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, I’ve noticed our relationship seems to be strained. They will sometimes make remarks about money when I’m around, and it’s obvious the things they say are aimed at me. I don’t 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?
I’m sorry you’re going through this, but I hope everyone has learned a valuable lesson. It’s okay to give money sometimes, as long as you’re not enabling irresponsible behavior 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, there’s 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 it’s your parents, my guess is they’ll 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 paycheck, might get their attention. A few subtle hints that you’re actively working to gain control of your finances might go a long way with your parents.
If they realize you’re starting to handle your money more wisely, I’ll bet you’d start to notice a real difference in their attitudes!
* Dave Ramsey is CEO of Ramsey Solutions. He has authored seven best-selling 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 daveramsey.com and on Twitter at @DaveRamsey.