Do I Bail Her Out?

Cindy's youngest child is asking to be bailed out of a situation. Cindy isn't sure if she should give her a loan or just give her the money and give the two other children the same amount.

QUESTION: Cindy in Texas is calling because her youngest child is asking to be bailed out of a situation. Cindy isn’t sure if she should give her a loan or just give her the money and give the two other children the same amount. Dave tells Cindy she doesn’t have to give this kid any money.

ANSWER: I would never loan money to a relative or friend. It changes the relationship. The borrower is slave to the lender. I’m okay with not giving her any money. If your husband has, then it’s too late.

I would have made the gift of money contingent on her going through Financial Peace University and behaving with a budget and making some of the steps she needs to make to straighten up her life. That way, you’re not giving a drunk a drink. She has made no distinction between this being a gift and it being a loan.

You are the only one who has made that distinction because all she did was get bailed out. All she knows is that her stress and frustration are gone. It may be too late to put the strings on it. One way you could do that is to do away with this as a debt and just make it a gift. If I were you, the only way I’d do that is to make it a gift if she goes through Financial Peace University. Then don’t do that again.