7 Ways to Politely Say No When Someone Asks for Money

You can’t give money to everyone and sometimes it's better for your relationships not to. Here are seven ways you can say no when asked for money.Learning how to say no, especially to ones you love is never an easy task. This is particularly true when it comes to money.

Unfortunately, as of late, it seems as though everyone around you has something they need money for. Whether they have a new business, project, charity, or fundraiser, it can feel like the requests just keep pouring in.

Sites like GoFundMe and Kickstarter have given people the power to ask for financial help from every connection they have on the internet. Plus, nowadays people can also make ends meet with things like online title loans or other financial services.

That being said, you can’t give money to everyone and for the sake of your relationships, it’s usually best not to. After all, you wouldn’t want an unpaid loan creating an awkward situation or rift. However, refusing to give someone funds in itself can create an awkward situation, which is why you should tread lightly when doing so.

Here are seven ways to politely say no when you’re asked for money.

1. Make It Your Rule

One of the easiest ways to say no is by simply creating a rule for yourself. Tell yourself that your policy from here on out is that you don’t lend money to friends and family. It’s a quick and easy way to handle the situation without leaving yourself feeling guilty.

It’s easier to tell everyone no, than to give to some and not to others. Moreover, by communicating this to your loved ones, they’ll understand that it doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with them or their character, but that it’s merely something you don’t do.

2. Respond Promptly

Having difficult conversations, like refusing to give someone money, is never fun. Many of us take our sweet time trying to work up the courage to say no in the first place. As hard as it may be to say no to begin with, you don’t make things any easier the longer you wait. One of the best things you can do in these situations is respond promptly to the inquirer.

You’ll come off politer in the situation by simply being considerate enough to answer their request in a timely manner. That being said, allow yourself at least 24 hours to mull over the request, as you won’t come across well if you give the situation absolutely no thought.

3. Be Clear, To-The-Point, & Polite

Beating around the bust only serves to confuse the parties involved and could lead to you giving when your intention was to say no. Be firm, but polite, and concise. Don’t give your friend or family member room to argue in the first place.

Simply say that you’re unable to give at this time, that it’s not feasible for you, or that you’re simply uncomfortable doing so. Don’t give a long drawn out explanation or ramble on, simply state your answer and move on. Again, you’ll get your point across and save yourself and the other party from any confusion.

Don't be afraid to say no when people ask you for money. You don't have to feel guilty. Share on X

4. Be Aware of What You Can Give

If you receive requests on a regular basis, and hate saying no to everyone, a good rule of thumb could be to create a special giving fund. Set aside a certain amount in your budget that you’re willing to give to a good cause or family and friends. After that amount is used up, you can simply explain that your allotted giving amount has been used for the year. By opting to go this route, you can diplomatically decide who you’d like to give to as the year goes, and know if you have any more funds to give.

5. Offer to Help in Other Ways

In most cases, money isn’t the only way you can help out your friend or family member. There are alternatives way to help someone in financial need depending on their situation. Whether that be offering financial advice, assisting them with their budget, offering your time by helping with their charity or organization, or even providing simple services like providing meals, cleaning house, or babysitting; there’s an array of ways to assist a loved one in any situation.

Moreover, sometimes just being there emotionally for someone in itself can be a tremendous help. Whatever you choose, simply respond by saying that you are unable to give financially, but that you’d love to know of other ways you could be of assistance.

6. Consider Your Relationship

Whenever someone requests money, one of the first things you should do is consider your relationship with that individual. It’s one thing to consider giving to someone who you’re extremely close to and who you’ve known well for years. However, with the invention of Facebook, it’s not unusual to receive donation requests from mere acquaintances. Don’t confuse a Facebook friend with a real-life friend. Unless you know that person intimately and they’ve been there for you in times of need as well, don’t feel guilty politely declining their request.

7. Be Wary of Discussing Financial Details

It can be difficult to turn someone down if you know that they’re aware of your financial situation. If someone feels or knows that you’re well-off, it can leave you feeling pressured and guilty for not wanting to give them money.

However, that shouldn’t be the case, and again, there are times where not giving is better for that relationship. Your best practice is to avoid sharing too much information about your finances with friends and family. No one needs to know how much you make, how much you’ve saved, or what you spend on certain things. Keep those details to yourself, so you don’t give a loved one the impression that a loan from you should be a given.

Being asked for money is simply an awkward situation; there’s no way around it. Being forced to say no, however, can feel even worse. Nonetheless, save yourself and the important relationships in your life, by not being afraid to say no. Be polite and firm and don’t allow yourself to feel guilty for having to let someone down. Trust me, you’ll be happier you did in the long run.

Have you ever had to say no to friend and family asking for money? How did you handle the situation?