I've been working full time for about 3 years, part time since my poly and uni days, started to do FD and built up my savings quite significantly by being frugal. Now my family member has some debt and needs money. Any advice? - Seedly
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Anonymous

Asked on 03 Aug 2020

I've been working full time for about 3 years, part time since my poly and uni days, started to do FD and built up my savings quite significantly by being frugal. Now my family member has some debt and needs money. Any advice?

Is it selfish to feel that all that I have saved will gone to naught? This thought keeps me so occupied that I dare not spend now and try to forgo meals.

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Sharon
Sharon, Corporate Communications at A Public Listed Company
Level 7. Grand Master
Updated on 04 Aug 2020

I think first and foremost, good to sit down and discuss it with this family member. Basically, it is to have a common understanding that this is your money that you're talking about, and the gravity of returning the sum.

If he/she understands it, over time there may be lapses. So if you decide to lend money to the person, be prepared that you may not get back whatever is lent, should you decide to preserve this family relationship.

However, if you feel this person's character is questionable (i.e. does not respect the relationship) but still want to ensure you get back your money after lending, I'd suggest to get free legal advice and maybe see if it's reasonable to draft a legal document to enforce repayments, as well as understand what will happen in terms of cost and proceedings, if this borrower doesn't repay.

The person may think twice of borrowing from you, if he/she needs to sign a legal document, because the issue now has more weight to it and it is a legal one at that. If he/she decides to proceed, it will give you a piece of mind.

https://www.lawsocprobono.org/pages/community-legal-clinic.aspx

Do not let anyone treat you in a way you do not want to be treated, not even family.​​​

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Loh Tat Tian
Loh Tat Tian
Level 8. Wizard
Answered on 04 Aug 2020

I think if you really want to, take a wholistic view point on understanding what is being achieved and done for each individual

(1) could the savings you had, is due to the person's unseen contribution?

(2) Are there better ways to spend and repay debt, that each failed to see?

(3) Could the family unit work better and hence save together, instead of getting into debt?

Are they even open up to it?

If the answers are unmotivating, then naturally i feel i would be selfish too. Because the aim is a everyone gains, and not win - lose kind of issues.

Everyone also has their vices, me included. I will spend on gaming (about $10, which to me is unnecessary as a need, and very much a want).

So be selfish enough (because some debts can never be repaid, and the debt ridden person needs to know).

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Hi there,

Firstly, congratulations on saving for yourself. You are not wrong to feel that way, why should you lend out your money, since you worked so hard for it. If it were anyone else, you would not have given a 2nd thought about it.

I think it is a direct family member, its good to sit him down with the relevant parties to get an action plan on how to repay his/her debt. There is no point lending out your money if you know its going to make the person worse off.

Try not to put too much weight onto it, unless it is a matter that affects you directly.​​​

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