We have the best Agony Uncle at Sassy Mama – Andreas is the author of one of our most-recommended books: Hiring & Managing Domestic Help. It’s an absolute must-have for Hong Kong mamas and you can buy it here!
This week Andreas, our expert extraordinaire when it comes to all things helper related, helps one mama with her helper’s money issues.
We have had a few instances with our helper borrowing and lending money. We have settled her debts with the receipts she provided and she now owes us the money and pays us back a set amount on each payday. We also sat down with her to talked about budgeting and to help her create a budget to live based on this experience. What is your general advice though when it comes to requests for loans or salary advances?
Money can be a very big issue. With a new helper, it’s always a good idea to make sure you make it clear to her that she should manage her finances responsibly. The fact that you created a budget with her shows that you are on top of the issue. I would caution, however, against “advising” her too strongly. She is an adult and unless her finances impact your family they are her private matters.
Regarding my general advice when it comes to requests for loans or salary advances, while lending your helper money can often be fine, there are some caveats. If your helper has been with you for a while and you trust her, a small loan is fine. But I would caution against this being more than about a month’s salary. Be sure to ask her what it is for to see if she is financing an unhealthy spending habit or if there has been a family emergency. And as you’ve done previously, make a repayment plan with her (perhaps over six months) and do not lend more money until she has repaid the loan in full.
For the only guide you’ll ever need on working with a helper, check out Andreas’ fab book ‘Hiring and Managing Domestic Help’ and buy it here.
Andreas Rosboch was born and raised in Sweden by an Italian father and a Swedish mother. He has been an expat for more than ten years and plans to keep it that way. He has spent most of his career in the information technology field, handling everything from brand management to customer support. He is the author of one of our most-recommended books Hiring & Managing Domestic Help – an absolute must-have for Hong Kong mamas (psst- and you can buy it here). He lives in Hong Kong with his wife, two children and dog.