How to Help Family Members Manage Their Money

It can be really frustrating when we see family members not managing their money well. It can be easy to think that we should just help them out, but it does not always work out that well. Whether they have loans to repay, have no savings or their income is low, you might think that you will be able to help them, but you will need to think carefully about how you approach things.

Talk to them

You might think that you will be able to just talk to them and offer them some help and that they will take your advice and things will improve. However, this can be really difficult. They can easily take this as a criticism of them and that you are judging them on their situation. They might feel that it is none of your business. They might feel that you are just trying to act as if you are superior to them. It is therefore important to think carefully about whether this is the right approach and whether you should try something a bit different. It will very much depend on the personality of the person that you are trying to help and how open you think they might be to getting this sort of help. Timing could be very important as well. It could be a good idea to wait until they bring money or their finances up in conversation and then you can talk to them about it. Try really hard not to sound like you are preaching or even teaching but just like you are trying to be kind and helpful.

Give them money

Giving money to someone with financial problems might seem like the most obvious way to help them. The problem with this is that it might not turn out as well as you had hoped. You might feel that they will be grateful, they will use it to pay off their debt or boost their savings and their problems will be solved. However, they may be offended that you felt they needed help. They might spend the money on a holiday and not use it to get out of debt or boost savings. They might get themselves sorted and then get into trouble all over again. Without learning from their problems, they might just get into financial difficulties all over again.

You may also find that it could lead to them expecting you to help them out every time they get into difficulties. Although you may not mind, you will get to a position where you will no longer be able to afford to help them out. You may also not be happy to keep doing it, especially if they do not seem to be helping themselves to get out of financial trouble.

There could also be jealousy form others if they see you helping out one person, they may expect the help as well. If they do not need the help, they may think it is unfair that someone is getting help when they are not trying but they work hard to get money and get no reward for it.

Lead by example

It can be wise to lead by example, show how good money management should be done and hope that others might learn form you or ask for help from you. This is much more subtle but might be the only approach that will work. It might be possible for you to drop into conversation how you manage money wise and this might help to show others how it is done. If you are a parent with children at home who you want to teach, then this might be easier than if you are trying to help those that do not live with you.

You could leave books lying around which teach you how to be better with money in the hope that they might read them and learn from them. You could also try to talk them through the household finances to explain to them about paying their share or so that they have an awareness of how much everything costs. It can be a big wake up call and may mean that they will start to think harder about looking after their money better for when they might really need it.

The approach that you take will very much have to be tailored towards the individual that you want to help. Hopefully you will know them well enough to be able to judge how they might react to different approaches so that you will be able to choose one that will work for them. It might take a while of thinking about it first and it is a good idea to do this so that you approach things in the right way. If you make a mistake, you could find that they will never want to talk about it again and you could make the situation a whole lot worse.