Mar 7, 2008

"It's None of My Business, But..."

My good friend has a problem with money. I want so desperately to help her get on the right path, but anything I say would come off as judgmental.

My friend, let's call her Lisa, is an intelligent 20-something gal. She has a high school degree but dropped out of college because it wasn't for her.

Her parents own two smallish houses in an area where real estate costs an arm, a leg, and a gold mine. She lives in one of them. She doesn't pay anything for rent, etc.

Her parents also own a small business. She works for them part time. Since I've known her, the business has been struggling a bit. They've kept it going, but her paycheck of something like $1000 a month doesn't always come in on time.

Lisa is knee deep in credit card debt.

Lisa owns a few pets. She recently bought a dog. She loves her dog. But the dog costs a lot of money. She's already paying to take care of a cat and a bunny rabbit.

Recently, Lisa went on a trip with a friend who was auditioning for a show down in Los Angeles. While they didn't stay in a luxury hotel, Lisa did pay for airfare and half of the rental car. According to her blog, her friend didn't plan in advance, so she had to put the rental car on her credit card, which just happens to already be maxed out. Lisa took the trip just for her friend, and she's only staying for two days, basically to wait for her friend to audition, and then return home.

It's none of my business, but I just want to understand why someone so deep in credit card debt would buy a dog and take an unneeded trip. These purchases add up fast.

I guess some people live their lives just accepting credit card debt as the norm. But I don't understand how they do this.

I want to help Lisa get out of credit card debt. The friend side of me wants to lend her money to pay of her credit card bills so she can not be taking on such high interest rates. But I couldn't do that because the likelihood of that scenerio ending pretty is rather low.

Do any of you have friends who just spend, spend, spend without thinking about their credit card debt? Have you ever tried to step in and help?



4 comments:

Wooly Woman said...

Oh yeah, friend(s), brother, brother in law! All with spending habits and debt they can't carry. Sometimes if they bring it up I can add a few comments and suggestions, but unsolicited advice otherwise just seems to fall on deaf ears. It seems like unless one of them is in crisis and want to make the change they are unable to listen to any advice on finances. I think this is such a taboo area to talk about to, and one which people get overly sensitive about, so it is hard to talk about.
Ok you can sense my frustration, I am sorry, but it sounds like you are finding it difficult too :) Tough subject to bring up to a friend.

wifeinprogress said...

I agree, it's hard to stand there and watch, but it's such a sensitive topic. I have lots of friends who overspend without thought for the future, but there's not much to be done until they themselves come to the realization that they need to change. Only when I am asked will I offer my assistance. Until then, I just bite my tongue and continue on with my frugal ways, hoping to lead by example.

Fabulously Broke said...

All you can do is kind of hint (with your own examples) about credit cards and their evils

But other than that.. it seems to me like she has to realize it on her own, wake up and smell the roses....

Until then you can't do much

Scott said...

I have a friend that is even worse than her...he actuall brags about how much debt he has. I hate seeing him do this because he owns a very successful business in our town but has it leveraged to the max so that he can do things like buy a boat, which he puts his company's logo on. It's even scarier that he just had a baby. But it doesn't seem to affect him that he has this debt...weird

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