It's hard enough to know someone has stolen money, it can be even harder to know it's your family
It's hard enough to know that someone has stolen money from you. And it can be even harder to know that someone in your own family has taken money from you. If you're in this situation, know there is help to stop it and prevent it from happening in the future. Here are five ways to cope when a loved one is stealing your money.
1. Don't Ignore It
The most important thing to do is to recognize there's a problem to begin with. You may be inclined to tell yourself everything's fine or to avoid conflict and protect your relationship, but you should remember that you are the one losing money. The problem is negatively affecting your bank account and — ultimately — your current and future security.
So because it's your money and your security that's on the line, have the confidence to address the issue and have a conversation with the person. Tell them how you feel about what has happened, whether that's disappointed, angry, betrayed, sad or any other emotion. Try to stay as calm as possible — not only so the other person stays calm as well but so you can better control the conversation and your emotions.
2. Set Boundaries
Only you can decide what you want to happen with your money and in your relationship. So ask yourself what you want the outcome to be — and act on it. Whether that's to cut off ties, get repaid, take legal action or continue in the relationship, give the person specific and detailed parameters for moving forward. That could include a repayment plan and timeline, if that's what you choose.
Making these decisions for yourself can help improve your mental health and self-confidence in the situation. It can help you let go of any resentment that has built up and can help you regain control of this part of your life.
3. Get Support
Dealing with this kind of situation and the emotions that come with it can be difficult and draining. Talking to a trusted family member, of even a therapist, can be extremely helpful for you. They can help you plan and practice your side of the conversation, manage expectations, and come up with your parameters and boundaries.
It may also be worthwhile to meet with a financial advisor, if significant sums of money have been stolen from you. They can give you expert analysis on any damage that's been done to your finances, as well as objective advice for recovering from that damage. They can also help you put safeguards in place so people can't take advantage of your finances in the future.