Thursday, December 15, 2011

Facing Facts

I met a wonderful friend for dinner last night. We took the chance to catch up on everything that is going on each others lives. This friend, Rescue Girl, has always been super successful and in the past couple of years has really become heavily involved in animal rescue. As I've watched her posts on FB, I've always admired and marveled at how much passion, time and energy she devotes to giving animals a second chance. I also knew that she was putting some of her own money towards the cause she so ardently believes in. Since Rescue Girl has always been so successful, I just thought she'd found a great outlet for her time and energy.

After the check came, the talk turned towards finance. I was paying for mine with my debit card and Rescue Girl was paying with cash and I remarked that I needed to get to a cash basis, so that I'd really feel the pinch when I paid for something. It was then that she said she didn't have a choice, her credit cards were gone. I then said something about that being my goal too and that's when she told me that her credit cards weren't gone by choice, that she was in real financial trouble -- the close to losing her house kind of financial trouble. My mind flashed back to the numerous fb posts showing her very flashy car filled with huge bags of dog food for donation, the numerous nights out on the town she posts, all things that appeared to show a hugely successful person living a really fun and fulfilling life. I asked Rescue Girl if she had a plan, and she just said "it will all work out". I was astounded. This super successful friend whose drive and energy I had always admired was in a deep hole -- and basically just thought it would work out. I tried to press a little more, but she changed the topic abruptly. Sigh.

I hope she will see that these kinds of things usually don't just "work out",  That there needs to be a plan, and it needs to be put in place asap. There's really not much I can do except to suggest ways to make a plan if she asks, and to definitely be sure we don't meet up for any more dinners out, maybe pizza at my house instead?! You can't make someone face reality if they don't want to, all you can do is be there and help out when reality finally sets in. I'm hoping it sets in sooner rather than later.


  1. Appearance can be a dangerous thing, many that "look" successful are those that are just more burdened down with debt from over spending.

    When it is someone we care about, it is even harder to face and with money being such an emotional subject for many, we have to realize they are where they are from their money habits and it is nothing we can "fix" . They have to come to that conclusion on their own and this makes it really hard to watch.

    You may perhaps give her a helpful book on the subject or something but beyond that , she needs to get to a point where she is willing to do the work and make the needed changes herself.

    Also it tends to be even more emotional around holiday season, so perhaps she will be more open to discussion on the topic after the first of the year?

  2. I like your idea about just having pizza at your place or something like that. I'm sure she's used to friends who she has to keep up appearances with and then spends more than she has. Even if she isn't willing to discuss it with you, you are helping her with your idea. Maybe after the first of the year invite her over for a meal like that and I'll bet in that setting she'd be more willing to discuss it. You could ease into the conversation by saying something like, "I hope you don't mind we just had pizza here, but I'm trying to stay within my budget...."

  3. I think One Family has the right idea. It is hard for people who just don't want to talk about their finances with others to open up, but they may be more willing to do so if you open up to them first.

  4. I'm hoping I can work the subject around again. I really think that she has just never been in this position before and is having a hard time facing the reality of it.