Amid the struggles of trying to figure out life overseas, there is always the unvoiced challenge of many Africans – Black Tax.

It is impossible to ignore the financial situation of assisting extended family and friends back home since it is an unspoken responsibility to deliver. Regardless of the financial condition, families may think their relatives living abroad should be able to send money consistently. The calls, WhatsApp messages, and DMs come when you least expect them and you have your budget set. 

What is Black Tax?

Black tax’ can be described as money or financial support given to family and friends to cater for needs such as paying bills, paying school fees, building family homes and even supporting the business of your relatives.

Black tax is usually faced by young adults who have a higher earning power in middle to lower-income families and put many in a financial disaster later on in life. The best way to disrupt the black tax cycle is to be financially educated and equipped for the future.

Taking care of family is an honourable deed; however, when this becomes a burden or is beyond your capability, it can grow to destroy the existing relationship you have with your loved ones.

How To Give Without Going Into Distress:

1. Discuss financial planning with your family

Educate your family on the essence of planning for the future and unforeseen circumstances such as retirement, utility bills, death of family members, or school fees. This will give them a better understanding of managing their money and reducing their demands. 

2. Use an affordable money transfer service.

When sending money back home, we recommend you use $end – a reliable and instant money transfer service to send money to those that matter. No matter the amount sent, only a flat fee is charged. A flat fee of $1 if you are based in the US, £1 if you are based in the UK or €1 if you are in other parts of Europe. This allows you to save money as you send money conveniently to the people you care about.

3. Define your financial goals

Always remember that you come first. You need to have a clear view of your income. How much do you receive weekly or monthly? Once you know, you can restrict expenses, investments, savings and monetary support. This will let you know how much you have available to support your family.

4. Set the boundaries on what you can cater for

Family asking you for money to purchase trendy clothes, latest phones and other flashy items can be tough to cater for when you are in a challenging financial situation. Ensure that you clearly explain to your family what you are willing to support financially. 

5. Say “no” when you cannot afford to support

Knowing when to say yes and no is essential, especially when you cannot afford the cost. Politely say no and stand your ground when you cannot bear the expense. Trying to please everyone while going into debt can lead to financial troubles.

The greatest gifts you can give your family members are taking care of them and caring for them even though you might be far away from them. Taking care of family can be accomplished in many ways, such as calling home, sharing pictures and sending money home

You cannot ignore your family members; they play an essential role in your life. However, learn how to manage the situation better and stop the cycle of black tax. Make your needs a priority and ensure you set your boundaries. 

Published by Owuraku Ohene Ampadu-Kissi

Senior Manager, Product Marketing