Personal Finance

Handing cash to friend is not really helping

  • Giving money: Dave Ramsey advises that you are never really helping someone who is incompetent with money by simply handing them cash

Dear Dave,

Iím on Baby Step 2 of your plan, and Iíll be debt-free except for my home by the end of the year. I have a friend who is very irresponsible with his money, and he often asks to ďborrowĒ cash between paycheques. I donít want to be cruel, but things are getting out of hand with his requests for money.


Dear James,

I think you should tell your friend the truth. Let him know youíve decided to get control of your money, youíre trying to get out of debt, and you simply donít have cash to spare. Be sure to do it with a kind spirit, but sometimes youíve got to look at the big picture in these situations. Youíre not really helping someone if you participate in their misbehaviour and enable bad habits. Sometimes, you have to love someone enough to tell them no.

Let your friend know how hard youíre working to get your finances in order, and how itís making a big difference in your life. Maybe you could offer to show him the steps youíve taken so far, and let him know he could be successful doing this, too. You might even try to show him how to make a monthly budget, and act as his guide and accountability partner if heís willing to accept this kind of help.

In some cases, helping someone means offering what you know they need instead of what they want. But youíre never really helping someone whoís incompetent with money by simply handing them cash.

Good luck, James.


Dear Dave,

My wife and I are both 46, and we have two teenagers in middle school. We were told recently that now is the perfect time for us to buy long-term care insurance. How do you feel about this in our situation?


Dear Thomas,

No, now is not the perfect time for you guys to buy long-term care insurance. Research shows thereís about a one per cent chance of folks your age needing long-term care insurance, and I generally donít recommend insuring against things that have such a minuscule chance of happening. Keep in mind that many factors, such as your current health and family history, could play into your decision of exactly when to buy long-term care insurance.

However, I do strongly urge people to find a good long-term care policy no later than age 60. At that point, the chances of something unfortunate happening begin to rise each and every year. You could think of it as a gift to yourself and your family. Nursing home costs are astronomical these days, and care of that sort can deplete your nest egg very quickly.


ē 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 16 million listeners each week on 600 radio stations and multiple digital platforms. Follow Dave on the web at and on Twitter at @DaveRamsey