If you are a responsible adult, you likely have your financial life in order. You may not be rich, but you keep a detailed budget and you are smart with your spending. That means there is more money coming in than going out each month, and you are able to save for the future while leading comfortable lifestyle today.
Unfortunately, not everyone is so responsible. Many people spend much more than they earn, which quickly lands them in a tough spot. If this is the life lived by someone close to you, it is possible that they will turn to you for financial assistance sometime soon. When they come calling for cash, what do you say? This is a tricky situation, to say the least.
You Are a Nice Person
The first thing to square away is the fact that you should be able to lay your head down on the pillow at night feeling good about yourself, regardless of this decision.
If you decide that you aren’t going to lend any money, that doesn’t make you a bad person. This is a complicated topic, and there are many ways to look at it. Once you realize that saying ‘no’ doesn’t make you a bad person, it will be easier to remain objective and make a smart decision.
Why Do They Need Help?
This is probably the main question to ask yourself – and the other person – when deciding how to proceed. Why is this person in a position to need financial help? Sometimes, it is a very legitimate reason. For instance, they may have had a combination of untimely events, such as a large medical bill and a work layoff. That doesn’t make them a bad person, or irresponsible – it just means they are going through a tough time.
On the other hand, this person could be asking for money because they have not yet decided to take control of their own life. They make money, but they spend it just as fast. Or, they keep becoming unemployed because of their own actions, like showing up late for work or doing a poor job. This person is not the victim of bad luck – they are dealing with the consequences of their own actions.
Making a Judgement
It is a good idea to avoid judging people on a day to day basis, as you have your own life to lead. However, when someone asks you for money, it is inherent that you will need to judge their situation. Do you feel comfortable with lending or giving this person money? What are they going to do with it? Is your help going to change anything moving forward?
For a person who is the victim of genuine bad luck, you may be able to give them the chance they need to catch up. This is a person who has proven themselves to be responsible, and there is no reason to think that won’t continue to be the case. For a person who is out of money because of bad decisions, your help won’t change their patterns. Rather than a loan or a gift, they likely need a financial intervention of some kind.
In the end, trust your personal judgement and never give away or loan money that you can’t afford to go without. Take care of yourself and your family first, and help others as you can from there. It’s always hard to say no when someone needs financial help, but in some situations, saying no might actually be the best thing you can do for their future.
Have you ever been asked for money? What did you do when someone asked you for money?
Photo courtesy of: Goumbik