DEAR HARRIETTE: I went on a trip with my family as a special tribute even though I couldn't afford it. My brother said he would reimburse me for the cost of travel to help ease my burden. I thought that was so nice of him. He is busy with his work and his life, and he forgot to give me a check or cash when we were all together. Several weeks have passed, and he still hasn't sent me the money. I called him once to remind him, and he assured me he would do it right away. I feel horrible having to grovel for this money, but I would not have attended had he not promised to pay my way. What can I do? -- Broke, Cincinnati
DEAR BROKE: You can call your brother again and remind him to send you a check or wire you the money. It is easy to do now through services like PayPal or Chase QuickPay, among others. Tell him you need it right away.
In the future, don't put yourself in that position. Do not spend money that you don't have. If you have to miss family events or other activities, miss them. Focus on getting your finances straight, and then you can be clear on what you are able to afford. A simple and powerful book to read is "The One Week Budget: Learn to Create Your Money Management System in 7 Days or Less," by The Budgetnista.