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Niece Is Easy Prey for Uncle With His Hand Out

DEAR ABBY: I am a 17-year-old girl and I have a job as a barista. I have an uncle who keeps asking to borrow money from me. He always promises he will pay me back, but he was in prison and he's struggling to find a job. He never does repay me, which wouldn't bother me if it were small amounts, but I'm trying to save for a car and college, and he always asks for amounts over $50.

Several adults are telling me he takes advantage of me. I don't know if I should continue to loan him money or tell him no. If I have to refuse him, it will be hard because I have a hard time saying no to others. I don't know what to do anymore. Any advice would be great. -- PAYCHECK TO PAYCHECK

DEAR P2P: You are a sweet and generous girl, but you are allowing yourself to be taken advantage of. Part of growing up is learning to stand up for yourself. The next time your uncle asks you for money, tell him that you'll CONSIDER loaning him more after he has repaid you the money he has already borrowed. To do that isn't "mean"; it is intelligent.

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