Do you feel like you're a personal bank for a friend or loved one? Well, it's time to close that account. With some tough love and firm guidelines, you can stage a money intervention and help the people you love get back on sound financial footing.

It seems so natural to give money to someone you love—a sister, a friend, a loved one, anyone who is in financial trouble—especially when you have the money to give. But in reality, whether you have money or are barely struggling to make it yourself, you are making a big mistake for everyone involved if you say yes to a request for cash (especially if this isn't the first time).

Does that surprise you? I bet it does, for the vast majority of women equate giving with a show of love. So, when we love a person so much, our nurturing soul directs us to give give give. We give money even if it means digging into our home equity lines of credit, ringing up more debt on credit cards, depleting our savings and retirements plans or co-signing loans. We give even if we don't want to give. We say yes to whatever is asked of us, rather than stopping to assess the true emotional and financial impact it will have on the lives of both people involved. We tend to let other people set the agenda for us. They tell us what they need, and we put their needs front and center—even if it means sweeping everything we need aside. We are more committed to helping others than we are to helping ourselves.


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