Author Topic: How do I handle Friends with Hair Blazing? (a bit ranty)  (Read 13639 times)

Rezdent

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How do I handle Friends with Hair Blazing? (a bit ranty)
« on: May 08, 2014, 06:24:53 PM »
Known these folks for years and always recognized that we have different "styles".  They have bought into the mainstream Jones' life.  I knew they were skirting the edge.  Over the years I've watched some prime time drama.  Big enormous newer  TRUCK+SUV+2 more trucks for the teens (all with payments).  Cookie cutter nice house in the better hood, big mortgage and HOAfees...4 fancy smartphones.  Thermostat keeps AC humming.  Spending ridiculous amounts on fancy food.You get the picture.
One of them makes a fair (not great) wage.  The other walked off the job a year ago (Wtf???) with no plan and now chronically unemployed.
They recently asked a friend for a loan to prevent the truck from getting repoed the next day.  A couple months later they let the other truck get repoed and took out a new loan against the one that they were just bailed out on by the friend.  Want to bet whether the friend been repaid?  Aarrrggh!
Wondering if anyone has advice for me on how to handle this?  I've been as tactful as possible over the years  I have always offered alternative ideas about how they could meet their needs and they've told me that they could never live like I do.
I really like these people aside from their flaming hair.  On the other hand, I want to scream and rant at them. I'm torn because my instinct is to avoid them completely.  I want to be a good friend and we travel many of the same circles so I will be seeing them.  Anyway I believe that it is wrong to dump people who are down on their luck.  So...I like them, can't avoid them, previous face punches haven't worked, I don't want to make a huge scene but it might be impossible to prevent myself from saying the stuff that I am thinking.   Saying it really loudly with a red face while waiving my arms like a crazy person.

Frankies Girl

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Re: How do I handle Friends with Hair Blazing? (a bit ranty)
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2014, 06:38:55 PM »
Don't discuss money with them unless it is in vague general terms. Don't lend them money. If they ask for help, tell them that you don't lend money to friends or that you're paying off debt yourself - unless you really want to help them out, and consider it a gift since chances are good you'll never see it again.

If they are constantly complaining about their lack of money, you could offer to help them come up with a budget and make suggestions for some of the books/blogs discussed on the forum, but don't offer help/advice unless they ask.

You can't make them change their habits. Just be as good a friend as you can be, and try to let all the stupid things they do go. And of course, you can always vent here!

Joggernot

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Re: How do I handle Friends with Hair Blazing? (a bit ranty)
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2014, 06:48:25 PM »
Don't discuss money with them unless it is in vague general terms. Don't lend them money. If they ask for help, tell them that you don't lend money to friends or that you're paying off debt yourself - unless you really want to help them out, and consider it a gift since chances are good you'll never see it again.

If they are constantly complaining about their lack of money, you could offer to help them come up with a budget and make suggestions for some of the books/blogs discussed on the forum, but don't offer help/advice unless they ask.

You can't make them change their habits. Just be as good a friend as you can be, and try to let all the stupid things they do go. And of course, you can always vent here!

+1  Good advice.  You might have to consider minimizing your friendship.  I had to do this with one person, and I got over it.

zataks

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Re: How do I handle Friends with Hair Blazing? (a bit ranty)
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2014, 06:55:06 PM »
These people are not "down on their luck,' they're making poor life choices that are having an effect on their quality of life.  And apparently on you as well.  I say follow your instinct and remove them entirely or reduce their status in your life.  If that is not possible, speak your mind.  If they don't like it they'll change or stop associating with you.  At least then you know you've done your part.

frugalecon

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Re: How do I handle Friends with Hair Blazing? (a bit ranty)
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2014, 07:18:28 PM »
In my dealings with people like this, I try to remember two rules.

Rule 1: People don't want advice.
Rule 2: If people ask for advice, refer to Rule 1.

I have had some friends and family like this, and I generally just nod and say "that sounds awful" and try to feel grateful that my life is not like that.

Under no circumstances loan them money. Anything you give them (because you will never see it again) will only temporarily stave off the inevitable, and there is a risk they will make another run at you.

brewer12345

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Re: How do I handle Friends with Hair Blazing? (a bit ranty)
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2014, 07:29:34 PM »
Yup. Shut yer hole and just enjoy the flaming spectacle from a safe distance.

AccidentalMiser

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Re: How do I handle Friends with Hair Blazing? (a bit ranty)
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2014, 07:37:43 PM »

+1  Good advice.  You might have to consider minimizing your friendship.  I had to do this with one person, and I got over it.

They will soon ask you for money.  When you say "No", they won't be your friends anymore and you won't have to worry about them again.

Rezdent

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Re: How do I handle Friends with Hair Blazing? (a bit ranty)
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2014, 08:36:51 PM »
Don't discuss money with them unless it is in vague general terms. Don't lend them money. If they ask for help, tell them that you don't lend money to friends or that you're paying off debt yourself - unless you really want to help them out, and consider it a gift since chances are good you'll never see it again.


If they are constantly complaining about their lack of money, you could offer to help them come up with a budget and make suggestions for some of the books/blogs discussed on the forum, but don't offer help/advice unless they ask.
They do tend to whine to everyone.  There seems to be a ripple effect because others are discussing the latest crisis.

You can't make them change their habits. Just be as good a friend as you can be, and try to let all the stupid things they do go. And of course, you can always vent here!
Thank you FG.  Now that you put it this way I realize that I am more worried about bigger effects since we share friends.  These friends are all talking about the latest setback sympathetically (cough. cough.).

Rezdent

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Re: How do I handle Friends with Hair Blazing? (a bit ranty)
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2014, 09:05:00 PM »
These people are not "down on their luck,' they're making poor life choices that are having an effect on their quality of life. 
Yes.  That's exactly how I see it too.  Plus they are trying to play the victim to everyone as if this is an unforeseen accident.  Maybe I could have sympathy if this had been the first time and they were young (sadly neither is true)

And apparently on you as well.  I say follow your instinct and remove them entirely or reduce their status in your life.  If that is not possible, speak your mind.  If they don't like it they'll change or stop associating with you.
  I'm having a difficult time holding my tongue.   I'm sure speaking my mind won't help them change theirs.  It might give the neighborhood the impression that I am a jerk.  Which maybe I am since I really want to point out that all of it is totally their own fault and that I don't want to hear about it unless they are taking drastic steps for downsizing and fire sales.

NeverWasACornflakeGirl

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Re: How do I handle Friends with Hair Blazing? (a bit ranty)
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2014, 05:08:31 AM »
These people are not "down on their luck,' they're making poor life choices that are having an effect on their quality of life. 
Yes.  That's exactly how I see it too.  Plus they are trying to play the victim to everyone as if this is an unforeseen accident.  Maybe I could have sympathy if this had been the first time and they were young (sadly neither is true)

And apparently on you as well.  I say follow your instinct and remove them entirely or reduce their status in your life.  If that is not possible, speak your mind.  If they don't like it they'll change or stop associating with you.
  I'm having a difficult time holding my tongue.   I'm sure speaking my mind won't help them change theirs.  It might give the neighborhood the impression that I am a jerk.  Which maybe I am since I really want to point out that all of it is totally their own fault and that I don't want to hear about it unless they are taking drastic steps for downsizing and fire sales.

It's hard not to point out the obvious when it sure looks like the solution to their problems is most likely staring them in the face. 

HOWEVER, one of the best pieces of wisdom I've gotten from this forum is that preaching about money to people is similar to proselitzing about religion or trying to tell someone who is overweight how to lose weight.  No one wants to hear it.   My solution is just to change the subject.  If they want to whine let them do it to someone else.

gooki

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Re: How do I handle Friends with Hair Blazing? (a bit ranty)
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2014, 05:35:31 AM »
It's not that no one wants to hear it, it's just that people have to be ready to hear advice. They will come to you when they are ready.

In the mean time, the best thing you can do is let them fail.

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Re: How do I handle Friends with Hair Blazing? (a bit ranty)
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2014, 06:45:11 AM »
If they ask you for money, you should politely say "no." However, you can use it as an opportunity to give them Dave Ramsey's book, "The Total Money Makeover." He has a chapter that says don't give money to anyone you love, because it will immediately destroy the relationship. So, you can say "no" to loaning the money, have the excellent reason that you like them too much to destroy the relationship and give them the book that will say everything you wish you could about their terrible financial habits. You will have "led the horse to water." Leave it at that.

PS, I know as mustachians we might be "beyond" Mr. Ramsey, but he is perfect for beginners like this.

Good luck.

odput

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Re: How do I handle Friends with Hair Blazing? (a bit ranty)
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2014, 09:13:09 AM »
you can use it as an opportunity to give them Dave Ramsey's book, "The Total Money Makeover."

Hmm...I wonder if one of my friends did this to me with Your Money or Your Life.  I didn't ask for/complain about money, but we were roommates at the time...maybe he saw something that I didn't...

huadpe

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Re: How do I handle Friends with Hair Blazing? (a bit ranty)
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2014, 09:46:26 AM »
Dave Ramsey isn't the greatest technical advice on earth (his investing stuff is pretty crappy), but for someone like this, it is exactly what's needed.  Ramsey's stuff is heavily oriented towards basics of behaviors and overspending, which is obviously the problem here.

Echoing that, if (when) they ask for money: say no.  Firmly, and clearly.  Offer to give advice, but no money.  If they're so broke there's no food for the kids, buy them a big bag of groceries, or even cook them dinner (and send home lots of leftovers with them).  But no money.

socaso

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Re: How do I handle Friends with Hair Blazing? (a bit ranty)
« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2014, 12:12:55 PM »
In my dealings with people like this, I try to remember two rules.

Rule 1: People don't want advice.
Rule 2: If people ask for advice, refer to Rule 1.

I have had some friends and family like this, and I generally just nod and say "that sounds awful" and try to feel grateful that my life is not like that.

Under no circumstances loan them money. Anything you give them (because you will never see it again) will only temporarily stave off the inevitable, and there is a risk they will make another run at you.
Hahahaha! Yup.
I've always been known as the frugal one and my friends have listened to my money saving ways with varying degrees of interest. Exactly two of them have ever asked for help. I helped one friend reduce her grocery spending by half and went over another's monthly budget to find areas for spending reduction. You can't change people, you can only lead by example. If they can't stop talking about how much financial trouble they are in you have to ask yourself if it is worth your while to keep listening when you know they've done it to themselves.

Rezdent

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Re: How do I handle Friends with Hair Blazing? (a bit ranty)
« Reply #15 on: May 09, 2014, 05:51:26 PM »
Echoing that, if (when) they ask for money: say no.  Firmly, and clearly.  Offer to give advice, but no money.  If they're so broke there's no food for the kids, buy them a big bag of groceries, or even cook them dinner (and send home lots of leftovers with them).  But no money.
I am not giving them money. I think they will soon be homeless - which they came very close to a few years ago but their families bailed them out by gifting them $20,000 just to get them out of arrears.  Obviously they learned nothing from that.
I have given food and even opened my doors many times to folks that needed help and everyone knows it.  But I am not willing for them.  It doesn't help that my spouse is softer (will be their likely target) and who suggested today that we might have to take them in.  NO!  (stamps foot).  I seem to be the only one who thinks they own the problem and the solution. It would be different if they'd been at least trying.  I'm not sympathetic.  That's gotta make me look pretty callous.  That bothers me.

Cassie

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Re: How do I handle Friends with Hair Blazing? (a bit ranty)
« Reply #16 on: May 09, 2014, 06:01:31 PM »
They are not your concern to take care of.  If they are homeless they can ask to live with family.  Stay firm because you are right!

huadpe

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Re: How do I handle Friends with Hair Blazing? (a bit ranty)
« Reply #17 on: May 09, 2014, 08:58:36 PM »

I am not giving them money. I think they will soon be homeless - which they came very close to a few years ago but their families bailed them out by gifting them $20,000 just to get them out of arrears.  Obviously they learned nothing from that.


Oh, I think they learned something from it alright - just something awful and parasitic.

Ohio Teacher

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Re: How do I handle Friends with Hair Blazing? (a bit ranty)
« Reply #18 on: May 10, 2014, 06:52:39 AM »
Great idea on the Dave Ramsey book.  I know he gets a lot of flak from MMM and on the forums, but he really is perfect for "beginners" trying to get out of debt.  Once you have money, he's not good at telling you what to do with it.  Front-loaded funds, egads!

Daleth

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Re: How do I handle Friends with Hair Blazing? (a bit ranty)
« Reply #19 on: May 10, 2014, 09:48:50 AM »
I believe that it is wrong to dump people who are down on their luck.

They are not down on their luck. No twist of fate caused their financial problems--no health crisis, no natural disaster, no out of the blue layoff, no freak accident that got them sued, etc. What caused their financial problems is walking off the job with no plan, and overspending, and not doing basic math.

It's a pet peeve of mine when people see themselves or someone else as a "victim" when all they actually are is a victim of their own decisions. I want to say, talk to those 200+ Kenyan girls who just got kidnapped and sex trafficked. Talk to someone who was paralyzed in a car accident. For that matter, talk to someone who invested in Enron and had their money flushed down the toilet by fraudulent criminals. Out of respect for people who ACTUALLY WERE victimized, I think it's important to be very clear that people whose suffering was caused by no one but themselves are NOT victims of bad luck or anything else.

LalsConstant

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Re: How do I handle Friends with Hair Blazing? (a bit ranty)
« Reply #20 on: May 10, 2014, 12:46:14 PM »
I've been there done that.  I wasn't nearly as leveraged so it wasn't this bad, and I was single so I wasn't hurting a family, but those chickens are coming home to roost.

It pains me to say this, but there's nothing anyone could have done for me other than be there.  Don't give them money.

It's not that I have no sympathy, I am just saying that light at the other end of the tunnel is the oncoming train.

prefrontalfinance

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Re: How do I handle Friends with Hair Blazing? (a bit ranty)
« Reply #21 on: May 10, 2014, 01:25:07 PM »
If they are constantly complaining about their lack of money, you could offer to help them come up with a budget and make suggestions for some of the books/blogs discussed on the forum, but don't offer help/advice unless they ask.
They do tend to whine to everyone.  There seems to be a ripple effect because others are discussing the latest crisis.

I take some of the advice I'm giving you from the mouth of CaptainAwkward (another blog). Be direct, polite, and specific the next time this comes up in conversation with them, and follow the 2-attempt rule.

Broke Friends (BF): Oh, it's so hard living a life with 5 cars and a beautiful house and expensive luxury phones on 1 salary, whine whine, *hint hint give us money*
You: Friend(s), I want to be really honest with you. It seems you have been dealing with these financial problems for several years. While you have described these problems, it seems to me the root is that you buy expensive things that are beyond the means of the salary you are supporting your family with. You don't have to listen to my advice, but I am going to write down the [name of Dave Ramsays book]/[link for MMM]/[Your Money or Your Life]/[I Heart Budgets]/whatever. I really encourage you to read this. These people are smarter about money than I am, and instead of seeking advice from me, I encourage you to go learn from their wisdom.
BF: Oooh, but you are SO FRUGAL (aka we think you live like a dirty hermit) We could NEVER CHANGE, it would be SO HARD.
You: (hand them the paper) Well, this advice really helped me and spouse make a plan for our family. I hope maybe it could help you too ->(Subject change) So how are the kids doing in school?

Then, in all future conversations, if they bring it up use the 2-attempt rule. Try to change the conversation away from complaining about finances 2 times, and if they ignore your attempts, leave the conversation. This means that if they complain to you about finances again, you can say:
You: Did you get a chance to read that thing I recommended?
Them: (Any answer but Yes, I totally read it word for word)
You: That's too bad. ->change of subject. (This is attempt 1 to change convo away from complaints about money)
Them: Still complaining about how they're about to lose a truck/can't afford groceries/can't afford heat/etc.
You: Wow/Hmm./There you have it. -> Change of subject. (Attempt 2).
Them: More whining.
You: (Leave the conversation) Could be as simple as, "I have to go" -> hang up the phone. Could be "There's my spouse, he had a great story about BBQing/DIY home improvement/whatev he wanted to tell you" and a switch spots. Could be more direct, "I have given you all the advice I have on that topic, so if that's all you want to talk about, I think I'll go home for today/Maybe you should head home for the night. See you next time!"

They probably won't respond well to this tactic. Most people who are like this (borrow money from friends, never pay it back, complain to everyone they know, etc.) will respond really poorly to you sticking to a boundary about talking about finances. But you can have a friendship with them that minimizes this type of complaining - IF you choose your boundary and stick to it. You know better than I do the types of situations they are fun friends to spend time with - cultivate those situations, and limit the financial conversations.

Rezdent

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Re: How do I handle Friends with Hair Blazing? (a bit ranty)
« Reply #22 on: May 10, 2014, 02:09:36 PM »
Thank you prefrontalfinance
This sounds like a strategy that may work for me.

Rezdent

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Re: How do I handle Friends with Hair Blazing? (a bit ranty)
« Reply #23 on: May 10, 2014, 02:14:43 PM »
I've been there done that.  I wasn't nearly as leveraged so it wasn't this bad, and I was single so I wasn't hurting a family, but those chickens are coming home to roost.

It pains me to say this, but there's nothing anyone could have done for me other than be there.  Don't give them money.

It's not that I have no sympathy, I am just saying that light at the other end of the tunnel is the oncoming train.
Thank you LalsConstant
I hope they figure it out before the wreck.  It's hard to watch.

marty998

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Re: How do I handle Friends with Hair Blazing? (a bit ranty)
« Reply #24 on: May 10, 2014, 04:51:37 PM »

It's a pet peeve of mine when people see themselves or someone else as a "victim" when all they actually are is a victim of their own decisions. I want to say, talk to those 200+ Kenyan girls who just got kidnapped and sex trafficked. Talk to someone who was paralyzed in a car accident. For that matter, talk to someone who invested in Enron and had their money flushed down the toilet by fraudulent criminals. Out of respect for people who ACTUALLY WERE victimized, I think it's important to be very clear that people whose suffering was caused by no one but themselves are NOT victims of bad luck or anything else.

Sorry, don't mean to hijack, but those girls were from Nigeria, not Kenya.

Otherwise I agree with meaning of your post.

The Happy Philosopher

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Re: How do I handle Friends with Hair Blazing? (a bit ranty)
« Reply #25 on: May 10, 2014, 05:56:08 PM »
If they are constantly complaining about their lack of money, you could offer to help them come up with a budget and make suggestions for some of the books/blogs discussed on the forum, but don't offer help/advice unless they ask.
They do tend to whine to everyone.  There seems to be a ripple effect because others are discussing the latest crisis.

I take some of the advice I'm giving you from the mouth of CaptainAwkward (another blog). Be direct, polite, and specific the next time this comes up in conversation with them, and follow the 2-attempt rule.

Broke Friends (BF): Oh, it's so hard living a life with 5 cars and a beautiful house and expensive luxury phones on 1 salary, whine whine, *hint hint give us money*
You: Friend(s), I want to be really honest with you. It seems you have been dealing with these financial problems for several years. While you have described these problems, it seems to me the root is that you buy expensive things that are beyond the means of the salary you are supporting your family with. You don't have to listen to my advice, but I am going to write down the [name of Dave Ramsays book]/[link for MMM]/[Your Money or Your Life]/[I Heart Budgets]/whatever. I really encourage you to read this. These people are smarter about money than I am, and instead of seeking advice from me, I encourage you to go learn from their wisdom.
BF: Oooh, but you are SO FRUGAL (aka we think you live like a dirty hermit) We could NEVER CHANGE, it would be SO HARD.
You: (hand them the paper) Well, this advice really helped me and spouse make a plan for our family. I hope maybe it could help you too ->(Subject change) So how are the kids doing in school?

Then, in all future conversations, if they bring it up use the 2-attempt rule. Try to change the conversation away from complaining about finances 2 times, and if they ignore your attempts, leave the conversation. This means that if they complain to you about finances again, you can say:
You: Did you get a chance to read that thing I recommended?
Them: (Any answer but Yes, I totally read it word for word)
You: That's too bad. ->change of subject. (This is attempt 1 to change convo away from complaints about money)
Them: Still complaining about how they're about to lose a truck/can't afford groceries/can't afford heat/etc.
You: Wow/Hmm./There you have it. -> Change of subject. (Attempt 2).
Them: More whining.
You: (Leave the conversation) Could be as simple as, "I have to go" -> hang up the phone. Could be "There's my spouse, he had a great story about BBQing/DIY home improvement/whatev he wanted to tell you" and a switch spots. Could be more direct, "I have given you all the advice I have on that topic, so if that's all you want to talk about, I think I'll go home for today/Maybe you should head home for the night. See you next time!"

They probably won't respond well to this tactic. Most people who are like this (borrow money from friends, never pay it back, complain to everyone they know, etc.) will respond really poorly to you sticking to a boundary about talking about finances. But you can have a friendship with them that minimizes this type of complaining - IF you choose your boundary and stick to it. You know better than I do the types of situations they are fun friends to spend time with - cultivate those situations, and limit the financial conversations.

Good stuff! Boundaries are needed with any friendship. I would stay far away from trying to give advice and direct away like the example above. If they constantly violate the boundaries you set are they really people you want to spend time with? Oh yeah, and never lend friends money.

The Happy Philosopher

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Re: How do I handle Friends with Hair Blazing? (a bit ranty)
« Reply #26 on: May 10, 2014, 06:06:58 PM »
These people are not "down on their luck,' they're making poor life choices that are having an effect on their quality of life. 
Yes.  That's exactly how I see it too.  Plus they are trying to play the victim to everyone as if this is an unforeseen accident.  Maybe I could have sympathy if this had been the first time and they were young (sadly neither is true)

And apparently on you as well.  I say follow your instinct and remove them entirely or reduce their status in your life.  If that is not possible, speak your mind.  If they don't like it they'll change or stop associating with you.
  I'm having a difficult time holding my tongue.   I'm sure speaking my mind won't help them change theirs.  It might give the neighborhood the impression that I am a jerk.  Which maybe I am since I really want to point out that all of it is totally their own fault and that I don't want to hear about it unless they are taking drastic steps for downsizing and fire sales.

It's hard not to point out the obvious when it sure looks like the solution to their problems is most likely staring them in the face. 

HOWEVER, one of the best pieces of wisdom I've gotten from this forum is that preaching about money to people is similar to proselitzing about religion or trying to tell someone who is overweight how to lose weight.  No one wants to hear it.   My solution is just to change the subject.  If they want to whine let them do it to someone else.

Great advice cornflake, I totally agree here. Also, once you say something it really can't be unsaid. Unloading to them about their poor live decisions accomplishes what exactly? Will it make them change? Will it make you feel better (other than in the immediate short term). Probably not. It's hard for me to imagine anything good coming from that conversation. If they are real friends have empathy for their situation even though it drives you crazy!

BlueHouse

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Re: How do I handle Friends with Hair Blazing? (a bit ranty)
« Reply #27 on: May 12, 2014, 02:00:58 PM »
I am not giving them money. I think they will soon be homeless - which they came very close to a few years ago but their families bailed them out by gifting them $20,000 just to get them out of arrears.  Obviously they learned nothing from that.
I have given food and even opened my doors many times to folks that needed help and everyone knows it.  But I am not willing for them.  It doesn't help that my spouse is softer (will be their likely target) and who suggested today that we might have to take them in.  NO!  (stamps foot).  I seem to be the only one who thinks they own the problem and the solution. It would be different if they'd been at least trying.  I'm not sympathetic.  That's gotta make me look pretty callous.  That bothers me.

This is difficult for sure.  My brother hit some hard circumstances, but didn't change the lifestyle accordingly.  He and his family have been living above their means even before hard times hit.  Within 2 years, he lost everything and the last 6 months of it, the rest of the family (siblings and parent)  made a pact not to give him a cent.  We saw where his family was heading and while they were unwilling to take advice, they were more than willing to take money (and keep posting photos on facebook about their dinners out on the town). We knew he was headed for bankruptcy and decided the best way to help him would be to help after the banks took everything they were going to take.  It took a long time and a lot of sleepless nights, but he finally declared, got a clean slate, lost the house, etc.  Unfortunately, they really didn't learn anything and still don't want to change the way they live. 
One thing that drives me crazy is that my brother blames his wife for most of it, but when I ask him a question, he says he doesn't know because his wife handles all the financial stuff.  AUGGHH!!! 

MooseOutFront

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Re: How do I handle Friends with Hair Blazing? (a bit ranty)
« Reply #28 on: May 12, 2014, 02:35:52 PM »
It's nice that you care about them, but there's nothing actionable here.  They may have been better off to have lost their house a few years ago.

Rezdent

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Re: How do I handle Friends with Hair Blazing? (a bit ranty)
« Reply #29 on: May 12, 2014, 05:19:41 PM »
I am not giving them money. I think they will soon be homeless - which they came very close to a few years ago but their families bailed them out by gifting them $20,000 just to get them out of arrears.  Obviously they learned nothing from that.
I have given food and even opened my doors many times to folks that needed help and everyone knows it.  But I am not willing for them.  It doesn't help that my spouse is softer (will be their likely target) and who suggested today that we might have to take them in.  NO!  (stamps foot).  I seem to be the only one who thinks they own the problem and the solution. It would be different if they'd been at least trying.  I'm not sympathetic.  That's gotta make me look pretty callous.  That bothers me.

This is difficult for sure.  My brother hit some hard circumstances, but didn't change the lifestyle accordingly.  He and his family have been living above their means even before hard times hit.  Within 2 years, he lost everything and the last 6 months of it, the rest of the family (siblings and parent)  made a pact not to give him a cent.  We saw where his family was heading and while they were unwilling to take advice, they were more than willing to take money (and keep posting photos on facebook about their dinners out on the town). We knew he was headed for bankruptcy and decided the best way to help him would be to help after the banks took everything they were going to take.  It took a long time and a lot of sleepless nights, but he finally declared, got a clean slate, lost the house, etc.  Unfortunately, they really didn't learn anything and still don't want to change the way they live. 
One thing that drives me crazy is that my brother blames his wife for most of it, but when I ask him a question, he says he doesn't know because his wife handles all the financial stuff.  AUGGHH!!!
Eek!
As hard as this is to watch at least they aren't family.  I can only imagine how hard it would be to watch a family member doing this. Very difficult to watch someone you love while they lose everything

BlueHouse

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Re: How do I handle Friends with Hair Blazing? (a bit ranty)
« Reply #30 on: May 13, 2014, 11:21:05 AM »
As hard as this is to watch at least they aren't family.  I can only imagine how hard it would be to watch a family member doing this. Very difficult to watch someone you love while they lose everything[/color]
But they ARE family.  It's my brother and his wife and children.  I speak to him a lot about frugal living (I try not to give advice, but rather make it about the changes I'm making).  I told him about possibilities of retiring to a less costly area or even a different country. 

His response:  Why don't YOU start looking into that.  It would be great to get a big family compound in Mexico or Belize.  What would be really great, is if we did that now, so the kids could enjoy it while they're still in school.

Me:  Really?  this is what you get from my advice?  You think I'm going to scrimp and save to fund YOUR retirement?  I don't think so! 

Me to myself:  breathe.  Just breathe.   

Rezdent

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Re: How do I handle Friends with Hair Blazing? (a bit ranty)
« Reply #31 on: May 13, 2014, 06:18:11 PM »
As hard as this is to watch at least they aren't family.  I can only imagine how hard it would be to watch a family member doing this. Very difficult to watch someone you love while they lose everything[/color]
But they ARE family.  It's my brother and his wife and children.  I speak to him a lot about frugal living (I try not to give advice, but rather make it about the changes I'm making).  I told him about possibilities of retiring to a less costly area or even a different country. 

His response:  Why don't YOU start looking into that.  It would be great to get a big family compound in Mexico or Belize.  What would be really great, is if we did that now, so the kids could enjoy it while they're still in school.

Me:  Really?  this is what you get from my advice?  You think I'm going to scrimp and save to fund YOUR retirement?  I don't think so! 

Me to myself:  breathe.  Just breathe.   
My apologies.   That didn't come out right.  I was saying that at least these friends aren't family members.  I saw that yours are.  That must be doubly hard to watch.  Although I would have no problem giving my brother numerous face punches.   He would also dish it back at me - boy can we bicker.  Any chance your brother might just be egging you on?

BlueHouse

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Re: How do I handle Friends with Hair Blazing? (a bit ranty)
« Reply #32 on: May 14, 2014, 05:41:31 AM »
My apologies.   That didn't come out right.  I was saying that at least these friends aren't family members.  I saw that yours are.  That must be doubly hard to watch.  Although I would have no problem giving my brother numerous face punches.   He would also dish it back at me - boy can we bicker.  Any chance your brother might just be egging you on?
No apology necessary Rezdent. I wish he was egging me on. I can be judge mental and I have a habit of offering unsolicited advice. I realized he stopped telling me anything substantive if I said anything he disagreed with. So I tried other methods. I don't think much of it worked.
Plus these factors:
1. I'm not married, so I couldn't possibly understand anything about personal and financial relationships. Therefore, my opinions were invalid
2. I don't have kids, so I couldn't possibly understand how much they NEED the latest games, clothes, etc.
3. I'm not unemployed, so I don't know how important it is to keep depression at bay by going out to eat, ordering fancy bottles of wine, etc.
4. I'm not searching for a job that if predisposed to hiring younger recent grads, so how could I possibly know anything about keeping skills updated (I've changed careers twice and reinvented myself and now am self employed).
5. I don't understand anything about his situation because it's different for him than for everyone else on the face of the planet. For whatever reason, no advice, words of wisdom, general savings guidelines, from ANYBODY fit his incredibly unique circumstances. He's so unique in fact, that no general rule can possibly apply to him.

Sorry for the rant. I'm still frustrated at the whole thing. He's finally working again, but still making silly choices. I gifted him 2800. Despite my protests that I want him to pay off debts that weren't discharged in bankruptcy, or my request that he start an emergency fund, or pay back his retirement funds (he's 50), he insists on sending money orders through the mail to pay me back. One envelope with $1000 is lost and now they're upset that it's lost. I hung up when they started to complain that now they have to put a tracer on it because it didn't show up in my mailbox (implying that I somehow was responsible).
/end rant


lifejoy

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Re: How do I handle Friends with Hair Blazing? (a bit ranty)
« Reply #33 on: May 14, 2014, 07:45:42 AM »
I just wanted to chime in and say that it is really, really hard to watch friends make terrible choices.

So hard.

*hug*!

NumberJohnny5

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Re: How do I handle Friends with Hair Blazing? (a bit ranty)
« Reply #34 on: May 14, 2014, 08:28:13 AM »
5. I don't understand anything about his situation because it's different for him than for everyone else on the face of the planet. For whatever reason, no advice, words of wisdom, general savings guidelines, from ANYBODY fit his incredibly unique circumstances. He's so unique in fact, that no general rule can possibly apply to him.

Maybe it'd a tad bit trolling, I don't know. But I love replying to a post along the lines of "Can't possibly do X, cause we're not DINKs (Dual Income No Kids)" or the closely related "The only way we can do X is because we're DINKs." So I jump in and inform that we, OINKs (One Income Numerous Kids), are having no problem doing X. X is often travel related (cruises, overseas travel, travel nursing, etc.).

Yes, it's completely impossible to save for retirement, or buy a house with cash, or even travel overseas if you have kids. Doubly impossible if there's only one income. Claim to accomplish all that and you're just a lying McLyer Pants-on-Fire troll, even if the single income is high (for the record, wife's salary may be considered a bit high here in rural Tennessee, but we're currently below poverty level by Australia's standards).

One envelope with $1000 is lost and now they're upset that it's lost. I hung up when they started to complain that now they have to put a tracer on it because it didn't show up in my mailbox (implying that I somehow was responsible).

I do hate being the rational neutral third-party at times, but...are you sure the envelope with $1,000 actually existed? Sounds like they somehow feel obligated to repay a family debt, but don't have the money to do so.

BlueHouse

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Re: How do I handle Friends with Hair Blazing? (a bit ranty)
« Reply #35 on: May 14, 2014, 10:20:53 AM »
One envelope with $1000 is lost and now they're upset that it's lost. I hung up when they started to complain that now they have to put a tracer on it because it didn't show up in my mailbox (implying that I somehow was responsible).

I do hate being the rational neutral third-party at times, but...are you sure the envelope with $1,000 actually existed? Sounds like they somehow feel obligated to repay a family debt, but don't have the money to do so.
That was my first thought, and I had hoped for that...I have said numerous times that it was a gift and never expected to be paid back.  But couldn't let it go to waste if they had actually mailed it. 
My lesson from this is that I need more work on shutting my mouth and not offering unsolicited advice.  After I made the gift, I made sure to never say a word about money unless specifically asked (except that I do still encourage by example or by "guess what I'm going to do to save more for retirement?" conversations).  I think there was such a backlog of me providing unwanted advice that he didn't want to listen to, that the thought of being "in debt" to me is worse to them than a lack of financial security.  Honestly, it did make me look at my own behavior more and I feel bad that they couldn't/wouldn't accept a gift from me.  On the other hand, my sister loaned them some money and she hasn't seen any repayment yet, nor any word from them about a repayment plan.  She is much better off financially than anyone else in our family, but that is not really how you should choose who to repay and who not to, IMO. 

At least ranting on this forum helps me get it all out. 

payitoff

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Re: How do I handle Friends with Hair Blazing? (a bit ranty)
« Reply #36 on: May 14, 2014, 10:53:45 AM »
I just wanted to chime in and say that it is really, really hard to watch friends make terrible choices.

So hard.

*hug*!

Yes. my bestfriend is one, and it breaks my heart listening to her, i am pretty transparent with my goals lately but she choses to do the opposite, they just bought a new luxury car financed up to 72 months, while she's proud about getting a good 3% interest coz of her 700+ score, here i am adding the monthly payment in my head and multiplying it by 8% compounding interest.

different people, different strokes


Rezdent

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Re: How do I handle Friends with Hair Blazing? (a bit ranty)
« Reply #37 on: June 28, 2014, 12:49:21 PM »
Update:
A huge thank you to everyone who responded.  I opted for the Captain Awkward approach and found that the friends just gradually stopped contact with me over the last couple of months.  I was able to preserve the other friendships.  The group is not talking much about this - maybe they are catching on.  I caught up with the friend that loaned them money - hasn't had a dime repayed.  She told me that they called last week and said they would have a (tiny) payment to her soon...and would she help them out by co-signing a small loan? 

I'm so glad she didn't fall for that one.  Really?  Get her to guarantee a loan and in return give her a tiny piece of it as a payment for the money you already owe her that you didn't repay?

Neustache

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Re: How do I handle Friends with Hair Blazing? (a bit ranty)
« Reply #38 on: June 29, 2014, 07:30:23 AM »
LOL!  I haven't paid you back yet, could you sign up to be financially resposible if I don't pay a new loan?  LOL. 

This thread was great if for no other reason but the Captain Awkward approach.  I am SO using that. 

MrsPete

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Re: How do I handle Friends with Hair Blazing? (a bit ranty)
« Reply #39 on: June 30, 2014, 08:59:32 PM »
You've received some excellent advice, and I have nothing new to add -- except to chime in as one more voice saying, "You can't help people who don't really want to be helped."  Just insulate yourself. 

okashira

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Re: How do I handle Friends with Hair Blazing? (a bit ranty)
« Reply #40 on: July 01, 2014, 09:28:34 AM »
Update:
A huge thank you to everyone who responded.  I opted for the Captain Awkward approach and found that the friends just gradually stopped contact with me over the last couple of months.  I was able to preserve the other friendships.  The group is not talking much about this - maybe they are catching on.  I caught up with the friend that loaned them money - hasn't had a dime repayed.  She told me that they called last week and said they would have a (tiny) payment to her soon...and would she help them out by co-signing a small loan? 

I'm so glad she didn't fall for that one.  Really?  Get her to guarantee a loan and in return give her a tiny piece of it as a payment for the money you already owe her that you didn't repay?

Thanks for the update and interesting approach.
I can't help but be curious, what was their immediate reaction to your approach?

sobezen

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Re: How do I handle Friends with Hair Blazing? (a bit ranty)
« Reply #41 on: July 01, 2014, 04:30:33 PM »
Consider distancing yourself to protect yourself and more importantly, your precious sanity!  When you speak with your loved ones that you clearly care about, do you feel physical stress in your heart or head?  If so, it might be time to breathe and take a step back.

I use to encounter similar concerns with loved ones who whined how they were victims or how I was so lucky.  Hearing their pity stories made me feel the same way as you until one day while confiding in a trusted friend, he reminded me, "I care too much.  Let people live their own lives, consequences and all".  Looking back this was incredibly difficult for me to do.  To compound this I wanted to help so much, but I did not recognize how I alone placed their burdens on my shoulders.  I made the choice to assume responsibility for their issues.  They were not taking responsibility for their decisions.  These is a huge distinction and it took me years to see this and stop "coming to the rescue".

Stepping back and distancing yourself is something very difficult to recognize when you are emotionally vested.  So, I've learned sometimes, it is genuinely ok to let others fall down; it does not mean you are a bad human.  Everyone has limits.  Acknowledge your limits and allow your heart to rest.  Release your weary burdens if you must and rediscover your balance.  Nowadays I find one way to reduce stress is to protect my heart from the emotional toxic waste people pour into my life.  I truly hope you find this sense of inner peace sooner than later.  Good luck!  Cheers!
« Last Edit: July 01, 2014, 04:38:39 PM by sobezen »