The LOA Way to Answer Money Requests

How to Answer Requests for Money - the LOA WayReady to share your collective wisdom today?

This question is from a lovely reader who wants to know how to handle money requests from those we don’t want to say yes to.

He’s very astute in realizing that the typical answer from an average person is not conducive to wealth.

Here’s his question:

I am writing from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central Africa.

I have a query: our culture, in Africa in general, allow relatives to rely upon others financially. Since February 2013 I am working as a minister in one of the 11 provinces of our country.

What I realised is that everybody comes to me to beg me for money. I use to share my salary with them to solve there problem but now I feel like I cannot continue helping everybody, though I recognise that our people are very poor.

My question is to find out whether telling them “I do no longer have money” will attract poverty on me.

If yes, what would be the suitable alternative answer to tell that truth?Β Please help!

I’m happy to see that this reader knows the power of his response to these requests for money!

Whether it’s a family member wanting financial help, a non-profit group asking for a donation, or the neighbor kid selling magazines – there are lots of occasions someone might ask us for money we don’t prefer to give.

I imagine many of you have found an LOA friendly way to respond to requests for financial support? What wisdom do you have to share with our minister friend in the Congo?

  • June 12, 2014
  • I envy your fluency in a second language, my friend. And can just begin to sense the challenge you feel in this situation.
    Sending good thoughts your way, and everyone’s way while I’m at it. πŸ™‚

  • Alphonse says:

    Please forgive me for my English. I am a French speaking person. I learned English “on the job”. Alphonse.

  • Alphonse says:

    Sorry… I was dying that when you suggest to someone to start his own business, i.e. lean to fish by himself, he feels like you don’t understand his problem.
    What is most troubling, when you “help” one of them, all the community will be informed and each and everyone will try his luck.
    More troublesome is that there is no (governmental) social security bodies here. No medical insurance, no life insurance. How can you see someone running to death (e.g. suffering from malaria, that can be treated with less than $10.00) or dying of hunger for lacking $1.00 or a clever child missing his exams because his/her parents cannot afford paying school fees (sometimes less than $10.00)…
    Usually I feel like I can help. But as I pointed out earlier, the bad thing is that if you assist one, all the community will come up with thousands of TRUE problems.
    Yes, one of you recommends to give without hurting yourself, like $20 instead of 100 asked for… Let me share with you a true story: The cousin of my workmates came to ask for help with $150. My workmate, after thousands of words explaining that he doesn’t have that kind of money, managed to give $50.00. The cousin was very happy and grateful. One month later, he came back to look for the “balance”… Can you imagine!
    Again thank you all. May the Universe bless you all!

  • Alphonse says:

    Thank you all for the rich comments. As you can imagine, there’s no preset response to my query. I appreciate each of your views.
    “Anonymous”, an African like me, knows better the cultural problems weface in Africa. The specific issue here is that there’s no job for everyone. People consider only office job. And when you suggest to someone to start his own business, he feels like he cannot succeed,

  • What a good answer, LovelyMe! (Seeking out within what DOES feel good to offer.) So it’s not just about how to say “no,” but how to find a yes that feels good. Nicely done.

  • LovelyMe says:

    I am not sure if this would help him, but my personal rule (one that manifested itself out of LOA teachings early on for me) is that I do not give what I cannot afford to not get back (Ex. I won’t give someone $100 even if they “promise” to pay me back if it will immediately hurt my finances OR put me in a space of worrying about my finances).
    Although we are taught that the Universe/God will always deliver and make up for it, and ALL resources are infinite, realistically, not everyone’s current belief systems allows that in. It’s all about finding your happy medium.
    So for example, when my sister asks for $100, I will usually say all I can comfortably offer without hurting myself is $20. It basically implies “take it or leave it”. She usually takes it, and I did my charitable deed and did not hurt my finances in the process.
    I offer what I am comfortable letting go of. By giving an amount (or whatever resource) I’m comfortable with, that takes away the stress of the situation, which makes me feel better, which gets me into the space of being open to possibilities of how the Universe will bring that back to me.
    I don’t do it (though I should), but I think it might also be helpful to set an intention when giving money that it does find its way back to you ten fold or whatever sounds good to you.
    Culturally, I understand there are differences and requirements put upon entire families. My last piece of advice would be that when he receives a request, he doesn’t have to fulfill 100% of it. Like me with my sister wanting $100 and I offer $20. It may not be the full $100, but it’s still something towards her need, and I can feel better knowing I offered a helping hand, but I didn’t have to be the savior.

  • Thanks for weighing in on this, Anonymous. It helps to hear from those who are familiar with the reality of the situation.
    When I wrote this reader back, I shared this:
    You’re right – that is not a helpful thing to respond to them. Because as you say it, you’re helping to create that reality.
    So a suitable alternative is what we want to find!
    Here’s how I might handle it: “That’s not something I can help with right now.” or “I’ve got other priorities/goals for this money, it’s not available for you today.”
    That way we’re not instructing that our money disappear, but we’re also not playing “victim” to those who think we should give them financial aid.

    Meaning, whatever we do or however we respond, we want to make sure we’re maintaining a vibration of prosperity and love in the process.

  • Sophie says:

    Wow, you just missed this by a few days, I have invested all of my cash for 3 years. All is left is money for food and bills. Contact me again in 3 years πŸ™‚

  • Anonymous says:

    Yes this doesn’t sound like an easy situation. I’m African and the levels of poverty in some parts of Africa are overwhelming. However it’s important that people believe that they can and will overcome it and take inspired action. Indeed there are rags-to-riches stories here too. My 2 cents is that in this case, telling the truth may set the minister free from the frustration and perhaps guilt of not being able to help everyone solely from his salary. He should gently but firmly let his relatives know that he is not in a position to help them financially but will look into other ways to help (if he honestly intends to do so). It doesn’t mean he’ll get poorer by saying this especially it brings him relief. He could for example help them form a group in which they pool their resources, skills etc and explore income generating activities or other ways to help each other. Or he can reach out to his networks to see if anyone can offer any of his relatives paid work. Empowering them to have faith and take action to improve their lives will go further than trying to stretch his salary to help everyone.

  • That’s short and sweet and effective, anonymous! I like it!
    It’s a good point, Deanna, that this is a different situation when the cultural norms strongly dictate a certain response.
    The thing I’ve noticed over time is that I can’t solve someone else’s money issues by giving them money. (That doesn’t stop me from giving money when I feel so inspired.) But the best thing we could do for another isn’t necessarily just to hand over the cash.
    I like how this conversation is evolving!

  • Deana says:

    This is a tough question because for this reader/questioner it is not only a question of saying “no” but also a cultural norm for people to ask relatives for money… Like the others here I am wondering if this reader (or any of us) can shift to offering some other material thing – “oh you need money because your child need shoes… let me see if I can find someone whose child has outgrown shoes that will fit… you need money for food… let me discover if someone has a garden with extra vegetables… etc” or.. is there a way to give some of these people a job in the church?? just some thoughts – I agree with Affirming Spirit, sometimes people want help and will be open to recieving this, and sometimes not. I do not think that it is “bad” or that we attract poverty/lack by saying that we have earmarked our money for other obligations, right now.. – Deanna

  • anonymous says:

    I usually say β€œIt’s not in my budget right now.”

  • You strike me as someone who is pretty good at standing in her own power, Sophie. Not caving to the desires or manipulations of others.

  • Sophie says:

    I agree with AffirmingSpirit.
    I would rather teach someone how to fish rather than giving them a fish.
    And yes, sometimes the word “no” is the best answer.
    Best vibes,

  • That’s a lot better than my response, Nancy, which is basically, “Yeah, I’m a pass for that.”
    I used to explain why, but am getting better at not needing them to understand. They’ll think whatever they want to think anyway – there’s no use in me trying to manage those expectations. Especially since I’m learning to like and approve of myself despite what others think.
    These situations are definitely good practice for that. (Not that I want any more practice!)
    Thanks for chiming in, my friend.

  • Interesting timing on this article, as I came face-to-face with two homeless women and later a destitute man who gives up his food money to take care of his dogs. I felt for all of them.
    What I’ve learned about the energy of money is that we can be compassionate to someone by helping them where we can (financially), but we cannot help them solve their money (consciousness) problem(s) if they are not open and ready to do so.
    My answer to someone I can and want to help is similar to Christina’s (response above) – here’s some money, here are other resources to help you.
    My answer to someone I do not want to give more money to is: “I hear you are struggling and I can understand how frustrating that is. At this time, my money is already earmarked for other obligations. Would you be open to me brainstorming with you on ways to make money with your existing skills and assets?” Their answer will tell you if you they are open to growing through the experience. If they thought you were a free source of money, then you will know. If they really appreciate your compassion and willingness to help, you will know.
    Sometimes, it seems that life throws a ton of problems at a person, and we can have compassion for what seems unfair and difficult. What we *don’t know* is what’s truly going on for this person and what their soul contract is guiding them toward. How is this money struggle serving them? Is it time in their life to do something different? Is this an opportunity for them to try something new or move to a new location? Or are there underlying issues (addiction, perhaps) that need to be addressed before they can resolve their money problems?
    There are times when saying ‘no’ is the greatest blessing for someone who needs to work on their money issues.
    Many blessings,

  • You know, Namaste, there are probably a lot of traditions worth opting out of, aren’t there?
    Thanks for pointing out that it’s okay to defy expectations. In fact, it’s essential we do that when our inner guidance is pointing us in another direction!

  • I like the way you think, Christina. Instead of just finding an aligned way to decline the request we don’t want to say yes to, perhaps we can use our power to see them as thriving and successful. That’s way better than any money we could pass along anyway.
    Thanks for getting this conversations started!

  • Namaste says:

    I read a book last year called King Peggy. She was from Ghana, moved to the US and then moved back to Ghana to help her people. Her relatives hit her up for money every chance they got. Finally she decided to do away with tradition and start doing things her way. She gave money when she saw fit and otherwise said, “No.” This caused a huge stir in her village, a lot of people spoke down about her, but in the end there was nothing they could do. It’s not an easy solution, but it worked for her. The link below is to the book on Amazon.

  • Christina says:

    Help themselves is what I meant to say. Autocorrect issues πŸ™‚

  • Christina says:

    Is there a way to point them to another resource? A food pantry, a clothing closet, or a micro lending program in the area. I wouldn’t normally suggest any type of debt but if someone can get help with starting a business then they can begin to help myself.
    I had this issue when I worked at a church. We had a process to go through but I felt sorry for some people who came in. I was giving them my own money at this point and ended up running out of gas money. At this point I just had to say no. That’s a very empowering word.

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