Give and Take...and Give Some More! : Investing in Relationships Beyond the Basics


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Parents, siblings, grandparents, close friends; there may be many people you call “family.” They surround you with love, laughs and support in many ways. They may drive you a little crazy at times, but the relationships you have with your family and friends can be beneficial in many ways. As you become more financially independent, it's important to understand the importance of friend and family relationships.

Social capital may sound like some kind of strange political system or something, but in reality it is simply a term that describes the benefits you take part of when you build relationships with family, friends, etc. Going off to college poses the question for many young adults: live at home or move out? Chances are if you live at home, you are more aware of the immediate benefits your family provides including cooked meals, a place to sleep and study, internet usage, etc. Those benefits aid you even if your parents or family aren't directly paying you. If you do live on your own or in a dorm at school, the benefits your family provides don't necessarily go away. They may send you care packages, loan you money or help pay for your rent or other expenses.

Benefits can be nice and often make financial burdens a little easier to deal with. Your parents, grandparents, even aunts and uncles may help you pay for school or other expenses, and friends can also help you by giving you rides, buying you lunch, helping you move, etc. But it's important to remember that being helped out by others warrants that you help out in return. Relationships often call for give-and-take; if you are given something, don't just keep taking and taking; give some back. Take your friends to lunch, buy them coffee or ice cream every once in a while if they help you with something. Helping out your family by running errands, cleaning up the house, or maybe taking mom and dad out for dinner are all great ways to show your appreciation for their help.


Student Editor: