Table of Contents for This Series
This is part three of a three part series on the Identification and Removal of Leeches. This part covers financial leeches and concludes the series.
- How to Identify and Remove Real and Emotional Leeches
- How to Identify and Remove Productivity Leeches
- How to Identify and Remove Financial Leeches
Description: Financial leeches are people who drain your financial resources.
1. Recognize that you have a leech on you.
It may be hard to recognize a financial leech because they commonly attach themselves by having a legitimate problem or issue that they need help with. The financial leech, however, remains with you after the initial problem was solved and may continue to (intentionally or unintentionally) create problems so they can continue to drain you.
2. Find out where it’s actually attached.
Identify how the leech attached itself to you. Trace back to the initial problem, determine whether it was remedied, and move forward from there. If the initial problem was solved, determine why the leech is still attached to you, and figure out a way to detach it as soon as possible.
3. Calmly inform the leech that you will no longer provide it with financial support and give it a deadline to be on its own.
A financial leech has no plans to remove itself from you and may actually think that it’s not attached; this is especially the case with adutolescents. Calmly inform the leech that you will not sustain their lifestyle indefinitely and that they will be on their own after a certain date. Hold firm to that date (see note below) and make their living off of you as uncomfortable as possible.
4. Once the leech is detached from you, get rid of it immediately, as it will try to reattach itself.
The financial leech may “try” to get back on its feet after you have removed it. Make sure that the leech understands that you will not be providing it support, and under no circumstances should you give the leech any free or discretionary money. If the leech begins to struggle, point it to resources for it to support itself, but under no means should you become that resource. Note: remember that having the leech live with you is draining finances from you, as you will be paying for utilities and buying groceries.
- A financial leech will feed on you for as long as it can or until it finds someone else to provide a better standard of living. At that point, it will move on, as your money has provided it with its standard of living for several months or years.
- Financial leeches that are removed poorly will find a way to reattach themselves. Successive attempts to remove financial leeches become increasingly difficult, as their debt and expectations have increased while your finances have decreased, and your support has only made them less capable of taking care of themselves.
- The relatively small amount of money drained by the financial leech will initially not bring about your financial ruin. You will recover your money and manage to get back on your feet within a few months. The aggregate effect of many financial leeches, or one leech that has drained you for too much for too long, may cost you your financial stability and may lead to bankruptcy, unemployment, and depression.
- Financial leeches require a relatively stable, financially secure person to attach themselves to. Less dependable hosts do not provide the standard of living they are looking for and will not be able to support them for the long-term.
- Financial leeches are incredibly perceptive and can sense whether a person has both enough money to help them and the disposition to do so. Avoid flagrant displays of wealth or income and be careful who you disclose your financial success to.
Real leeches only thrive in very specific parts of the world, and they actually aren’t that hard to avoid. The human leeches, though, thrive world-wide and can be far more dangerous to your flourishing than the squirmy kind. If you every feel yourself being drained, take a step back and figure out if you’ve got a leech. If you do, remove that sucker and move on!