It’s no secret that I enjoy reading personal finance blogs. I often pick up new tips and sometimes participate in discussions. However, I can’t shake the feeling that the same circle of people are participating in the same discussions over and over, i.e. preaching to the converted.
Finance blogs come in all shapes and forms. Some focus on frugality while others are all about maximazing investments. Some bloggers are starting out while others are close to retirement. They can be getting out of debt or well into the investing stage. Despite these differences, one thing is certain: Anyone writing or commenting on these blogs is interested in money to some degree.
The challenge to me is to expand beyond this circle of finance-minded people. Can we find ways to share money-related tips to those who are not yet or will never be interested in finance? How can you share without getting too intrusive? Here are some of the ways I’ve done it so far, as broken down by type and situation:
1 ) Artist friend with little interest in money / Job negotiations
On this rare occasion, the artist friend actually asked for advice. She ran through her planned counter-offer and asked for feedback. While her intent was good, her argument rang of entitlement, focusing on better benefits given by her previous employer. I advised to emphasize her skills and experience, i.e.what she brought to the table merits a higher starting salary. I also told her to research comparative salaries to back up her argument. In this case, my help was minimal. She had planned to counter and we’ll never know if my tactic made her successful or if her new employer would have agreed to the request regardless of approach.
2 ) Friend with mid-level interest in savings and investing / ING
A few years ago, a friend casually mentioned saving for a car. At the time, ING had very good interest rates and it was easy for me to recommend them, referral fee or not. She signed up shortly and is still saving toward her goal. Since that time, we’ve talked money on occasion and I’m happy to encourage her to keep saving toward bigger goals.
3 ) Clueless Friend who makes bad decision after bad decision / Discount medications
Even with those who are financially clueless, it’s nice to offer help when possible. Recently this friend was lamenting about the cost of prescription medication. Like most of us, he had filled his prescriptions at the nearest pharmacy without doing any price comparisons. I knew that he would need to refill several meds over the next few months or longer, so I told him about Walmart’s low-cost drug program. After a quick search on their website, he realized that he could save approximately $15 per month on just one medication.
PF bloggers often complain about the irresponsibility of people around them. It is frustrating if you care a lot about money while others seem to fiddle away their fortunes. However, nothing stops you from helping others, even a little, to save or invest more. Have you paid it forward lately by sharing your knowledge?