How to Give Unsolicited Money Advice

26854562_sWe all have that one friend or relative.

They spend recklessly, don’t save anything yet complain none stop about being broke. They chalk up their financial situation to not making enough money, moan about needing a pay raise and totally give up on saving until they get one.

A stark contrast to you.

You’ve finally gotten your financial house in order by budgeting and cutting out excess luxuries. Sure you’re teased for cutting cable or being the last to upgrade to a smart phone, but you’re well on your way to financial stability – something the people around you are struggling with.

You’re ready to scream with pride from the rooftops. Yet you know doing so will cause more harm than good. So what’s the best way to educate someone without money knowledge and not come off infuriatingly pretentious?

Try these tips below to break it down to them easy.

Money See Money Do

Lead your friends by example and nudge them subliminally in the right direction without words. Show them how you choose the most affordable item on the menu. Then explain to them how you’ve been growing your nest egg only if they draw attention to your extreme frugality. When they approach you first with questions about saving you can use it as an opportunity to explain where they’re making mistakes.

And practice what you preach. Once you give advice stick to it. There’s nothing more annoying than having someone lecture you about something that they don’t always do themselves. Don’t ask your friend on a vacation if you know they’re supposed to be saving money. Don’t choose an expensive bar for your next outing when you know they can’t afford it. You’re in a much more comfortable situation than them because of your budgeting endurance. Remember it takes time!

Help them work towards being able to afford a few luxuries here and there. Avoid dangling things they really want in front of them like a fishing line.

Share Selflessly

Don’t be quiet about what motivates you. Seeds don’t get planted without larger inspiration. Identify your personal finance motivators and share them. Including money gurus, bloggers, websites, or e-books. Even more personal, try finding guru personalities that match the likeness of your friend. It’s more probable that they’ll be able to connect with them.

If you’re willing to be really selfless – reveal your salary and budget to others (such a taboo idea). Sure it’s uncomfortable, but people around you will better understand the possibility to make an average salary work. I’ve done this before for an acquaintance that reached out for money advice. I never regretted it.

The Band Aid Approach

Sometimes it works to be blunt – ripping off the big spender band aid really quickly. The most important tactic for this approach is choosing the right time and right words. Don’t make snide comments when your cousin orders the lobster dinner. Don’t be condescending when your friend wants to buy another new outfit for a date.

Instead this tactic is more directly asking if they want to sit down and discuss their financial situation. Tell them you’ve considered their money complaints and fruitless attempts at getting a raise in salary. Explain that you’ve found a way to find financial independence without earning a large salary. Are they interested in finding out how? If they say yes. Go for it! If it’s a no? Wait a few months and ask again. In time a more dire situation may spark willingness to change.

Do you have any other ways to give money advice? Have you given advice that was received well or poorly? Share below!



Posted in: Money

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