Personal Finance

Borrowed money has strained relationship

  • Be careful: borrowing money from friends or relatives can end up bruising the relationship, warns Dave Ramsey

Dear Dave,

I borrowed some money from my parents in January, and it took a few months longer to pay them back than originally planned. Since then, Iíve noticed our relationship seems to be strained. They will sometimes make remarks about money when Iím around, and itís obvious the things they say are aimed at me. I donít want things to be like this between us during the holidays.

I have taken steps to become more financially responsible, like watching my spending and living on a budget, so how can I address this issue with them?


Dear Robbie,

Iím sorry youíre going through this, but I hope everyone has learnt a valuable lesson. Itís okay to give money sometimes, as long as youíre not enabling irresponsible behaviour in the process. But loaning money to or borrowing from friends and relatives will often lead to bruised feelings.

If you paid them back, especially if it took longer than expected or agreed upon, thereís not much you can do if they choose to hold a grudge. With some folks, it just takes a little while for those kinds of things to heal. And considering itís your parents, my guess is theyíll become more and more forgiving with time.

Until then, maybe you could look for opportunities during conversations with them to mention your new approach to finances. Something as simple as referring your budget, or getting excited about how much you were able to put into savings from your last paycheque, might get their attention. A few subtle hints that youíre actively working to gain control of your finances might go a long way with your parents.

If they realise youíre starting to handle your money more wisely, Iíll bet youíd start to notice a real difference in their attitudes.


Dave Ramsey is CEO of Ramsey Solutions. He has authored seven bestselling books, including The Total Money Makeover. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 14 million listeners each week on 600 radio stations and multiple digital platforms. Follow Dave on the web at and on Twitter at @DaveRamsey