Over $2400 In Overdrafts (Your Advice)

Your Advice - help answer readers' questionsSometimes finances go beyond your own and involve the finances of good friends or family members. When the finances aren’t yours, but those close to you, how do you help those that are obviously having trouble keeping their finances under control? This was a question that was raised in the forums:

Over the Memorial holiday my thoughts were focused on taking a day to spend time with our children and grandchildren, enjoying a meal together and reflecting on how blessed we’ve been over the last month. Then, my daughter and her husband revealed to us that that were completely broke and had been using a payday loan company, (Check N’ Go) for the last several months just to try getting by from month to month.

But, before we committed to giving them any financial help, (since we don’t have much ourselves) I asked to see their online bank statement. That’s when it could be readily seen that there was a much more serious problem than what we had ever imagined.

After setting the query of the results to the maximum days, we counted 68 overdrafts since the beginning of this year!! All my sweet wife could do was cry. I think it was the combination of them loosing their home earlier this year due to foreclosure and this together.

We thought that maybe the problem was that they were using debit cards but, my wife and I have a debit card and we have never had an overdraft. Currently, my wife and I don’t use auto drafts either so we weren’t really sure how we could help them.

The only help we could offer was for them to attend a Financial Peace University course at one of the local community centers. Other than that we gave them some money to buy groceries, etc.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

If your family members were in serious need of financial help, what steps would you take to help them get on the correct path?

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6 Responses to Over $2400 In Overdrafts (Your Advice)

  1. yummy says:

    I do like the advise to take Financial Peace. The budgeting and having some money aside for groceries will be excellent for them.

    People have to change their own behaviours – this gives them the opportunity – you saving them with $$ isn’t anything but a short term solution.

  2. Spokane Al says:

    I agree with Yummy. They must first agree that they have a serious problem and then buy in on the idea of fixing it. They must change habits drastically.

    Overdrafts are a symptom of either not watching their balance or not caring. Either way, there is a serious problem.

    With their current issues giving them some of your hard earned money will do nothing to solve the root cause of the problem.

    I hope they can rectify their situation through the Financial Peace people.

  3. Frugal Momma says:

    I am sure that this is causing you much stress, but I don’t think giving them money is the answer. Financial Peace university will hopefully help them.

    However it all comes down to behavior

  4. Special Ed says:

    $2400 in overdrafts and a foreclosure since the first of the year and they are borrowing from payday lenders? They are on a fast track to the poorhouse. I would give them nothing. They must grow up and stop this immature behavior.

  5. mrpaseo says:

    Really there is not enough info to go one here, I agree that the FPU was a good place to start (Though how did they pay for the kit?), and I agree that giving them money is not the best idea. You then become a source of money to them, and as Dave says, the borrower becomes slave to the lender and in family, this is never good.


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