In situations where your family is solely dependent on you to support them financially, how do you tell them that you are unable to offer the assistance they need?
There is a common phenomenon with many South African families where, many black professionals feel pressure to share their income with struggling family members, making it difficult for them to build generational wealth.
Many blacks in my peer group are making good money but because they’re the first person in their family to “make it”, they are still living paycheck-to-paycheck because their money isn’t just their money. Their money is mom’s light bill money, little bro’s football money, etc.
— Sheena Allen (@whoisSheena) December 10, 2018
Thomas and Skhumba asked listeners what their experiences are when it comes to their family asking them for money when they are already over stretched.
Listen to the the full conversation here:
Blackmail – Being the light of the family
One listener shared a story of how he was going through a divorce and bought himself a car and was shocked when his mother was disappointed, saying are we going to feed this family with your car. He also complained about how he can’t even have a girlfriend with all his expenses.
“I had to downgrade all because I am taking care of my family, I have a townhouse to pay and have two boys in private school. That’s R4,300 for each kid that I am paying for, on the other hand I am hustling on top of the job I am doing, I am not home everyday.”
I can’t help at this stage
Another listener also gave advice on how she’s figured out a way to let his family know that they can’t afford to offer support to their family.
@skhumbi @thomasmsengana I created a spreadsheet with projections of how much I earn, the expenses and everything ndabiza a family meeting to show them that andibinayo imali even after ndomkele and after that they knew that ndiyasapana but I can’t afford #ThomasAndSkhumba
— Mntano Mntlane (@LMkonqo) July 12, 2021
A few tips on managing Black Tax
- Don’t disclose what you earn to everyone
- Set very clear boundaries when it comes to money and stick to them
- Spend time teaching yourself to say no, if your family loves you, they’ll understand that you can’t help them.
- Have a budget and stick to it. Avoid living above your means to impress you family, they soon think you have money you don’t have.
- Avoid getting into debt for family, this can be very dangerous, especially when you are left all by yourself to pay it off.