Are You The Financial Fallback Girl or Guy?

Are You The Financial Fallback Girl or Guy?

February 04, 2020

I believe that what we do and put out in the universe comes back to us. One of the best things about building wealth is knowing that you now have the means necessary to give to others and causes. Giving, like milk, does the body good! Nothing can substitute the feeling you get when you change the life of another person. There should be, however, a limit to giving, when it is at the expense of your livelihood and financial future.

I am not sure what is in the atmosphere, but recently I've encountered two small business owners who were frustrated because they were not building wealth at the level they wanted, considering their income level. After a discussion I had with both business owners, it became crystal clear that both of them were financial enablers. They were the fallback person in their families when someone needed money. Both had at one time or another dipped into their retirement money to rescue someone else. The guilt of saying "No" carried a heavier weight than the joy of financial freedom.

If you are a frequent giver, but understand the importance of building your financial future, set a few boundaries for people who always think of you as their bank. 

1. Don't be a frequent lender; become a one time giver.  Tell the person that you will give them the money one time, but it will have to be the last time. Sometimes lending money ruins a relationship because you expect to get your money back. The borrower will avoid you, and that is not the type of energy you want in your space when you see them.

2. Pretend like your retirement money doesn't exist. I lived through the 2008-2009 financial crisis and changed careers during this period. My money was "funny" during this period in my life, but I always remembered one of the best lessons my mother taught me about saving. She would tell me if you are trying to save money, and set financial goals for yourself, pretend like the money that you've saved, didn't exist. I have never taken money out of my retirement accounts. Now that I am getting closer to retirement, I'm happy I remembered her advice.

3. Offer an alternative to you being the fallback person.  Ask the person who has come to you for money if they have considered an alternative to borrowing from you. My mother would have handled this by asking, "What would you do if I wasn't around?" Her direct response to my siblings and I, as teens, made us extremely resourceful.

4. Offer frequent borrowers assistance in finding a financial coach.  I've asked my clients to use me as a scapegoat for people who borrow from them by telling them to say they can't lend out any money because their advisor has them on a strict budget.

5. Just say, "No," I can't lend you money again! The word "no" doesn't require an explanation. It is your right to look out for your best interest.

6. Create a giving budget. If it isn't in your heart to say "No" to others when it comes to money, make giving a line item in your budget. You cannot give any more than what you've budgeted. Make sure this line item doesn't take away from you filling your money buckets.

The only person who will plan for your future is you. Learn to create boundaries for your giving; otherwise, your future self may be disappointed in the lifestyle you created.

About Terrell Dinkins, MBA, ChFC®, CDFA®


Terrell Dinkins, MBA, ChFC®, CDFA® is an investment adviser representative of and offers investment advisory services through OBN Wealth Advisors, LLC, a registered investment adviser offering advisory services in the State of Georgia and other jurisdictions where registered or exempted. Main Office: 950 Eagles Landing Pkwy, Suite 216, Stockbridge, GA 30281. Tel: 404-723-9780. Website: OBN Wealth Advisors. Image by Andrew Khoroshavin from Pixabay.