I have friends, lets call them Impulsers (yes, I made this term up), that are constantly driving to the store to get a snack, pop or ice cream or _________ (insert convenience item on the line to the left).
Typically the Impulsers group are non-financial people that don’t understand (or were never taught) finances so they never picked up even the most basic money skills. They usually buying everything on impulse, whenever they want it, including big ticket items like cars and boats.
The Impulsers typically live paycheck to paycheck, or worse, go into debt spiral! Money is like air to them; they breathe it in (salary/wage income) and breathe it out (consumer items and non-appreciating assets) and then some…
Impulsers are not bad people per say, but a little naïve about money management! So what do you to do if you have a close friend that is bad with money like the Impulsers?
2 Ways to overcome Impulsers’ weaknesses:
- Budgeting! Yep, the “Impulsers” have the most to gain by using a budget versus any other group! Ironically, there is an excellent personal finance blog out there called www.Budgetsaresexy.com that actually is really cool. So cool, that I believe the Impulser’s group would appreciate it and perhaps get hooked on it. They might start to reading it on a daily basis. This would be a win-win for anyone in the Impulsers group, because they would derive entertainment value out of the Budgetsaresexy.com website, while at the same time learning a thing to 2 about budgeting! J.Money even has a special Millionaire Club group, that is basically a pledge of things to do to try to reach that elusive Millionaire level status. This hands down is the coolest blog about budgeting you will ever find!
- What if they don’t want to do read a blog? Well, that brings me to what I’m trying to do currently with a friend. First, we are close… almost brothers, so that gives me a little extra wiggle room, versus a friend you might have know for only the last couple of years. What I’m going to do is have my friend and I do the budget together! You might be wondering what am I going to use as the carrot? Well, my plan is to use the old “I need help” and “Let’s try this out as a team” approach. The reason for this approach is that your friend doesn’t believe that he/she has a problem. But, like most good friends, if you come to them asking for help by doing something together, it might have a chance! You’ll have to spend some time creating the program in addition to the work creating budgeting program. But if you do it right, and have periodic meetings (monthly or maybe quarterly) somewhere fun (maybe a bar?) it might work! During these meeting times, voice your concerns to your friend about your financial goals and talk about your expenses and how you plan on controlling them. You might be able to even animate certain expenses. By animating certain expenses, it will give it a face! That will enable you and your friend to recognize the face of the enemy and try to conquer it by keeping it contained (via the budget)! He/she should be able to pickup your concerns and how they relate to him/her.
Also make sure you really do it all out (afterall it’s really a stealth mentoring thing). If you don’t follow through with your budget, how can you expect your friend to either? I think it might be fun, actually! Perhaps another win-win scenario.
If you have any additions or any questions about my suggestions please jump in and post a comment. The water is warm and friendly here are Money Reasons!