Author Topic: How do you help/influence others  (Read 3889 times)


  • Bristles
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How do you help/influence others
« on: May 16, 2013, 09:10:52 PM »
This is something that has been gnawing at me recently. I'm in a pretty good space right now because for the bulk of my life I've made good financial decisions and I've invested any spare money. Some of the investments haven't worked out but I kept at it and learned pretty quickly how to make better investments.

I can't for the life of me figure out how to help anyone else out. A lot of friends and family are envious that I can now choose freely how I spend each day but the very next sentence out of anyone's mouth is "but of course I could never do that because X" or "you were just lucky".

What has worked and not worked for you?

Lans Holman

  • Bristles
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Re: How do you help/influence others
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2013, 10:33:56 PM »
I think I'm lucky in that a lot of my friends have pretty frugal mindsets as well, not a lot of conspicuous consumption going on.  In your case, it depends on if your friends are serious, or content to stew in their envy.  If they don't want your help, I doubt you're going to get anywhere forcing it on them.  But if you get the sense that someone is serious about learning from your success, I don't think there's anything wrong with just saying, "if you'd like some investment advice I'd be glad to sit down with you and see if I can give you any tips".  If they want to turn that down, it's their own fault.  If they go for it, you be gentle with them and give them a few suggestions.  If you see them acting on those, give them some more.


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: How do you help/influence others
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2013, 09:45:40 AM »
If someone is going to look at your life and your decisions and say "I could never do that because of X"... well there's not much you can do. It's kinda hard to change someone's mind. They'll have to come to their own conclusions. You could try to frame things differently or just give the occasional "of course you can". But in the end it is their call.

As for the "you were just lucky" I would explain that it is not luck, and in fact it is a choice like many other things in life. One that the person claiming you were lucky could also make but chooses not to (see paragraph one).

I've never really got many converts to my way of thinking. Mostly some of my more open minded friends understand the concept and we agree we're all living our values and that is what is important. I have a friend with three jobs and he believes he will not retire and has no desire to retire. I'm not envious of his lifestyle nor is he envious of mine. We both are happy with our lives though that's all that matters.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: How do you help/influence others
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2013, 08:38:11 PM »
This has also been bothering me. When it's appropriate in conversations with friends and family, I try to talk to them about savings and investments. Most of them are just not interested, and the rest are more "I could never do that, I have a family to support/my salary is too small/I don't want to live a life without X." Since I value the relationship more than I value "being right," I don't push the subject any further. There will come a time when they will be ready to talk about personal finance, and when that time comes, I would like to be seen as an approachable "authority" on the subject. Someone they can turn to for advice without being harshly judged.

Coming to this realization takes a while. Sometimes people have to experience a traumatic event (death of a breadwinner, extended hospitalization, etc.) or slave away for years in a horrible job to realize the true value of saving money.

I am also aware that I am an extremely high earner compared to most others in my social circle and that this makes them feel insecure, even though most of them don't know my exact salary or net worth. Maybe it's the same for nktokyo.

My advice is, just be available when they're finally ready to ask for help. Don't try to force your help on anyone because that is the surest way to get them to reject you.


  • Stubble
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Re: How do you help/influence others
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2013, 05:30:44 AM »
My advice is, just be available when they're finally ready to ask for help. Don't try to force your help on anyone because that is the surest way to get them to reject you.

This is very well said.  If they are complaining...well, that is VERY different than asking you for help.  So, be cautious about doling out advice where none is asked for.

Complainypants Sounds Like: I wish I could do what you do, I don't know how you do it, I could never do that, I'm always drowning in debt, I need to have nice things - I could never make those sacrifices.

I'm Interested In Your Help Sounds Like: I'd love to learn more about how you manage your money, How are you able to balance your spending so well, Would you mind telling me a bit more about how you cut back on your bills so effectively

There is a big difference in the tone between the two.


  • Bristles
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Re: How do you help/influence others
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2013, 07:11:58 AM »
I hear you.

I'm surrounded by complainypants. Although I did manage to convert my younger brother to the Church of Thinking Things Through - just as he was coming out of college and heading into a job at PWC.


  • Bristles
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Re: How do you help/influence others
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2013, 08:11:02 AM »
This may sound odd, but consider starting a blog, a youtube channel, etc. to track your progress.

One of the reasons that Mrs. PoP and I write is to hopefully reach somebody who needs positive role models, an example of how wealth is created and protected, or just inspiration that it can be done.

We remain anonymous so its unlikely that we'll ever influence somebody we know in person, but i like to think we are helping our readers in some small way.

Other than that, its important to remember that you can choose to help people, but you can't always choose who to help.

Mr. PoP


  • Bristles
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Re: How do you help/influence others
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2013, 08:41:44 PM »
It's tricky because it's easier for other people to judge you rather than look at your lifestyle choices, because then they have to look at their own.

We lead by example.  We live our life on our terms and if others judge us; so be it. But many people have asked us our advice and it's nice to be able to share.

"the harder you work, the luckier you become" is a rebut I have used before...


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: How do you help/influence others
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2013, 09:45:12 PM »
I have learned to just be myself. There is a lot of freedom (for yourself and others) in just doing what you believe in without the need to tell others what they need to do. My friends know I have a strict budget and that we make saving a priority. I get excited when I find a way to cut expenses so I end up telling them about it. My friends also know that I only give myself a small amount for frivolous spending and I tell them plainly when I cannot afford something. Or, when they talk about upgrading their vehicles or cars, I'll just (hopefully, humbly and without sounding judgmental) tell them that we plan on keeping our cars until they die or staying in our smallish home so that we can pay off our mortgage. My hopes is that this gives them reason to pause and reconsider purchases they want to make without sounding preachy or telling them what they should do with their money because giving people unsolicited advice rarely works, and is often just annoying to the person on the receiving end.