I Don't Loan Money


First of all, I NEVER talk about my finances or my financial goals publicly. I just find that it's easier this way. But, for whatever reason, I have a reputation for being a financially responsible person--especially amongst my family members. Therein, lies the problem. I constantly have a slew of (mostly) family members always asking for loans.

A little background...I come from a family who is content with "just getting by" financially. Witnessing the misery that is "just getting by" is the reason I decided, as a child, to never "just get by". As a result, I never desired the latest and greatest as a teen. So, when I got monetary gifts I always saved most of it. As I got older, the loan request started..... Initially, I would ablige because the request would always be accompanied by a sob story. But, as I get older, I realize that there is a huge difference between a person who is financially responsible, but is going through some financial difficulties versus a financially irresponsible person who feels it is a responsible person's duty to bail him out of every financial crisis he creates for himself.

Therefore, I have adopted the policy that I do not loan money. There are always exceptions to any rule and there may come a time when I know, for sure, that a person has hit a tough patch and sincerely needs my help, but so far, that has not been the case. So, my policy for the last year and a half has been to simply say, "I don't have the money to loan". This is different from saying, "I don't have the money", because I do HAVE the money--just not to loan. The reason for this decision is twofold....

As a child, my grandmother was always the financially responsible person in the family. She worked hard and saved her money--which is not the easiest feat for a black woman born in 1919. But, somehow she managed NOT to pass these financial values down to her children. Therefore, she has six adult children still using her money to rectify every one of THEIR financial "crisis". My grandmother, by the way, will be 91 years old in October. After witnessing this, I vowed to never have to beg anyone for financial help and to pass down my financial values to my future kids. Additionally, for me, money is not about material things, but about freedom and security. I am single, never married (yet) and unlike many of my friends who would be able to turn to their parents in a true financial crisis, I only have myself to sustain me if something were to happen to me.

Therefore, my money IS my security blanket. Why should I loan money to someone else at the risk of my own security? Besides, I have also learned that in any relationship--be it romantic, family, friendship--if the relationship is not equal; if one person is always giving, then that person is being USED--it's that plan and that simple. If I am the one always doing the lending, wouldn't that mean that I am being used? Why continue to loan money to people who CHOOSE to be financially irresponsible and in the case of any financial rough patches in my life, I can't turn to them for the same type of assistance?

9 Comments:

  1. Cash Only Living said...
    You are exactly right. I never loan money either. There have been a few times when people have needed money and I just gave it to them as a gift but over and over I found that loaning someone (usually a family member, usually they are walking financial disaster) money didn't help them, it just made them more financially dependant and irresponsible!
    Everyday Tips said...
    I think you are being very wise. I just read an article in my local paper where a family member co-signed on a mortgage for their brother. Well, now the house is underwater and needs to be sold. Either the owner takes a huge loss, or they do a short sale and both their credit ratings take a dive. Not very good options. The poor sibling was just trying to help and now may be hosed.

    Stick to your guns Young Mogul!
    Divine and Debt Free said...
    I totally understand this concept. Recently I had a friend get into some problems with lending money to friends and struggling trying to get it back when she is in need.

    I have adopted the rule that, if I can't "give" the money without needing it back then don't give it at all.

    loaning money to people puts stress on relationships, that just aren't worth it in the end.

    Good post!
    The Asian Pear said...
    I feel the same way although I admit that I do give money to my parents. They say lend but I know it's a give. And that is okay for me.
    L.A. Daze said...
    I agree with you, and good for you for wanting to protect yourself. Luckily, none of my family members have asked me for any money, and I doubt they will.
    Serendipity said...
    I'm in the same boat as you. I only have myself if a true financial crisis were to arise. Good for you to sticking to your guns and not letting it be known your well off financially. Although being financially secure is nothting to be ashamed of, it's also nothing you have to share if you choose not to.

    P.S Thank you for all the nice comments you left on my blog, I'm totally digging yours as well. :)
    Patrenia said...
    I love the statement, "I don't have the money to loan". I have an aunt and a cousin who are single and both are always easy targets for "beggars". My aunt always just says, "No!". My cousin has given in more times than she should and has been burned. For some reason, I've never been a target...I'm not complaining. :-)
    Annie said...
    You go girl!

    I know people who make waay more money than I do who have been known to borrow money from me.. mostly they never pay it back.

    I may have to follow your lead on this one...
    Jenn in Michigan said...
    Very wise choice. I have loaned small amounts to my mom from my savings when she has asked. She doesn't ask often and always pays me back.

    You are very wise and lucky you figured these things out young before any financial damage was done. I figured it out a little late in life, but late is better than never.

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