How To Give Money Advice?

I mentioned that my niece is here for her internship from California. She just turned 22 and she’s infectiously vibrant and bright. We both mentioned about our student loan debt casually here and there. How I recently started to clean up my mess even though I’m so much older than her while hubby is still accruing more for his MBA. She chimed in and told me that she doesn’t even want to think about the mountain of student loans she has. The conversation never went deeper than that partly because the conversation got cut short since we had to do something and partly because I didn’t exactly know how to dive into it deeper without sounding like I’m giving her a lecture.

She’s going back to California in 2 weeks and I want to talk to her about this issue so she doesn’t end up like me. If she starts now, by the time she’s my age, she’ll be financially set. So I wanted to think out loud on my blog today to brainstorm to find ways to approach this topic with her in an effective way.

One question I have for you readers is whether I should reveal this blog to her? To show her that the problem doesn’t go away and it takes persistent effort to chip away at the huge debt. It’s better to start early and it’s not being cheap, but being frugal and smart. I want her to know that there’s a big and warm community out there that’s supportive and walking the similar path to financial freedom other than the Joneses. But one reservation I have is that at this point, other than my hubby, no one in my real life knows about this blog. Even my hubby never read it. He knows that I have a blog, but he never asked to see it and I never offered to show him. I like it that way. Do you think it’ll make any difference whether I introduce her to other personal finance blogs as opposed to mine?

One thing for sure I’m going to do for her is to get her a copy of Total Money Make Over by Dave Ramsey. I don’t follow his method strictly, but I agree with most of his ideas especially about giving. I’m hoping whenever she finishes reading this book, she’ll have a foundation about personal finance and know how to go about changing her behavior to tackle her debt and eventually build wealth. Here’s another question for you guys, do you think I should just stop here and wait for her to be ready to face this or should I try to have a talk about this before she leaves?

I’m not going to force her to listen to my lecture. I just want to have an open conversation, but I’m so bad at communicating especially with someone a lot younger. Should I just bring her out for coffee and bring up the subject and see how she reacts? Should I just give her the book with a card or something? Maybe I’m thinking too much. She loves and respects me enough, I think. I should be able to just talk to her about it, right?

If you guys have any advice for me, I’d greatly appreciate it. How did you guys react when someone tried to give you money advice? Were you offended or were you appreciative?


7 thoughts on “How To Give Money Advice?

  1. Your heart is in the right place for what I consider to be a tough task. I’ve always found it difficult to spread the good word of how much better life is when someone takes steps to better his or her finances. Whether it was through lean times when I was just getting started or now (I’m financially independent and live close to the beach in the tropics), roughly the same number of people are interested or want to know what the steps are. And that number is incredibly small. Like your niece, most don’t want to think about it. It’s good to hear that you are on a good path. I hope that you are able to share some of your wisdom and that it is graciously accepted. Good luck.

  2. I honestly think it would be the best gift for you to bring her out to coffee and talk about it (not in a lecturing way, but in a concerned way that I know is naturally within you). If you don’t feel comfortable letting her know about your own blog (I would feel the same), then I agree about pointing her towards other blogs that are accomplishing what she is, as well as the book, is a good idea. I honestly wish someone would have guided me at her age, and even if it doesn’t fully “stick”, perhaps over time it will? You’re an awesome Auntie for looking out for her!

    • Whether I end up talking to her or just giving her the book, I think I’ll definitely will give her a note. Even if she forgets what I said, the note will remind her why I was trying to present this “new” way of life. Thank you.

  3. Pingback: Tying Lose Ends | Michelle's Finance Journal

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