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Jada Pinkett Smith Says She Never Lends Money, Only ‘Gifts: ‘My Guilt Made Me Feel Like…I Wasn’t Allowed to Say No’

Jada Pinkett Smith got candid about the whys and hows of loaning money to others, and revealed that she’s not so keen to do so herself.

Pinkett Smith discussed the topic in the newest episode of “Red Table Talk,” where she was joined by comedian Kym Whitley and New York Times advice columnist Philip Galanes, and got frank about financial issues.

Jada Pinkett Smith. @jadapinkettsmith/Instagram

“I would say for people like us who came from backgrounds where we didn’t have much, don’t feel guilty,” she said. “I’ve spent so many years feeling guilty, and my guilt made me feel like I owed everybody and I wasn’t allowed to say no.”

The actor admitted that if friends or family approach her asking for money she doesn’t like to loan it — she prefers giving it as more of a present.

It’s Pinkett Smith’s method of preventing a situation where she isn’t getting repaid, and she came up with a couple of rules.

“First of all, I do not lend money because that turns into a lot of problems just as far as the expectation of people paying back and what have you, so I tend to not give where I can’t just say, ‘Here’s a gift to you,’” she said. “Specifically people who are really close to me, ’cause I’m not trying to have fallouts over money.”

“And then, the next thing is, when somebody really needs help, I really evaluate it to see if the person is ready for that help,” Pinkett Smith continued. “You feel me? So it’s like – somebody’s like ‘I want a new house,’ but they don’t have a job to support the house they’re trying to buy.”

“It’s like, well, you’re not ready for that. So I’m not about to help you get into something that ultimately is going to make more difficulty for you, right? And so, I really had to look at that.”

She went on to stress, “At the end end of the day, you don’t owe nobody nothing.”

As far as money matters are concerned, Pinkett Smith’s been burned before. On a previous episode of the show, she mentioned an instance in which she said a jealous friend facilitated an identity theft. “I had a girlfriend who brought some dudes to my house who stole my I.D. and got my name caught up in a credit card scam,” she said. “Somebody who was close to me trying to take me out!”

Even so, Pinkett Smith, along with her husband Will Smith, know how to be generous when it counts. They have given to many charities through their Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation, which offers opportunities and education to inner-city families. In 2006, Pinkett Smith donated $1 million through the foundation to her alma mater, the Baltimore School for the Arts, to support the school’s restoration and development, according to The Associated Press.

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