Thursday, May 29, 2008

Friends Who Make Poor Financial Decisions

Be Ye Warned

In my previous post, I looked at the importance of overcoming the culture of instant gratification that is prevalent today. I promise this blog hasn't suddenly turned into a financial advice blog. I just believe financial responsibility to be a very important aspect when it comes to living remarkably.

Xin Lu on Wise Bread has some great points when it comes to observing friends making poor financial decisions. As hard as it may be to warn a friend who is making poor financial decisions, the benefits of helping a friend who heeds this advice are immense. One of the hardest things can be observing friends or family continually making poor decisions in anything. Initially it may seem difficult to talk about these things, but there are ways to do so and not come across as invasive.

Here are a few things to think about if you're considering talking with a friend:

  • Are you truly concerned? Show it.
  • Be sympathetic. Maybe they're having financial issues because of hard times (medical bills, lost employment, etc.). Understand that and try to steer them in directions that will benefit them.
  • Rarely are there any quick fixes. Simply handing over money to your friend usually will not stop poor financial habits. In fact, they generally enable them more and can cause rifts in your friendship.
  • Warn them of the roads they should not travel (pay day loans, car title loans, etc.) and point them to the roads they could take as an alternative (saving, changing spending habits, etc.). Don't just say, "NO!". Offer solutions.
  • Do not allow anger to enter into the equation if your friend does not heed your advice. Not everyone will listen, or appear to be listening. Some people take some time to come around, others never come around. Just remember it's beyond your control. Just try to assist in pointing out some helpful directions.
If you are able to guide your friend to better financial paths, you may just gain a much closer friend. The relationships we cultivate during difficult moments in life are usually the best.

"True friendship ought never to conceal what it thinks." ~ St. Jerome

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