We have tried to remain extremely positive over the long haul (43 months) during our debt repayment. We understand that the tightening of our budget and cutting back on wants will only be for a period of time. We understand getting a $109k debt monkey off our backs will be a springboard for better things for the entire family. With that in mind, we kept the financial complaints to a minimum. I started this blogs in hopes to share our story and hopefully inspired and help someone else struggling to get their finances in order.
This was not always our way of thought; it took many years of mistakes and ignorance before we made a change. The changes happened for us when we hit rock bottom and began to educate ourselves about personal finance. This was done on our own, partly because we were tight-lipped about our finances for years and didn’t want to discuss our mess with anyone and partly that we didn’t want anyone to tell us how to manage our money.
Now that we have seen the light, we regularly talk about our success, we are proud of the turnaround and the progress we have accomplished. We try to share the information we have learned without being pushy. I gave all of the co-workers in my department Dave Ramsey’s “The Total Money Makeover” book as a Christmas Gift in 2012. No strings attached, I just explained to my co-workers how the book helped me. I sat down with an extended family member to review their budget and help point them in the right direction. I have helped my brother get on the right financial path after some trouble. My wife and I have pointed friends in the right direction with offering them a book to read a blog or website to check out.
Then there are those people who no matter what advice or information you provide continue to complain about their financial situation. They complain and complain but never take any action. I have a few in my life today and the drive me crazy.
Financial Complainer Profiles
To protect the identity of the complainers, I will call them complainers one and two. Here’s an overview of their current situation.
Financial Complainer One – At least once a week tells me he has no money, or can’t afford things, or is broke. I know the income for this complainer is at least $100k. The complainer often gambles, plays fantasy sports for money, eats out multiple times a week, a spouse does not work, and drives a new car.
Financial Complainer Two – Had to move out of their primary residence due to a pay freeze at work and could not afford a mortgage. House is currently being rented. Living rent-free at a family members house to save money to hopefully return to own home. Spouse does not work and still drives a new car.
I agree these profiles are very different. From the outside looking in FC1 seems like a whiner, someone who has the money to support these habits but just likes to complain, but FC2 has a real financial emergency that forced them to move out of their house. The common thread for both FC1 and FC2 is that they have not taken any action or made any changes to improve their situations.
I never try to preach to others in need of help. I simply will talk about our success and see if the other person will inquirer how we succeeded. If they do I can point them in the right direction in a number of books, websites etc. I never want to make some feel like I’m talking down to them. I have tried to offer help in both cases, books, websites, etc. As of today, I’m not aware of any change with FC1 or FC2.
I struggle when I hear FC1 and FC2 complain because I know change is possible. We were $109k in debt, we had max our 5 credit cards and we found a way to dig ourselves out of the mess. I just don’t know how else I can help.
How do you help someone who doesn’t want help, but continues to complain about their situation?