Boundaries with Family & Financial Success

Speaking to one my friends and reflecting on the quality of our lives led to a conversation about financial boundaries and helping our families.

This is something I openly admit is a struggle that I have but actively work on it. I have financial goals and every time I say yes to family that puts me at risk for not achieving those financial and personal goals.

She shared her experience and what she does so I had an example in front of me of personal experience on the mental impact and toll.

She mentioned having a budget for her family and standing on no last minute request. Giving grace only one time and standing not that. The last minute request I already know will be the biggest challenge for me. In my mind, if they’re asking knowing how hard it is for them to ask it has to be pretty dire. 

What’s crazy is during the conversation with my friend, I felt myself getting defensive when she mentioned I’m enabling them by saying yes every time they ask for help and that if I say no, they wound find a way. Being completely vulnerable here, I’m nervous and worry about them finding a way. But why?! They’re adults, all older than I am. It is my ego or ignorance? I’m not sure, but I know I can’t continue to do what I have been doing. 

I have a high yield savings account setup specifically for the kids. Similar to how I pay myself 1st when I get paid, I have automatic deposit setup once a month. I use this account to pay out grade money, school clothes, gifts, and any pop up school needs. Normally by middle of the year after my oldest niece birthday, I ask the Littles what are some things they might want for their birthday considering it’s a month before Christmas so we can gauge what’s doable. Last year, I even told them how much was in the account so they can evaluate and consider what’s possible.  I always try to add some financial lesson or application with them so they can start to understand money.

Now, why would I not have or apply the same thing for the adults? If I’m honest with myself it’s probably fear. Fear of letting them down saying no and fear of creating an uncomfortable opportunity for myself to reinforce a boundary. Saying no to family is always an emotional toll, mixed with guilt and disappointment.  I recognize though that I'm letting myself down by not saying no and running from creating the environment where I would have to do it.

Being intentional; creating a budget; setting that money aside - will lessen pressure and make it easier for me to say no. Adjusting or considering the impact of that yes requires additional energy and another decision that has to be made.  Growth and comfort can’t coexist and I know that in order to achieve and do things I’ve never had, I have to be do things I’ve never done before. One of my goals is financial freedom and stability which I’ve had no examples in my village. I am the first achieving and going after what I want.

So here’s to recognizing a problem, developing a potential solution, and accepting the uncomfortable journey ahead to chasing goals and dreams! 🥂



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