Ask Caroline

Caroline Manzo tackles questions on her famous pasta e fagioli recipe, lending money, and setting boundaries.

on Jul 19, 2011

Carol from East Northport, NY says: Hi Caroline - If you know that one of your family members are in financial distress, do you think that you need to wait until they ask you for help, or as a member with financial means, do you go to them and ask if there is anything you can do to help out?

Caroline says: Feel things out; get to know the hows and the whys of the situation if possible. Approach your relative and have an open and honest conversation, and if you're comfortable with your decision, then by all means offer your help. They may be relieved and more than happy to accept it.

I do have to warn you, if you lend the money out you have to go in with the mind set that you may never get it back. I've seen it happen time and again where money is lent out and never paid back -- It's ruined more relationships than I can count. 

You have a kind heart, Carol, and I commend you for that. Your family is lucky to have you. Good luck!