Helping Out Family Members, Friends

Huntn

macrumors demi-god
Original poster
May 5, 2008
17,082
16,605
The Misty Mountains
There is probably another related thread, but I could not find it.

Have you ever gotten a request from a family member or friend for a “loan” (wink, wink) and actually got paid back? My history in this matter has been mostly negative. I have been paid back, but more times than not, it has not worked out and it’s happening again. The wild card is my spouse who is a generous soul, even when the odds are bad. This person already defaulted on a previous loan about 12 years ago, and this time, she decided she is bored in her marriage and wants out.

He is not a bad person, devoted father, when he has time, but works 6 days a week, long hours, so he has little free time. And some of their family seems to suffer from the grass is greener Syndrome when it comes to marriage. As soon as I heard this, I saw the writing and told my wife, I did not want to finance her divorce. But then my wife, the pseudo bank, gets a call, and I am the only thing protesting handing over about $4000 to help “consolidate her debt”, actually pay her debt for her. :rolleyes::oops:

Again, it’s supposed to be a loan. Yes, I can afford it, but it just puts a bad taste in my mouth. And yes, I have been called stingy, but I have given substantial sums of money as gifts in the past for special reasons. Anyway, it’s depressing, and I’m not planning on being paid back. The bright side, is that if this arrangment is honored all is well, and if it is not, it will be the last “loan”.
 

keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,472
24,228
Yeah don't lend money to friends or family. It's awkward getting it back and you come across as a money-hungry blimp if you have to awkwardly ask for it.

That said, I do lend money to friends or family but they tend to be the generous sort who I know will pay it back, because that's just the sort of people they are.

Once when I was younger, 10 or so, I lent money to my friend's older brother who asked for some. It was only 20p for the vending machine so he could grab a chocolate bar. He didn't pay it back in 2 weeks so I asked him for it back and he told me bluntly that he'd kick the **** out of me if I asked him again.

I went home and told my Mum with watery-eyes about the story, but she said "it was only 20p, why would you care?"

Well maybe cause you didn't give me any pocket money for chores, you tight-fisted hag. And yes, looking back, it was only 20p. But I learnt a valuable lesson from that. People are pricks.
 

Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
45,584
30,783
The Far Horizon
There is probably another related thread, but I could not find it.

Have you ever gotten a request from a family member or friend for a “loan” (wink, wink) and actually got paid back? My history in this matter has been mostly negative. I have been paid back, but more times than not, it has not worked out and it’s happening again. The wild card is my spouse who is a generous soul, even when the odds are bad. This person already defaulted on a previous loan about 12 years ago, and this time, she decided she is bored in her marriage and wants out.

He is not a bad person, devoted father, when he has time, but works 6 days a week, long hours, so he has little free time. And some of their family seems to suffer from the grass is greener Syndrome when it comes to marriage. As soon as I heard this, I saw the writing and told my wife, I did not want to finance her divorce. But then my wife, the pseudo bank, gets a call, and I am the only thing protesting handing over about $4000 to help “consolidate her debt”, actually pay her debt for her. :rolleyes::oops:

Again, it’s supposed to be a loan. Yes, I can afford it, but it just puts a bad taste in my mouth. And yes, I have been called stingy, but I have given substantial sums of money as gifts in the past for special reasons. Anyway, it’s depressing, and I’m not planning on being paid back. The bright side, is that if this arrangment is honored all is well, and if it is not, it will be the last “loan”.
I would imagine that the "boredom" in her marriage is a long time coming, and, unless she has a lover lined up, I don't buy the "faraway hills are greener" perspective.

Usually, that is not how middle aged women think; rather, they think, "I've endured this (tedium, emotional unavailability, lack of support) forever, and have had enough; I want to live the rest of my life on my terms, now that the kids have grown up."

The key question now is how close (in kinship and friendship) this person is to your wife. And whether it will have an impact on your wife, and her perception of, and relationship with, you.

I have also noticed a grudging tolerance sometimes - segueing into barely masked resentment at other times - at from men when relatives on their wife's side show signs of neediness, - and their wife attempts to respond to this - but who are more than happy to indulge (or tolerate) such conduct when it comes from their own relatives.
 
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Huntn

macrumors demi-god
Original poster
May 5, 2008
17,082
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The Misty Mountains
I would imagine that the "boredom" in her marriage is a long time coming, and, unless she has a lover lined up, I don't buy the "faraway hills are greener" perspective.

Usually, that is not how middle aged women think; rather, they think, "I've endured this (tedium, emotional unavailability, lack of support) forever, and have had enough; I want to live the rest of my life on my terms, now that the kids have grown up."

The key question now is how close (in kinship and friendship) this person is to your wife. And whether it will have an impact on your wife, and her perception of, and relationship with, you.

I have also noticed a grudging tolerance sometimes - segueing into barely masked resentment at other times - at from men when relatives on their wife's side show signs of neediness, - and their wife attempts to respond to this - but who are more than happy to indulge (or tolerate) such conduct when it comes from their own relatives.
He works in the restaurant business which demand long hours of it’s kitchen personnel. He supports them when he is there and not asleep, he is engaged with his kids. She works too.

I think part of the problem are two income families where the parents rarely see each other. It’s a grind to maintain that “ideal” standard of living. As far as I know, there is not a third party luring her away. Everyone in the family has counciled her not to break up, because with a house payment, her finances even with child support will become much more difficult and things might not be as rosey as she imagines it will be. She cuts hair, which is not a high income job and she has just taken on a second job, and the kids, 4 of them, 3 are not grown up.

Me and the wife are good. :)
 
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Mousse

macrumors 68020
Apr 7, 2008
2,047
2,687
Flea Bottom, King's Landing
I follow the advise of Polonius from Hamlet.
Neither a borrower nor a lender be,
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
For y'all who don't speak Shakespeare: Don't lend money, don't borrow money from friends. Because more often than not, you lose both the friendship and money. And borrowing money tends to turn one into a spendthrift.

Having said that, I will "lend" money to family and friends, but I don't expect repayment. It's a gift for them in a time of need, but I call it a loan as to not bruise their pride.
 

shinji

macrumors 65816
Mar 18, 2007
1,306
1,497
There is probably another related thread, but I could not find it.

Have you ever gotten a request from a family member or friend for a “loan” (wink, wink) and actually got paid back? My history in this matter has been mostly negative. I have been paid back, but more times than not, it has not worked out and it’s happening again. The wild card is my spouse who is a generous soul, even when the odds are bad. This person already defaulted on a previous loan about 12 years ago, and this time, she decided she is bored in her marriage and wants out.

He is not a bad person, devoted father, when he has time, but works 6 days a week, long hours, so he has little free time. And some of their family seems to suffer from the grass is greener Syndrome when it comes to marriage. As soon as I heard this, I saw the writing and told my wife, I did not want to finance her divorce. But then my wife, the pseudo bank, gets a call, and I am the only thing protesting handing over about $4000 to help “consolidate her debt”, actually pay her debt for her. :rolleyes::oops:

Again, it’s supposed to be a loan. Yes, I can afford it, but it just puts a bad taste in my mouth. And yes, I have been called stingy, but I have given substantial sums of money as gifts in the past for special reasons. Anyway, it’s depressing, and I’m not planning on being paid back. The bright side, is that if this arrangment is honored all is well, and if it is not, it will be the last “loan”.
If you agree to this, she may take it as carte blanche to ask for more money. Sounds like that's what already happened, given the loan from 12 years ago.
 

NT1440

macrumors G5
May 18, 2008
12,141
13,999
I follow the advise of Polonius from Hamlet.

For y'all who don't speak Shakespeare: Don't lend money, don't borrow money from friends. Because more often than not, you lose both the friendship and money. And borrowing money tends to turn one into a spendthrift.

Having said that, I will "lend" money to family and friends, but I don't expect repayment. It's a gift for them in a time of need, but I call it a loan as to not bruise their pride.
That's exactly my approach. If I'm a position to give, and they're in a position of need, I give them the money and never mention it again. IF they feel like paying me back, great, but it all washes out in the end among good friends.
 
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scubachap

macrumors regular
Aug 30, 2016
127
176
UK
I have experience of this and have learn't the following...

I think the questions are - if everything goes according to plan - will it work for them in one hit (as opposed to just some extra short term income)? And, can I afford it? If so, can I afford not to do it? (What are the consequences if I don't, are kids, other relatives going to suffer if the person goes down the tubes financially etc etc).

If you do it, it has to be a gift. You also have to bring the big bazooka and sort the problem. It's no good stalling the situation with a 'part-payment'. If you do that it (they?) will back but worse...

While you are doing it make it crystal clear it won't happen again, and then be stoical about it and seriously, don't expect or ask for gratitude afterwards. (You won't get it as everyone will be embarrassed, and the person/people concerned will, in their heart of hearts, be able to justify what's happened as an act of fate and you sorting it out is sort of fate righting itself!).
 

Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
45,584
30,783
The Far Horizon
I have experience of this and have learn't the following...

I think the questions are - if everything goes according to plan - will it work for them in one hit (as opposed to just some extra short term income)? And, can I afford it? If so, can I afford not to do it? (What are the consequences if I don't, are kids, other relatives going to suffer if the person goes down the tubes financially etc etc).

If you do it, it has to be a gift. You also have to bring the big bazooka and sort the problem. It's no good stalling the situation with a 'part-payment'. If you do that it (they?) will back but worse...

While you are doing it make it crystal clear it won't happen again, and then be stoical about it and seriously, don't expect or ask for gratitude afterwards. (You won't get it as everyone will be embarrassed, and the person/people concerned will, in their heart of hearts, be able to justify what's happened as an act of fate and you sorting it out is sort of fate righting itself!).
Very good post.
 
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Huntn

macrumors demi-god
Original poster
May 5, 2008
17,082
16,605
The Misty Mountains
If you agree to this, she may take it as carte blanche to ask for more money. Sounds like that's what already happened, given the loan from 12 years ago.
Seriously, it is possible to help out family members in difficulty and still set boundaries for the future.
That is one reason I call it a loan, because if it is not paid back, there will be no more... maybe. ;)

I need to correct my previous statement, the loan 12 years ago was not a loan, but co-signing on a loan and we were left on the hook for the last $700 of it, when she stopped paying it. About 7 years ago, she asked us to co-sign on a mortgage. That did not happen, would never happen. And about 3 years ago, we gave them the majority of a down payment for a home purchase. So there is a history here. I tell my wife she is the bank, which she does not deny.
 

Gutwrench

Contributor
Jan 2, 2011
3,923
9,052
Yes, I’ve received requests for help ... I think most everyone has. I typically will help but not always in the form of money to bail them out.

I believe in independence and looking within yourself for solutions first and foremost.
 
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Apple fanboy

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 21, 2012
32,831
22,669
Behind the Lens, UK
I’ve never had anyone ask me for money that I can recall. But I have a very small family. Even smaller that I still see.

I have given monetary gifts to friends I know are struggling to make ends meet. But never loaned them money.
 

Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
45,584
30,783
The Far Horizon
I think that the thread title is more accurate ('helping out friends and family') than is the idea of describing giving money to family members in need as "a loan".

In those circumstances, it is rarely "a loan" - that term is used to save face and blushes, but rather, is a 'gift'.

There is nothing wrong with giving such gifts, but, equally, there is nothing wrong with setting boundaries and conditions on the giving of future "gifts".
 

ZStech

Suspended
Feb 3, 2019
150
31
There is probably another related thread, but I could not find it.

Have you ever gotten a request from a family member or friend for a “loan” (wink, wink) and actually got paid back? My history in this matter has been mostly negative. I have been paid back, but more times than not, it has not worked out and it’s happening again. The wild card is my spouse who is a generous soul, even when the odds are bad. This person already defaulted on a previous loan about 12 years ago, and this time, she decided she is bored in her marriage and wants out.

He is not a bad person, devoted father, when he has time, but works 6 days a week, long hours, so he has little free time. And some of their family seems to suffer from the grass is greener Syndrome when it comes to marriage. As soon as I heard this, I saw the writing and told my wife, I did not want to finance her divorce. But then my wife, the pseudo bank, gets a call, and I am the only thing protesting handing over about $4000 to help “consolidate her debt”, actually pay her debt for her. :rolleyes::oops:

Again, it’s supposed to be a loan. Yes, I can afford it, but it just puts a bad taste in my mouth. And yes, I have been called stingy, but I have given substantial sums of money as gifts in the past for special reasons. Anyway, it’s depressing, and I’m not planning on being paid back. The bright side, is that if this arrangment is honored all is well, and if it is not, it will be the last “loan”.
I'm giving a percent from my salary to my family every month :) They need them more that I do. I always but some stuff I do not really need.
 

user_xyz

macrumors regular
Nov 30, 2018
189
127
Yeah don't lend money to friends or family. It's awkward getting it back and you come across as a money-hungry blimp if you have to awkwardly ask for it.

That said, I do lend money to friends or family but they tend to be the generous sort who I know will pay it back, because that's just the sort of people they are.

Once when I was younger, 10 or so, I lent money to my friend's older brother who asked for some. It was only 20p for the vending machine so he could grab a chocolate bar. He didn't pay it back in 2 weeks so I asked him for it back and he told me bluntly that he'd kick the **** out of me if I asked him again.

I went home and told my Mum with watery-eyes about the story, but she said "it was only 20p, why would you care?"

Well maybe cause you didn't give me any pocket money for chores, you tight-fisted hag. And yes, looking back, it was only 20p. But I learnt a valuable lesson from that. People are pricks.
Yea I don't lend money ever but sometimes give a "Donation".