Q: Hindi ma-gets ng family ko if hesitant akong magpautang. Some of my friends also get annoyed when I say na wala sa budget ko yung gusto nilang gawin. I'm really trying to save money. It's hard 'cause I'm the breadwinner, so I even take on side jobs just to build my emergency fund. But I feel guilty whenever these conversations come up. What do I do?
We get it, it's really hard to say no to family and friends, especially when they're in need. Even Charm de Leon of Ready2AdultPH, whose passion is personal finance, struggles with this. Borrowing money is so ingrained in our culture that for some, it almost feels "normal" when it happens with relatives.
How to set money boundaries
Charm told Cosmopolitan in an exclusive interview, "What I do, personally, is I don't let people borrow money that I can't afford to lose. That's something that I'm practicing because of course, you'll seem like the bad guy, e, 'cause you won't 'help' them. At the same time, I struggle with it because I also don't feel comfortable when I'm okay and the people around me are not—financially." Advice that people give her, which she tries to remember every time the guilt sets in, is if you're always there to lend them money, they'll never learn. "Because they know they have a safety net. They know they can just depend on you. It's actually also harmful because you might not be helping them. You might be making it worse kasi they won't be able to stand on their own two feet."
Learning how to say no is something that can help you protect your mental health. She said, "If they're really the type of person who is small-minded, like they're not very understanding, no matter what you say, no matter how nice you say it, they are going to say you're madamot. They're going to tell you that you're kuripot or walang utang na loob. They're really going to say those things. That's the reality. You can't change how they react to it, but it's something you have to prepare yourself for."
Hear more from Cosmo Coach Charm de Leon:
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