Dear Blake,

I’m a 28-year-old man who works hard at a full-time job and no longer lives with his parents. I’ve always been fairly independent and able to support myself without any problems. When an unexpected expenditure came up, my family offered to help me pay for it and sent money. After debating it with myself for a few days, I accepted it. How can I reconcile taking their gracious gift when my independent nature was telling me not to? I don’t want to come off as a mooch?

Signed, Sonny

From Raleigh, North Carolina

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Dear Sonny,

You should not feel uncomfortable about accepting money from your family. What you should feel awkward about is only accepting it once, instead of riding on that gravy train! This is what I am urging you to do. Start “inventing” problems on a regular basis to keep the money flowing your way. Catch the bus to their place, and tell them you were in car accident that was your fault, and the deductible is $25,000.00. Tell your gullible family members that you have a gambling problem and you owe a lot of money to some loan sharks from the Mafia. And if you don’t pay it within 24 hours, they can find you at a nearby hospital in the ICU, if you’re lucky. With tears in your eyes, inform them that the only woman you ever loved is about to get deported, and she needs a very expensive high-powered immigration attorney. After a prolonged period of time, if your family continues on this path, financially they will be in dire straits and might come to you for help. At that point you should loan them what they need… charging them compound interest. But don’t do a credit check, because that might be construed as offensive and insulting. I hope this helps.