One of the most difficult combinations to deal with is money and family. It is hard not to feel obligated to help family members out who need money. At the same time, it is easy to start to feel resentful if you feel your family is taking advantage of you. It is important to strike a balance between that feeling of obligation, and being careful not to give so much that you feel taken advantage of in order to keep family relations at their best.
The first and most important rule of money management when it comes to family is not to give more than you can afford. Some family members will allow themselves to go broke helping others, especially if those others happen to be a part of their family. This winds up causing resentment on the part of the person loaning or giving money, and it may ultimately cause resentment on the part of the recipient when the well runs dry and there is no more to give.
The second, and nearly as important rule, is not to expect the money back. Sometimes family members will pay you back. Often, they cannot afford to, but are afraid to admit it. Allowing the fact that they owe you money to come between you can only cause you to have more problems in the future. If you are lucky enough to be paid back, look at it as a bonus and use it to go out to dinner or do something nice.
Of course, if you are the borrower, there are some rules that you have to keep in mind as well. One is that you should never borrow money unless you absolutely have to. Most people will follow this rule, but there are a select few that do not. When your other family members are taken advantage of, they may start to resent it. The second rule is to pay back as much as you can when you can. Remember, this is your family you are talking about. They want to feel like they can rely on you and have hope for you or they wouldn’t have helped you in the first place.
If you keep these things in mind, whether you are the lender or the borrower, this will keep your family relations at their best. Family is important, and needs to be valued. Therefore, money issues should not be allowed to come between family members.