You can talk with your closest friends about anything—except money. No matter how close you are to someone, it seems that money is still a taboo topic in many circles.
However, it doesn’t have to be. If you have a friend who has asked for help saving money or who seems to have spending issues, use these tips to gently encourage them without coming across as patronizing or preachy.
Respect the Boundaries of Your Friendship
Not all friendships are cut out to handle financial discussions. If your friendship is casual or you’ve known each other for a short time, this may not be the time to bring up this topic. If your friend brings it up, feel free to discuss it—but watch their body language closely for signs of discomfort or anxiety. No financial help is worth ruining a friendship over!
Relate to Your Friend by Talking About Your Financial Struggles
Your friend is likely broaching the topic with you because it’s clear that you are good at saving. You don’t want to deepen the divide between your financial situations by going on about your successes at length. Let your friend talk about why they have trouble saving or what roadblocks they’ve encountered. Briefly relate to their struggles by recalling a time that you had difficulty saving. Then, bring the conversation back to a positive note with the next tip.
My family was $80,000 in debt. That’s A LOT of money. When a friend finds out we struggled, too and where able to dig out they know I’ve been there.
Talk About What Has Worked for You
On your savings journey, you’ve probably tried many different techniques and hacks to boost your savings account. You can shorten your friend’s learning curve by having a frank discussion about what worked for you. For example, you might say, “I tried really hard to save money after all the bills were paid, but I still seemed to end up without anything to save at the end of the month. When I switched to automatic savings transfers, I was able to see steady increases every two weeks.”
Some people love Dave Ramsey, others love Suze Orman. Tell what worked for you and give another option they might want to check out. Personally, a version of Dave Ramsey’s plan worked for us when we were in debt. His snowball method of getting out of debt was really a game changer.
Be Upfront About Money and Saving
Appreciate your friend’s honesty and willingness to ask for help—it’s not easy to talk about money when you feel like you’ve failed! Be upfront about finances when the topic comes up. If a mutual friend suggests dinner at a swanky restaurant, say, “I’m actually saving for a new washer/car down payment/emergency fund. Could we eat somewhere more casual?” If your friend doesn’t feel like they have to mask their issues by pretending to have more money than they really have, it may encourage them in their savings journey.
Live By Example
I really think the most important way to influence others is to “live the lifestyle”. If you are thriving ANS saving money your friends are going to want to know what has changed in you. They will start asking questions and it will give you the opportunity to share with them!
A solid emergency fund and progress toward a financial goal can make anyone feel great. Help your friends enjoy the same peace of mind that you have from being frugal! Use these tips to preserve your friendship, encourage your friend’s trust in you, and get them on the path to financial success.
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