Every month, most black professionals have to contribute some money to support family members who are less well off. For some, it’s a matter of feeling indebted to certain family members because they raised them and paid for their education. Others are only happy to give out of sheer gratitude for all that was done for them. Many however, find it a heavy burden that can lead to financial ruin and cripple their ambitions in life, hence the term “black tax”.


Here are some helpful tips that can help ease the burden.

  1. Give from your excess

When you give from a position of abundance, you are able to serve others without depriving yourself. On the other hand, when you give from depletion and scarcity, you have to sacrifice what you have and are most likely to be bitter as a result. As much as it is necessary to lend a hand to family members, it’s best to do so with sufficient resources. Black tax must not be treated as a liability, obligation or a tool for manipulation. 

  1. The involvement of all family members

It is much easier to help others if you do not have to do it all on your own, the individual contribution and effort is lessened when all family members are involved and participating. It does not necessarily have to be equal contributions because people get different income, however multiple offerings go a long way in helping the family. When only one person is responsible for the needs of all others, and when others who are capable of doing so, are not pulling their weight, it can only lead to resentment, conflict and a breakdown of relationships amongst family members.

Contributing does not have to be financial or material things, it can mean the ability to look after yourself and your family without burdening someone else with the responsibility, it can also mean using resources earned or given to you wisely, investing in self-development and practising gratitude.

  1. Help others to help themselves

It is very important for those that give, to teach others how to get what they need. This is the best way eradicate dependency. There is an old proverb that goes “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man how to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime”. This could be done in many ways for example sending a family member to school, college or training courses or helping them to start their own business.

Giving for consumables alone, does not offer a return in investments. Again, when resources given by others, are not put to productive use or are handled recklessly, the cycle of lack in the family never ends.

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