DEAR HARRIETTE: I have a brother who always was the one with extra money. He has had great jobs in the past and has been consistent in earning money since he graduated from college. A few years ago, though, he lost his job and has had a tough time finding another one, at least one that pays well. I talked to him the other day, and he told me that he may lose his house if he cannot get a better job. I was shocked. He is the one we used to always “borrow” money from. Now that he could use some support, I have nothing to offer him. I feel horrible. Not that he asked, but he has bailed me out of a few financial droughts in the past, and I wish I could help him now. I bet part of him feels bad for being the one to help everybody, and now nobody can help him. What can I do to be a support for my brother? -- Broke, Nashville, Tennessee
DEAR BROKE: Reach out to your brother and tell him that you know he is going through a tough time right now and that your heart goes out to him. Admit that you feel terrible that you don’t have money to share with him, as he has done for you over the years. Ask him if there is anything you can do to help him out.
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to email@example.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)Read more in: Family & Parenting | Money | Etiquette & Ethics