Isn’t it amazing how people just assume the money YOU earn is meant for them? You work hard, make plans and someone shows up on your doorstep or your office telling you of their woes and problems, it does not even end there, they equally expect you to hand over money to them because they’ve asked. People fail to realise that you might have challenges of your own, or things you have planned for your money.
Now, I’m not talking about family or friends who have sudden financial pitfalls beyond their control. Though, if family and friends do show up, always do what you can afford. We should play our part if we are in the position to do so. You see we are social beings and living and interacting with others is what makes us human. If you can stretch a helping hand to family or friends in need please do so without hesitation. But if you cannot, do not feel guilty or put yourself in trouble just to keep up appearances.
A true friend would understand that you would help if you could. And a family member who knows you love them would accept that you are not in a position at this time to lend a helping hand (though a few are self-centred, who only think of themselves and would call you a ‘Meany’ any way).
I have met quite a number of people who give financial help and get into serious money problems because they are trying to look good in the eyes of others. The secret is, many do this because they do not want them knowing of their financial difficulties. I truly do not believe you have to help someone when you are not in the position to do so. And about your financial position, you also do not need to go around telling all ears that you are in financial difficulty, no, not at all. You have a right to your privacy.
Now let’s talk about the real topic of my article, the ‘Financial Stalker’. Who is a ‘financial stalker’? First, who is a stalker? A stalker is a person who intruders into your personal space. They try to get into your life without an invitation by you to do so. So a financial stalker is a person who constantly and consistently goes after you for help with their financial troubles.
Financial stalkers are usually acquaintances and random people who go round looking for anyone they think has a bit more money than them. The funny part is they truly believe it is their right to get money off you.
You might be asking where these financial stalkers come from. Most times it is the people in your neighbourhood, your workplace, security personnel, children teachers, lesson teachers, faith members and the likes. Others might be co-tenants, fellow landlord/ladies or even your colleagues in business.
It is indeed a sad phenomenon but it has become quite common and many people are finding it an extremely uncomfortable situation. Some financial stalkers go as far as pestering you with calls on your phone, some even late into the night.
So how can you solve the problem of financial stalkers?
There are a few ways to handle financial stalkers. First you can tell them you are not in the position to help. Now you’ve got to tread softly when dealing with financial stalkers, most of them do not take no for an answer easily. So if you do come across those who walk away when you say no you are truly lucky.
There are some hard cases to deal with as they do not take no for an answer. These you most likely would have to put an embargo barring them from coming round you or you would have to keep your distance from them. In cases like this it can be frustrating because you tend to lose your sense of freedom as you attempt to avoid them.
Another hard group are those close to you yet are not family or friends, like your security personnel. These are the people you keep small amounts of money for in your monthly budget (I hope you have one!). So you give them a token of what they are asking for. Yes, they might go away unhappy but they cannot say you did not help in your own little way. In some cases you might be labelled, stingy, do not let that bother you, most good managers of money are called ‘stingy’. It’s better to be stingy than broke.
The third hard group are the workplace financial stalkers; you will come in contact with this group daily. They know your position at work or have overhead you talking about your financial escapades, as this helps them conclude that you have money to spare. They show up at your table telling you of their financial woes. Again this group, give them what you can afford. The way to deal with Workplace Financial Stalkers is to desist from sharing your money stories or your latest purchases in the workplace.
In closing, never allow financial stalkers to intimidate you.
Tokunbo Osunbayo if from MoneyStart Club Organizer Financial Transforma
Osunbayo has an HND Business Administration from Moshood Abiola Polytechnic.
She also trained as a Budget Coach and Debt Advisor in the UK. She has spent the last 15 years teaching Personal Finance in Nigeria and the UK to Christian
organisations and individuals. She currently runs her own company, MoneyStart, and is known as the Cashflow Queen in Cashflow club circles in the UK.
website:www.moneystart.co.uk; twitter:@moneystartinfo.com blog:www. moneystartinfo.com