Psychology of Asking for Money

On November 12, 2014

Categories: Saving Tips

“Mom, can I have $20 bucks?”

Asking for money can be scary, awkward and hard. We actually spend a lot of time in throughout our lives asking for money or thinking about asking for money.

Teenagers ask their parents all the time for money, or at least I did when I was a teenager.  I was always asking for $20 bucks to go to the movies or to get food with friends etc. But as we grow up there are many more times we ask for money. A loan or a mortgage is asking the bank for money. When you get a new job (or are unsatisfied with your current one) you ask your boss for more money in a salary negotiation.

how to ask for money

In an article for Psychology Today, Susan Krauss Whitbourne, a professor of psychology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst put together 9 strategies that should help you when raising money from your family and friends.

Make your request reasonable.

When asking for money from family and friends you want to make sure that you don’t make too big of an ask because it could jeopardize your relationship. Whitbourne uses the example of asking your boss for a 2 week vacation when all you want (or are entitled to) is one. Making a request that is larger than you think you will get might negatively effect your relationship. Keep the ask small, something that you think they would spend on a gift for you is usually a good gauge.

Don’t pile on the reasons.

Research shows that people are more likely to give money when given a single basis for the request.  Find one reason to make your request and give that the most focus in your request for money

Be nice and honest.

If this is a written request (which means that there’s no body language to soften the words), re-read it and make sure you don’t sound whiny or complaining. And be honest. Express honestly what you need and why you need it, and assure the other person that there won’t be any rule changes down the road. If you don’t know how to start, we put together a sample donation request letter that you can use.

Read the full article here: