Three Ways to Help Someone in a Financial Bind?

This economy is a mess. We all have friends who have been in some sort of financial pickle during this time. Whether it’s because of debt, losing a job, unexpected health issues, or whatever else can cause financial pressure, a lot of people are struggling for money. I got in a bind a few months ago and was having a really hard time climbing out of it. Luckily, I had some good friends who were awesome and helped me get through that difficult time in my life.

We all want to be able to help our friends that are struggling financially. But other than flat out giving them money, what can we do to help them out? Here’s three ways that you can help a friend who’s having financial trouble.

1. Get them things they’ll definitely need. During that time, three of my friends chipped in and got me a laundry basket full of stuff that I would need. Dish detergent, laundry detergent, shampoo, body wash, a loofah, washcloths and towels, and even a gas card were included in the basket. Instead of giving someone money, get them stuff that they’ll actually use during the time of financial difficulty.

2. Offer to help with a necessary utility bill. Another one of my friends came to me, looked me in the eye and said “How much is your electric bill?” As awkward of a question as that was, I couldn’t say nothing. It was a hard question to answer, because I knew what his intention was. Luckily, I live alone, don’t have to pay for heat, and never use overhead lights. Literally, the thing in my house that uses the most power is my desktop computer. So, I told him, and he gave me a check to cover three months of my electric bill. Be like him. If you know a friend is struggling for cash, ask them how much an essential utility is and help them pay for a part or even all of it, if you can. If someone’s in a bad situation, every little bit helps.

3. Make a meal or take them out. As simple as this sounds, it’s probably the least intrusive way to help someone out. I was in my financial pickle around my birthday, so during that time, several of my friends took me out to dinner, using my birthday as an excuse to do so. They all told me later that they knew I was struggling and wanted to take me to eat a good meal, because they knew I wasn’t getting it at home. Take advantage of hang-out time, and offer to take your struggling buddy out to dinner or over to your house for a home-cooked meal. They’ll appreciate it.

What other ideas do you have for helping out people who are struggling financially? What can we do, if we’re not struggling ourselves, in order to take that load off someone else? Share your thoughts in the comments, have a great week, and we’ll see you here next week!

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