Most of you probably read personal finance blogs on a regular basis. By reading them, you are increasing your knowledge about money and probably turning your finances around. Doesn’t that make you want to spread your knowledge all over the world? I know I want to.
However, there is a difference between sharing your knowledge and forcing your knowledge on people. For example, I am surrounded by family members that don’t handle their money well. Some of them are unemployed and don’t seem to care while others enable their children’s bad money habits. Seeing them struggle makes me want to teach them how to handle their money properly. But, is it right for me to say something without being asked?
Personally, I don’t think it’s right to force personal finance down the throats of people who don’t want to learn about it. I mean, it’s their life. As much as it hurts me to see them struggle, I feel it would damage their finances even more if I flat out tell them they suck at handling money. I mean, I would have been a little perturbed if someone told me I sucked at handling money (which I obviously did). So, how can you help someone without ticking them off?
Be a Role Model
This is something my wife and I are working on. We are paying off our debt to show all of our relatives and close friends that it can be done rather painlessly. Being a good role model is a subtle way of letting people know that it’s cool to be financially savvy.
Eventually, your friends and family are going to approach you about how you did it. They will see how you no longer have financial stress and how it’s making your marriage better. The ball will be in their court and hopefully they will start asking you questions.
Another good approach would to leave very small hints. You need to make them so small that they really have no idea that you were trying to get them to notice.
A good example would be to leave a copy of something like The Total Money Makeover lying around you house in plain view. All you do is invite them over and hang out around where the book is located. Chances are good that they will bring it up and then you can talk to them about it in a very non-confrontational manner.
You could even leave the webpage for Frugal Dad or Get Rich Slowly on your computer. Heck, you could even have Money Relationship on the screen! It might spark a conversation like, “who is this great one they call The Frugal Dad and why do I need to learn about him”? You know, things like that. You can then talk about how these websites have helped you get a grip on your finances and live a more frugal lifestyle.
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So there you have it. How NOT to talk to your friends about money. What do you think? I imagine there are some emergency situations where you need to step in. I mean, if one of my family members was on the verge of bankruptcy, I would certainly do something. Wouldn’t you?
But, let’s say someone isn’t on the verge of bankruptcy. How would you subtly talk to them about money? Have you been blunt with someone in financial trouble? Did it work?