When in times of need, family are the first people we turn to. There are so many different situations (loss of job, illness, injury, etc.) that will require one to seek assistance from those they know that they can ask. But, it is important that help is granted in a way so that it will not damage the relationship. Some people are able to assist their family members by giving them money in the form of a gift while others will not be able to afford granting much monetary help at all. If a personal loan is out of the question, say 'no' and consider the suggestions below on how you can offer aid without putting strain on your relationship.

Cash Gift
Many people may prefer to give money as a gift than have to worry about being a bank and collecting their money back like a loan. And, if you are financially able to provide a gift, you'll be helping your family member tremendously as opposed to giving them a loan. Family loans have the ability to generate animosity and hostility. A gift is always going to be a much easier situation than a loan.

Put food in their mouths
Providing a free meal a few times/month is really a big deal and will be greatly appreciated by someone struggling.

Pay Some Bills
Offering to pay a utility, cell phone, mortgage, car loan or any other type of bill will provide some relief for those in a financial bind. Even better would be to pre-pay some bills. Pre-paying will give a nice cushion of potential stability for a few months.

Help Create a Budget
If you have a willing participant, help your family member create a budget. There will be a great deal of trust needed. You are going to have to assure the person you are helping that you are able to be trusted and that you genuinely have their best interest in mind. Many people are financially strapped when they don't have to be and merely need a restructuring of the distribution of their finances.

Provide Employment
If the person you are trying to help is letting their pride get in the way of accepting your generosity, offer them a way for earning money. That can be helping you around the house cleaning, doing laundry, taking care of your landscaping, etc.. No matter what type of money earning opportunity you are offering, make sure you set expectations clearly and establish beforehand how much you are going to pay for the completed job. It is also important that you make it understood as to how you are going to deal with inadequate or unfinished work.

Offer Non-Cash Gifts
Providing cash to someone struggling may not be the best decision, especially if you know that they have a drinking and/or drug problem. You should think about non-cash gifts like gift certificate or gift cards. Giving non-cash gifts will allow you to have much more influence on how the funds are being utilized.

Charitable and/or Government Resources
There are a wide variety of available resources for a struggling individual:

       - Career assistance counselors
       - Job placement agencies
       - Debt counselors - Learn more about our debt counseling program.
       - Welfare agencies

Often, assistance filling out the required forms for getting the needed help is the greatest gift of all. The above types of organizations can help guide your family member in the right path for financial well-being.

Questions to Ask Yourself
Promissory Notes
Borrowing from Family
10 Reasons Not to Lend to Friends






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