A Money Coach in Canada

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Quite some time back, a fellow blogger posed the same question (if I could remember who or when, I’d link). To my surprise the resounding response was NO! These ranged from people who wanted to protect the relationship by not lending money to some pretty strong comments about not lending money since it was the other person’s problem, not theirs.

I felt sad after reading the comments (and there were dozens).

It seems to me that if we are able to help someone else out in their hour of need, especially if they are close to us, why wouldn’t we? And what’s the point of accumulating some wealth if it’s not, at least in part, to be able to extend some of the goodness to people we care about?

I’ve been fortunate in my family and friendships, I guess. It doesn’t happen routinely, but most definitely we’ve supported one another financially over the decades. I helped my brother get his first car (a snazzy Toyota MR-6, remember those?) when he was a youth. He later helped me out when I needed a computer. My parents helped me a bit when I bought my first place. I helped them out when something unexpected happened. A friend who believed in my and my vision helped me out when my business was at a low point in its cash-flow. I later helped another friend out down the road.

Obviously the amount and the repayment agreement were proportionate to the strength of the relationship. And to my knowledge I’ve never been asked for help that was a result of an addiction.

But as a rule of thumb, I think my close friends, and I sure hope my family, knows that if it came to it, I’d help out without blinking an eye.

Readers: do you see this as a “good fences make good neighbours” situation? ie., don’t bring money into the relationship? Or do you agree with me that helping people close to us out is part of the reason to have money in the first place?

About the Author


Imagine if Canadians were known for being all over their money. Engaged. Proactive. Getting out of debt. Savvy. Saving. Generous. Nancy wants to help. Nancy started her own journey with money over 15 years ago, and formed her company “Your Money by Design” in 2004 to help others along the same path. It’s not the usual financial advising/investment stuff. It’s about taking control of day-to-day finances –managing monthly cashflow effectively, spending appropriately, getting out of debt, saving. If you're ready to take control over your finances, pop by her business site, YourMoneybyDesign.com

6 Comments

  1. Bea Scott

    I have recently been burned when lending out money and have lost a good friendship in the process. This hasn’t always happened and I won’t stop helping but i will be more mindful in helping. I think the lesson is “is when you lend, you are giving.” The money may not come back to you.R U OK with this? If it isn’t, than do not not lend the money.

    [Reply]

    nancy (aka moneycoach) Reply:

    I have mixed emotions on this and am still thinking it through – ie. the “when you lend, you are giving”. I think that diminishes the other person in a way – kind of like not having any expectations of them. I would almost prefer, “If I don’t think I’ll get it back, I won’t lend it”. I obviously don’t mean here when the other person is in a truly difficult situation and it may take a while, or may never occur because of the difficult situation. But if someone needs a bit of help and I think they *could* but *might not* pay it back, I think I’d just not lend it. I’m not convinced of my position here though. Thought provoking. And I’m sorry you lost a good friendship Bea.

    [Reply]

    Feb 19, 2011
  2. Nancy, I generally agree with your viewpoint that one of the reasons to have money, is so that you are able to help others. I would (and have) lent money to family who suddenly found themselves in a situation of need and probably do it again.

    But, I’ve also seen the negative side of lending money to family, where the receiver takes for granted the loan and instead treats it as a gift, even when the lender doesn’t agree. Or, where someone repeatedly is making the same financial mistakes over and over and getting repeatedly bailed out by their loved ones.

    The factors that influence my decision are: circumstances of their need (did they see it coming and ignore it? or is it truly something unexpected), purpose of the money being lent, and the amount of money (can I afford to lose it?). For my closest friends and family I would know all of the information as it unfolded and be able to make a very quick decision if/when the need arose.

    [Reply]

    nancy (aka moneycoach) Reply:

    Money is always so much more than *about money* isn’t it Jennifer. And bailing out -yes, absolutely, lending can be enabling then, not equipping. Like you, it’s always been between me and close friends where I’ve had a very strong confidence that I’d be repaid in time (and was). Presumably the folks who helped me out had that same confidence about me (and of course I did!). See my comments to Bea, too.

    [Reply]

    Feb 19, 2011
  3. Gina

    Over the years I have loaned thousands of dollars to friends and family, and to this day have not seen hide no hair of it….I agree with Bea, a lesson learned over 40 years, when lending you are actually giving, don’t expect to get it back. Lesson learned, not giving anymore…..

    [Reply]

    nancy (aka moneycoach) Reply:

    really sorry to hear you got so burned, Gina. Giving and receiving should be a joyful and equipping experience. Clearly the recipients really dropped the ball and didn’t get it.

    [Reply]

    Feb 19, 2011

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