Last weekend I received a message from a friend explaining that they had a difficult question to ask and asked if they could give me a call to talk about it. Being 8:00 am on a Sunday morning I thought the worst. They explained that they were worried about a close friend as who is in a lot of debt and are having major money issues.
My friend asked for my advice about how to bring up the issue with their this person and to get them to seek some financial help, as they are worried that if they bring it up with them it may ruin a friendship or makes matters worse.
Having dealt with this type of thing before, my advice to this person was that unfortunately as much as you want to help out your friend you can’t force someone to get help. Much like any addiction or mental issue unless the person is willing to get help for themselves, it is very difficult to convince someone that they firstly have a problem and secondly to do something about it. The only thing that you can do is to offer your support and to be there for them if they need it and it is important to not make the other person feel that you are trying to make them feel bad but rather that you are trying to help them and that you care about their wellbeing.
Even though I help people get out of debt and give advice on how to better manage their money on a daily basis. This conversation was a big reminder of the negative impact that money can have on our lives and the lives of those around us.
As technology evolves and the physical form of money (notes and coins) becomes less visible I fear people’s issues with debt and managing their money will become much worse. When you can’t see how much someone is spending it makes it very hard to identify when he or she are in trouble. Adding to the problem is that talking about money or asking someone how much they earn is still considered a taboo subject in today’s society.
If you or someone you care about is having financial problems there are people that can help. From my experience, the financial problems that people are in aren’t as bad as they might think. There are steps that can be put in place to get out someone out of what can seem like a very dark hole. Unfortunately, until someone is willing to seek help and overcome the fear of embarrassment, all you can do is offer your support.