Marriage & Family

Setting Financial Boundaries With Dependent Relatives

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It is alright to help your relative out of a one-time financial jam. However, if this person relies on you on a regular basis, his or her actions are indicative of financial abuse. Stand your ground by setting clear boundaries.


Honesty plays a crucial part in establishing financial boundaries. Begin by identifying the family members who frequently ask you for money. Examine how you really feel about their requests. There are several emotions that you can experience such as frustration and guilt. These emotions can overshadow your judgment of the situation.

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Regardless of what happened in the past, it is time to make a stand for the future of your finances. Do so by addressing your own negative and positive emotions first.


When understanding your financial philosophy, include your personality and lifestyle. Communicate this said philosophy when the dependent relative borrows money. Are you a person who values helping others in ways that do not involve money? As long as you bring your relatives back on their feet, I respect your decision.

Discussing your monetary views is uncomfortable. But, it is something that you must work on. You may take the subtle route by saying: “I wish I could help, but my finances are not allowing me to do that at the moment.” To take the direct route, say: “No! I do not believe in wasting my hard-earned money on that.”


Let me send a wake-up call to you! Avoid feeling pressured to signing a contract or loaning cash just because the other party is your relative. Whether there are two or more people involved in the decision, negotiating is important if all the parties are to succeed.

Highlight what you are willing and not willing to do with your finances. While these people may have good intentions, you need to be fair to yourself and your finances.


Cultivate a habit of having your financial agreements in writing. Protect yourself against legal issues by getting your deals, offers, and other financial agreements in writing. People who respect you and your financial boundaries will not have a problem with this.

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When family members are involved, money is usually tangled with issues. It is up to you to deal with these issues by setting clear boundaries. Feel free to share the positive and negative ways that money has been used in your family.

Sources: 1 & 2

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