. You can try to get through to him one last time if you want, but I think its time to tell him to go away and not come back.

  45. infmom says 07 February 2014 at 13:08

    Two members of my family are, I hate to say it, moochers. Instead of buttoning down and solving their financial problems, they just go around to their friends and family “borrowing” money to get by. Needless to say this borrowed money is seldom if ever repaid.

    They both go chasing the easy money all the time. Gambling, lotto, short jobs in TV or movies that pay a lot, you name it. Never have jobs with a future, never tried working their way up the ladder from entry level (need to be free for auditions for those easy money acting jobs, you know).

    When my husband and I started out we made it an unspoken policy never to ask anyone for one cent. If we had financial problems (and we did) then by golly it was our job to fix them (and we did). I’m the only one in my immediate family who has always stood on her own two feet.

    At first I did “lend” money to the moochers but the day I told one of them that I had no money to give them the immediate response was “Can’t you just put it on a credit card?” YE GODS.

    It may be hard saying no to a family member the first time you do it. They may get upset and try to lay the guilt on you. But the more often you say no, the easier it gets. “You got yourself into this mess, it’s your job to get yourself out of it,” whether you say it to them or think it to yourself, should be the answer.

  46. Andrea says 07 February 2014 at 13:16

    We had a friend ask us for money recently and after giving it much thought we just said “no”. We made no excuses, made-up stories. We just said no we do not lend money to anyone unless it happened to be a medical necessity. We decided that was the best answer as people will just ask you again and then you would be put in another awkward situation and have to make up more excuses. It worked, we’re still friends (neighbors) and she has never asked us again. I agree with a previous comment if you are going to lend money then be willing to give it away as a gift and do not expect for it to be repaid. Neither a lender or borrower be.

  47. Nina says 07 February 2014 at 14:44

    My experience – lent a very good friend money, never expecting it to be paid back. While I did get some paid back, I basically forgave the loan because I knew that the person could not continue to pay me. This friend has been there for me in so many ways that I consider priceless. I would think twice about lending money to family or friends because it usually ends with hard feelings. I agree that if you consider it a gift, rather than a loan; and, give it with that attitude, then you will have some peace with the decision. But, I can’t think of many that I would put in the category of gifting money, especially considering that I am closer to retirement and want to save as much as possible!

  48. Kelly says 07 February 2014 at 14:55

    Has anyone ever encountered someone who has family in other countries where it is customary to send part of your paycheck to family members? I have a friend whose husband is from Africa but they live in the States with their baby daughter. They struggle financially (due to poor choices) but yet they send money to his family every month, with no chance of getting it back, and my friend regularly complains about not having enough money. I have told her that their first priority should be to take care of their family, but he won’t budge despite the fact that they are in debt up to their eyeballs. Any suggestions for her?

    • cherie says 07 February 2014 at 15:10

      they’re no different than the other folks discussed here – their choices are poor, spending more than they make, and one of the things they’re spending on is sending money back to Africa . . . or Lithuania . . . or to the sister who doesn’t ever have enough money in Iowa . . . all the same thing – just another money choice.

      The bottom line is until they really want to make the changes necessary to live within their means they’ll always have this problem . . .

      • lmoot says 08 February 2014 at 04:42

        I disagree. The sister in Iowa has access to resources that don’t exist in other places. There’s system in place and more often than not the system catches people before they die of disease and starvation. In other places, there is no such net. The husband is probably their net, and he knows it.

        • cherie says 08 February 2014 at 08:57

          I agree that the out of country gifts are a valuable choice – however the issue here is that they’re not making the correct choices to allow them to be someone else’s safety net right now.

        • lmoot says 08 February 2014 at 20:51

          Good point, I agree. They should definitely take the opportunity to focus on how they can improve their situation so that they can continue to help the family and not struggle at the same time.

    • Mike says 07 February 2014 at 16:27

      My suggestion to her is to stop complaining and be grateful for what she has.

    • lmoot says 08 February 2014 at 04:24

      I’ve been sending money back to family, also in Africa, practically since my first job at 15 (very puny amounts, but still). Right now my sister and I pay our cousins’ rent while they attend school. If we didn’t, they (ages ranging from 12-19) would most likely be separated to go off and stay with strange families where being molested or violated in other ways and treated like the family maid is a real possibility. The village they live in only has up to 5th grade, so they have to move to the city to continue education.

      We just sent money for a cousin to get a procedure done on his eye, and for a funeral for another cousin. Health insurance? Life insurance? Yeah, right.

      Yes it is widely expected for family members living in a 1st world country to send money to members living in 3rd world conditions. Especially in a culture like where my family is from where everyone takes care of each other (often to the detriment of themselves…not saying that’s always a good thing). It’s not like the culture of more developed countries where families break off into their own little insulated family “packets” when they get married and it’s every immediate family group for themselves. When you marry one person, you marry their family.

      Now this doesn’t mean nothing can be done about it. Our family thinks we are rich because we live in America (and compared to them we are). However expenses are also MUCH higher here. Finding a place to live in a safe area here costs a minimum of $500-600 per month. My cousins’ rent for an apartment in the city for 3 of them is $80. We explain this to them and sometimes we have to tell them no we can’t right now. It lets them know that we have limits and the money supply is not endless.

      It’s hard to say no to family in 3rd worlds and it weighs on your heart because many of the things they need are what we consider to be basic rights (education, money for food and medical expenses, a safe place to live). We’ve had 2 coup d’etats in the Ivory Coast in the last 10 years. How do you say no to your uncle who has never asked for money, had a good job, but now has no income because rebels chased him, his wife, and his 4 young children from their home. They had to walk for days through dense forest in order to get to safe territory, all the while terrified that they would be shot or raped. Kind of makes it less fun to spend money, even on something as basic as shopping at the grocery store….in the big, beautiful, bountiful, climate-controlled grocery store, knowing that family members just went through an ordeal in which their main food choices were snails and tangerines. I’m not ashamed to admit that I send money to help, but also to alleviate guilt. And it works. I always feel like a weight has been lifted and I can go on with my life when I am able to send money.

      My sister is a softy when it comes to our family and so they go to her for all their requests. I’m more of a hardass so often she’ll ask for my council and I’ll tell her the things I’m willing to send money for and if she wants to do more than that it’s on her. She’s learning that most of the time they are OK and nobody will die if she doesn’t send money. I encourage your friend and her husband to create an account that they put money into each paycheck for his family. That way it takes the decision off of the heart and puts it in the hands of math. If their requests depletes the funds, they simply must wait until more is available. It helps no one when the financier becomes unable to support themselves and it’s important for the family to understand this. Also, I would make sure the husband is not “showboating” to make the family feel as if everything is fine and there’s lots of money everywhere…they have to be honest and educate the family about the expenses of living in America. At least in my country, most of what they know is what they see on tv.

    • two fish says 08 February 2014 at 14:59

      During the U.S. recession in the early 1990s, there was a news story about immigrants in my city who couldn’t send money home because they needed all their earnings to live on here.

      One woman’s children were living in Central America with their grandmother. Grandma couldn’t grasp the concept of difficult economic times in America. She believed her daughter was choosing not to send the money, and lied to the kids that their mother was dead.

    • Sometimes reluctant realist says 10 February 2014 at 14:45

      There are cultural differences about money and relationships, but that should not mean you have to alter your own culture.

      A very close friend of mine for many years was from a cultural background where most parts of his life were a communal experience for just about everything (good or bad – family and friends involved in every decision, activity, etc). I come from a culture that highly values self reliance and self sufficiency (feels very awkward asking for help).

      As the years went on our different cultural backgrounds contributed to us beginning to diverge financially – he struggling with jobs/money and me excelling. And soon that meant the dreaded asking for money.

      I make a good deal of money so I can afford to help out and have usually been the responsible/mature one that people come to, so like so much in my life I had planned out ahead of time what I would do when the money issues started, presented the plan as warranted, and stuck with it…

      For non close friends or non relatives, it’s easy to politely say “I’m sorry but I don’t feel comfortable lending money as a policy” but for close friends and relatives I say “I will lend money to those I care about but only once – so I’ll let you decide if you need this money now or would rather wait in case you need it later”.

      The friend with the more communal culture decided not to wait and took the money then and never paid it back. When he came later for more money I was able to comfortably say “I told you before I would only do that once and have made a personal vow to myself to always stick by that”. It was a bit of a relief actually that he took the money that first time as then I knew I could later say “no” without regrets. With this friend there were also substance abuse issues and very poor life decisions (like working years being paid under the table to not pay taxes, but then also not paying into Social Security). We have since split apart and though he was (and is still I am sure) a smart and very dear/sweet person, the balance in our friendship was thrown off by the money and we drifted apart. As someone noted on another thread here though, it may have been that we just diverged in life and the money was an indicator not a determiner.

      Long story short, cultural differences bring joy and wonderful experience to our lives, but that doesn’t mean you should ever feel the need to give up your own culture – with life or with money.

  49. getagrip says 07 February 2014 at 18:48

    I borrowed a few thousand from my MIL to cover some cash flow issues some years ago and every time I gave her a check she gave me a dirty look and later my wife would say “she doesn’t want you to pay her back, you’re just making her mad.” I couldn’t let it lie because it was a loan to me but when I got it down to $1000 and she threatened to disown my wife I finally gave up. If she wanted to gift it to us, she could have just said so. So I’ve stopped paying her back and when I want to tease her I threaten to pay off the loan and she threatens to send us more.

    • Former Enabler says 11 November 2015 at 19:32

      Pay it back, that’s wrong to let it go unpaid for your own mental health (I know, I am the same way about paying off my debts). Explain to your MIL you are not a person who is comfortable with unpaid loans. If she wants to buy you a gift with the money that you repay her, that’s her decision. But you gotta pay it back.

      Otherwise that will hang over your head forever.

  50. That Career Girl says 07 February 2014 at 23:15

    I agree with only giving the money if you see it as a gift. I would offer to help in other ways but I don’t believe giving money is the answer. I had an acquaintance who began calling around for money, and many suspected a gambling addiction. Where it is a suspected addiction, loaning money would be enabling the addiction and doing more harm than good. And if the person doesn’t trust you enough to tell you what the money will be used for, they shouldn’t be asking you for money in the first place.

  51. AC says 08 February 2014 at 02:57

    I personally don’t get hit up. However, when someone asks for advice I direct them to a peer lending site like prosper.com. This makes the loans more legitimate and it helps spread the burden among a lot of people that want to invest in that person as a risk. Also, when the loan doesn’t get paid, it will default and show on a credit report.

  52. Cujo says 08 February 2014 at 06:16

    On the rare occasions when I give (not loan) family/friends money, I’m a big believer in paying for their needs directly rather than giving them cash, especially if you’re dubious about how they’re going to spend the money. I have one friend who I bring to the grocery store with me sometimes (she can’t drive), and just sort of pay for her groceries along with mine. This allows her to save face as well.

    In your friend’s case, I’d offer to let him give your phone number to prospective jobs, and to take messages for him.

  53. Dave says 08 February 2014 at 07:40

    I will usually lend the person once.

    Constant lending will not help to solve the root problem.

    Ok. I admit. It is real difficult to reject a friend in need.

  54. Margaret L says 08 February 2014 at 08:40

    I have a friend similar to that… She and her husband once were wealthy working people. They sold their home to buy a motor home and tour the country. Then the motor home broke down and they did not have enough $ to fix it, so they sold it and stepped down, and this repeated itself until they were in a pickup truck and landed in our city. After she refused to take a job she was offered & qualified for but “didn’t like,” I stepped back. If she were to confront me, I would say, “I can’t help you. You’ve got to work this out yourself. I’m taking care of me right now…” And stick with it. I can’t help her get out of the fix she and her husband got themselves into… They’ve got to find their own way out. Anything I would do would just be a postponement of them taking proper steps to fix the situation themselves. Many have their hands out right now, wanting the rest of the world to support them. I truly do need to be taking care of myself right now.

  55. Babs says 08 February 2014 at 08:51

    We live so far below our means that it apparently never occurs to anyone to hit us up for money. Well, except for our kids.

    • cherie says 08 February 2014 at 09:01

      LOL that’s AWESOME

  56. Not A Bank says 08 February 2014 at 11:19

    I don’t loan money, period. I’ll flat out tell them “I’m not a bank”. If you need a loan, go to a real bank. Harsh, but effective.

  57. Chris says 08 February 2014 at 11:48

    Tough love is the right balance to strike … I love you man, but you gotta shape up financially. If they can’t take it, then you might have to part ways… 🙁

  58. Donna Freedman says 08 February 2014 at 15:21

    I feel for you, having been in this situation myself. I’m still owed money that I doubt I’ll ever see.
    In fact, I wrote about it for Get Rich Slowly:
    My conclusion:
    “It’s important to care about your fellow man. But not if you’re enabling rather than helping. …If a relative or friend is a financial train wreck, you owe it to yourself to get off at the next station. It will be one of the hardest things you ever do – and probably one of the most necessary. For your sake, and for the other person’s, close the bank and keep it closed.”
    I wish you luck. You’ll need it.

    • LeRainDrop says 09 February 2014 at 22:31

      Thanks for linking back to your earlier article, Donna. I just finished going through those comments, too. Any update on Monica?

      • Donna Freedman says 10 February 2014 at 13:16

        Her husband is now retired and collecting Social Security and some kind of pension. Not sure where they are in terms of an emergency fund, but I did see a Facebook update about her hitting a guardrail during an ice storm and scraping her car that she’d had only for a little while.
        That car is…a BMW. Sigh. I’m assuming she bought it used.

  59. IpostAnonymously says 10 February 2014 at 01:57

    I certainly know enough lending stories to write one here, I think. I know the willing to pay to get stuff done works (both in getting people to stop asking or getting the things done you needed). I also know stories of how sometimes lending money, ahem, is worth it, because the person goes away and never comes back. (cheap way to get rid of someone, sometimes)
    Also had friends tell them they needed to talk to their agent or lawyer, or even in one case, wife (wife and friend could’t stand one another).

    But the funniest one that I know that worked, was when a friend of mine was hit up for money and they told the asker, that they were getting ready to ask them for money.

    Since I have started living a lot more simply, and below my means, I do also find, people think your poor and don’t bug you for money.

  60. Kathy says 10 February 2014 at 03:58

    When I was younger, I was guilty of borrowing money from friends and never paying back. However, in my mid-twenties I realized that this was wrong, apologized and started to turn my life around. Looking back, I should have also paid back the unpaid loans.

    I have since made a 180 degree change. I now have a great job, save about 20% of my salary and live frugally but comfortably.

    Would I lend money to a friend? It depends on who they are. Fortunately, all my friends have good jobs and are good managers of their money. However, I have a brother who lost a job back home in Africa. I now have to help support his family, but this is not sustainable. Therefore, I called his wife (who does not want to work or do anything productive) and told her that there will come a time when I will not be able to continue sending them money. I asked her to think of a small business that she can do and I sent her money to start. I hope she continues because I am not the “Bank of Rich Sister-in-Law”. I also asked my brother what small business he would like to do. He told me and I sent him money to start.

    I know my brother can do it because he is hard working. I hope my sister-in-law continues running her business because I will not help her again. I am tired of her laziness. I supported her through a skills training course 20 years ago and she did not use what she learnt! (OK, I am now venting, so I will stop).

  61. Will Murphey says 10 February 2014 at 09:06

    I had a good friend recently ask to borrow 10K with 10% interest for a year. I had to turn him down. I felt bad for not extended him credit, but I knew that our relationship would falter. He was upset for a few weeks, but things are back to normal. I would vote to not extended credit to family or friends.

  62. phoenix1920 says 10 February 2014 at 11:35

    I would seriously question drug use, particularly since the prior attempts from numerous friends have not met with success. To me, if this could be a problem and you really care about this person, I’d be upfront and ask him, mentioning that his constant requests to numerous friends has people worried that he may have addiction problems.

  63. Lindsay says 10 February 2014 at 14:32

    If you’re not related to me by blood or marriage, I have a zero lending policy, period. I have been burned by this in the past and I have no problem (nicely) telling people the reasons my answer is no if they ask for a loan. So far I have not lost any friends over it 🙂

  64. Rob says 11 February 2014 at 13:25

    I would tell the person why you are not giving them money. The truth might hurt a little at first, but it is best. When I was younger, I asked one of my uncles for money to help us get started. He owns several businesses but told me he did not have the money. Looking back I wish he wouldn’t have lied and just told me he didn’t think I was a good risk.

    • Lynnette says 27 October 2016 at 07:43

      My mother always told me, “No is a complete sentence”. I struggle with issues of friends ALWAYS asking me for money! The more you engage the conversation, the more they can manipulate the situation to work in their favor(without considering your situation). You do not have to give a reason for anything. Period!

  65. Tonya Holliday says 04 May 2015 at 17:15

    Hi, I was hoping to get some of your great advice. My husband and I feel like people think we are the bank and they hit us up for $20 ,$30 ,40 and so on, so could you give me your advice on how to handle this situation and what can I charge them for borrowing this money. I started a little system of my own, I’ve only wrote it down it has not been enforced because I honestly don’t know if I can legally do that. If they borrow $10 they must pay back $20 within 7days. So I was trying to come up with something, I believe that My husband and I should be getting a little extra back for letting someone borrow,we have worked hard for what we have. I agree with your statement that loaning money is only a temporary fix and its definitely a sign of something bigger a ongoing issue and/or )habit. Thank you for this helpful information and I look forward in getting some input on this issue, if it’s possible. With much respect. T.Holliday

  66. Cherie says 05 May 2015 at 16:28

    Tonya youre talking about interest.The amounts that you’re talking about are absurdly high interest and could be considered usury in most states. Even if you charged a legal rate of interest there is no way to enforce it without going to court – which is going to cost you time if not money.
    It sounds like the better policy would just be to say no to people – eventually they’ll stop asking

  67. Jazb says 26 June 2015 at 12:19

    I’m 19, struggle to pay fro my own braces and things that I need and stuff I may need for college, but my friend ALWAYS asks me for money or expects me to pay for her when we go somewhere. It really sucks and IDK what to do! IDK how to tell him that I don’t like it! Besides me paying for him, when I invite him places, that is basically the only time that he hangs with me! 🙁

    • cherie says 27 June 2015 at 04:51

      Since you’re 19 I will tell you what I would tell my teenagers:
      That person is not your friend, but an opportunist who is taking advantage of you and you should drop them like a hot potato.

      You don’t need to tell him/her that you don’t like what they’re doing – you should simply say no when they ask for money, and if they expect you to treat them say, “Sorry, can’t cover you, I’m pretty tight myself”

      I wouldn’t invite him/her again without making it clear you won’t be treating, “Hey, if you’ve got a few extra bucks want to go grab some ice cream?”

      Or you could suggest that it’s time for him/her to treat YOU

      Either this person will stop asking/expecting or theyll stop responding at all. Some times you just have to be what you might consider harsh or rude but really is just treating yourself with respect and not permitting someone to take advantage of you.

  68. Sean says 23 October 2015 at 08:13

    I’m having a similar problem but I’ve know this person for a shorter time. He’s helped me a couple times but ever since then, I’ve been getting asked every time my pay week comes up. He offered to give me some guys address and name who supposedly stole my xbox. Everything is entirely too sketchy, but he knows where I live and probably has a gun and has connections… I don’t feel comfortable saying no for my own safety. I’ve been using excuses like bills and stuff, but he comes to me claiming to have court fees (once chipped in on a supposed bail out). I checked court records online and saw nothing since 2011, and an officer told me over the phone he has a lot of person of interest notes in theft. I really want to break it off and say some rather insulting things to him, but I’m scared for my life, to be honest.

    • Former Enabler says 11 November 2015 at 19:24

      Sean it’s time to relocate and terminate all your contacts. That guy is trouble you don’t need.

  69. Former Enabler says 11 November 2015 at 19:21

    I had a lifelong friend of 40 years begin hitting me up for loans about 10 years ago. None of them were ever repaid and I wasn’t expecting it, they were gifts. Eventually I figured out that the cause was a drug problem he had. It cost him his marriage, his job, he was in prison for some time and he lost basically all of his real (non drug-using) friends.

    Through all of this I stuck through thick and thin with him and continued to help him when I could by buying him dinners and continuing to loan him money up until about a year ago when I found out he used the money I gave him for rent to buy drugs yet again.

    So I ended our friendship as he got nasty with me for refusing to loan him more money (somehow he feels that because I busted my ass and got a college degree while paying my own way through that I’m supposed to always help him).

    About a year after this I was worried he was dead because of some odd messages I had been getting.

    I then sent an email to the friend asking him how he was and that I would like to rekindle the friendship.

    6 days after we got together, I got a text message from him at 5 am (and this type of behavior was commonplace with him for decades, so much so that his numbers were either blocked or put on silent mode during sleep hours) as he does not seem to comprehend I have work responsibilities. He hasn’t worked in 20 years and is on disability, but refuses to do any menial work that he is actually capable of doing.

    What happened? Well on day 6 after this meeting, the text basically asked me to call him ASAP due to a “life and death matter”. His life and death matter was he was out of money 3 days after getting his disability check. SAME OLD STORY!

    Drugs? Probably. He asked me for a loan and I flat out said no. I’ve gifted him thousands and thousands of dollars over the years by the way, never asked for a cent back either.

    This latest round of a loan request, he got extremely angry and began a volley of personal attacks on me all stemming from my refusal to help him.

    The friendship is now over. Very sad feeling to lose such a longtime friend, but in the long run it might save his life.

  70. Jess says 13 November 2015 at 07:56

    I live in a basement apartment in NYC and I’m a student. I’m almost living in this apartment from past 7 years due to convenience, affordability and good location. My landlords are living on the first floor. My landlady has a bad habit of asking groceries, equipments, beauty products, money which she never returns back by her own. Groceries she never returns back and other things I literally have to ask her when I needed them. I really don’t know how to deal with her. Every week she needs one thing or the other. I tried to avoid her sometimes but she is so shameless that she still asks things from me. If I don’t pick up her call then she comes to my door. Her husband doesn’t know about her activities as he once scolded her in the beginning for this so she told me not to tell this thing to her husband. She thinks since I’m a student and I needed the apartment so she can take advantage of my situation. Lazy ass never wanted to do an effort to buy her own groceries. I had never borrowed anything from her even once since I don’t believe in borrowing.

    Previously she don’t even call me on my phone for asking things and she just open the mid-door in between the basement and the first floor and start yelling my name. Once I was taking a bath so she might have yelled my name by opening a mid-door. Since I was in bath I didn’t heard anything so she kept the mid-door opened so that when I get out of bath then she can ask things she needed. Unfortunately when I got out of a bath I was just in towel and I had no idea about the mid-door that was opened. So she saw me half naked. I was horrified and embarrassed with this situation and confronted her that she is disturbing my privacy. So for next time if she wants to speak with me them she needs to call me. I thought that after this situation she will not ask things from me. But still things didn’t improved and whenever she finds out that I’m in home she immediately call me to borrow one thing or other shamelessly.

    I really don’t know how to deal with this lady. If I’ll complain to her husband then my relationship with the family will get spoiled. Also I might loose an affordable apartment. But this lady is really playing with my mind. I sometime feel like not to make any noise so that she doesn’t come know about my presence in home. Please help.

    • bunnybabe says 31 March 2016 at 22:58

      This landlady is shameless and has no conscience. You are worried about spoiling the relationship if you tell her husband. News flash – there is no relationship! She is using you and will continue to use (and abuse) your kindness. This type of person will sniff out gentle and kind people such as e yourself like aa bloodhound.

      You need to either find another apartment (not easy I know but you will at least have peace of mind) or you could try telling her husband what she is up to and believe me he needs to know.
      However; experience says this kind of person will just usually persist when he is not home. I hope you will get angry enough to be able to tell her firmly that you are tired of her asking you for stuff and you will not be responding to her anymore and that if she ignores you you will be moving out. I really feel for you and I have been in a similar situation and only found relief when I cut the person out of my life. Good Luck and Blessings.

  71. My husband is always borrowing money. says 31 January 2016 at 18:26

    Need some advise because my husband is always borrowing money.

  72. Judy says 21 March 2016 at 04:57

    I learned to say no very early in life, Thank God. I just say NO. And don’t sugar coat it. Never explain or apologize. Tell them they have a very poor history of paying back and therefore would be a bad risk for a loan. If it causes bad feelings, so what? It’s not nearly as bad as feeling used and abused when you’re not repay ed and made a fool of for being kind!

  73. Cheryl says 03 May 2016 at 10:12

    I have a friend of 25 years who spends about $400 a month on cigarettes. She always runs out of money for necessities and her medications. I’m constantly brining her things like Trash bags, toilet paper, even food. Her daughter pays for her groceries so she won’t starve. She told me she’d rather smoke then eat but yet she is diabetic. She gets irate every time quitting smoking is brought up. She is older & has health problems and this is the only bad habit she has. How do you deal with a situation like this? She is taking advantage of us for everything but her cigarettes and feels guilty sometimes. She has helped me in the past but not like this.

  74. donna berry says 24 August 2016 at 07:26

    I gave someone some money lately and now they keep calling me for more. I just avoid the calls now. My dad always said if you want to keep a friend don’t ask for money from them and don’t borrow any to them. Simple

  75. Eneshia says 31 October 2016 at 04:48

    My dad went in my car & took $35 from me said he was gonna use it for gas. My step brother took $200 from me & took longer than he said he would to pay it back & when he paid it back my dad took it without asking & then said I don’t contribute to nothing in the house. Apparently I’m contributing to something if y’all constantly taking my money & I’I always broke. It’s really bothering me & I don’t understand what I have a job for.

  76. Eneshia says 31 October 2016 at 04:49

    & my best friend & her mom are always asking me for money & rides.

  77. tbaby1981 says 01 November 2016 at 11:43

    Please….It appears that everyone thinks I am the First National Bank. It has gotten to the point that it just pisses me off now. There always seems to be someone that will use everything they have to cover all their wants, I.e. cruises, parties, makeup, salon (hair & nails) and clothes, clothes, and more clothes, but then come to you with the sob story regarding their necessities, (rent, food, health, etc. ).

    I even had one woman quote bible scripture (to much is given, much is expected!!!) when she wanted to borrow $2000, even though it had been less than 3 weeks since she had repaid a previous $2000 loan that took almost a year, when the loan was supposed to be repaid in 1 month. Needless to say, she pissed me off with this quote and I went off the deep end. It guarantee it’s understood that she can’t get anymore money from me!!!!!
    Then only a few months later here comes her grown daughter to borrow $1000 not even a week after I buried my husband. She promised a repayment within 2 months. Needless to say, DIDN”T HAPPEN!! I would watch her go the other way or do everything in her power not to have to be around me. She sent at least 10 txt messages lying about when the next payment would come – which never came. It took her a year to finalize the loan. I had become reserved to the fact I wouldn’t get it back, but then another friend of mine was talking about a young girl asking her to borrow $20 and how she stayed on her until she paid it back. At first, I thought this was funny, actually ridiculous, because she has way more money than I, but then she said something that stuck with me. She said, “I don’t care if they owe $5. If they said they were going to pay it back – then I am going to ask for it. We have to make people accountable. If not, you just let them off easy, which is what most of them expect anyway.” Afterwards, I went back to the young lady for the balance of that $1000 loan in April and was able to finally get my payment due to her Income Tax Return.
    But with these type of ppl, it’s never ending. Can you believe that after all that she had the audacity to txt me for $400 just last week. (She didn’t give the term of a loan – so I believe that she wanted it as a gift). I wont even get into the sob story, but of course it was to take care of her necessity, cuz her hair and nails were already done. This “piss me off point” was the end for me. My response was “No, we had enough problem during the last loan and I don’t plan to loan you any more money (period)!! & Do me a favor – don’t ever ask me again!
    I’ve come to the conclusion that there or times that ppl really need. I believe that your gut instinct will alert you of those times and they wont even have to ask you. “Discernment”! From this point on – that’s my new method of deciding. Otherwise, I will just be direct & say NO (period)!!!

  78. babygirl911 says 12 March 2017 at 18:02

    I have the same problem. A friend of mine keeps asking me to wire her money. She said she’d pay me back but then she would keep returning to ask for more. She would come up with all sorts of excuses claiming she doesn’t have food in her house, her boyfriend whose unemployed needs help and so does his mom, her cats needs to go to the vet and every month her mom extorts money from her threatening to take her cat away. It’s been almost a year and she hasn’t even paid back a cent. What’s worse is that she has a job and is on SSI and refuses to even wait until she gets paid. I also noticed that she’s able to afford weed and stuff, but can’t afford to pay me back? That makes no sense. Another friend did that same thing to me. He borrowed money from me repeatedly (with no intention of paying me back) claiming his wife was gonna get deported and married her so she could stay in the country, and claimed that he needed it for the baby shower. Even worse, he waited for me to get paid from at work or from SSI to ask for more. He would also push for more money after I ran out and the only worse part his that he didn’t care that I was running out of money. All he care about was supporting his drinking habit. When he got done using me, he dumped me like a piece of trash. My former bf also used me to get what he wanted including pizza, clothes and even drugs. He also threatened to cut me out if I didn’t give him any money, but no matter what I did for him, it wasn’t enough. He always wanted more. After realizing these men were using me, I knew I had to cut them out including unfriending and blocking them on facebook. This friend that currently keeps needing help always hounds on me for more money and I feel like she’s using me and is lying to me. She claimed that her former roommate kicked her cat and that she’s in jail. The instagram photos the former roommate posted say other wise. The former roommate also contributed to a bunch of things I was accused of and I held a grudge against her. I’m gonna have to be direct and say no because I’m tired of getting taken advantage of.

  79. Markus says 16 May 2017 at 10:31

    Ugh, I just have to rant. I don’t have anyone I can say this stuff to in person without being positive it wouldn’t make its way back to her.

    I have an elderly friend, she’s elderly but still mostly of sound mind (I hauled her to get tested to be sure). I’ve known her very well for almost ten years, there are few things about her that I don’t know. Her family is 99% miserable bumfuck druggy hillbillies so I help her manage her accounts, etc, etc, I did her taxes this year so I know exactly how much she makes and what assets she has.

    She is horrible with money. I have made her budgets on more than one occasion, she acts like she’ll use them, but then I find them stuffed in a drawer or tossed on the bedroom floor still folded up just like I left them. The last time I bothered was four years ago. If she’d have followed that budget, she’d have approximately $40k in savings right now and would have kept living the exact same lifestyle.

    Instead, she just called me a few minutes ago, yet again, wanting to bum ‘only $100’ until next week when she gets paid. I refused her, as I have been doing for the last several months, because I know she had more than enough money to get through the month but once again blew it all instead.

    I know her pay schedule and I did her taxes, so I know she got ~$2160 from her job + $1600 from SS + ~$1200 from tax return. So $4960 in the last 30 days, and she’s flat broke again *despite not having a house payment, car payment, health insurance payments, and similar stuff.*

    How does someone go through that much money that fast? She buys tons of random shit that she doesn’t need but wants. She’s constantly crying about how she has too much clothes and hates them and the clutter they cause and she has started throwing bags of them away into the trash, but she’s constantly buying new random sweaters and shit at the dollar stores and Goodwill ‘because they’re so cute.’

    Her house is trashed despite the fact that I have personally cleaned it spotless half a dozen times and so have some other people. Her kitchen constantly reeked of rotting garbage because she decided to ‘save money’ by cancelling the $10/month garbage service. Instead, she just started chucking the bags of trash onto her back porch for animals to rip open. She expected other people — like me — to come pick them up on a regular basis to take to our own trash service/dumpsters, and when we didn’t she got upset about it and tried to guilt us by acting like no one could be bothered with her.

    She finally restarted trash service a few weeks ago when I refused to come inside her house because it reeked of old rotting food and I couldn’t handle being inside.

    She went on anti-depressant meds because she’s so depressed because she feels trapped in her cluttered messy house and she can’t afford to go on the trips she wants and blah blah…and yet, she still prioritizes buying random shit from Dollar General and Goodwill versus saving any money at all. Then she cries to other people who don’t know her as well and makes it sound like she’s destitute, and she tells them she ‘barely makes $30,000′ a year, but conveniently fails to mention that that doesn’t include her $1600/month Social Security income.

    Her house needs some serious electrical work done because she burnt out 99% of the plugs by running big electric heaters non-stop all winter instead of getting her furnace replaced. She bought a washer but it has sat on her porch for over a year because she won’t save up and spend the $200 needed to get the right 220v plug installed.

    She was gifted two brand new $2000 hearing aids and all she has to do is spend $70 to get them adjusted but she has been putting that off for five years. She has been using Dollar Tree reading glasses for years because proper bifocal prescription glasses will be a couple hundred dollars, then she cries about not being able to see or hear things.

    She got a little dog that needs its nails trimmed badly but she kept putting it off because it was a whole whopping $30 to get it done at PetsMart. So I had to take the damn dog to get it done because I felt bad for it.

    I took her to buy groceries a few days after she got her tax return and she veered off into the liquor section of the store and bought a hundred dollars’ worth of whiskey and beer and shit because apparently that is more important than putting aside $100 for gas money…which is now what she called me begging for today. And when I tell her no, she acts like life is just so unfair and warped against her and all this shit and now she’s calling other people begging for cash.

    She lost her car to a wreck and has been ‘saving up’ for over two years to get a new one, which involved not saving any money at all. She finally bought a POS junker for $600, and she can’t even afford to get gas or insurance, so she’s planning to drive it with borrowed gas and no insurance until she gets her next paycheck.

    During that time, I was driving her to work basically every single night despite working two jobs every day myself. She would rarely give me gas money (maybe $20 every four or so months) and always had an excuse about how she was broke and didn’t have a penny to her name, but then she’d forget she told me that and have me stop at the gas station on the way to work so she could buy donuts and energy drinks and other expensive sugary garbage.

    Now that I’ve started refusing to help her with 99% of stuff, she acts like life is so hard and she is just a poor elderly person struggling. She expects me to drive her around to buy more random shit for hours every single morning and weekend even though she knows I work 60+ hours a week and have almost no free time.

    She has only a fraction of my monthly expenses and dozens more free hours than me, but she doesn’t see any problem with monopolizing my very limited free time and constantly asking me to float her money. When I do loan her money, she ends up just giving me $20 on her paycheck and says she has to give me the rest in a couple weeks when she gets her next paycheck because she hates giving up that much money at once. When I say no, I need it all now, she gets passive aggressive and says things like, “I’m sure I’ll find out how to manage, I always do. Life is never easy.” Then she buys more random shit.

    Now that I’m a year away from packing up and going to explore the world for a year, she get super depressed and sad and suggests I should find a way to take her because it has always been her dream to tour the world…but she knows I’ve been planning this for years and she has had about ~7 years to save up, and she’d easily have more than enough money right now if she’d just used a damn budget.

  80. BB says 02 June 2018 at 15:59

    I found my way here, because I’m frustrated and worried about a family member who keeps borrowing money, etc. from me.

    My niece who was estranged from me since her early teens, came back into my life 8 months ago after her father died. He was mentally ill, suffering borderline personality disorder, and wouldn’t let me see her all those years.

    She was loving at first, saying she loved me and wanted me in her life. We spent Christmas together and had a great time. Then, with no explanation, she got cold and gave me the silent treatment for a few months. She didn’t even bother to wish me a happy birthday.

    Out of the blue, she came over a few days ago, saying that she was moving out-of-town and needed to get some money together. She had cheated on her husband and he left her and her two young children a few months ago. She’d met someone else and was moving in with him, but money was tight.

    She makes good money so I really couldn’t understand why money was so tight. Her husband was gone, but he hadn’t worked when he was with her anyway.

    I bought her and the kids dinner, but I didn’t offer any money. I’m on a tight budget this summer as I’m having to replace an HVAC system and my dog has high medical bills.

    A few days later, she emailed me, asking for some money. I told her that I was sorry, but that money was tight for me too. She probably did see that I’d donated a small sum to a food pantry via Facebook the day before, which might have given her the notion that I have money to spare.

    I told her that I was sorry, but I couldn’t help her.

    She wrote back that she had no food for her kids.

    Finally, I caved. I told her I would get her some groceries. I put in an order for $150.00 worth of groceries for her, and told her she could pick it up tomorrow at the store, that I’d already paid for it.

    Before the pick up time, she wrote again and said “forget the groceries,” that she wanted cash. She said she needed “gas and smokes.”

    I didn’t reply right away as I needed time to think about this, and she started impatiently sending me messages. “Hello?” “Is anyone there?” “Are you alive?”

    Now, I was disgusted as she was putting her needs over her children’s. And the impatient messages seemed rude. She was reminding me of my manipulative brother. I was also worried about the kids, wondering what’s going on in her life.

    I decided to meet her for the grocery store pickup and go ahead and give her the $50.00 in hopes that this will be the last time she asks. But I have a feeling that this won’t be the end of it.

    I don’t know if she’s mismanaging her money, out of her head over her father’s death, giving her money to this boyfriend, on drugs, or what, but it’s all a big worry. And I guess I needed to vent.

    Any suggestions in how to deal with this would be appreciated.

  81. Arnold says 13 December 2019 at 22:17

    My first girlfriend from High School saw me out in my Mom’s yard while I was visiting. She told me she is going to live in her car because she can not pay the rent on the room she has. She also said she has no money for food. She asked me for a loan of $1,000. I thought about it for a day or two and she stopped and asked again. I told her I would gift her the money. I did this because I did not want to constantly think, “when is she going to pay me back.” Again, this was to pay for her rent and to buy food. I saw her a week later and she had red skin around her upper lip and her wrinkles were gone, lips plumped, and her forehead no longer had lines. I asked her why she used the money for cosmetic reasons and she told me she has to compete in the work place with younger women. That employers don’t want older employees. I told her that many companies look for older employees because their families are grown and they most always show up for work. She lashed out at me and yelled, “That’s not true.”
    I have never loaned anyone or gifted anyone else any money since. I have had family members and so called friends beg saying they have no where else to turn, but they always seem to come up with the cash from someone else. I’m not even asked anymore.

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