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Question
Posted by: Paige | 2016/08/30

Is it okay to ask someone for financial assistance?

I am in a very dire financial situation at present, everything seems to be going wrong for me. My washing machine and stove have both packed up and I am in no position to have same repaired. My ex father-in-law, who happens to be a good friend still, is very well off. He has in the past given me monetary gifts. Would it be wrong of me to ask for his assistance to have these appliances repaired? I would obviously request a loan and repay him. Is it in bad taste to do something like that? Due to the fact that my husband buys cars for his entire family on his name and signs surety for people, we are not in a position to take bank loans as we are over-extended. My husband's brothers have both been sequestrated, so there is no chance of them even trying to help us. Probably not a question for this forum, but I just need some advice please. Thanks!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink
- 2016/08/31

I am about as far from being a financial expert as possible. However, it sounds like as a start, your husband should stop his foolish habit of buying cars for others and standing surety for others : you are not millionaires who can afford to do that.
That both of his brothers have been sequestrated sounds like they're all hopeless at managing their finances.
On the other hand your ex father in law sounds as though he has far more sense and success on money matters.
It also sounds as though the problem you face are rather larger than an issue of good taste.
Wouldn't it be useful to ask to visit your ex father-in-law to ask for his advice on financial problems and on how you might better manage your financial affairs ?  If he suggests helping out, make it clear that you would wish this to be in the form of loans, but take his advice on how how would want to be helpful.
Isn't it interesting how appliances seem to conspire together to create problems at the same time ?

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Our users say:
Posted by: C | 2016/09/01

No, dont ask for financial assistance. As Maria suggested, wash your clothes by hand. If you have a microwave, use that to cook food, or buy that cheap 2-plate stove. DONT, please just dont become that person who expects others to help them out financially, we are all adults and working very hard to earn our own money. A broken washing machine and stove is NOT an emergency. Yes, we might all need to ask for help in emergencies, but only, for example, insane medical costs due to cancer or accidents for which we are not covered. Keep your self-respect intact by working hard and saving hard, I know you will be very proud of yourself once you have lifted yourself out of this dire financial situation you have found yourself in. And very importantly, Personal Finance 101: always keep an emergency fund to use in situations like these.

Reply to C
Posted by: Tegan | 2016/09/01

I agree with Maria, rather find another way. What happens if you reach an agreement to repay him and a month from now you can't make the repayments because something else unexpected pops up? The two plate stove is a great idea, they are really affordable and more than sufficient to cook with for a small family. You can also store it once your actual stove has been repaired so you have a backup for the next time life decides to happen. For your washing there are a lot of options, if need be you can even ask a family member or friend who is nearby if you can come do a load of washing over the weekend - Better than asking for a loan in my opinion. Surely someone in your husband's family that he's making all that debt for has a washing machine you can use for a few hours over the weekend? It's nice that your husband is trying to help his family but it should not put your own family unit in a position where you cannot afford to deal with the bad luck that strikes everyone every now and again and I would say it's definitely in poor taste having to ask for financial help while your husband is taking out loans for everyone else.

Reply to Tegan
Posted by: Anonymous | 2016/08/31

I wouldn't do that. Is this your ex-husband's father since you sound like you are still married? if it is your husband's father, you should let him ask assistance from his father not you. It better that way for me.

Reply to Anonymous
Posted by: Anonymous | 2016/08/31

Of course you can ask him! He will either say yes or no but if you need help, say something. We all go through difficult times, hang in there.

Reply to Anonymous
Posted by: Cyclist | 2016/08/31

If you are still on good terms I don't see a problem with asking him,however,make sure you meet the agreed payment terms.If you fail to make a payment it can only lead to serious damage to the relationship.

Reply to Cyclist
Posted by: Maria | 2016/08/31

Loans are a good way to ruin friendships. What if you cannot repay it? Rather look for other solutions to tide you over while you save up for repairs. Wash your laundry by hand or go to a Laundromat. Buy a cheap 2 plate stove and cook on that. And sort out your husband's irresponsible financial behaviour, he is the real problem here.

Reply to Maria

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