There are many people these days that are experiencing a range of financial issues that can affect their lives in many ways. In fact, so many people are now facing financial problems that most of us know at least one friend or family member in this situation.
What you can do
If you have a loved one who is experiencing issues when it comes to their finances, there are a number of ways in which you can help them. This includes:
Helping them to budget: Some people simply have no idea how to budget, which is often what causes financial problems in the first place. Sit with the family member, work out their exact income and outgoings, and draw up a budget so that they can see precisely what is coming in and how much has to go out each month. This will enable them to see just how much disposable income they have available each month.
Take stock of their debts: Find out from your loved one exactly who they owe money to, how much they owe, and how long they are expected to continue making repayments. Taking stock of their debts will help you – and them – to see the light at the end of the tunnel as well as making financial management easier. You can then look at the various options for debt relief to help them to unburden themselves more easily.
Help them to find a job: Sometimes, the debt problems that our loved ones face are due to lack of employment and income. You can do your bit by helping your family member to find a job. This could mean anything from helping them with their resume and interview skills through to scouring the internet to help them find something they can viably apply for. Even little tips such as helping them to dress and prepare for job interviews can make all the difference.
Save money for them: If your loved one is just about meeting financial commitments and therefore has no money to put aside in savings, you can do some saving for them. For example, each time a birthday or special occasion comes around, rather than buying them a gift put some money aside into a savings account for them. This is something that could prove invaluable to them in the event that an emergency arises.
Keep an eye on their spending: While you cannot control what your family member spends, what you can do is keep an eye on their spending, particularly if they live in the same house as you. Arrange to go through their income and spending once a week, so you can both monitor what money is being spent on. This will enable you to make changes accordingly and offer advice on how to reduce that spending.
Helping a loved one through financial issues is not about doing everything for them or trying to control them. It is more about offering advice, support and practical assistance to help them to get back on track.