I’m totally into personal finance and love to help with money. I could teach the subject and shell out advice for hours. That’s why I love leading Financial Peace University classes so much. It satisfies my appetite.
But in everyday life I rarely get into conversations about money.
Because people rarely ask.
And even more rare are those times when I bring up the subject to someone else, even though I see bad personal finance decisions around me all the time.
I’ve learned that when I initiate conversations about money it doesn’t go so well. People feel violated, like it’s an intrusion on their personal space. It’s like offering unsolicited advice on how to parent or what political party could best solve our problems. All three of those topics are an invasion into personal privacy and opinion, so it seems.
It’s a challenge to know when to jump on a person’s comments about their personal financial situation. If I’m in FPU class it’s no problem. The people there are motivated to change and I know they want my advice.
In normal everyday life it’s hard to tell if people are just whining or truly want help with money. Are they complaining and have no desire to change? Or are they throwing out innocuous comments to see if I’ll bite?
To help me in these situations, I’m working on a go-to list of statements and questions to determine a person’s intent. Each one can’t be used in every situation as they are tailored to certain types of statements. However, the responses from the individual tell me if they are willing to move the conversation along and if they really want help with money issues.
Do You Want Help With Money?
When people insinuate, complain about or make general statements about their financial life, interject these statements to find out how far they want to go: