Helping Family and Friends with Money – a Good Idea or Minefield?

Over the last few months I’ve had some fun and heartache, all from helping loved ones with their finances. I’ve helped a few with creating budgets that help them achieve a specific goal and I’ve recommended a few ideas on how they can save money. Most have taken the advice (which they asked for – I’ve learned no to give unsolicited advice) and have benefited.

Now I’ve discussed about lending to friends and family, but now I’m talking about helping them coming up with a money plan, like helping out with a budget. How can you help them without making them feel bad or taking over their finances? Is there a way to handle this delicate situation? 

Talking About Money with Starting a Fight

If you’re going to talk about money with a loved one, such as a sibling or a close friend, it’s important to have a general plan on how you’d like to communicate. Here are some tips that have helped me with getting the money issues discussed without hurting feelings.

  • Pick the right time to have the talk. The best time to talk about money is when things are relaxed. Agree on a time that works for both of you.
  • Don’t judge, look for a goal. It can be easy to point out every mistake that they’ve made, but if they came to you for help, then commend them for taking responsibility. You’re a team.
  • Write down the goal they want to accomplish. Do they want a doable budget? Do they want a debt repayment plan? Whatever it is put it down in writing. Focus on on only one goal.
  • Have an accountability schedule. Plan on checking in with each other on a regular basis. Perhaps having a weekly update over the phone for 10 minutes.
  • Help out, but don’t enable. Having a supportive friend can help your loved one reach their goals, but they still need to do the heavy lifting themselves.

Does that mean things won’t get tense. No, each person is different and it can be tense even if you say the right things. No one wants to admit to having a money problem. However you can help your loved get on the right track if you two have a plan.

Thoughts on Helping Loved Ones with Money

I’d love to hear how you deal with mixing money and loved ones. How do you handle the money discussions at friends and family?

Photo Credit: Coffee Shop


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