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Monday, March 24, 2008

When Not to Give Personal Finance Advice

Well...Mom is mad at me! Frankly a Holiday wouldn't be a holiday without it. It is really a case of me not keeping my mouth shut. I know better, but I apparently have the mouth control of a 15-year old at times.

Mom is going through a pretty nasty work period that finally came to an end with her employer terminating her when she found out she had severe Carpal-Tunnel issues with both arms. Instead of even telling her that there was an option for long-term disability, they terminated her...after 14.5 years. She was also having a difficult time with a lady who is the de facto second in command...but #1 in raw evilness. This health issue was just an excuse to off her. Mom knows it, they know it...heck her dogs know it. Well it looks like there is a good chance they are going to settle for a decent amount. Not live off of it forever sort of money, but a good couple of years money.

Money was already tough. Mom likes to spend and believes if they have credit, they have money...Now you know how I learned my awesome money management skills. After earlier saying how it was tough right now (and yes we did strongly offer, BTW before I get the hate mail) she said at dinner that if they get the settlement they are going on another cruise...WHAT?

I said..."Why don't you pay off your Credit Cards and save the rest so you don't end up eating cat food!" (Silence - With Eye Daggers)

Not knowing when to stop..."You guys really need to get your expenses under control...I am happy to help" (Silence - With Double Death Eye Daggers...)

"We'll be fine" (Ice forms over all nearby lakes and streams)

See the point was, not that the message was bad...just the timing. With all of this being raw it wasn't the time. Later and alone would have been better and not as embarrassing to her. it is all pride on her side, but I get it, I got it before I said it. If you want to help you have to know when...and when not to.


Fiscal Musings said...

It's tough sometimes to remember that even though finances is a game of numbers, it's also very emotionally driven.

You're right though, timing is very important in these types of situations.

Sharon said...

Sometimes you just want to let your loved ones know what you are learning about finance ....sometimes it's well received, other times not so much. Your Mom gave you those looks, but I bet she is seriously thinking about what you said. It was probably not the best time, but is there ever a good time?

RacerX said...

@ Fiscal - For everyone it is a timing issue. Both myself and for her too. You just want those close to you to be OK and avoid the potholes in the road.

@ Sharon - I hope she is thinking about it, but personal finance isn't her strong suit. Who knows if there is ever a good time!

Thank you both for visiting and commenting!

wealthy_1 said...

So sorry to hear your mom lost her job. I have to say that if that happened to me, I would probably be thinking of a cruise before paying down my debt.

I'm sure she knows you mean well. You just want the best for her.

It's very courageous of you to realize your timing could have been better. I hope you plan to let her know that too.

RacerX said...

@Wealthy - Yeah she gets it. And I ate my crow sandwich along with the ham.

Mrs. Micah said...

Wow. Yeah. I see the emotions of that, wanting to feel rewarded and everything...but dang.

It's so hard to watch people we love make bad decisions. But it's their life and if they don't want our advice, all we can do is try to be there when it goes bad.

Anonymous said...

Naughty Boy RacerX...
setting mom off at Easter!
Man - my mom had that same death stare - you could feel it even if you didn't see it!!
She would take it a notch up though and throw in the silent treatment.
I remember her going days on that...
Anyway that is another story!
I know it is hard when student surpasses teacher (for the teacher - if the teacher is family)!
Maybe you could email her or something and tell her sorry & that if she ever wants some help figuring out a budget, etc... your the man for the job.
Give her the power - rather than telling her what you think she should do.
It's hard I know, when parents make bad choices.
Heck, my dad is a gambler - he blows more money in a week on gambling than hubby and I live on!

RacerX said...

@Dawn - I have done that, but Mom's a pretty proud person. One that has amazingly pulled herself up by some pretty tough boot straps.

It is an issue not dissimmilar from mine. When you go a long time without,; whether it is food, money or other, when it is available you have somewhere in your head that scarcity impulse. We all handle it differently.

Thanks for commenting!

Anonymous said...

I might want a cruise too, after losing my job, except I find cruises about as fun as root canals. :)

But, you meant well, and I'm sure she's taking it into consideration. I do hope you apologized for the timing, but also that you're considering bringing it up again down the line. It *is* a good message.

RacerX said...

Yup...lessoned learn. Just spoke to her yesterday and reaffirmed privately, if there was anything we could do, they didn't even need to ask!

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