It is difficult to watch your friends struggle financially. There may be times that your friends come to ask you for a loan or that you wish that you could help out in some way. However loaning or borrowing money from a friend is one of the quickest ways to ruin a friendship.
Often a friendship will become strained if someone owes you money. They may feel like you are scrutinizing their every move with money. Soon they will begin to avoid you, and your friendship may not ever return to where it was before you lent your friend money. Additionally, you may never get the money back, and if you are not in the position to give the money to someone, you simply should not lend it to anyone.
If you are concerned about a friend, there are other things that you can do. One simple thing is to invite him over to dinner a few nights of week. This can help to lower his food bill and give him one less thing to worry about. You may also be able to help out by carpooling with him to work to cut back on the cost of gas. These little things can help.
Additionally, you may feel that you have the extra money to give your friend. You may want to do this in person, but if you are worried about straining your relationship, you can find a way to give him some money anonymously. If you do this, you must not judge the way that he uses the money. Often (but not always) people who find themselves in bad money situations make poor choices with their money. Generally, they will continue to make poor choices until they come to a point in their lives when they must change. Giving money to someone in a situation like this is not always the blessing that you hope it will be.
Although talking about money management with your friend may be difficult, it may be one of the best things you can do to help him. You do not need to get into the nitty gritty details of his budget, but rather introduce a budgeting system that might help him. If you do not feel comfortable going into details recommend resources that have helped you. These could be books on finances that you have read, websites that you visit and possibly a good financial advisor. You can also help by being careful about applying financial peer pressure to your friend by asking him to do things you know he can not afford.
It is important to remember that emotional support can be as helpful as financial support. You should not feel guilty if you are not in a position to help financially, and as stated above you should never feel pressured to loan someone money. If you are receiving this type of pressure, he are likely not the friend you think he is. This can be a tricky subject but you need to stand firm and protect your financial situation. The same rules apply to family members as they do to friends.