One thing that Social Media has taught all of us is that you do not want to step into the ring with the Internet. You will lose. On Sunday night, Kylie Jenner went down for the count all because she posted a GoFundMe link for her makeup artist who needed surgery.
Twitter was ablaze. How dare a self-proclaimed billionaire donates $6k of a $60k bill. Why couldn’t she pay the whole thing tweet after tweet summarized? The outrage touches on something I wrote about earlier: % is relative.
People deemed Kylie’s status capable of footing the entire bill. Had the average Twitter user donated based on % of Kylie’s wealth, it would have been $1 per person.
The counterargument was that it was Kylie’s money and that she was not obligated to pay the entire bill. True. Had I been Kylie, I would have left an anonymous donation. Why? No expectations.
People see me and my lack of an Instagramable lifestyle. It’s the same as that millionaire next door vibe. No flash is perceived as no cash. Did you ever see that meme of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet? Two of the wealthiest people in the world. There was a caption: worth billions and not a Gucci belt in sight.
Whether we like to admit it or not, we offer people in our life a window into our lifestyle. People know what type of car we drive. Our living situation. Our fashion savviness.
The further we open the window the more people keep tabs on our perceived financial situation. No matter what we do we will never be able to escape this perception. One way to navigate through it would be to establish boundaries.
The most important boundary to establish is one that is monetary. On the surface, it may be hard for some to address that issue. However, if we do a deep dive into what causes our financial stress, one of the main factors is how we handle our money relationship with family and friends.
I believe there are three distinct ways to handle this situation:
Just say no
Everyone in your life gets an across-the-board no. It doesn’t matter who they are you will tell them that you are unable to help them out at this time. My issue with this approach is that life itself is too unpredictable. If you appear to be someone who doesn’t help others out then you run the risk of someone not helping you out if you’re in a jam.
Vet the person
Just like that uncle you know not to invite to the family picnic, there is always that one you know you need to establish a money boundary. This is a milder approach. You evaluate family and friends on a case-by-case basis. You look at how they handle their finances and make your decision accordingly. The problem here is that some family members may not understand why you say no to them and yes to someone else.
Treat it Like a Gift
A passive approach. Here you are willing to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. This one should be reserved for people who are financially sound and can experience a realized loss.
Out of the three above mentioned, I lean towards approach number two. It took getting older for me to understand the importance of vetting someone. I didn’t like saying no to friends but I soon realized that by me not doing so, I was enabling bad decision-making on their behalf.
Regardless of which type of person you are, the message is to make the right decision for you. One that you can endure. At the end of the day, it is about your financial well-being. As long as that is healthy, then helping another one in need is attainable.