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How to Support Your Family Financially During a Time of Crisis

During times of crisis, we may feel the need to help our loved ones overcome financial difficulties if they have been affected. Helping to support close family members goes a long way and if you are in a position to help, you would want to support them any way you can. But how can you help support your family financially without hurting your own finances in the process?

Some ways to support your family in times of crisis without breaking the bank

During hardships, it’s important to help close family members who may be struggling. As much as you would like to help your entire family, this may not be the best decision for your finances. Before anything, take a moment to consider who is your immediate family and who may need help the most.

Before helping, have a conversation with your family and figure out some ways you could help. If a family member is having a financial problem, have a conversation first, and make sure everything is clear to avoid awkward situations in the future. Let them know whether the money you are giving them is a loan or an outright cash gift. Decide how much you can afford to give without putting at risk your own finances.

How and when to say no to family members asking for money

Saying no is really important if you are not in a position to spend. A good rule of thumb would be to help struggling family members with necessities and not luxuries. For example, you could help by covering their food or medical expenses, but if a family member asks for help for a clothing purchase then that can probably wait.

You need to keep your own finances in place, and saying no does not mean you won’t help ever - you are simply not in a position to give money and they must understand that. Learning how to say no without damaging relationships, in this case, will go a long way.

Creative ways to support your family during a crisis:

  • If you can’t help your family financially, have a conversation with them, and figure out some ways you can offer support. Perhaps you can let them move in for some time, while they get back on their feet.
  • If you have any senior family members you can help them by doing groceries for them, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic where we want to keep them safe at home.
  • You can offer help with their job search by providing counsel, updating their resume, or simply connecting them with opportunities that may come your way.
  • If you have experience using a budget to manage your own money, you can help them set up a budget of their own and come up with a bill-paying plan. Figure out the money coming in, their expenses and help them get a handle on their financial situation.

Whichever way you help your family, let them know you care for them and are doing anything you can. If you can’t help financially, there are some other ways you can help. At the end of the day, it matters if you were able to help in any way possible, and without breaking your own finances in the process.

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