Helping others out financially ...
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  1. #1
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    Default Helping others out financially ...

    When is helping others out financially helping and when is it throwing good money after bad? How do you know when to help and how do you say no?

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    Registered User Persimmon Lace's Avatar
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    I think it has to do with past behaviour, unless their behaviour has changed in some way it is a great predictor of future behaviour. Yes this is a Dr. Philism, but he didn't coin it. I believe that you have to boundary your helping, by that I mean are you enabling someone to continue in bad habits or by helping are you really giving them a hand up and helping them stand on their own 2 feet.

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    Hi,

    I have to learn the difference. I had a very big wake up call this month and I know now if helping others is gonna put my bills in jeopardy I will not do it. I am a extreme example sometimes that you shouldn't help others out all the time.

    Doing my mini total of my helping has put me behind between my giving money for cigarettes, food several hundred dollars close to a $1000. That is NOT good.

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    In general I don't mind giving things to anyone who says they need them. (clothes, food, gas, etc.) However, if someone approaches Philip & me on the street we'll take them & fill their gas tank, or to a restaurant for food but we will NOT give them money.

    If the situation is someone you know well and the past behavior hasn't changed, I would be very reluctant to throw money at them. Dave Ramsey says that's like giving a drunk a drink. I'd probably offer to put them through Financial Peace University or something similar, help them get a budget going, explain my own grocery strategies, etc. I'm not saying I would never give someone money but I'd have to have a very compelling reason to do so.

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    I think it depends on the situation. What do they need the money for? Why don't they have enough of their own money? What will happen if you do not help them?
    Sometimes your loved ones are hit by genuinely hard times, and need a bit of help to get out of where they are. If it is someone who never asks for money, and has a genuine need, then yes, I would help if I can.

    If someone is constantly asking me for money month after month, then obviously they are not trying to help themselves, and I would not give them money. I might offer to do other things, such as babysit their child while they go look for a job, or post an ad so that they can sell something....but you can't fight other peoples battles for them.

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    Registered User bee9984's Avatar
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    I was having a hard time saying "No" to friends and family there for awhile too. I knew that there just had to be a better way without feeling guilty as I was starting to feel bitter and my children were starting to go without not to mention that we were also starting to pay late fees on our bills.

    What we did was sit down and started to make changes in our lives.....For an example....are you ready for this? I gave a friend $100 as she said she had no food for her kids and she and her dh had just seperated and he was not giving her any money to help with bills/food etc....I called her the next day after I had sent her the money (online banking) to see what she was up too......she apparently didn't have long to talk as she had a hair appointment to get her hair cut/coloured and then she was off to get her acrylic nails done! I could tell you other horror stories too!

    A couple of changes dh and I finally did was start contributing to our retirement plan and opened up an ING account......next time friends or family were having it hard I said without guilt, "Gosh, I wish we could help you out but right now our money is all tied up and we only have enough to last till next payday"

    Now in saying all of that, When it is a real emergency in which friends or family are having it hard, like when my parents pensions where cut back because of a paper they didn't sign dh and I did cut back on the savings to help keep their hydro etc going. They did get back paid though for the few months until Canada Pension got everything back on track. My mother did say that she was going to pay us back but I told her that I would rather her pay off her cc with the backpay.....did she? Nope, but she has a beautiful new kitchen aid etc..
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    Registered User Persimmon Lace's Avatar
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    My post above is in relation to relatives who are always without money for whatever reason and won't do anything to help themselves. If the kids are hungry I will buy food or the like. But, one year dh and I paid my mil's gas bill that was 350.00 because it was really cold and natural gas had taken a huge jump. My dh's brother lives there too and at the time was only working part time. Come to find out that he was running around barefoot and in a t-shirt just like their dad did when he was alive. I paid the bill and then I told bil to put some blankety blank clothes on, that when he started working and paying ALL the bills he could run around nekid for all I cared but putting his 80 year old mother in danger of having her gas shut off was selfish and STUPID. He's one of those who believes cable is a necessity and should be paid for by the government for everyone or free.


    Ok on the other hand, I know this is weird because of my post but dh and I will on occasion give money to someone off the streets. I have been in the church office when someone has needed gas or help of some kind and the helping fund is low or non-existant, I will give money to one of the secretaries to give to them. We have an elder that would give you the last dime he has and he really has to watch it sometimes but I know that he has given hospitality to the angels because of his generousity. We've bought a bus ticket for a neighbor that lived in a horrible situation and sent her and her child home to another state and gave her spending money. These things are different than my above example.

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    I guess the question is really: when are you helping and when are you enabling? Enabling encourages destructive behaviours. If I see those continuing, I discontinue the help. If I see constructive behaviour happening, or them wanting it to happen, but money gets in the way, then I find a way to help...within reason. They still have to provide partly for themselves.

    Thus when dd#1 approached us about living in our basement rent free so they could finish university, we needed to ascertain their attitude towards education, how they were going to provide their share of expenses, their plans for future education, their time line, their willingness to help out, etc.

    We were pleasantly surprised that they had thought about all this ahead of time and came with a five page presentation! Not to mention a determination we hadn't anticipated about further education. They obviously had thought a lot about how they could help us out and make the situation more bearable. DD#1 and her dh called a Family Meeting (his first) - a sign they were serious about everything and wanted it settled as soon as possible.

    To us this is a small price to pay if it saves them some money and they get their degrees. It will give them a sense of accomplishment, even if they don't get jobs in the area they major in, and that will translate into a happier home life, which is what I want for my future grandchildren.

    So I think it not only depends on past behaviour, but also on recognition of past behaviour being inappropriate and following it with change in behaviour - which is what I am seeing. And the ability to recognize when someone needs hope and encouragement vs. when someone is taking you to the cleaners!

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    Peanut, I love you DD's approach...good for her (and DH)!

    As for giving money, I have helped family members on occasion but don't make a habit of it. Like others here, I believe it's best to help in a way that encourages self-sufficiency. Sometimes that's money, sometimes not.

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    I has always given money as a gift. When you make it a loan, it seems to never get paid back, but I usually get "gift" money back. Does that make sense. Sometime we have to loan money to our girls...no often, but sometime and what they do is give up a post dated check or checks and we cash them and the money is paid back. I don't mind helping anyone but I do take the situation into consideration. I would never let someone go without food especially if they have children, but you also don't want to be taken advantage of. But unfortuately in this day and age alot of people think if you have a little money and they borrow from you that you don't need it back..like they are entitled to your money. So I am careful about what i "lend".

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    Give a person a fish, he'll eat for a day, give him a pole and he'll fish for a lifetime.

    I agree with everyone else. It depends thoroughly on the situation from every aspect and whether they NEED it or WANT it. I've had my fair share of helping and I've learned... You said you gave the mother a 100 bucks for food and she then went around getting highlights, etc. In that case I would have given her actual food. Shame on the mother for not thinking of her kids foremost!

    There is broke and then there is really broke. You just need to differentiate on whether they need or want it and how difficult their situation is and whether they are genuinely trying their hardest. Sometimes you just need help and those people will show true appreciation.

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    Registered User jinx's Avatar
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    Lets face it there are those people relatives or not that are nothing but a big black hole, that nothing can fill. No matter how much they get or ask for they will never have anything extra. Mostly in my experience with relatives money burns a hole in their pockets. Sometimes you have to get burned to learn who they are. I feel that if your own personal finances ( your own bills may not be paid on time) are going to suffer than you have a right to say no. I have always felt that the fortunate should help the less fortunate, but there are times you have to say no. If the asking is constant, or you are thought of as nothing as a personal bank.
    In the past we have given money to those who are in need from our church without the expectation that they would pay it back., and wouldnt accept it when they did offer. We have also hired friends to do work around our house, when they lost jobs, and we didnt want to embarass them by offering money. Family members who we knew were having a hard time financially, but wouldnt ask for money, because we knew they were facing hard times, we would buy them the groceries they needed, and go by their house. The same with clothing, I would buy things that they needed and offer it to them, saying that I purchased these things, and they dont fit properly, or my ds or dh didnt like them.

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    To me---there is a difference between a hand-up and a hand-out.

    Does that make sense?

    Would I give money to someone who's struggling to pay their bills and doesn't have the money for their baby's formula? Oh yes. That's a hand-up. It helps them out.

    Would I give someone money so they could feed their cocaine habit? Heck no, that's a hand out.

    To me the difference comes down to whether the money will be beneficial or harmful to a person.
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    There was a time earlier this year that my dd's best friend's family was having a real financial hardship. My dd spent alot of time over there. They had no food & no money to buy food. So, since I have quite the stockpile, I decided to share. I brought them over at least 4 bags of food. A little of everything, cereal, stuff to make spaghetti, etc. I even went & bought them a gallon of milk. Then a week or two later my dd spent the night & I found out the mother ordered out for pizza!!!! I was so mad! So, I'll think twice before doing that again.

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    Registered User FrugalWitch's Avatar
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    Well DH and I each have a brother who are drug-addicts. Both have been in and out of jail for years. My brother is currently in jail (again) DH's brother just got out of jail (again) in October. Both of us have Mommas who only help their drug-addict, thieving, lying children. The rest of the normal, hard-working honest kids can just go pi$$ up a rope when they have a financial emergency, that went on for years and years. ( DH has 3 brothers, Momma has only me and my brother)

    MIL and Momma both are now flat-broke from continually giving money to these bums. I and anyone else who says they should not give money and favors to the lying jerks are of course evil, heartless people.

    Of course the bad seeds are never, ever around to help out or do favors for their Mommas, you only see them when they are out on parole or probation and come around with their hand out. Helping out, doing favors and care-giving is my responsibility ( lucky, evil, heartless me)

    BIL first went to juvie for drugs at age 12....he is now 46 years old. He is not going to change. He has been through rehab, counselling etc. more times than DH can remember. MIL has finally put her foot down and is not allowing BIL to live with her or mooch off of her. She is past retirement age, gave all her savings to BIL and now having to work again to pay her and BIL's bills.

    My brother has been doing drugs since he was 21...he is now 30. He swears in his letters from jail that he's really changed this time, but I ain't holding my breath.

    DH and I wouldn't give either of our brothers one red cent to save our souls.

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