Why Jada Pinkett Smith Refuses To Lend Money – The List

Actress Jada Pinkett Smith is getting honest with her fans and talking about a particularly taboo subject: money. On Tuesday’s episode of Red Table Talk, Pinkett Smith and co-hosts daughter Willow Smith and mother Adrienne Banfield-Norris took in questions from viewers about dealing with “awkward social situations.” Some of the situations included farting on dates, peeing your pants, receiving bad Christmas gifts, being blocked on social media, and many more awkward, real-life scenarios. They were joined by comedian Kym Whitley and New York Times Advice columnist Philip Galanes to help answer the questions, and the whole thing is just a joy — and a breath of humbling fresh air — to watch (via People). 

However, while many of the situations are silly and fun, the Q&A begins with a question from Samantha, who asks the group a more serious question; she wonders how the group deals with loved ones asking for money. Samantha describes herself as having built her way to financial stability despite growing up without money. “How do you tell your loved ones no and don’t offend them?” she asks.

Give yourself time to think about it, advises Philip Galanes

You should be able to answer that!” jokes Banfield-Norris as she gestures to Pinkett Smith. “We struggle with this,” chimes in Willow Smith. Galanes gets the ball rolling by answering the question first, advising that rather than instantly saying yes or no to a loved one asking for money, the best way to respond is by saying, “let me think about it.” This response allows time for you to consider whether you feel like you can comfortably afford the hand out, or if you really even want to do it.

Pinkett Smith then explains how important it is not to feel guilty for finding financial success later on in life if you’re the kind of person that grew up without much. “I spent so many years feeling guilty and my guilt made me feel like I owed everybody and I wasn’t allowed to say, ‘no,'” she says. “And that’s just not true, right?” A graphic referenced a Bankrate survey which revealed that 46% of people who lent money to loved ones reported having “a negative outcome.”

Here are Jada Pinkett Smith's rules for deciding when and if to give money to a loved one

Pinkett Smith continues that she “came up with a couple of rules” for herself when it comes to lending money, adding, “First of all, I don’t lend money,” she said. “I only give money that I am willing to give like, ‘this is a gift.’ I do not lend money because that turns into a lot of problems, just as far of the expectation of people paying you back or what have you.”

Pinkett Smith explained a situation in which giving someone a house will only end up hurting them in the end if they don’t have the job or finances to continue to pay for it; so she uses her judgement to decide whether the person she is lending to is ready for it, as not doing so could “make more difficulty” for the person. She believes that what can arguably be more valuable than simply handing over money is instead giving resources to education.

And Pinkett Smith’s final words of advice? “You don’t owe nobody nothing” (via Facebook).

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