I was listening to a podcast where a guest who recently came into money was asked how she deals with mooching family members or friends. It got me thinking about this a lot! As you’ve gotten your finances in order, have you personally experienced this?
Whether it’s the friend who only reaches out when they need an extra buck or the family member who can’t seem to get it together, I was curious to know how you all deal with friends or family who mooch off of you.
Does anyone have any special rules when it comes to lending money to family or friends? Do you establish formal guidelines or contracts with people you lend money to? Any positive (or horror!) stories? Has anyone ever had to confront a friend or family member for doing this?
Lending money to family and friends is the best way to loose them. If you can afford to let that amount of money go and not get it back, then ok, it’s gone. If you want it back and they refuse to send it your way, then you become the bad guy.
If you loan/lend it to them, get the terms of repayment in writing (including when it is to be repaid by, interest or not, be careful to not go into usury (a radically high % interest rate) and signed by both parties. That way there is clear communication of what is expected and when. If they choose to not honor the contract they signed, then you have a potential court case. Keep the lines of communication open and documented through email, texts, something in writing. No doubt you will be interpreted as the bad guy for wanting your money back. So, do not loan or let money be borrowed by family or friends in any significant amount. A few dollars here and there is minor, I am talking about bigger amounts, which needs to be determined by the people involved.
They may not initially like the fact you refused to help them, but it is better in the long run if you plan to stay on good terms.
Also, if you do decide to lend, a contract would be good. I once borrowed money from my late mother. Because I knew how she respected money and infrequently got her money back from relatives, I drew up a contract to pay her off in 6 months and then I added 10% at the contract end just to show her I appreciated her doing this for me. It’s about respecting others’ money.
Lately I have been wizened up on a way people can make you feel if you do not give/lend money to them, it is called “dry begging”. And can proudly say after multiple, yes, multiple failings for it, I smartened up. It is when people mention problems but do not directly ask for help. It is an indirect way of being needy and getting what they want.
Example: I need to get to work but my car is out of gas-they won’t come out and ask for a ride or for money, or on that hamburger smells so good but I only have $10 until payday-they want you to foot the bill. The situations go on and on.
Yep, I’ve experienced the dry begging. I ignore it unless it’s a close family member. Anybody else, forget it. Frequently, people made me feel guilty for asking for my money back; that’s why I stopped. I wouldn’t even lend money to my sister about 6-7 months ago because (a) she never pays you back or (b) reminds you of some gift she once gave you, and (c) everything is an emergency with her. So, last time she had an emergency, I didn’t make it “my emergency” and just said I couldn’t spare it. No other explanations.
I think it’s up to the person lending the money. We know our friends and family well enough to also know what to expect when it comes time to repay any loans.
Keep in mind that even tho you might write up a contract, the procedure to pursue enforcement if the contract is breached is usually not worth the time and effort to do so, and it almost always ends up badly between family or friends and you.
We have a few rules in place for lending circumstances:
Mentally, we kiss that money goodbye before we loan it. That helps with some of the emotions if we are let down.
The only way we will do business with friends and family is if we expect no discounts or benefits, and we make it clear if the service provided falls short we expect them to make it right…just like any other company we would hire or purchase from.
Typically I would recommend not lending money to anyone, but we have managed to find a way that meets our expectations.
I don’t lend money to anyone but my children. They are married and can both afford to pay it back and will without being reminded. If I had to remind them as long as it wasn’t a large amount, I would just forget it. But it hasn’t happened.
Now I don’t LEND money to a dear family member because she doesn’t pay back, but she is a single woman working two jobs and struggles. She has done some dry begging (love that term) and if I can afford it at the time and it is a true need, I will GIVE it to her. I let her know it is a gift.
Thought I would post this after reading in one of my AARP eletters this morning. I think a good many of us have dealt with friends and family asking for loans, so this hit home even though the story (daughter to parents) might not be the exact circumstance. But it is a good example of how a good deed can steamroll into a true problem, along with some of the emotions that rise. Hit home with me!
Many thanks for the link to an informative article, lots of good information I would never have thought of. Sometimes we make the worst decisions of our lives based on the request of others-meaning family, friends, and others. Seniors can be very gullible especially when it comes to family and deals that sound too good to be true, with dreams of repayment.
A good source of information is available at senior centers, they have presentations on how scammers work and how to protect yourself. AARP is also a good reference.
redcatcec, yes…seniors are victims by scammers and very vulnerable. I could share a story, but it’s not really mine to share, about a family member targeted by scammers and luckily we accidentally found out about it before they lost too much money.
In our case we were dealing with a family member just starting to slip into mild dementia and any warnings and guidance we gave were forgotten immediately so the scammers kept hitting. We finally had to get involved on a level we preferred not to, but it was imperative.
There is a thin line between helping and enabling, both of you have crossed that line. He is satisfied with the way his life is or he would not want to continue living that way at your expense. You can’t help somebody who won’t help themselves. Good money is being thrown after bad. He has no appreciation for what you have been doing for him. To him this money is a luxury that he is passing on at your expense. He already has shown lack of respect for you and the family because he allowed his wife’s pettiness. He allowed it, but he was perfectly willing to take money, why change the lifestyle when it works so well for him. Even if the disability comes through, you’ll never see as much as a dime. It’s all about him, very selfish behavior.
hello everybody I have been super busy dealing with my oldest, daughter she been living with us for 4 yrs now, she cannot afford $1200 rent , going price she has eating problem she on food stamps drives , taxi for living. she constantly runs out of food stamps so we been supporting her with food, she finally pays rent now $100 a week she has no clue on how to go about finding cheap place to live, very frustrating she 44 yrs old , we are in our 60s retirement never ends ( I remember there was case when a son was living off his parents for many years until they took him to court. ) hope to get her out of house by time she reaches 45 next march my youngest daughter married been on her own . but my oldest forget it lol maybe we should move out let her stay hear lol lol we were thinking about that any how i just have to pray .i dont want her out in streets its really not a good time for her to move any way do to the virus . and i am glad she did not find place to rent renting is very bad hear in Florida. have blessed day
I never heard the term “dry begging” but my older sister used to do something like that when she needed help. She wouldn’t ask specifically for help with something just complain that something needed fixing and most of the time someone she knew would come along and repair it for free. Sometimes the family would be at her house and would order food from a restaurant and when we would go to pick it up, there would be added items on the order, to save for the next day, (she knew we were paying for it). I knew she didn’t have much money but it was annoying that she didn’t just ask.