The following post is from staff writer Melissa Batai
You see, Jessica didn’t have the best family life. She was the oldest of 5 children, and her parents were divorced. Her father didn’t pay child support, and her mother worked low paying jobs (when she worked at all). Jessica’s younger siblings weren’t motivated, and most of them dropped out of school before they could graduate.
Thanks to Patty’s family’s support, Jessica went on to college. She worked nearly full-time while in college to cover living and educational expenses
The problem? Jessica’s mother, seeing that Jessica was able to support herself and make a good living, called Jessica at least weekly asking for money.
At first, Jessica helped out. After all, she worried about her younger siblings. But then Jessica started noticing that her mother was always able to afford her cigarettes and junk food she fed the kids. Jessica started to resent her mother.
Though it took years, by her late twenties, Jessica had stopped lending money to her mother. Now, Jessica is in her early 40s, and she has cut all ties with her family.
How Should You Handle Parents Borrowing Money from You?
Saying no to your parents can be difficult. After all, they raised you and paid for your needs for at least the first 18 years of your life. If your parents are having difficulty with finances, you may want to step in and help them.
If your parents are asking for money for a one-time problem such as sudden job loss or illness, then if you have the money, why not help them out? Everyone stumbles on hard times, so why not help?
However, if your parents, like Jessica’s mom, repeatedly hit you up for money, then boundaries have to be drawn. Though it may be difficult, you can set clear expectations of when you will stop giving them money. For instance, I can help you out for the next three months, but after that, you’re on your own.
After all, you likely have your own family to support. You can’t support your parents, too.
What If Saying No Affects Your Relationship?
There’s no easy answer here. Saying no to your parents’ requests for money may hurt your relationship. However, if you clearly set parameters as to how much you can help them and when the help will stop and your parents still ask for money, then they are the ones who have chosen to risk affecting your relationship.
My Questions for You
Have your parents asked you for money? Did you give it to them? Was your relationship affected by the request and exchange of money? (You know, experts always say not to lend money to relatives.)
If you get repeated requests from your parents, did you continue to give them money? If not, how did you learn to say no?