How family borrowing can land you in trouble and what to do instead


Moving forward in our lives, now that we are sober and living a clean and healthy lifestyle, we are sometimes faced with going back to the bank of Mom and Dad, to help us rebuild our lives.

We needed to get re-established, find a new place to live, find a job, money for food, gas etc. Our family, now seeing us clean and sober was more than happy to LOAN us money. It seemed like anytime we asked, the bank of Mom and Dad was open for business.

But, this tends to get old fast, as the “I’m just starting a new life and need help to get going” line is used on a frequent basis. It comes to a point where not enough financial responsibility is being taken by us to ensure that our daily and monthly living expenses are being covered. Going back to the bank of Mom and Dad, can become convenient.

Borrowing from our family does, however, have high risk potential for getting us in trouble, and putting us in a tough spot, morally. It is very easy to justify taking the money, but not being able to re-pay it, and continually avoiding financial responsibilities, especially as a former addict, leads us to never being able to develop the skills necessary to function or prosper with our own money.

From past experience we know being broke and behind in bills and owing money leads to stress and worrying about everything, and always being un-happy and never having any fulfillment in life. This is where it all changes. This is where we make a stand. Right here and now is where we start becoming accountable to our finances.

So before going back to the bank of Mom and Dad is even a consideration, here is what we can do instead:

  1. Ask for some extra hours at work. Yes, we hear the grumbling already. This is not always pleasant and our social lives will have to be put on hold, but it is EXTRA INCOME we can save, and specifically put aside for what ever it is that is needed. This option gets us taking on more responsibility, building a strong work ethic, and proving to ourselves we can do it. You’d be surprise at how many people don’t just ask. Without asking, you will never know. Maybe your Manager doesn’t know you are willing to work extra hours. Don’t live in the fear that you will be denied extra hours. Just go in there and ask.
  2. Pick up a part time job. Working on weekends or a couple nights a week. Yes, more work; but, it brings in EXTRA INCOME, even better if it is cash jobs, especially doing something that you are passionate about, or love doing that isn’t feasible as a full time job at this time. The best aspect about this option is the fulfillment it will give you doing something you love, and making some extra money at it. You can find weekend job opportunities on Wow Jobs or Workopolis.
  3. Sell your possessions. The internet is great for buying and selling anything. Yes, it may be hard to let go of that first edition Spiderman comic book, or that expensive guitar you bought, or maybe you just have a bunch of antiques lying around that are worth something, or even that old car that needs a little bit of work and can be sold. This option gets us thinking, problem solving, being creative, and who knows, you may like buying and selling things. Try eBay, Craigslist, or Etsy. These days, anyone can sell anything, quickly.

These are just a few ideas; but more importantly, it is about starting to be able to think about how it can be done, and how you can start making that extra money you need and feeling good about it.

If all else fails, and every option has been exhausted and you do end up borrowing from the bank of Mom & Dad, do up a written agreement stating that this money will be paid back on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis. Doing this will not only help you build financial responsibly, but it feels damn good paying off a debt, and there is a certain sense of accomplishment that comes with it, knowing you have control over your finances.

I Always Seem To Go Back to the Bank of Mom and Dad ©

Blog by: Nick Bruce Hayes