Even with good intentions, when it comes to love and money — keeping both separate is your safest bet. According to “Shark Tank” investor Kevin O’Leary, “Money destroys families, sometimes, when there’s too much of it.”
In an interview with fellow entrepreneur Evan Carmichael, he told his YouTube audience he uses a specific tactic for whenever a family member asks to borrow money. “I say to them: ‘I don’t want to lend you any money. I’m going to give you money and I never want it returned. But I never want you to ask for it again.'”
If you’re struggling with setting healthy financial boundaries or find yourself routinely borrowing money from family, here are 3 tips to prevent money from coming between you and your loved ones. Most are largely predicated on furthering your own financial security.
1. Keep Your Emotions in Check
O’Leary recommended keeping your emotions separate. “If emotions are involved in a money decision, be very, very careful. No decision fueled by emotion ever led to long-term value,” he explained in an Instagram post.
He noted that rational people can end up making horrible financial decisions when they can’t rein in their emotions. It can seem easier said than done when you’re anxious, sad, or angry and feel tempted to shop for unnecessary purchases. But controlling how you deal with stress will go a long way toward money management.
2. Create Your Own Financial Freedom
One of the best ways to avoid financial pitfalls is by putting your money to work for you. Appearing on Lewis Howes’ “The School of Greatness” podcast in 2021, O’Leary shared the value in gaining financial literacy from a young age. He believes both schools and parents should teach kids about saving and investing so they can begin planning for their future.
If investing feels too risky to start with, storing cash away in a high-yield savings account (HYSA) can help you earn more interest on your money than a traditional savings account would. While O’Leary recommended starting sooner, he indicated we’re all capable of changing our financial behavior at any age.
3. Invest in Your Future
The greatest way to find financial freedom isn’t through family — it’s through investing in yourself. This is one of the key lessons O’Leary tried to drive home: “Never feel selfish for investing in yourself. Never apologize to anyone for trying to create a better life for yourself,” he noted in another Instagram post. “The biggest reason I say to invest in your own future: no one else is going to do it for you. No one is coming to just hand you millions of dollars.”
Whether you look into getting a college degree, advancing your career through a mentor, or trying out new experiences like taking trips abroad — the point is to always be open to learning new things and finding opportunities to invest in your development and personal growth.
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