I recently received my Big Money and all of a sudden I have a bunch of people asking for favors, loans, and handouts (like my Uncle Pat who I haven’t seen since I was practically in diapers and my buddy Arnold who thinks that buying several VIP tickets to see Metallica is a great “investment”). I’ve been helping a lot of them out because I don’t want to come across as stingy but it’s getting old. I have friends in the same boat as me (and trust me, the water is pretttttty choppy) and some have loaned out over $20,000 that I don’t think will ever be paid back. What should I do?
If someone had to win an award for being a stand-up person, you would win the prize. Ah, I can see the trophy now, just glistening in the late afternoon sun before evening grand entry. It’s great that you have a generous spirit and want to help others but there has to be a limit to your generosity or you’ll burn through all your cash quicker than Kim Kardashian stayed married to Kris Humphries!!! It’s hard to tell people “No,” especially when it’s a good friend or family member. So, Instead of saying no to them, have someone else do it. A few months ago a pro football player came to talk to a group of Native youth who were about to receive their Big Money and he had the very same issue. His solution has been to direct all requests for loans and financial favors to his mother. He will say, “Sorry, but my mother is my personal accountant. You’ll have to ask her.” This way he doesn’t have to feel guilty saying no, and it turns out people are a lot less comfortable asking his mom for money than when they were asking him. Go figure! Find a person who you can trust to handle all those requests in the same way the athlete’s mom handles his. Just make sure it’s not your Uncle Pat!