Ask Dave Ramsey Healthy Finance

Dave Says: Neither a borrower nor a lender be.

Written by Dave Ramsey

Parents’ loan strains bond

Dear Dave,

I borrowed some money from my parents and it took a few months longer to pay them back than originally planned. Since then, I’ve noticed our relationship seems strained. They sometimes make remarks about money when I’m around, and it’s obvious the things they say are aimed at me. I don’t want things to be like this between us during the holidays. I have taken steps to become more financially responsible, like watching my spending and living on a budget. How can I address this issue with them?


Dear Robbie,

I’m sorry you’re going through this, but I hope everyone has learned a valuable lesson. It’s OK to give money sometimes, as long as you’re not enabling irresponsible behavior in the process. But loaning money to or borrowing from friends and relatives often will lead to bruised feelings.

If you paid them back, especially if it took longer than expected or agreed upon, there’s not much you can do if they choose to hold a grudge. With some folks, it just takes a little while for those kinds of things to heal. And considering it’s your parents, my guess is they’ll become more and more forgiving with time.

Until then, maybe you could look for opportunities during conversations with them to mention your new approach to finances. Something as simple as referring to your budget or getting excited about how much you put into savings from your last paycheck, might get their attention. A few subtle hints that you’re actively working to gain control of your finances might go a long way with your parents.

If they realize you’re starting to handle your money more wisely, I’ll bet you’d start to notice a real difference in their attitudes!


About the author

Dave Ramsey

Dave Ramsey is a personal money management expert, a national radio personality, and best-selling author of The Total Money Makeover. Ramsey earned his Bachelor of Science in Finance and Real Estate from the University of Tennessee. A frequent speaker around the country at large-scale live events, he has a nationally syndicated talk show, The Dave Ramsey Show.

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