I found an interesting article today over at MSN titled, “Can you stop a money train wreck?“. The article talks about what to do when you see a loved one's financial disaster coming and he or she doesn't.
I have seen several friends who are not good with money, they seem to continue getting in trouble with money because they love to spend, and don't like to delay gratification. At times I've thought about stepping in to offer some advice, but doing something like that can be tricky.
The article talks about several situations in which a “money intervention” was attempted, and almost every time it backfires. The people who were given advice saw the intervention as a huge negative, something that was not other people's business, and often cut off contact altogether with those friends. Because of this, MSN says you should be very careful about when you do intervene.
Does all this mean you can't advise friends or family who are going off the financial rails? No, but you want to be pretty careful how you go about it.
Decide if it really is your business. The angry target of your intervention may tell you it's not, and he or she is probably right, unless:
- You'll feel obligated to bail out the person eventually.
- He or she clearly expects a bailout.
If neither is the case, your path is clear: MYOB. (Mind Your Own Business)
The article goes on to talk about situation where you might intervene, and some helpful tips in doing so.
Have you ever thought of intervening in a friend's or family member's money situation? How did it turn out?