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Money given to me by friend because I'm broke

(113 Posts)
thejanuarys Mon 23-Oct-17 11:34:32

My history is awful one - abusive ex in so many ways, but one way is he's harmed my work opportunities. So, I'm now living in overdraft and it's difficult for me to go back into credit.

I spoke of my difficulties with friend, who mentioned it to her parents.
They have kindly put £500 through my letter box this morning, saying they know of my difficulties, and whilst what they've given won't solve my problems, it may help a little.

Wow! That's an understatement. It is a lifeline. Much needed.

But here's my dilemma.
Do I keep it? I feel embarrassed, sad, and awkward bec of my situation that I can't provide adequately for my and dc, (even though situation imposed upon us by abusive ex) but at the same time I am so grateful that I know such kind people.

I give to charity as often as I can (in the last few days, buying Big Issue, paying for one woman's bus fare, giving £1 each to two people who begged on the street for money) and I have a monthly standing order to Unicef, set up when I was in a position to be able to give without 'noticing' it in my bank balance.

But taking charity just makes me feel awkward.

WIBU to say 'thank you but I can't take it?'

Or should I swallow my pride and take this handout?

Constructive, discursive answers only please.

SentimentalLentil Mon 23-Oct-17 11:35:58

How lovely of them.
Keep it!

PinkHeart5914 Mon 23-Oct-17 11:37:03

Sometimes you do just have to swallow your pride!

Thing is you didn’t ask for it, they took the decision to give it to you presumably they wouldn’t of done so if they couldn’t afford it.

You can always make a promise to pay it back when you find yourself back on your feet

PurpleStar123 Mon 23-Oct-17 11:37:30

Keep it but also stop your own charitable activities until you are in a better place financially. Particularly that DD. Best of luck, OP.

Bambamber Mon 23-Oct-17 11:38:11

Keep it, and stop giving money to charities in the meantime while you can't afford to.

PurpleDaisies Mon 23-Oct-17 11:38:29

Take it and pay it back when you're back on your feet. You'll save a fortune in interest and your friend clearly wants to help.

How are things financially now? Do you have a job that covers your outgoings? Have you had any advice on how to get back on your feet?

NewView Mon 23-Oct-17 11:38:36

Keep it- depending on how long you need it for you could say you will pay it back or pay it on in kind to someone else who is stuck. Don't let pride stand in the way of you accepting help.

converseandjeans Mon 23-Oct-17 11:39:03

Don't worry about keeping it. Maybe check it is a gift and not a loan. Pay the kindness forward at a later time when you are settled.

Rosa Mon 23-Oct-17 11:39:35

Keep it , use it when you are in a better position aim to pay it back with a genuine thank you letter . Then when you are financially stable you can pay it forward with simple gestures like you have done in the past.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Mon 23-Oct-17 11:39:38

Keep it.

Pay it back when you can.

Stop giving to charity for now. You can't afford it.

GreenFingersWouldBeHandy Mon 23-Oct-17 11:41:44

Keep it - it was given to you. And as suggested by others, cancel your charity donations until you're back on your feet.

Floralnomad Mon 23-Oct-17 11:42:20

If you are so broke that you are telling your friends why on earth are you giving money away to people begging on the streets etc . You have given away over £5 in the last few days without whatever you give to UNICEF . Charity begins at home . Keep the money , use it and next time you feel like 'donating' to a good cause put that in a pot so that eventually you can give this £500 back .

Eledamorena Mon 23-Oct-17 11:42:46

If it really is a lifeline, take it. Send a lovely thank you card with a very heartfelt message, but not a present as that would be like spending their money on them. And then don't forget their kindness... perhaps offer to help them with something if you know of anything suitable (e.g. could you help them sort their garden/do a job in their house that they need an extra pair of hands for like moving furniture or decorating)... not sure if any of this is necessary or if they would want or expect your help, but I would certainly let them know that you are extremely grateful and that they should let you know if there is ever anything you could do to help them in return for their kindness. In the future if you find yourself in a position to pay them back then do so, again with much gratitude for their help. They sound like lovely people and are presumably very happy to help you, as they were under no pressure or familial obligation to do so. If only there were more people like this!

picklemepopcorn Mon 23-Oct-17 11:45:05

It’s time to stop your payment to unicef. You can reinstate it when you are ready. She would t have given it if she hadn’t wanted you to have it.

Please accept it, and use it to buy you breathing space while you try and plan your way out of today’s tight corner.

araiwa Mon 23-Oct-17 11:45:16

Why are you giving away money you dont have?confused

ineedwine99 Mon 23-Oct-17 11:45:24

Thats really lovely of them, i would keep it, send a thank you card and try and pay a bit back as and when you can when things get back on track.
I agree with PP saying cancel the SO and other donations while your struggling

napmeistergeneral Mon 23-Oct-17 11:45:57

Stop the charitiable payments/giving cash to people on the street, you cannot afford it. Accept the money with good grace and repay them when you can - whether that be with a gesture or in cash in full.

BalloonSlayer Mon 23-Oct-17 11:46:52

Agree - keep it. Send them a lovely message and pay it back if you are able to in the future.

Awwlookatmybabyspider Mon 23-Oct-17 11:47:27

What lovely people. I agree with others, accept it. I think it'd be almost rude not to.. I promise you 110% they wouldn't have put £500 through your letter box if they didn't want to or if they couldn't afford to.
I also agree about stopping giving to charities, at least until you're in a financially better place

SloeSloeQuickQuickGin Mon 23-Oct-17 11:48:38

I'm a believe in 'pay it on' when you are able - take the lifeline offered.

Cancel the direct debit, you cant afford it.

TwattyCatty Mon 23-Oct-17 11:48:52

Stop giving away money when you can't provide for your own children.
Keep the money, use it wisely, and pay it back (or forward, depending on the givers wishes) when you can.

gamerchick Mon 23-Oct-17 11:49:18

Isn’t this a pay it forward thing OP? You’ve been handed a lifeline, keep a hold of it and one day you may be in a position to do something so kind for someone else.

travellingfailsman Mon 23-Oct-17 11:50:08

If you started training for mountain rescue, or coastguards, fire service etc., one of the most important things you'll get told is that in order to be able to help other people you have to make sure you are safe first.

You can't save someone if you're injured dead, you can't give something if you have nothing.

As bad as it may feel at the time, sometimes you have to put yourself first. Just think: if you focus on getting your own life in order, you will be much better-placed to help even more people in even more ways in the future.

You will never help everyone, and there will always be someone worse-off than you. Why not give up your home and sleep on a bench so someone who's homeless can have your shelter? Because it's an absurd argument: and as wonderful as it is, giving your last pennies away to people you perceive to be worse-off is of such tiny benefit to anyone, and actively negative to you that you should stop, now.

Accept the money, gratefully and gracefully. £500 isn't pocket change that someone's chucked at you, they have made a conscious decision to help you improve your life. It's an incredibly kind gesture and personally I would be upset with you if I'd offered it and you didn't accept. Don't make yourself a martyr.

Maybe if you use it wisely, and keep making good decisions you will be at a point one day where you could give £500 to someone to change their life.

It's not selfish to think of yourself first sometimes.

travellingfailsman Mon 23-Oct-17 11:53:07

And to be slightly harsh, it's, arguably, slightly patronising to offer charity but to never accept it: it implies you're somehow better than the people you support.

Why should they accept your money, but you not accept someone else's?

Please take the money, and use it to make your life better. It sounds like you've been through some horrendous times, which I suspect contribute to how you're feeling to this kind offer.

People who love you want to help you. Let them.

RhiannonOHara Mon 23-Oct-17 11:54:02

Accept it gracefully. Pay it back once you can, if that makes you feel less uncomfortable about it.

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