Etiquette for the Best Way to Offer Money Without Offending

by Amy Wilde
A sudden offer of cash can be off-putting to some people.

It can be tough to watch a friend or family member struggle. It's natural to want to help out when you are comfortable but a loved one can't make ends meet. It's often difficult to broach the subject of money, especially with someone who's reluctant to accept charity. The way you approach the idea can make it more likely that your friend will accept your help.

No Strings Attached

If you're giving money that you don't want the recipient to pay back, make it very clear. For someone with a number of outstanding loans, another one might be too much to deal with. Let the person know you don't expect any favors or special treatment in exchange for the gift. You may also try giving money anonymously or as part of a group of friends.

Personal Loans

If your friend feels more comfortable accepting a loan, try offering a "pay it forward" scenario, where rather than getting the money back, you'd like it to go to someone else in need. Next, offer a loan without any interest or terms. If your friend insists on a formal loan, put the terms and payment schedule in writing and sign it. This may make your friend feel more responsible and in control.

Other Ways to Help

Think about other ways you can help a friend who refuses money. The loan of a car, free babysitting, a dinner out on you or setting up job networking opportunities can all be much-needed help for someone who's down on his luck.

About the Author

Amy Wilde has worked as a grant developer, copy editor, writing tutor and writer. Based in Portland, Ore., she covers topics related to society, religion and culture. Wilde holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature and classical civilization from the University of Toronto.

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