A few weeks ago, I asked you all for some advice: What Do You Do When A Family Member Asks You To Take Over Their Finances – and the response I got was amazing! I am amazed at all of the well-thought out ideas and in awe of the fact that you would take time out of your day to help me! I cannot thank you enough! Thank you all so much!
Here’s the gist of what I asked:
My aunt asked me to take over her finances. And she’s not old. Or disabled.
They’re just in over their heads.
Now, my family does not know that I have a blog that lays out every detail of my financial life. The Big Guy knows, but no one else. They know that I write – and that it has something to do with a blog – but I have conveniently led them to believe that all I do is freelance writing. I mean, wouldn’t it be awkward if my family read my blog and knew every detail of my financial life?
But back to my question. What do you do when a relative asks you to take over their finances?
So, what I thought I would do today is share some of those answers as they have really helped me to decide what to do, and maybe they’ll help someone else too!
Holly from Club Thrifty said:
Oh, I would love to take over several of my family member’s finances. They would be a lot better off. If not take over completely, I could at least tell them exactly what to do. I’m bossy like that.
Hilarious, but I’m a control freak, so maybe not so much for me. Still, kinda funny :-)
Mr. Fund said:
You might gauge how serious they are about you taking over by offering to do it for a fee. Perhaps arrange a fee of X% of what you save them?
I really like this idea. In theory it would work great! I’m not sure I have the guts to do that though….
Reader Heather F. said:
I think you were right to say no, because family relationships get strained in those situations. However, suggesting books, programs, and other materials is the best way to go. If they are too cash strapped, let them borrow your copies (if you aren’t using them anymore) or suggest the library .
This was my first inclination. I don’t want to mix money and family, but I really, really want to help them. Maybe if I could recommend some awesome resources to inspire and encourage them….
You know, initially I thought “no way” when I read what they asked of you. Then I thought, ABSOLUTELY!!! For ONE MONTH.
I think if you sat down and made them a budget, gave them an allowance and then at the end of the month showed them how much you saved and how it worked, then YOU have the potential to change THEIR lives and even better, they ASKED for the help!
As a person who is easily overwhelmed, maybe they just need a little push and to see that there IS HOPE. You could give them stipulations like the following:
1) You must sit down for a monthly budget meeting with me
2) You must turn over all credit cards to me until you have met your goals
3) You must give me access to look at your accounts
You could also give them “treat” months for managing their money well. I also think a NO Spend Month would be the perfect baptism by fire month for them. If you can show them how much money they are throwing away, it might just wake them up enough to really change!
P.S. As a side note, I think some people need to lay off about the Candy Crush comments. Yes, $20.00 for a game when you’re broke might seem like a lot of money, but if that is ALL she spends in the month for entertainment, is it really so horrible? Is it any worse than a subscription to an online game, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, or any of the other things we use to keep ourselves amused?
If it wasn’t family, this is totally what I would do. With a total stranger, this would be perfect! Jill lays out an awesome plan to get them on track. My only hesitation is that 1) It’s family, so that’s obviously tricky and 2) I’m not sure they’re totally read for complete transparency and me to have complete control :-0
Mrs. PoP said:
I would have said “no” as well… but when people get curious about the stuff we do, I point them to the different tools we use – like using mint to coordinate our spending with one another and stuff like that. I’ll pull it out on my phone and show them some basics and offer help if they want to set it up or have any questions. That’s a big first step for most people.
Mr PoP is a little less subtle about it, telling folks who have questions that they need to read Your Money Or Your Life. =/
I think reader Kristen summed it up best:
And then, you have to be prepared for them to change absolutely nothing. I have an acquaintance who is insanely bad with money. I have tried many tactics.
Between Mrs. Pop and reader Kristen, they put my feelings on the subject down on paper! I’m going to figure out exactly what book (or books) will inspire them to change! I’ve already got them hooked on Republic Wireless, so one thing at a time, right?
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