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Don't Let Financial Advice Ruin Your Relationships

Lead by example instead.

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Relationships and Finance

Giving financial advice can be awkward. Giving financial advice to a family member who doesn't think they need it can be more like a minefield. There's no better recipe for an uncomfortable family dinner than telling your relative how to spend and save their money. The problem is that it's painful to watch someone you love manage their finances irresponsibly – especially when the fixes seem to obvious too you.

Eventually, however, you will reach a point where your advice not only falls on deaf ears, but it starts to hurt your relationship. When you arrive here, Liz Weston, a financial expert for The Chicago Tribune recommends that the best solution is to stop giving advice. Weston reminds us that unwarranted advice can be especially frustrating to hear. It isn't as if the person in a tough financial situation doesn't know it – of course he or she does, just like someone who is overweight doesn't need to be told it might be nice to shed a few pounds. Moreover, it's possible that what works for you won't work for your relative. So what do you do?

Try to lead by example. Don't be didactic, but don't hide the fact that you're working with a financial advisor or that you find the tips in, say, Money magazine, helpful. And when you're making dinner plans, be considerate enough to keep what you expect to be their budget in mind. Then, if and when you're asked for help, be as honest and forthcoming as possible. If you're asked for recommendations, give them. Before I first moved to the suburbs, a relative opened up his Quicken spreadsheet and shared precisely how much he was paying for everything from lawn care to heat and electric. It was a big eye opener and a big help. And it enabled my husband and me to understand how much we should trim our spending on other things to accommodate.

Article was written by Jean Chatzky, personal finance expert, best-selling author, and Editor In Chief at SavvyMoney and provided by SavvyMoney®.