Wednesday, January 12, 2011

How Do You Stick Your Nose into Someone Else's Money?

We have all been there, seeing a good friend or acquaintance continually struggling with money. Why is it so difficult to talk to them about it. Most of us usually don't go around doling out financial advice. People take it as an insult to be lectured on money. But because I write about it, it's in the forefront for me. I don't make it a habit to to offer my opinion on money. I have found out it usually a waste of time because the advice falls on deaf ears. 

There have been times I have mentioned the work of Dave Ramsey, because he is in the main stream media. He can be seen on Good Morning America and other network programs. Most everyone has seen him so it's a good lead in to start the conversation.

I have found talking to someone about money is as hard as talking to someone about God and religion. It's an extremely personal and private thing. You can't tell some one they are doing their money wrong, it's embarrassing. It's easier talking to a stranger about money than someone your close to.

An alternative to beating them on the head with a Dave Ramsey book is to find out why the person is behaving the way they are. Only by understanding how the other person thinks can you help the person find the right path. With that in mind why not say "I see your upset. How can I most help you?" With that statement you are letting your friend know you are worried  about them and how they are handling this rough patch they are going through.

It's tough enough to talk to a friend about bad money behavior, what if your spouse needs some help. Here we have an even more delicate situation. If your spouse is aware of their money problems and you can't just seem to knock some sense into them, here's something to try. Talk to your spouse about going down to see a financial planner. Here the dirty work is off of you and your spouse will probably listen to a third party. If there is something special you want the financial planner to emphasize, stack the deck, call ahead and mention the troubling item you want to cover. 

How would a friend take it that you want to set up a financial planner for them. We your friend see it as real concern or complete arrogance on your part.

If any financial planners are reading this, please tell me how you can help in this situation.


  1. You can't help someone who doesn't want to be helped. The person in question must be receptive to change or you may lose a friend.

  2. Dave,
    You are is tough, especially with family. I seldom offer advice about anything unless asked. I agree with you that letting others know you are available if needed is a good thing, but even that can be testy and should be done with care and tact.


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