might as well add close friends who are like family to the list for me. my family tends to leave me alone because i'm on the other coast, but as for the friend-family group out here i do feel the pressure from time to time.
i try to figure out things i would need to do anyway and if they have the skill, i pay them for it. like babysitting, house cleaning, anything they are good at (wish i had a friend who fixes cars...) i would rather pay them then pay some stranger. so in that way it works out because there is no money owed, it's already been worked out and there's no real 'favor' or charity aspect.
but even if i don't give out loans or do favors, i think of myself as being more of a big trouble bank than a little trouble bank. so that makes me feel like i'm not a total heartless hard-ass.
i feel like, if i can keep my own finances straight and manage what i've got, even if it means being tight about little things, then if there was a big trouble situation, like when my friend was about to go straight out of the icu into homelessness, living in her car, there is no question i am down to help, whatever it takes.
music is the answer to your problems. keep on dancing, and you can solve them.