We all love to help our family out with money when they need it. But giving away too much money can leave you without enough to look after yourself.
Lending money to family and friends
If a family member or friend needs to borrow money, it can feel good to help them. They might even help you out with money if you ever need it.
Some people feel pressured to help friends and family with money even when they don't have enough for themselves. 'Humbugging' is when family members regularly ask for money. They may come to you every payday, or ask you to buy them things if they know you have money.
Taking care of your family is a good thing to do. But if you give them all your money, you may struggle to make ends meet and get into debt. And it may mean you can't help them later with big costs, like a fridge, car repairs or medical costs.
Dealing with family pressure about money
See how Uncle Charlie deals with money pressure from his family.
Looking after your money
To help your family now and in the future, look after your money and yourself first.
Do a budget
Creating a budget helps you work out where all your money goes. It can also help you put your money towards things that are important to you. Your budget shows you how much money you have each payday after you pay your bills. You can let your family know they can't ask for more than what's left.
Start your budget today.
Check your bank statements
Look at your bank statements regularly and check which automatic payments are coming out.
Contact your bank or a free financial counsellor if:
- You're making a payment that you don't think you agreed to.
- There are payments coming out and you're not sure what they're for.
Keep your bank statements in a safe and secure place so others can't find them and see how much money is in your account.
Keep your bank card and PIN safe
Store your bank card somewhere only you can find it.
Keep your PIN safe by memorising it. When your bank gives you a bank card and PIN, you sign an agreement promising to keep your PIN a secret. If you tell someone your PIN and money is stolen from your account, the bank will not give your money back.
Track your money with online banking
You can use online banking to transfer money to other people or businesses. Online banking can help you keep track of your money and who you're paying money to. Financial counsellors and financial capability workers can help you set up and show you how to use online banking.
Set up a savings account
You might be trying to save money to buy a car or to buy birthday presents for your kids. It can be hard to do this if you are helping family out with money as well.
If you find it hard to tell a family member you can't give them money, a savings account can help. Savings accounts help your money grow faster. You can set them up so you can't access the saved money on your bank card.
Helping family who are pressured for money
Sometimes people get hassled when they try to stop family or community members pressuring them for money. They may end up giving away money even when they don't really want to. This can leave them with no money to buy food or take care of themselves.
Here are some things you can do to help:
- Contact your local financial counsellor – Talk to them about ways your family member can protect their money.
- Look into an income management service — Contact the Centrelink Indigenous Call Centre on 1800 136 380.
- Get authority to look after their money — If a family member can't protect their money, a trusted person can get authority to look after it. They need to be a trusted legal guardian (which may or may not be you). Talk to your local community legal centre or Legal Aid office about how to best help your family member.
- Contact your local police — Talk to them about protecting your family member. Call your local police station on 13 14 44. If your family member is in danger, call the police emergency line on 000.