Should I Lend My Hard-Earned Money to Family/Friends?

Apart from the daily struggles of work overseas and managing your finances to send back home to your family, there are other things which OFWs concern themselves with when it comes to money matters.

If there’s a list of misconceptions about being an OFW (which can be a good topic for another post), then the first one to make (and probably top) the list would be: All OFWs are rich. But as with any of us working individuals, we know better that nobody becomes rich overnight. And even if someone does hit the jackpot through a lucky turn of events, money could easily slip away your hands like water or sand if not managed properly. Now, going back, since we know that money is considered a finite resource, even for OFWs – the important question is: Should I (OFWs) lend money?

Should I Lend Money to Others?

The quick answer to this question is “it depends”, but more than that, turning down a relative or friend in need is so much harder than we think. However, as it isn’t also a good habit to let your family or friends borrow money from you whenever they need it, here are some things you can do when you (often) find yourself in this situation:

·         Listen and understand their money problems.

Even if you’re just feeling stingy at the moment, it’s not prudent to say no right away. As a friend or family, you need to let your loved ones know that more than your capacity to lend them money; you are someone they can trust with something private such as their issues with finances. Also, it’s important to hear them out first and to know where they intend to use the money for. Based on their reasons, you can better gauge whether or not you should lend them money, or if not, give them helpful financial advice which would benefit them in the long run.

·         Let them know that you’ll have to check your budget first.

Because deciding on the spot without giving things much thought first is not a good habit,  tell your friend or relative that you will have to think about your decision first. Consider everything – your responsibilities to your own family and other things that you need to prioritize. When everything has been laid out properly, do not promise anything yet until you are completely sure that you have extra funds you can shell out to help.

·         Decide whether or not you will lend them money.

Depending on the evaluation of your funds, it’s important to not let your friend or relative wait for too long – a day or two would be fine, but if you have already made up your mind that couldn’t lend them money, best to let them know as soon as you can.

If you do decide to lend your friend or relative the amount they need, make sure that they will use it only for the reason they told you. Additionally, you need to set payment terms and schedule because you need the money for your family as well. Consequently, be ready if ever they fail to pay you back on the agreed date and terms.

However, if you do decide NOT to lend them money, be ready to hear negative reactions from these people. While this is certainly not acceptable in any level or degree, people react differently to rejection so it’s important that you are prepared to deal with that.

The thing is, just be honest about your position in lending money. These people also know that you are working hard overseas for your own family and future. If you are truly in a pinch or on a tight budget, they can’t do anything about it if you couldn’t lend them the amount they need. Besides, there are many ways you can help them out other than through financial means. Always go back to your priorities and weigh your decisions with foresight.

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