Make Wealth Flow Towards You!

How To Make Money Run After You (Part 3)

Posted by on Aug 30, 2011 in Money Management | 56 comments

Money Leeches in the Family?



If you have not yet read Part 2 of this article, please click here to read it now

In the last article, I talked about being aware and effectively stopping your Money Leeches! Should a Money Leech appear who is NOT Immediate family, I recommend that you only offer P50 and not a Centavo more. Although it may seem very harsh, this is the first real step in getting your money to stay with you. Also remember, if you think you can’t do it, think about the welfare of your immediate family. Money leeches are not your burden, they are not your problem. Instead, think of them as “Money Management Tests”. If you are able to stop your leeches, you pass the test and you immediately get to the next level. Fail the test, then you will stay stuck where you are.

But what if the “Money Leech” is from immediate family? Like a brother or a sister or a parent, what then?

First, let me define what an “immediate family money Leech” is. — This is the brother or sister or parent that will habitually ask you for money. Most of the time, they even feel entitled to it because of the blood relationship they have with you. You know the type right?

Well, this is where it gets very sensitive for a lot of people. Everybody has a different opinion on this, but this is my clear cut view on it. Not all members of your immediate family have the same weight. You must prioritize who within your immediate family to be generous to first.

In my life, this is my prioritization: My first priority is to my wife and children, then my parents and then my siblings. And with that in mind, I give 90% of my money to my wife and children first, then the next 5% goes to me and the remaining 5% goes to a special fund just in case an immediate family needs it.

Side note: If you give 90% of your money to your wife / husband and children, make sure that it is not siphoned off by a relative of your wife/husband because they too may have a money leech or leeches. This is a concern of many married people as well. –Sit down and talk to your wife / husband about this if this is indeed the case with you. Your objective is to teach your spouse about money leeches and have a unified front against them.

Now, should there be a money leech in my immediate family the maximum amount of cash I or my wife gives is only the 5% of whatever we have at the time. Now depending on how much money you have right now, that can be very little or that can be very big, the point is, even if it is immediate family (outside of my wife and children) our cash generosity is budgeted, controlled and managed.

Another side note: If you are single, I do not suggest offering 90% to your immediate family unless you plan to never marry, still budget it to 5 to 10% because of 2 reasons: 1.) If you give more than that, you might not have a money leech now, but if they get used to it, you would have created a money leech down the road; And 2.) You need money for when you get married someday. If there was a major regret I had in my life, it was that, I didn’t plan financially when the time to marry the love of my life came along. Even though it worked out in the end, I could have planned so much better.

Make no mistake; my life’s wealth is meant for my immediate family. Everything I make and have is meant to be shared with them, and to give them a better life BUT if I have a Money Leech problem and do not budget, and control it. The Money Leech will most definitely bleed me dry financially as well, especially if it is family –and let me add, if you are married, a money leech in the immediate family, if not managed will DESTROY your marriage. Trust me; I’ve seen it happen to those very dear to me. This is why I urge you to understand what I am sharing. If nothing else, I want all of you to have a great and happy marriage.

Be Generous in the Right Way

Now some of you who have read up to this point might be having a violent reaction right now saying “I can’t just abandon my brother, sister, parents and just give them 5% if they desperately need the money??? If I do, I am not being a good son/daughter/ brother/sister, I am a Filipino, they are my blood, I must give!”

Okay, calm down before you decide that I am a heartless scrooge.

Remember that we are just talking about Money Leeches in the immediate family who “habitually” ask for money and even feel entitled to it. If they are not “leeching” you dry and they desperately need help and you can afford to do so then give what you can. But I suggest that you only do so once because if you give more than that, you are creating a money leech down the road.

I am a very generous person by nature. The problem that I had before was that I was generous in the wrong way. Being overly generous with money, especially if you do not know how to manage it, is extremely dangerous and is a clear recipe for money running away from you instead of towards you.

So instead, what I learned to do, and what I want you to learn to do as well is to be extremely generous in the right way, and that is to be generous in “kind”. To explain this further, I will give you 2 assignments today.

Assignment 1: Scroll down to the bottom of this article and leave a comment.

Assignment 2: Read the next article– “Business Reciprocity”. Click Here To Read That Article. Then Comment on either that article or this one. Complain to me about the problems you have in completing the assignments. Believe me, I will read every single one — even yours and I promise that I will not ban you or even get mad at you when you do. It is all part of the process.

Assignment 2: Set a budget for your Family Leeches and stick to it. Create a script on how you will say it to them. You can email it to me if you want. Email to:

Assignment 3: Read the Next Article – “How To Make Money Run After You (Part 4) Coming soon!

Good luck and see you in the next article!


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Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. al


    your correct we only need one rejection to a leecher and it will spread to your immediate family slowly they will not bothered you anymore cause they will know your answer once they approach you.

  2. Noel De Leon

    It’s kinda tricky dealing with money leeches but it’s important to get rid of them as quickly as we can. At first they will ask for your hand and then the next time, your whole arm. I’ve seen this from my parents and grandparents. Grandpa helped a poor family in the neighborhood by giving them free “merienda”, the next day the poor family came back. I thought it’s just to thank him for his generosity, but I was surprised when they came to ask for breakfast. The next day, lunch naman!

    Another one is my mother who works abroad. She cannot resist helping her siblings here in the Philippines. They will ask for “pambayad ng kuryente”, son’s tuition, emergency… etc… It’s heartbreaking to see relationships being destroyed just because of abusive money leeches.

    Thank you Sir Mark for this article, because it opened my eyes in being generous in the right way. I know doing this exercise might cause some initial pain but, ignoring this can be much worse.

    • markso

      Thanks for sharing yoir personal experiences Noel, I’m sure the rest of the readers will be enlightened by your examples as well

  3. Romeo Teodoro

    No leeches around, Mark, Me and my wife learned this lesson long time ago the hard way so no more leeches now.

  4. Nabila Conde

    I hope I can do this one.

  5. Glo

    No money leeches in my family members because they know and understood our situation here in the Middle East. But I wish I can earn more to help them financially…

  6. CJ

    As with the previous article, I still seem to already adhere to your advised 5-10% for immediate family. If and when my income increases, do I still have to keep contributing this much to them? Is it advisable to increase to say, 12-15%? Thanks.

  7. Edwin Navarro


    I have money leeches but it’s within the 5% limit. My other money burden that sacrifices the 90% are my 2 accumulated credit cards that I’m paying + interest every month and monthly payment of our car.

    • markso

      Thanks for the feedback Edwin. We will talk about credit cards soon, but in the meantime, look for ways to pay off your credit cards in full. The interest that you are paying for is a lot more expensive than you think.

  8. patty

    Havung 5% of the existing money is reasonable…If one wants to give a bigger amount, and still stick to the 5% of the base (existing money), then one would be encouraged/motivated to expand or work hard to expand the existing money on hand…. 🙂

  9. jing

    Is the 5% budget for immediate family should be regularly set aside whether they need it or not?

  10. tes di

    i love my sibling and i want to help them, so i share to them “how to make money thru business”, but to no avail.. they are not interested, it is easier to make drama and utang ( with no intention of paying back).. i just let them know that i do not lend cash but i can teach them how to do business and that they can get items from me on terms, funny but even with a 100% roi, they are not interested

  11. Robert Rafson Chua

    mark, i actually have a lot of money leeches in my life and it has been a habit in my family for along time, it is deeply ingrained in me to help if someone asked but starting now i will try to follow your advice and learn to say budget and prioritize my immediate family first and also say no if i believe its necessary. it is better to teach them how to make money rather than just give them money just makes them dependent to you. thanks again and i will give you feedback on the results of this exercise.

  12. Josephine Yu

    Well explained. There are times when we have to be TOUGH and discipline ourselves to control MONEY LEECHES from ruining our budget.
    With regards to RICIPROCITY THEORY, i would say it depends
    1. Generally, yes, we can reap the fruits of our sharing, so we should do it.
    2. Howsever, there are times when riciprocity does not work with people who are ingrate. You end up being cheated.
    Another thing I would comment is that I don’t quite agree to develop a person by PIRATING him from another company where he is working. Sorry for my frank opinion.

    • markso

      Hi Josephine, where did I say that we develop people by pirating him???

    • markso

      With regards to Reciprocity, it only works when you have no expectations of any sort. If you give but expect to be paid, then you miss the whole point of giving. Just keep giving “in kind” meaning, not money, and you will see in time your life will get better, you will be happier and you won’t even notice the ingrates anymore.

  13. Alvin Palmos

    sir thanks for the wisdom, sir just a concern po, hindi ko kasi naitutuloy ng dire2tcho ung assignments nyo po gawa ng indi po ako palaging nagnenet dito province but would it still be ok po? or am i missing the whole essence? thanks sir mark

  14. She

    My sister and I are almost the breadwinners of the family. The amount we contribute was set as to how much we can give without doing budget analysis. After reading your previous articles last night, we analyzed our monthly household expenses and was able to lessen our contribution but still 50% of our net income. Less the personal allowance pa, actually 20% na lang matitira. That’s our problem, sagad na. Comment please!

    • markso

      Hi Sherilyn, You need to make more money if you are lacking 20% and only spending on the basics.
      Go ahead and read the business management articles under the free articles tab on the website to get you started.


  15. Carrol Tricoli

    I have to express appreciation to the writer for bailing me out of this particular trouble. After surfing around throughout the the net and seeing ways which are not beneficial, I assumed my life was done. Living devoid of the solutions to the issues you have resolved by way of your good posting is a serious case, as well as ones which could have in a negative way damaged my entire career if I had not come across your blog. Your primary talents and kindness in taking care of the whole thing was precious. I am not sure what I would have done if I hadn’t come upon such a subject like this. I can also at this point look forward to my future. Thanks for your time very much for this impressive and sensible guide. I will not think twice to propose the sites to anybody who needs guidance on this matter.

  16. elaine

    I am thankful though that I have not experienced this, having money leeches from immediate family members

  17. Faye Chua

    As I said in the earlier comment, I do not have anyone to burden about. First, My mother taught us (our family) early in life to be independent and save for the rainy days so basically everyone of us learned the importance of having emergency funds. And I practiced no loan out so no one would ask to borrow money from me.

  18. robert

    your are right, one has to manage “dole out”.
    may i know whats the basis for 5%? five percent of your savings? mony on hand?

    whats the script appropriate for a help to an in-law?

  19. James

    Hi Mark!

    With regards to your reply to Robert (April 18, 2012 at 6:54 pm), you said 5% of your entire wealth. Does that mean 5% of your net worth? I just want to make sure I’m getting it correctly. I was thinking/assuming it was 5% of whatever amount one has put aside in the bank for “giving”. For example, I’ve set a few accounts for specific things:
    1. Personal Savings Account – this is my general purposes account (food, electricity and all other basic necessities etc.)
    2. “Nesting” Account – I call this my nesting account because it’s the account I don’t withdraw from NO MATTER WHAT. This I’ve set aside for retirement.
    3. Emergency 1 Account – as the name implies, emergencies for myself or immediate family.
    4. Emergency 2 Account – for “giving” or money leeches. Let’s say what’s in this is 200k, so 5% is 10k. This is how I assumed it was.

    So if it’s one’s entire wealth, that means sum of all you have times 5% right? That’s big pala no? Hmmm…that’s tough and here I was thinking I was being generous. LOL So I guess this is what you meant when you said “what I want you to learn to do as well is to be extremely generous in the right way”?

    • markso

      5% of entire wealth which includes 5% of everything I have in the form of cash. Of course, that does not include non-liquid assets. Yes, it is big if you have a lot.

  20. Yllen

    It is easy to stop giving in to requests of Money Leeches who are not immediate family members but I find it very difficult to refuse my immediate family Money Leeches. My parent stays with us and I ‘ve been shouldering my brother’s monthly maintenance medicines and other needs. My brother ‘s income is not even enough for his family’s daily subsistence .I wonder how I can reduce the allocation for them.? Really,I’m in for a big challenge!

    • markso

      Help him increase his income streams to help you to stop supporting him. Let him read our articles as well. Good luck!

  21. Zena Andrade

    can relate on this article. Thank you for sharing this. More power!

  22. Ken Dela Cruz

    Giving the right way is the best action. It helps both parties actually.

    Question, what if the child at the age of a professional is the leecher? What’s the best possible course of action for it? Thank you.


  23. Iya

    hello Sir, Since I got my work and now that I am married I have this same amount that I am giving my parents monthly. They have no job but they still work very hard for me to finish my studies. The said amount is like 17% of my income, is this an excuse for me not to decrease my monthly budget for them to 5 %?

  24. Aze

    Mark, thank you for making things clear here with regards to money leeches in the family. It is really my concern nowadays. I do not want to be greedy when it comes to my immediate family specially that I am single. Thank you for the idea of setting priorities and a budget for this kind of concern. It made more clear to me on how to handle situations like this. I do not want to be generous in the wrong way but to be extremely generous in the right way. 🙂

  25. bheng

    i’ve been for 12 years the bread winner of the family now i also have my sister and brother to help share our mom and our youngest brother’s expenses but there are times i am wondering when will it end ? that i could also focus my priorities with my husband and two kids to prepare for our future many times we have been arguing about it cause my mom has a mental disorder and needs her medicine evryday and she cant work because of this.then we have our 19 yr old brother to be with her to take care of her. i just hope with this new knowledge of managing money and with God’s help we could live the best way for us and our loved ones.

  26. manessa

    i’ll keep these lessons in mind.

  27. Arnold

    It was a challenge for my wife and I before. It was really tough to do this at the start because we were so afraid that these people will judge us of being so selfish. Because of consistency and lovingly explaining our decision to them, they eventually understood and we successfully broken this pattern of behaviour.

    God bless!

  28. Ruel A.

    “Utang na loob”, Filipino cultural attitude. That’s the reason why so many Filipino people always say “YES” and sometimes never say “NO” for their relatives asking for money help. There’s nothing wrong to help even in small amount, but the point we still help them.

  29. thel

    No leeches around me. I 100% agree to uour article.

  30. Nicanor

    Mark, enough said about leeches. I must admit yours is more refined than my definition and strategy. But believe me, I know how to deal with them.

    I am 76 years old, retired at 52 and just enjoying the time of my life.

    However, all my life the market has been like a magnet to me. I still dabble a little bit in it. As I have mentioned earlier, I am one of those who lost a fortune in the go go days of the market. I have traded stocks, options, currency, futures and commodities market. However, I am not embarassed to admit that my net result is a huge loss. Again, I attribute it to timing rather than knowledge.


  31. Tet Sumulong

    I’m one of the blessed few who does not have a money leech in my immediate family. Thank God!

  32. Walter S. Lotilla

    Good evening Sir Mark,
    Yes there are 2 kinds of Money Leeches : the perennial and the non-perennial. I may be lucky that my 4 siblings will always try to stand on their own feet , we all help each other ( if needed ) without expecting for any recompense, and luckily we are well discipline and very aware of what is abusive or not in terms of finances.

  33. Bhoy


    Thanks for this nice article, Ive learned a lot and it’s really a big help for both of us ( me and my wife ) especially we are working here abroad.


  34. Acedillo V. Apalit

    It’s hard to follow… will discuss to my wife.. thanks sir mark

  35. Reynato

    Donor’s Fatigue! That’s what most givers feel for habitual money begging dependents from within families. It may be brutal to them but somehow it must be stopped. Slowly and nicely communicated it will be understood in the long run. For there will always be apprehensions on the first step of stopping a habit of money dependency.

  36. Grace MAcabingkil

    Mark, I am now a breadwinner to my younger brother and I’m also going to support his studies while I work. I’m planning to pause my studies this next semester. I am earning enough for all our needs but I want to know how to manage it more wisely. I like these lessons.

  37. joseph niel

    thank God I have minimal money leeches in my life….I already have enough problems on my own

  38. Jobilee-May S. Rubio

    Sa totoo lang po napakahirap po talagang magbudget. Lalo na po at kasama doon ang pamilya na humuhingi at nangangailangan ng tulong dahil baka dumating ang araw na ako naman ang nangailangan tas di nila ako tulungan. Sa ngayon po di pa ako mkapagbudget ng maayos.

  39. Gilbert Z. Apostol

    I now understand Sir Mark. it is just right to appropriate a certain percentage of our money for them (money leeches in the family). And I think we can help them by introducing financially literacy to them so that they will also understand the system that we are employing in our personal finances. If they will become financially literate, they will not become money leeches anymore…hopefully. hehehe.

  40. Gilbert Z. Apostol

    PS. I love the side comments. saktong sakto sa majority ng pamilyang pinoy. These are really happening. very practical and very clear. Congrats Sir Mark for this article. God bless!

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