Advising people who probably do not want to change
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  1. #1
    Registered User KathyB's Avatar
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    Default Advising people who probably do not want to change

    I am wondering if this has come up with any of you.

    I do not normally talk about money with coworkers, but a few month ago it can out that I had enough money saved up to last through at least a month with no pay for myself and my husband. [We work for the federal government. We had a one month long shutdown and we may have more in the future.]

    At an office gathering someone joked that one of my coworkers (who struggles with money) should ask me for advice.

    Our basic situations are different. She makes more than me. But she is a single mom and I have a husband with a decent job. So honestly, I can probably save up more that her just based on that.

    But....

    Her money attitude is the opposite of mine. She gets Starbucks coffee everyday. She never brings her lunch from home. She goes out fairly often. She believes she deserves "something nice" (i.e. really expensive) for her birthday. She has expensive birthday parties for her daughter.

    I get a fairly strong feeling from her that she would be very resistant to changing her lifestyle. I do not think she would be very receptive to some of the obvious ways I would suggest to save money.
    She talks about needing this and deserving that. And how she feels it is really important to have special experiences. These special experiences are generally pricey things. She also tends to be a woman with strong opinions.

    So I wound up just joking with her that the first step is finding a husband with a good job.

    I feel like many people want to have the extra money saved up, but they do not want to really make changes in their lifestyle or attitude.
    KathyB

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    Registered User josantoro's Avatar
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    one of my guiding principles in life is, "Don't tell people anything they don't want to hear." When she is working as a WM greeter in her 80's , she can think back to all her Starbucks treats and how wonderful they made her feel. Frugality and saving is not for everyone, sadly.
    Make America Kind Again.

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    Registered User MaggieTrudeau's Avatar
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    Yep...people, even when they ask for advice on finances/relationships/whatever...often don't want to "hear" what you have to say. I think I'm the same way when people have great advice for how I can live offgrid (which I already do) in a way that they find more interesting (which I do not). A cousin once called several relatives and asked what each of us thought about him marrying his gf (the one he started dating while still married to wife #1 and whom we found manipulative, a spendthrift, and perhaps a bit volatile). We all said "don't do it"...well, he had already done it and is still with her. She is everything we said, but now he's defensive. oh well. With family I figure they know not to ask me if they don't want my honest opinion.

    With money, it's just as touchy. I think dodging the issue was the best defense. This is a co-worker who hasn't asked you for money and justifies her expenses so she is conscious of what she's doing and she's not impacting your life.

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    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    I think a good generalized response might be "live below your means" and let it go at that. If the person doesn't blow that off and asks specific questions instead, then maybe offer some details.

  6. #5
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    yes you can't really tell someone if you know they aren't receptive to it. if they ask you for some ideas then that is great. We live in an expensive area so I know a lot of parents have to work full time to afford to live. but when they ask me how I can be a stay at home mom most of the time (always worked pt) said we structured out lives that way. most who ask who could be home for a few years when the kids were young don't want to give up fancy vacations, 2 newer cars etc. I frankly didn't earn a huge income so daycare would have eaten up most of my wages. now if you are looking at $2000k or more in daycare (yes that is what it costs here) how much money are you taking home after all the expenses. mostly the same as part time. lots of people go back to work from mat leave because they didn't figure out that mat leave pay isn't as much as your wage. so didn't save.

    dh cousin was saying we were ahead because we have a house etc pointed out to her at her age we didn't have a house. didn't get it until late 30s. so all finances are all relative to peoples decisions and lifestyle.

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    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KathyB View Post
    I am wondering if this has come up with any of you.

    ...snip...

    I get a fairly strong feeling from her that she would be very resistant to changing her lifestyle. I do not think she would be very receptive to some of the obvious ways I would suggest to save money.
    You're probably right, she does not sound receptive to advice or change. She is young and cannot see the big picture yet. And as others pointed out, she did not ask you. Also, she might have been too embarassed in front of her co-workers to continue the discussion. It is not your concern until she asks for help.

    I have friends in the same boat. One who compulsively shops online and has an entry hall full of unopened packages, who told us she cannot go to an event with us this fall because she cannot afford the tickets that go on sale this week. Another that complains -- over a restaurant dinner -- that they never get to take vacations because they are always broke. They are all adults and know they should be saving but cannot or will not commit to actually doing it.
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    We don't advise anyone. If people ask how we got a rental, we tell them. How we took a vacay. I saved up. You get the idea.... I know relatives who moan over not taking vacations ….But they need to want to figure out how to juggle wants and needs and figure out finances. We had to learn on our own. We're still learning.... But we get through it all.

  9. #8
    Registered User KathyB's Avatar
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    My husband and I kind of figured out everything on our own too. My parents were horrible with money. On the other hand I did pick up some inspiration from my parents. Have you heard the saying "Everyone teaches us. Some people teach us what to do. Some people teach us what not to do." So I did pick up a bit of what not to do.

    But I also made some stupid decisions credit card wise.

    I grew up thinking that investing money was a rich person thing. I only wound up putting money in a retirement fund because it was offered through work and they match the first 5%. I probably would not have done it if I had to do it on my own.

    It would have been nice to have a mentor who explained things to me.

    It would be nice to have a class in high school that explained things like wise management of money.

    However, advice should be appropriate to the persons situation. A very long time ago someone gave me the "advice" to invest at least $3000 a month. At the time I was making less than $20,000 a year and my husband was not working. It was not particularly helpful advice. It really just made my pretty annoyed.
    KathyB

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    lol kathy B just invest $3k a month. some people aren't in touch with reg folks are they. I have to say we aren't the best with money. lots of mistakes. but in the end doing some things right and some wrong. dh retirement at work is matching funds to 5% but the choice you have isn't great . main benefit is that money is matched.

    I know I need to make more money later on in the year. We need it. Life is getting too expensive here and not much we can do about it except move but that isn't going to happen. moving closer to dh work..it is in a very expensive town so nope. but here we are close to all services, transit etc so for our future it is great we can walk not be stuck if we can't drive. We know what happens to lots of seniors. even if you are close to everything. our neighbour had a stroke. can't go out without help. my mom can't walk uphill and her house close by is on a hill. so I pick her up or taxis to shopping.

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    Registered User RABBIT's Avatar
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    I am also like rujerro, I don't give advice out but will if someone asks. People have asked how we paid our house off but it seems like they just want a quick fix answer, like take a pill and you'll lose weight. Although not many people know our house is paid off, outside of family. Some of DH's coworkers asked him how he was able to take 2 months off work for surgery. He just told them what my grandpa told us, when you are working put money away because one day you might not be able to work.
    I'm too busy working on my own grass to notice if yours is greener.

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    I was a teacher before I retired, and we all knew what each other made at the school. Every salary and every extra curricular job was public knowledge. Of course, many worked jobs in the summer and on weekends or taught night school, which added to the family take home. But we were all pretty open with money struggles and advice. We all had 403 b accounts, and I put every penny allowed by law into my account. As a result, I was able to retire early. I used to check my computer in the teacher's lounge at lunch to see how my markets were doing and if I need to switch any accounts. Everyone knew I was doing this, and it became a friendly joke. So when I retired, some then asked advice on how I handled the 403b.
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    Registered User Scarlett_Kaye's Avatar
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    Kathyb, I think you handled the situation right too. Some people just don't want to hear it (especially if they are the entitled type such as "deserving something nice", etc.)

    If there were ANY way that I thought my son would listen to me about money situations, I'd be right there but unfortunately that's not gonna happen anytime soon (he is his own person and about as stubborn as they come. lol) So, I don't say anything. There have been times he's hit some $ on lottery tickets and wanted to save it for this or that and I offered to keep it for him (and he knows that I'd never spend it) but nope, he didn't want that either ... and then bam! he ended up spending it on something he totally didn't need and it was gone.

    He busts his butt at work now and a lot of times works 12 hours a day - he should have money to put into savings and he could if only he would. "Sigh" (He's 44 and single so pretty much his decisions only effect him ... until he wants or needs to borrow money from me, that is. If it's really important - such as a doctors co-pay and it's the day before pay-day, I'll lend it to him but other than that ... I tell him, I'm the Mama - NOT the bank.

    Have a wonderful day!

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    Registered User bookwormpeg's Avatar
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    ForHisglory...haven't seen your name in a long time.....hope you are well...

    I don't give advise.....I just go about living my life and if I get asked how I do this or that, I tell them I'm not high maintenance and shop thrift stores....I don't have name brand purses or shoes and don't have my nails and hair done weekly....of course they don't want to give those things up so I just drop the subject. You can't help those who don't want to help themselves (giving up the name brands, nails and hair).....

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    I think it's wise not to talk about money. People notice your actions. I see some of the younger parents with kids observing me taking the bus to town and riding my bicycle to run errands. They always smile and wave. I'm probably the same age as their parents. They know that I work from home as a writer and sell homemade soap. Actions speak louder than words. When I was in my twenties and thirties, I went out for coffee and meals with friends regularly. Once I bought a home, all of that stopped. Your priorities change with age.

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    I agree with not giving advice where it is not wanted, but I will drop hints that can become useful when they are ready to think. So rather than joking about getting a good husband (which is very important, but also very difficult - we are both lucky to have found one, Kathy ), I would joke about how being an environmentalist causes very cheap living, since I don't go around buying stuff.
    Total paid/saved: $85 700
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    To do: $187 200

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