How to Help Friends and Family Facing Financial Trouble

Posted on 10/20/2010

One in eight Americans currently receives food stamps, according to the Department of Agriculture. And the US Census Bureau says one in seven Americans live in poverty. That means millions of people are likely struggling to make ends meet. If you have friends and family members facing financial trouble, here are some ways to help.

Give Them a Cash Gift - The holidays are approaching and rather than spend money on stuff they may not really need, consider giving your loved ones some cash. Even though they may like a new shirt or book, money may be more of a necessity. Don’t feel right giving cash? Try practical gift cards that can be used for groceries, gas or even haircuts.

Hire Them - Money can create sticky situations between friends and family members. Rather than providing a loan, why not hire them or help them find work? Employment will give them what they need (money) without creating any stress or tension in your relationship.

Prepay Utilities - If you want to help family or friends facing financial trouble, but you don’t want make a big deal out of it, try prepaying their utilities anonymously. Simply call up the electrical, gas or phone company and say you’d like to make an anonymous payment. Your loved one will receive some much-needed financial assistance without feeling embarrassed or ashamed.

Direct them to Financial Counseling - Rather than just putting a bandage on the problem, get to the root of the trouble by directing your friend or family member to a financial counselor. They may also want to check out financial classes such as Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University or free online courses like Financial Security for All.

Connect them With Resources - Sometimes those in financial crisis need help connecting with the ample resources available. Research organizations and churches in their area that might be able to help. Or tell them to call 2-1-1 for free and confidential information about food, housing, employment, health care, and counseling assistance that’s available.

By Alison Storm

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Linens N Things coupon - Help out your friends or family and buy them something they need, like blankets or a space heater, and save 20% off 1 item with coupon code OKTFEST2010 through 10/26/2010.

* Hot deals expire quickly. This deal may no longer be valid.

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