Learn to Say No to Borrowers While Dodging the Guilt Hammer


We’ve all dealt with our share of financially inept friends and relatives who prefer to live in their own short-sighted bubble or simply prefer lazing around mooching off someone else’s wealth. They may be good people, but lack the courtesy needed to be followed in giving and taking money. Unfortunately, this becomes quite a dilemma for those of us who are forced to cut past empathy with cold rationale. As a result, we often end up letting them borrow money from us knowing very well that it’s not going to be a loan.

There may also be times in which you really need the money for yourself and do not have enough to lend it to them but get you get stuck as you do not want to come off as rude as it might hamper the relationship you share with them.

Here are a few ways to turn down money requests without offending anyone because your money is your money so you get to decide what to do with it.

  1. Do Not Exaggerate

If you genuinely cannot or do not want to give money to someone close to you, you do not need to give them lengthy explanations. Lengthy explanations usually come out of guilt – you do not need to feel guilty about deciding what to do with your money. You have earned it by working hard after all. Lengthy explanations also sound like you are making an excuse so keep it short and simple. If they are really your friends, they will understand that sometimes one just cannot.

  1. Be Courteous

Contrary to popular social perception, turning down a money request is not a synonym of being rude. There are people who sometimes genuinely need help and ask for it out of desperation but if you cannot give it, do not make the other person feel bad about asking for it. Just politely decline the request.

  1. Start a foundation

If someone needs a considerable sum of money for a medical purpose and you really want to help but just cannot, you can start a foundation, especially for those blessed with a fortune. Most experts suggest you’ll need to start with at least $1 million.

  1. Understand what you can and cannot afford

If you are not rich enough to start a foundation but you really want to play a part in helping the society and donating money to good causes, start thinking like a foundation.

You may decide to set apart a particular amount annually to help out friends and family of donate it for a good cause.

This way you will not feel that it becomes a bit of a burden to help others out; instead you will feel good about contributing to the well being of your society.

  1. Be firm

There are a lot of organizations that keep calling for donations. They keep calling again and again irrespective of whether you have already donated or not. Do not hesitate to say no multiple times if you cannot or do not want to donate. And you do not even need to tell them that you will gather funds and donate later under pressure.

Just make the donation later, whenever you can. Always remember, if they do not feel embarrassed to call again and again to ask for the same thing, you do not need to be embarrassed about giving the same answer every time.

  1. Offer advice instead

Usually when it is someone close to you who asks for money, you really do want to help them out but unfortunately cannot. You might give them some ideas or advice as to how they can raise money. They might or might not be listening to you but at least it shows your concern.

  1. Time is as valuable as money

If helping others out is your thing but lending money is not, you can always volunteer to give them your time. For example, if an organization calls you regarding some donation, you can always tell them that you would like to help them out with other day to day operations. Or help a friend or a relative out by putting up a garage sale with them.

Hence, there are plenty of ways to cop out of money requests when you cannot afford it or think that it is a bad idea to start with. It isn’t possible for all of us to casually shower money upon people, especially when you have to contend with the excessive living costs of Singapore. 

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