Get What's Out Of Control Under Control

Jen wants to know the best way to respond to a sibling who is out of control with money and keeps asking Jen for money.

QUESTION: Jen wants to know the best way to respond to a sibling who is out of control with money and keeps asking Jen for money. Dave suggests telling her sibling the truth about trying to get out of debt and not loaning money.

ANSWER: I think you should tell them the truth. You’re trying to get out of debt and you don’t have a lot of extra money lying around. Besides that, since you’re trying to get out of debt, you don’t believe in debt and you don’t loan money to people anymore. If you had some extra money you’d consider giving it to them, but only if you knew they were under control and the money was going to take them somewhere good.

By giving money to someone who is incompetent with money, you have not helped them. By loaning them money, you’ve really not helped them. You can’t continue to participate in someone’s misbehavior. You are not helping them at that point, and you have to love them enough to tell them the truth.

If they start doing positive things with money and you have money to give them, then I would. You might consider some matching plan such as paying $500 toward their debt for every $1,000 they pay off. You can pay that money directly toward the debt, but that’s only if they are on a budget, living on less than they make, and on a plan.