DEAR HARRIETTE: I am so tired of being the only one in my family who takes responsibility for anything. I am the youngest child who makes the most money. I have been helping out my siblings for years. I pay for one niece's college tuition. I pay for my brother's mortgage several months out of the year, whenever he does not have steady employment. I feel like the family ATM, but whenever I stop helping them, they all accuse me of being selfish. I hate this predicament. I actually enjoy helping my family in some ways, but I do not appreciate them thinking that it is my responsibility to take them for a free ride. How can I create a better balance? -- Feeling Used, Washington, D.C.
DEAR FEELING USED: You are in a predicament that is common in many families. The one or ones with means often help out those who are less fortunate. And as you already know, the fine line can be difficult to navigate between being of help and enabling. What you may want to do is invest in a financial planner who works with you and with your family members. You can determine what you will do for yourself for now and your future, including a finite amount of money that you will give to your loved ones. For them, the planner can help them figure out how to be more stable in their financial dealings so that they can learn to live within their means and establish independence. Having an outside party help you will make all the difference.