(PLEASE READ MY LAST COMMENT IN THE THREAD FOR AN UPDATE. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL YOUR ADVICE!)
For the more experienced members on the forum (or just random opinions)
How do you handle money requests from family?
This is an obvious throwaway account so it can't be traced back to me.
My big sister - about 10 years older than me - is (or was) a doctor. She and her husband left everything and joined a non-profit a few years back, and moved somewhere in the third world where she worked as a doctor helping under-served populations. On a furlough visit back to the states, she got pregnant, baby (my nephew) was born extremely premature, had to go through multiple surgeries and they sunk their entire life savings taking care of this child. Nephew is doing well, is a toddler now and growing, but they haven't been able to raise enough money to cover an extra year in the states (needed as the kid needs monitoring) plus the next few years at their station. My parents have been helping them out but between that and my little brother's college tuition, my parents are financially exhausted.
I have been working for about a year in corporate strategy. While the base is not much lower than IB base & I live in a very low COL city, the bonus is measly compared to IB, which means that I'm definitely not making IB money. However I'm definitely comfortable and not complaining.
I was horrid at money-handling throughout college & incurred multiple debts. I have finally gotten my act together and managed to pay most of the important/high-interest ones off (like credit card)..all I have now is my car note. No student loans because of parents, scholarships & internships throughout school.
However, as a result of me paying all my debts off, my savings are meager - but my financial situation is finally looking up. I'm building a decent nest & am already maxing my 401k (employer match) - all the good things.
Out of the blue yesterday my sister asked me for a 5k loan - repayable in a year - to help them with certain housing related issues. If I give this to her, I'd basically be out of my emergency savings and would be in a very precarious situation if anything happened to me, my car, my job etc.
I told my parents (and just my parents) how much I made when I got the job, but my mom told my sister, who now expects me to help her since "you make good money and have no dependents."
This is obviously a slippery slope, but how do I strike the right balance of being generous (plus I love my nephew) but also looking out for myself and stopping a potentially harmful habit (family asking money) in its infancy. My girlfriend thinks I should flat out refuse & ask them to take a loan at the bank.
WSO is filled with financial wizards - I have no mentor other than my dad I can talk about this to that's also financially savvy, so strangers on the internet will do.