DEAR HARRIETTE: A friend of mine is need of a huge favor. She lives in North Carolina, and she is planning to move to New York City. She would like to send her savings to me in advance of her arrival to New York. She does not want the extra money in her possession because she feels like she will squander her savings before coming to the city. My friend would like to send $5,000 to me, but I am hesitant to say yes because I may spend her money. She really wants to move to NYC, but I need to gently tell her no and come up with an alternative way to help her save her money. Any suggestions? -- Friend in Need, Bronx, NY
DEAR FRIEND IN NEED: You can say no to holding your friend's money. Recommend that she put it in the bank. She may want to put it into an IRA or other financial instrument that is not so easy to liquidate. Be clear that you will not be the repository for it. Since you live in New York City, you can inform your friend on everything you know about living in the city, including how expensive it is. Rather than telling her not to come to the city, give her the information she needs so that she can prepare to come responsibly.
Uprooting and moving to a new city is a big task, no matter where you choose to go, and New York City happens to be one of the most expensive cities in the world. Encourage your friend to make a plan so that when she makes her move, she will be well-prepared.