I think most Indians have personal stories of how their dads helped family members out financially, only to be the ones to be swindled out of the will or out of a significant amount from the inheritance. And I think I might have figured out the root of how this kind of financial abuse or mistreatment starts.
It starts early guys. If you’re young, doing well for yourself, and are getting peer pressured into being the generous cousin or family member- you should start trying to learn how to set boundaries.
For instance, this guy posted on Reddit about how he revealed his actual salary to his mother, and that led to relatives asking him for money to borrow. Now as a desi person, I know this is a predictable AF thing to occur. Mothers love being proud of their children and their achievements, but they can often be naive about discussing them with family.
But as u/gautam_arya posted about this issue, many people began sharing insight and advice about how to handle such a situation. Some added humor to the situation, while others advised with wit, and a lot of wisdom:
1. “Either learn to say ‘No’ to them or don’t expect them to return your money after you lend it to them. Khatam, tata, Goodbye.”
2. “Paisa itnaa kamaao ki 4 log bole ‘Hume bhi do.'”
3. “Never ever disclose your true income to relatives. Better to keep it that way. By the way, how much is it?”
4. “True, my dad never told us his income for years. We only found out when we looked at his passbook by chance. Even then it was useless, cause he has set it up so that anything above 2 lakhs automatically becomes an FD. The house was turned upside down when the time came to pay college fees, cause we had a only 1-day notification (it was a bank holiday) and he had nothing.
OP, don’t have money sitting idle. So whenever someone asks you, just say your money is tied up in so and so and you cannot cash it out.”
5. “Build a reputation of being someone who can say ‘NO’ firmly. I am a 24-year-old guy, I make decent money. My uncle has 4-5 factories and earns crores every year. But still, I can see most relatives asking a 24-year-old kid for money, someone who has just begun his financial journey, rather than asking a 50-year-old settled man with 20+ crores in his bank. Kudos to my uncle though, everyone is scared to ask him. We should do the same too. But firstly, I am of the opinion that one should never disclose his/her income, even to their parents. People’s way of looking at you changes, which I believe should not depend on what’s in your wallet.”
6. “My mom is the same. She has a good heart but isn’t practical enough to know any better. She knows I make decent money, but I never mention any numbers. If it ever comes up, I just say ‘More than enough’ and divert the conversation. I’ve explained the reasoning to her and she seems to have understood.
For advice, just have a conversation with your mom. If she’s reasonable, she’ll understand. Give her an exact list of what not to do and, a few days later, check in with her again. About your relatives, just learn to make excuses. My go-to excuse is that I don’t have that kind of money on me because it has been invested in assets overseas and I’m not planning on bringing it over. I’m not on social media and live a frugal life, so that helps too.”
7. “When lending money to your relatives, tell them you will charge interest on it and that too, a maximum amount (your choice). Or, tell them to keep it but never ask for money, ever again. This should shut them up. Or, tell them you lied about your income and are currently in debt and ask them to return whatever they borrowed.”
8. “Why is it that so many Indian families have money theft/borrowing with non-repayment issues?”
9. “Three of my cousins owe me, and I have asked so many times, now I feel ashamed to even ask again. I have written it off.”
10. “Block relatives on social media.”
It seems this is a problem many desi people have with relatives.