Countless women of color may feel obligated to financially bail out their family, including you. Have you ever felt indebted to be the go-to person that your children, siblings, or parents run to for financial relief?
It is common for women like you to be the first ones in their family to graduate college or own a business. And since you are viewed as the one that “made it” — you often find yourself picking up the tab.
Tired of Feeling Like an ATM?
I frequently hear from clients, “I don’t want my child to go through what I went through” or “As soon as I get money it flies from my fingertips” and “I don’t know why I give away money as soon as I get it!”
There is a common thread for the reasons they hand out money like it’s Halloween candy. Some women remember being made fun of at school for not having new clothes or shoes. Others remember the embarrassment of their parents paying for groceries with food stamps.
Many are single mothers and know the deep shame they felt when they couldn’t pay their rent. These women want their loved ones to avoid that kind of pain. There is a sense of duty to take care of everyone, but it is costing them.
Want to relieve your family from financial despair?
Are you really helping them if you are not able to take care of yourself? Who is going to bail you out? Who is going to pay your bills when you are 73 years old and your retirement account has been depleted because you used it to help your child move or pay their bills?
You will likely find yourself relying on the same family members you gave your money to. In the end, they will need to make financial sacrifices to help you maintain your dignity. This is a vicious cycle that keeps women of color and our families from accumulating wealth to achieve economic stability.
This cycle can be broken! If you are reading this blog and your heart is racing because I described you and your family dynamics, take the first step today and stop this madness!
Know Your Flow
To be aware of their cash flow and keeping an eye on it is the highest priority that I educate my clients about. Cash flow is having an understanding of how much and when money comes in and out of your accounts. When you know your cash flow for monthly expenses, you can determine how much money you have to put into your personal savings. Then, you can decide how much you have available to put towards your family and friends.
Open a Family Bailout or Holiday and Gifts Savings Account
After you know your cash flow you can begin saving money into a separate savings account dedicated to your family. Some of my clients like to have a weekly or monthly automatic transfer into the account and it accrues over time. For example, if you transfer $15 per week into the account, in 52 weeks you will have $780 available for financial assistance for your child or to buy a family member a wonderful birthday gift!
Get Comfortable Setting Boundaries
Figure out how much money you are comfortable giving away. Maybe $300 per person is an amount that you make available. Then when your loved one calls asking for help, you can communicate and say, “I am happy to help! I have $300 that I can give you. I would love to give you more, but this is what I have set aside for you.” This is money that you can give to them free and clear of any resentment, because you will be speaking the truth and won’t be overextending yourself financially!
Need Help With Creating Your Family Bailout Plan?
As you begin this journey, be kind to yourself by letting go of the past and starting anew today. Each day you wake up is an opportunity to dust yourself off and start over again. Every time you read an article, write down your goals, or talk to someone about the life you envision is creating the pathway for your dreams to become a reality.
The thought of putting together a cash flow statement or even opening a bank account can feel overwhelming. Or maybe you feel confident in doing those activities, but having a conversation with your family to set your boundaries makes you feel nauseous.
Acknowledge your emotions and then imagine what it will be like to overcome them. Keep the vision of your family enjoying a prosperous life at the forefront. Those positive thoughts will override the fear you feel as you begin this journey. It takes practice, patience, and grit. Look at how far you have come and how much you have persevered. You can handle it - you’ve got this!