What do you do when a friend needs money? I've been contacted twice in the last year by friend/relatives needing money to make the rent/mortgage/etc. Where do you draw the line? I'm conflicted.
1. Its only money
2. Is the gift/loan just going to prolong the eventual eviction/foreclosure? Are they living within their means? Do they have a realistic budget? Am I just paying for their cable/cellphone/satellite tv? Is this for a one-time cost or are they going to need money again in a month?
3. Any money I give out I've got to expect I'm not going to actually get back. If they can't make their bills now, then they are not going to be able to make their bills and pay me back.
4. These people are my friend and I want to help.
5. If I don't help and they get stuck on the street/etc can I live with the guilt?
6. Any money I give out impacts my ability to reach my goals(college for my kids, retirement, etc).
7. Are they unemployed and just sitting around or have they thrown away their pride and taken on any type of work available(McDonald's, yard work, etc).
8. Have they really tapped out their own resources? Do they have a bunch of cash sitting in their 401k? Do they have a bunch of electronics, etc which could be sold?
9. Do they have anything to be used as collateral to encourage payback of the loan?
10. Are they willing to be totally open about their financial situation with me? Can I see their budget, bills, etc?
I'm losing sleep over this and as Emily said you aren't supposed to lose sleep over other people's problems.