On a recent Red Table Talk episode with hosts Jada Pinkett Smith, her daughter Willow Smith, and mom Adrienne Banfield-Norris, Jada opened up about her decision not to “lend money” to her family and friends.
The topic arose after the trio fielded viewers’ questions about different issues related to “awkward” situations, People noted.
A woman from Queens, NY, had asked the ladies how they would handle their family and friends asking for money.
Initially, Banfield-Norris jokingly told her daughter, “You should be able to answer that.”
Jada then went on to say, “For people like us, who came from backgrounds where we didn’t have much, don’t feel guilty.”
“I spent so many years feeling guilty, and my guilt made me feel like I owed everybody, and I wasn’t allowed to say, ‘no.’ And that’s just not true, right?”
The 49-year-old actress shared a few personal rules she created when her family and friends ask for money.
“First of all, I don’t lend money,” Jada said. “I only give money that I am willing to give like, ‘this is a gift.’ I do not lend money because that turns into a lot of problems, just as far as the expectation of people paying you back or what have you.”
“So I tend to not give where I can’t just say, ‘here’s a gift to you.’ Specifically, people who are close to me, ‘cuz I’m not trying to have fallouts over money,” she continued.
The “Set It Off” star noted that only when her loved ones are “ready for that help” will she provide financial assistance.
“So it’s like, somebody’s like, ‘I want a new house,’ but they don’t have a job to support the house they’re trying to buy,” she said. “It’s like, well, you’re not ready for that. So I’m not about to help you get into something that ultimately is going to make more difficulty for you, right? And so, I really had to look at that. So I’ve also learned to help people with resources, with education.”
Jada’s overall message to Samantha, the inquiring viewer, was not to feel guilty about not giving loved ones money when they ask.
“You don’t owe nobody nothing,” Pinkett Smith said. “And people will make you feel like, ‘You owe me. I was standing next to you. I grew up in the house with you. I did this and that with you I knew you when,'” she said. “And at the end of the day, you don’t owe nobody nothing.”