People fall into financial difficulties due to understandable reasons, such as sudden job loss or expensive medical bills. During such times, most of them turn to family for assistance. However, it can be difficult to financially support family and yourself.
Many times, in a bid to help, well-meaning family members often end up in a financial abyss. And that begs the question: can you financially support family members in need without compromising your financial future?
Traditionally, financial experts advise us not to jeopardize our financial situation while trying to help others. Although it's great advice, it's easier said than done when dealing with loved ones.
So in this post, we share five ways to financially support family members in need without jeopardizing your financial future.
Don't Be Quick To Say Yes
It's not uncommon to see people agreeing to help a loved one only to retract later. To avoid this situation, take your time to revisit your budget and get a true picture of your financial situation.
It is even wise to speak with your partner or financial adviser before offering to help. This way, both of you can look at your income and expenses in depth.
But if you're in it alone, ask yourself the following:
- Can you comfortably save money and pay your bills if you help out?
- Do you have some extra money to spare?
- Would it affect your relationship if you don't get your money back?
Help Them Budget And Track Spending
Sometimes, people facing financial difficulties forget to monitor their spending. They're so stressed by their current difficulties that they forget a bird in hand is worth two in the bush. If you know how to budget and track your money, help them.
Ask them to open up about their financial situation. Look at their incomes and expenses. Create a budget for them and look for places to either reduce or eliminate expenses.
You may want to show them your budget and how you make smart financial decisions. When you work together, they will learn from their mistakes and realize that financial discipline is not rocket science. And hopefully, they will meet their financial responsibilities without relying heavily on anyone.
Help Them Get Jobs/ Side Hustles
One of the best ways to manage financial challenges is to earn some extra income. If your loved one relies on one job, advise them to get a side hustle. And if they lost their job, help them get another. It’s better to financially support family members by encouraging them to fix the problem, instead of just handing them cash.
There are many ways to get side gigs or jobs. For starters, help them update their resume and upload it on job sites. Advise them to apply for available jobs. And that's not all.
Advise them to visit staffing agencies and use their networks. Also, tell your friends and colleagues about it. When you cast your job-hunt net wide, you increase the chances of helping your loved one secure a job.
Work With Other Family Members
If you must chip in financially, don't do it alone. Talk to your sibling or other close family members. For instance, when supporting aging parents, it's a good idea to share the financial end equally.
Don't leave more responsibilities to a sibling living close to the family member in need. Those who do so end up causing rifts among siblings.
Know When To say No
As difficult as it might be, there are times when it's wise to say no. Sometimes you need to look at for yourself first instead of trying to financially support family members. If your financial situation can't allow you to help or meet the specific request made, learn to say no. The last thing you want to is to end up in the same situation as your loved one.
So if you can't afford, don't feel guilty. Find other ways to help without destroying your safety net.
Family is an important fabric of society. While there is nothing wrong with helping loved ones in need, it's crucial to find the right balance between your financial situation and offering much-needed assistance. With these tips, you can help your loved ones without risking your financial future.