Can I pretend to be fired so that people don’t ask for money anymore?


Dear Petunia,

In the past 10 years, I barely lived financially. Over the years, I have had to ask my parents for money many times. Now I have a good job and I can make a lot of money.

I hope I never told my parents because they often ask me for money. My friend knows my income. They always expect me to pay and help them.

I tell everyone because I am proud of myself. But telling people this is a stupid idea. Now I want to take it all back, every word.

I know that lying is wrong. But do you think I can tell everyone what happened at work, everything fell apart, and now I have almost nothing to do?

-No longer broken

Dear no more,

Of course, it is wrong to pretend that your job has broken down and you go bankrupt again.It may also be effective in the short term keep distance. But this seems to be a trick that is difficult to keep up with.

The problem with falsely claiming that you are penniless is that you have to live as if you are penniless. Of course you want to enjoy the hard-won fruits of success. Unless you want to keep a secret every time you go out for dinner or vacation, people will eventually be suspicious—especially if you claim to have been fired or demoted, but still maintain the exact same schedule.

You do not owe your parents to be a human piggy bank. But if they are good parents, I think you should try to help them when they are struggling, especially because they have given you money in the past.

Repaying your parents will be a good starting point. If you are unable to pay back in full or lose your way, giving them a small portion would be a good gesture. When you are barely able to get by, use this opportunity to thank them for helping you so that you can repay the money they can afford. Then tell them that you can’t continue to give them money regularly because you need to focus on your financial goals.

The key is to have this conversation with your parents when they are not asking you for money. It will be much easier to hear this news when you are not worried about how to pay your bills this month. Of course, you should still expect your parents to come to you for money. But at least when you say no, it will be slightly less shocking.

Try not to provide any other information about your financial situation. It sounds difficult for you to be tight-lipped, so if you feel the need to add context, structure it based on what would happen if you lose this excellent job. Even if you are not worried about being fired tomorrow, the pandemic has undoubtedly taught us how quickly things change.Most people are terrible Unprepared for emergencies.

If you want to help your parents under certain circumstances, please open a separate bank account (you will not tell your parents) and automatically transfer a certain amount every month. When a real crisis strikes, you will have a special fund for this purpose.

As for your friends, I really don’t think you owe them an explanation in advance unless they have been particularly generous in the past. If they recommend meeting at a location outside the price range you know, remind them that you are not paying for everyone. But beyond that, I think you can start saying “no”. Their response will help you distinguish real friends from spoofers.

When everyone around you is penniless, it is difficult for you to be a big money maker. I will not blame you for being proud of your success and talking about your salary, even if it was a mistake in retrospect. But now that you have told everyone that you are a successful person, it is time to start living like a successful person.

One thing successful people do is to set boundaries. This can be difficult because your friends and parents may get angry when they start to say “no” after they get used to hearing “yes”. But I promise: setting boundaries is much easier than living in lies.

Robin Hartill is Penny Hoarder’s certified financial planner and senior author.Send your tough money questions to [email protected].




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