My friend is asking me for money
July 15, 2016 1:02 AM   Subscribe

My friend has hit hard times and has asked me for money, which she isn't able to pay back. I want to help but I don't want to just keep paying out. What should I do?

I have a friend who I have known for about ten years. She is a sweet, kind girl but always seems a little lost. When we met, we shared the same circle of friends but now I'm the only person I know that she still talks to. She hasn't really fallen out with anyone (well, maybe a couple of people), but she has isolated herself. A couple of years ago, she decided to pack in her full time job and take up self-employed online life coaching. I have a rather negative view of this - it seems to me like life coaching involves paying huge amounts of money to have someone with no qualifications talk airy-fairy stuff about growth and gratitude with no real content at you for hours on end. She started to trim a lot of her real life friends with life coach people from the US. (We both live in the UK but she is originally from the US. I should add that life coaching seems to be much more of a thing in the US than it is here).

I didn't know this until recently, but the business didn't really take off and she ended up getting herself into huge amounts of debt. Not just "I can only make the minimum payment on this credit card bill and I have to buy value groceries" debt but "bailiffs are after me and I can't get credit anywhere" debt. Her boyfriend was also not terribly keen on the life coaching stuff or the debt and ended up breaking up with her, saying some rather cruel things about the state of her sanity in the process. She couldn't afford anywhere else to live and decided to start a pet/ house sitting business, whilst also doing the life coaching and any other work she was offered. I thought this sounded a great idea but I was a bit worried for her having no fixed abode and said she could turn to me for help if anything went wrong.

Last month she turned up on my doorstep needing a place to stay and I happily gave her my sofa. All she had with her was two small suitcases and that was everything she owned. She was obviously hungry and had no money, and asked me to lend her £20 to get to her next house sitting job, which I gave her. Later I decided I wasn't going to accept the money back because she needed it more than I did, but in fact she never offered to repay it anyway so I just didn't mention it.

Yesterday she texted me asking if I could lent her £50. I've had a bit of an expensive month and my bank account is right up to its overdraft limit and this was the reason I gave when I said no. But I was also thinking that she would probably not pay this money back either and while I am not hard up I am not so much rolling in cash that I wouldn't miss £50, and also if I give it to her this time is she going to keep on asking until it gets to a ridiculous sum and we fall out over it. I asked if she was ok for food and somewhere to stay (with a view to inviting her here or taking her some of my groceries if not) but although she replied to my text (and said she understood and didn't seem annoyed) she didn't reply to that question.

I have had a bit of a sleepless night wondering if I did the right thing. I could have sent her £50 on my credit card and keep thinking of all the non essential items that I have bought recently. I am really worried for her and want to help but don't know what to do. I thought of her family in the US but I don't know any of them and I am not sure how good her relationship is with them (she goes to visit them but has said she would never want to move back there and I just get the feeling things are a bit tense with them).

My questions, in summary

1) Was I right to say no?
2) What else could I do to help?
posted by intensitymultiply to Human Relations (32 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I have a very quick and short answer here.

1: yes.
2: nothing.

She has a semblance of order here. Even if you gave her £50, she would end up back where is now. A little bit of money here or there isn't going to save her from these problems, some of which appear to be originating from a risk she took that didn't work out.
posted by RainyJay at 1:06 AM on July 15, 2016 [22 favorites]

1) Was I right to say no?
2) What else could I do to help?
posted by intensitymultiply

1) Absolutely.
2) Not very much I think. You've already gone above and beyond the call of duty here.

I don't believe you owe your friend any freebies. You've already given her a few, and that was very nice of you. Please don't let this person take even more advantage of you.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 1:30 AM on July 15, 2016 [11 favorites]

It sounds like what she really needs is someone to sit down with her and work out a plan to get through the next few months that doesn’t end up with her on the streets. £50 here or there isn’t going to get help much.

Life coaching definitely has a cultish side to it: Lots of people claiming all sorts of things, when in reality they’re up to their eyeballs in debt & clinging on by their fingernails but they have to maintain the pretence of success, so that’s what they do. It sounds like she really needs to go bankrupt & start rebuilding a life some other way, but that’s always a hard thing to do.

Could you invite her to have some lunch with you somewhere neutral & talk this stuff over? Would she be willing to talk to you about it? Some sympathy & emotional support might mean a lot.
posted by pharm at 1:50 AM on July 15, 2016 [13 favorites]

I agree that you've behaved impeccably and this is the right point at which to say no. You've offered her a roof and a bed and a meal should she really need it, which is what a good friend would do.

If I were you I would also try to prepare for a range of possible future situations including tearful begging perhaps, and think about what you might want to say to her if/when that happens. By refusing to continue the money route you will probably still feel like being there if things turn out worse in future, and your shoulder could be just what she needs then.
posted by tillsbury at 1:54 AM on July 15, 2016 [4 favorites]

You are absolutely right to tell her no now, and no from now on.

You need to keep in mind the airline oxygen mask answer: if there's a problem on a plane, they specifically tell you to ALWAYS put on your own oxygen mask FIRST: it won't do anybody any good if you were to also pass out, due to some misguided altruistic thought about helping some friend or family before you put on your own mask.

In your case, what that means is keeping your own head above water and out of financial trouble; your friend has unfortunately chosen to throw away steady paychecks for a risky business venture, and equally unfortunately she has to be the one to get herself out of it. (And honestly, I can see one big reason her 'life coaching' business is failing: what kind of good advice does she offer if she can't even hold her own life together?!?)

I'm sorry, but I wouldn't give her one more penny, you'll never see it again if you do.
posted by easily confused at 2:31 AM on July 15, 2016 [15 favorites]

You literally didn't have the money to give her, how can you possibly have been wrong to say no? Going into your overdraft to save her would not have been the right call.

If you want to be a friend, help her get a real job. Life Coaching is laughable enough on its own, but calling yourself a life coach when you don't even have a home and drowning is debt is beyond a joke. She needs a serious reality check. You may not be able to do that for her, it sounds like her boyfriend couldn't. Give her a fixed abode to use for job applications (only job applications, you don't want her bad credit linked to your address), give her a bed and a meal between house-sitting jobs but don't give her money.

Don't feel guilty about buying yourself "non essential items" just because your friend is struggling. She's not a refugee, her troubles were not forced on her. She gave up a full time job to start a business doing something she's clearly unqualified for and there is very little demand for in this country and kept at it until she was at the point of being single and homeless (and she's still doing it!). The boyfriend might very well have been right to question her sanity, because even the most stubborn, pig-headed person should surely have seen before this point that things weren't working out.
posted by missmagenta at 3:07 AM on July 15, 2016 [19 favorites]

Your friend is 100% screwed and is going to burn through any money you give her, no matter how much it is, without it doing any good. She is going to need to declare bankruptcy, go on every form of public assistance she can get, and eventually find a real job. You do not have the money to give her, and it won't help anyway, so please stop worrying about her and focus on yourself. Realistically her only hope here is to win the lottery, inherit money, or marry rich. It doesn't sound like she has any sort of financial sense and nothing you do for her, whether giving (it's certainly not "lending") her money or trying to develop a financial plan, will actually do any good.

Sorry to sound so harsh, but please don't let her drag you down with her.
posted by Slinga at 5:31 AM on July 15, 2016 [4 favorites]

Don't housesitting gigs involve credit checks, these days?

You did the right thing, and she sounds like she needs debt restructuring or bankruptcy.
posted by Leon at 5:32 AM on July 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

Give her a fixed abode to use for job applications (only job applications, you don't want her bad credit linked to your address)

I don't see that ending well, for what it's worth.
posted by Leon at 5:35 AM on July 15, 2016 [18 favorites]

Giving your address for use to someone with bailiffs after them is indeed a terrible idea.
posted by winna at 6:09 AM on July 15, 2016 [20 favorites]

I think you did the right thing by saying no, but, if in the future, you feel the urge to say yes, I was taught to always give half and not call it a loan, call it a gift. That way, you lose only half and have a higher probability of getting paid back,
posted by AugustWest at 6:11 AM on July 15, 2016 [3 favorites]

One time I was visiting my dad and a neighbor's son came over and asked to borrow $20 which my dad gladly gave him and told him he'd need to pay it back. After, I asked why since it was obvious the dude was not going to pay it back. He said he always gives someone the money if it's a small amount because if they don't pay it back, the next time they come to ask it's usually for more (it's almost like they're feeling you out to see how much you'll give) and at that point, he can say, "well, you never paid me back the $20 I lent you so I'm going to have to say no." He said it was worth $20 to kind of test the person out. I've always thought that was a really good way to go about it. So, for your friend, you gave her the £20 and not only has she not paid it back, she also hasn't even mentioned paying it back. Instead she came back and asked for even more! Don't give her any more money, you'll never see it again and it'll only put off the time when she'll need to start taking responsibility for herself.
posted by dawkins_7 at 6:32 AM on July 15, 2016 [35 favorites]

A little bit of money here or there isn't going to save her from these problems,

It will certainly keep her from being hungry, though.

some of which appear to be originating from a risk she took that didn't work out.

I don't really see how this is relevant unless we're going with the punitive divine justice model of the universe or we're saying that people who have been stupid or fallen for scams or are among the 50% of people who have a go at their own businesses and fail or are just not very bright to begin with do not deserve help. I mean, even if you don't have a buck in your pocket to put in someone else's pocket, the compassion part is free.

Anyway, OP, things you can do to help:

* Help her apply for benefits or find a charity that can help her apply for benefits -- Depaul should have a resource centre (they do in Ireland)
* Let her use your address to apply for benefits if that's a thing she needs
* Put her in touch with Depaul and or other charities who can provide grocery vouchers
* Keep offering a couch when you can
* Kick a Tesco voucher her way when you can even if it is 5 quid.
posted by DarlingBri at 6:42 AM on July 15, 2016 [34 favorites]

I have to agree with DarlingBri. It's one thing saying "your friend should not have gotten herself into this situation and has to get out of it herself". That's absolutely true.

But as DarlingBri points out, in the immediate term there is a real danger that your friend will go hungry, and I really don't think letting our friends go hungry or without shelter is something we should be doing.

I do agree that your friend needs help to manage her life, and I strongly second DarlingBri's advice to point her to people who can tell her how to get benefits sorted out. Just telling her to figure it out for herself isn't very friendly, especially when it doesn't seem like she *can* figure it out for herself.

And don't offer your address until she gets expert advice telling her that's what she needs to do (and how to stop the bailiffs from coming to your place).

I agree it's not fair of her to put you in this position, but giving her advice on how to sort this out, and giving her stopgap food and shelter on condition she follows that advice, is kind of what it means to be a friend. I wouldn't like to shoulder this burden either, but rock bottom for this person could be six feet underground from the way you describe her.
posted by tel3path at 7:07 AM on July 15, 2016 [18 favorites]

Yes, you were right to say no. She has chosen a bizarre life path that has left her homeless and destitute. This did not happen overnight. Instead of learning from her failures, she is continuing to make the same mistakes. She needs a life coach.

If she were a drug addict in the same position, you would cut her off and allow her to reach rock bottom so that she could see that she needed to stop using drugs.

If you want to help her, tell her that she can stay on your couch only if she gets a job at a local fast food restaurant, and starts earning actual money. You can feed her while she is looking for a job but do not give her any money. Basically, parent her. She can't keep living this way.

Or, you could write her off as the nut she is, just like everyone else has.
posted by myselfasme at 7:12 AM on July 15, 2016

You're right that life coaching is more or less a scam here in the USA. Here's a fun essay about it from The Billfold (a blog about money aimed at millennials).

In the past year, two good friends of mine have asked me to loan them money.

The first friend has amassed a lot of credit card debt and gotten used to a pretty fancy (and extremely unsustainable) lifestyle. For example, she eats out a lot and rents a fancy apartment that costs more than half of her income. In contrast, when she asked me for money, I was renting a small room in a shabby group house, sleeping on an old bed I had gotten for free from a grad student who have moved away, and working a second job on the weekends. While I really care for this friend, I was shocked when she asked me to loan her about $100. I told her that I couldn't and felt guilty about it... until I saw her next. She had a brand new watch and mentioned going to see a movie in 3-D. I was baffled until she explained that her parents had given her some money. Simply put, this lifestyle is her decision and I can't subsidize it. Perhaps her parents can for a while, but that isn't a dynamic that I should be a part of as her friend.

The second friend who has asked me for money recently is one of my best friends in the whole world. He has refused since college to ever work a "normal" job in order to pursue his dream of being an artist. Over time, I realized that his parents were still paying his health insurance, car insurance, and cell phone bill. He also qualified for food stamps and basically managed to get by well enough for a scrappy twentysomething year old. When his parents finally cut him off and the regulations around food stamps tightened, he began working an odd assortment of jobs that would still give him the flexibility to go on tour or rush off to another city to install an exhibit. I still love this friend, but it's honestly become hard for everyone in his social circle to feel as enthusiastic for him as we once did. He often borrows other people's cars, for example, but then acts self-righteous about riding a bicycle. Earlier this year, he told me that he had secretly kept several thousand dollars from an art project that was actually supposed to be given to his collaborator. He just stalled on the fellow for months and used the money for other obligations. My friend called me last week asking to borrow money to "give him a cushion" until he goes on tour in Europe in August. I took a hard look at the expenses that I am facing with my husband in the coming months and gently said that we could not do it. It was hard to say no but ultimately it's my friend's decision to keep making art full-time even though it doesn't pay him anything -- and I can't afford to subsidize that decision by working the boring office job that he deigns beneath him.

In the end, your friend has made these decisions and you need to make sure that you are making sustainable decisions for your own life. Charging expenses to a credit card to help your friend is not a sustainable choice for yourself.
posted by pinetree at 7:37 AM on July 15, 2016 [8 favorites]

Ouch. This is a really rough position. Is there anyone else you can reach out to in your life to counsel you on this and your friend? Some smart older relative who might be able to sit down with you both and figure out a plan of action? I think once you're under a massive debt and baliffs and couch-surfing, every possible route out seems impossibly complicated and not enough but you have to start somewhere. I'd call every social resource that you can think of and see if you can kind of formulate a plan. If you want to get involved in solving her problems.

Keep in mind, if she's not sleeping well/eating well, she's not thinking well either.

I've been overhearing an office-mate listen to these "life coach" seminars as she explores whether this is something she wants to do "on the side." They have these endless "inspirational" people who go on and on about empowerment and direction and inspiration and helping others in a constant amphetamine-like patter for 45 minutes before they end with their pitch. I'm super duper knee-jerk about any kind of multi-level marketing and these work-from-home businesses and anything that requires you to put in your money to be "employed" and even I was starting to be, like, "Gee, sounds pretty good!" I mean, not seriously but I see how people get sucked in. These ideas are very, very attractive. I also remember being trapped in a sales pitch when I was younger and desperate for a MLM scheme and I sat there and inwardly flamed until there was a break and I said, "This is not something I am interested in, I'm leaving now, please don't contact me." Another friend of mine went through with that company and spent about a year dinking around and not making any money but, luckily, they didn't lose much but time. Set aside the reasons for her being down and out. It's unfair to say that this is some moral punishment akin to that for a drug user (which I don't agree with at all!).

But, if you can't extend the branch and help her out as you would a friend, then it's probably best to give her a list of referrals and back off. And if you can't help while remaining compassionate, it's also probably best to back off.
posted by amanda at 7:47 AM on July 15, 2016 [3 favorites]

Oh yes, and please don't do this --

Charging expenses to a credit card to help your friend is not a sustainable choice for yourself.

If this is the only way to help her then you cannot help her.
posted by amanda at 7:53 AM on July 15, 2016 [16 favorites]

> But as DarlingBri points out, in the immediate term there is a real danger that your friend will go hungry, and I really don't think letting our friends go hungry or without shelter is something we should be doing.

There is also a real danger that she will spend everything the poster gives her until the poster literally cannot give her more without winding up in the street, and still be in the same situation. What then? Your advice is compassionate but not sensible.

Count me in with the "you've done all you could" crowd, and I wouldn't blame you for letting the friendship lapse. This person is burning up her life in much the same way an alcoholic or gambler does, and there is no point enabling it.
posted by languagehat at 8:11 AM on July 15, 2016 [7 favorites]

If you don't have the money you don't have the money. Using your credit card to pay for your friend's daily expenses simply isn't going to work. But do offer her somewhere to stay and food!
posted by Foci for Analysis at 8:14 AM on July 15, 2016

I agree that you were right to not give her money, as it would continue to push the inevitable out that much farther; but I also agree that she's probably not thinking very well due to exhaustion and hunger. When you said no to lending her money but offered a meal, her pride probably got in the way a little bit and she declined to take you up on your offer.

If I were in your shoes I would reach out to her again and ask her to come round for "drinks" or tea, but when she arrived say "oh I've just made this meal, sit down and eat with me". It doesn't have to be fancy but please, it should be nutritious.

From there you can have the conversation about what her plans are. Me personally, I like to doodle, so when people start talking to me about something it's not uncommon for me to start "doodling" an outline of what they're talking about, and to give it to them when they leave. If we are talking about resources I'll look up phone numbers and addresses on my phone and write them on the paper as we talk. Depending on the situation and their personality, I might even make the call right in front of the person on their behalf, if I think that they are too overwhelmed to do it themselves. That sort of thing. It ends up looking spontaneous even when you may have planned to do so ahead of time.

She may not follow up on your doodle or other proffered help, but in the end you've proven yourself to be a friend, and you will at least be able to sleep at night. You won't feel like you've done nothing, but you won't feel taken advantage of either.
posted by vignettist at 8:16 AM on July 15, 2016 [15 favorites]

I think Tel3path and DarlingBri have the right idea - your friend does need help, and it looks like she needs more help than you (or any other layperson) can give her. I think you could help her not so much by giving her money - which seems to be going down a bottomless pit of need - but by hooking her up with any benefits and social work help she is entitled to.

Her financial troubles have gone beyond "well, this business tanked, so I'm going to have to tighten my belt and get a day job" to "bailiffs are after me, my boyfriend has dumped me, and I'm still chasing rainbows instead of taking more practical steps to get myself back on track." In addition, from what you posted, she has isolated herself - she is now single, and doesn't speak to any of her other friends - so you are it as far as her support system. This is really, truly, not sustainable. No one person can be another's entire safety net. This is another indicator that she needs more intensive, professional help. Since you don't know how relations with her birth family are, I wouldn't contact them pre-emptively, but you can gently suggest to your friend that now is the time to reach out to anyone who can help her.

Finally - does your friend have the right to stay and work in the UK or is she on a job or fiancee visa tied to her previous job or boyfriend? This will make a difference as to what she is entitled to, I think - I do not know UK law or policy here, but is there any possibility she will be deported back to the US or at least have to return there because she's not entitled to any aid in the UK? Is she even thinking about this?

tl;dr: Friend needs professional help, stat. Your job as her only good friend left is to get her hooked up with the pros.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 8:38 AM on July 15, 2016 [13 favorites]

If there are any other remaining friends she hasn't pushed too far away to care, I'd suggest staging and in-person intervention. She needs to come to grip with the reality of her situation.
posted by Candleman at 8:49 AM on July 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

Agree that giving her money is a bad idea. She is not going to be able to use it in a way that will get her back on her feet.

But if she is your friend, it would be kind to cook a meal for her from time to time as a gift with no hope of repayment. And if you can help her get connected with any social services that could help her, that would be good as well.

You don't have to go into debt to help someone who has made bad decisions, but there are other ways to be a friend to someone who is facing hard times. Yes, she's made mistakes, but who among us has not? She has fallen prey to charlatans who are very, very good at convincing others that they hold the key to happiness and wealth. People like to think they have achieved the good in their life without help, but that is never true. Even having someone in your life who taught you a good work ethic or how to make smart financial decisions is a gift. If we all truly had only what we actually deserved, the world would look very different.
posted by FencingGal at 9:06 AM on July 15, 2016 [9 favorites]

But as DarlingBri points out, in the immediate term there is a real danger that your friend will go hungry, and I really don't think letting our friends go hungry or without shelter is something we should be doing.

There is also a real danger that she will spend everything the poster gives her until the poster literally cannot give her more without winding up in the street, and still be in the same situation. What then? Your advice is compassionate but not sensible.

I think we can credit the poster with having the agency to notice it long before she reaches the point where that's likely. I think this because the OP has noticed, and that's why she's asking the question.

I didn't say the OP should give her £50 much less that she should keep on and on giving her more money until she's bankrupt herself. I said I agreed with DarlingBri that directing her to experts who could help her get benefits, and giving her an occasional couch to sleep on and the occasional £5 Tesco voucher or maybe a sandwich, was more humane than sending an apparently feeble-minded person out on the street to fend for herself completely unsupported.

Now maybe this friend still won't get her act together if the OP follows that advice, or maybe the friend is a master manipulator who will grift the OP. These are things the OP definitely needs to guard against.

But there is some middle ground in between "exhaust your line of credit and give your friend everything she asks for until you're out on the street too" or even "yes give your friend the £50 this time" vs. "have nothing to do with her, just let her hit rock bottom".

I'm not advocating being a patsy, I just don't think we have to be quite that capitalistic with our friends. With friends one hopes there'd be some room for mercy, even when they make bad decisions and suffer the consequences.

There is one caveat though: OP, if you know you're someone who just can't resist a sad story and if you have a history of giving in to people to your own detriment, long after anyone else would have walked away; and if you know you're going to end up totally enmeshed with this friend despite your better judgement, then I agree that you should not go there at all. But I think if you were like that you would have gone a lot further in that direction before you even asked the question.
posted by tel3path at 10:59 AM on July 15, 2016 [9 favorites]

I went through this several years ago with a then-friend. She ended up homeless, because she had some serious issues that got in the way of building a stable life for herself. When I first met her, I thought she just needed a little boost to help her get back on her feet, but, over time, I realized she needed far more than I could give her. She couldn't hang onto jobs - she was charming and vivacious, did well for a period of time, but, then invariably, something would go wrong or she would have a falling-out with her manager, and the people she'd adored just a few days earlier were now her enemies.

It was really hard. Eventually, I realized that it wasn't my place to rescue her from her own choices and that I wasn't doing either of us any favors by giving away more time, energy, or effort than I was willing to lose.

If you feel up to it, yes, be a supportive friend, but I would advise against inviting her to crash permanently on your sofa, or making dinner for her twice a week, or letting her do laundry at your place all of the time, unless you're 100% certain you won't resent her over time. Eventually, you're going to go away on vacation or have other friends over or it just won't be convenient for you, and she might well end up getting angry at you. I would also not let her use your address, especially if she's significantly in debt. You do NOT want bailiffs or collection agencies or whoever showing up at your doorstep.

If I had it to do over again, I would be more distant and not try to solve the other person's problems. Yes, I would be supportive and friendly, check in with her regularly, take her out for coffee every so often, see if there was something specific she wanted me to do to help - again, every so often. I spent two and a half years of being someone's go-to transportation and wailing wall and I wouldn't recommend it.

Good luck to you both.
posted by dancing_angel at 12:40 PM on July 15, 2016 [5 favorites]

A while back I asked a similar question here involving a friend who was on hard times. Different situation but somewhat in the realm of what you're dealing with but it was about offering up a place to say(desiding not to) as opposed to money. You can read it here:

But from what you've written here...and years after looking back at my own no way did you do the wrong thing. If you're running short on money, then you are DEFINITELY NOT responsible for helping someone else. Even if you weren't short on money it's still not your responsibility to help your friend. The thing is, people like this will take advantage of nice people like yourself. You may feel guilty, you may think you're not being a real friend by not giving her what she wants...but nothing could be farther from the truth. Your friend must unfortunately face the realities of her own financial mistakes and poor choices. The last thing you wanna do is get brought down with her by lending her money you really don't have. It's hard and you feel bad I know. But's out of your control and you must look out for yourself first.
posted by ljs30 at 3:25 PM on July 15, 2016

sorry wrong link. Here's the right one:
posted by ljs30 at 3:27 PM on July 15, 2016

About 15 years ago, when I thought I was going to be facing financial hardship, a friend gave me some excellent advice. "Pay your bills first, because a friend will always give you a sandwich". Offer to buy her some basic groceries or necessities (toiletries, tampons, etc) for her immediate needs, or cook a meal for her. But don't give her any more money - particularly if you have to borrow it yourself on your credit card.

This woman must take responsibility for her own finances, prioritise her debts and stop asking you for money. She needs advice from StepChange or the CAB to sort out her financial difficulties. Above all, don't let her use your address for anything, or you might find bailiffs on your doorstep looking for her, long after she's moved on.
posted by essexjan at 3:37 PM on July 15, 2016 [5 favorites]

You did the right thing. More money loaned will just mean more damage in total.

I'm not sure if you have these in the UK, but perhaps there's a local organization that can help her understand if bankruptcy is a viable option?
posted by whisk(e)y neat at 8:41 PM on July 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

nthing no more financial aid, for all the reasons mentioned above and more. Offer emotional support and a place to sleep but stop throwing money at this problem.
posted by ostranenie at 9:30 PM on July 15, 2016

I never look down on a person who can't find a job, but it sounds like she's not even looking for a job? Just avoids it by trying to "start her own businesses" that fail horribly? Let her... get a job. If she really couldn't find work, it would be a different story. (But if you're broke, there's not much you can do.)
posted by stoneandstar at 12:48 PM on July 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

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