What to Say to Someone Who is Having Money Problems

by Shelly Burke, RN

Wondering what to say to someone who is having money problems? Or how you can help them? These guidelines outline what you should say and what you can do as well as what not to say or do.

Money problems are embarrassing, no doubt about it. What do you say to someone who is having money problems? If you know someone who is having money problems (and who doesn’t?), here are some ways to reassure her and help out without embarrassing your friend or acquaintance.

What to Say

“Almost everyone has money problems at some point; we did too a few years ago.”

If you’d like to do something with your friend, but know her finances are tight, take the pressure off and say, “Let’s go to the craft fair this weekend. My treat!”

To help by giving her food or something else she needs, without embarrassing her, use one of these phrases: “I went on a cooking kick and made four casseroles today. I thought you might enjoy a day of not having to cook, so I brought you one!” “I was cleaning out my freezer and found some stuff that needs to be eaten before it gets too old. We’ll never eat it all, so here’s some for you.” “I cleaned out the kids’ closet; we found some clothes that I think will fit your kids.”

If the person is embarrassed or does not want to accept your gift, say, “Someone helped me when I was having money problems, and I promised to pass on the favor.” (If this is indeed true. If not, just say this last part.) “I’m able to do this for you now; when you are able, I hope you’ll pass it on by helping someone who needs it.”

Little Luxuries

Subscribe to The Dollar Stretcher, our free weekly newsletter aimed at helping you live better for less on the money you already have!

Subscribers get a copy of our ebook Little Luxuries: 130 Ways to Live Better...For Less for FREE!

Your Email:

Subscribe to The Dollar Stretcher, our free weekly newsletter aimed at helping you live better for less on the money you already have! And get a copy of our ebook Little Luxuries: 130 Ways to Live Better...For Less for FREE!

Your Email:

What Not to Say

“What did you do to get yourself into this mess?”

“I can’t believe you did that?”

“Why did you buy that if you’re short of money?”

“Here is exactly what you need to do.”

What to Do

If you know of job opportunities, mention them, but without the expectation that the person “should” take the job.

Give the person information on low-cost housing, insurance, etc., as needed for the situation. Be tactful and matter-of-fact about it. Say something like, “I heard about this great program for insurance for kids of parents who are having financial troubles. Here is the phone number.”

Give the person or family a gift card to a local grocery or department store. If you think they would be embarrassed by your gift, mail it anonymously.

What Not to Do

Do not offer clothes, furniture, monetary, or any other help unless you are able to give unconditionally, without expectation of how the person will use what you give him.

Do not continue to enable someone who is not willing to fix the problem. If you repeatedly help a friend and she squanders what you give her, makes no effort to improve her situation, or you do not approve of her lifestyle (which contributes to her financial troubles), help only by offering your support in words, not with money or things.

Reviewed July 2019

Little Luxuries

Subscribe to The Dollar Stretcher, our free weekly newsletter aimed at helping you live better for less on the money you already have!

Subscribers get a copy of our ebook Little Luxuries: 130 Ways to Live Better...For Less for FREE!

Your Email:

Follow Us

Little Luxuries

Subscribe to The Dollar Stretcher, our free weekly newsletter aimed at helping you live better for less on the money you already have!

Subscribers get a copy of our ebook Little Luxuries: 130 Ways to Live Better...For Less for FREE!

Your Email:

3 Questions to Test Your Financial Literacy

Most young Americans can’t correctly answer these 3 financial literacy questions. Can you at your stage of life or is a lack of knowledge costing you?

When and How to Make a Consumer Complaint

No doubt you’ve returned an item or two this year and asked for a refund. But what do you do when your purchase is not as advertised or defective and the company will not allow an exchange or give a refund?

Watch Out for These Credit Repair Red Flags

Do you have a poor credit score? Watch out for these credit repair red flags. Don’t let a credit repair company steal your money and make a bad financial situation worse.

The Advantages of Working Remotely: Is It Right for You?

While remote work has some great perks, it isn’t for everyone. We look at the pros of working from home and the cons of working alone.

11 Ways to Save at Home Depot

Everybody has at least one home DIY project they’d like to get done! Why not do it as cheaply as possible?

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This