Opening up about personal financial problems to your family and friends can be a challenging thing to do. As hard as it is to open up about your debt problems, it will be even more difficult to just sit and watch someone you love battle with debt alone. Thankfully, a lot more people are now more expressive in their quest to be in charge of their money and change for the better regarding their money handling habits. Now, more than ever, it is easier to talk to friends and family about debt.
If you know someone who has been in a battle to stay financially stable, speak up now and extend your help. Here are some ways you can talk to someone about their debt:
There is nothing good about having large debts. But this does not mean the person you love has committed anything wrong with regards to his funds. Before you start talking to them, assess all the things they did correctly and try to move forward by guiding them in a positive light. If you plan to just criticize all that they did wrong, your talk will likely go nowhere and your loved one will try to shut you down and become defensive. Furthermore, never start talking to them thinking that they will follow exactly what you tell them to do and should not do. It will always be their money and they will always have the final decision how it will be spent. Offer suggestions, not harsh rules on what they need to do next.
Timing Is Important
Most of the time, what makes them dismayed is not what you say but how and when you say it. Before you sit down and start a conversation with a friend or family member about their debts, have a well-structured plan. Plan to strike with the conversation when your loved one is not stressed, severely depressed, or hysterical. Be sure to speak to them when you both have enough time to spare for a long talk and when you are unlikely to be interrupted.
Listen To Them
After you have successfully opened a conversation, make sure to show your concern. Express that you really care for them and that you are worried about them. Tell them that you know that this is a delicate topic but you still brought it up since you care about their financial well being.
As the conversation progresses, be sure to let your family member or friend speak what’s on their mind freely. Allow them to explain their side and be patient as you do more listening than talking at first. They may talk a lot at first, especially if they are still starting to accept that they need to pay their debts, which are huge factors affecting their life.
When you are given the chance to speak, see to it that you speak gently and non-aggressively. Tell them that you are always there for them and want to help them fight financial stress. Share your own experiences at failing financially to let them know that money mistakes are common. It is how we stand and fight from those mistakes that are important.
Suggest A Plan
If you are going to talk with someone about debt, you must come prepared and provide a suggestion or a plan that will help them decrease their debts. Give them a link to your favorite finance website where they can read articles that can help them get rid of debt and guide them to better managing their money. Offer them some tips that they can do instantly in order to handle their finances well.
Advise them on what they need to do to be able to track their expenses, stick to their budget and what repayment plan to take. If you are not too knowledgeable in managing finances, tell your loved one to consult the help of a professional financial advisor.