Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Personal Finance and Friendships

Do you talk openly and honestly with others in your life about your finances? Do you talk to your parents, siblings, friends, or co-workers about it? Sometime ago, hubby and I decided that we would be honest with anyone who seemed interested in our financial well being, and those who we thought could benefit from our experiences.

At our last Gail Club meeting, we touched on this subject a bit. We discussed sharing our personal info with complete strangers (like those at Gail Club meetings) who were likely in the same boat as we were/are. After the meeting, hubby and I talked about this in much further detail.

We keep nothing in the way of our financial situation from his mother. She has helped us in so many ways, and has told us that she remembers what it was like to not have any money. She is one of several people that I can talk to and bounce ideas off when I need a different perspective.

Our best friends, moved to another city a little over a year ago. They are always interested in how we manage our family life, business life, our relationship, as well as our finances. I simply adore these people because no matter where we stand financially in relation to them, it makes absolutely no difference. Granted, they may be better off financially than we are, but they have never acted like any of the more simplified things that we do are beneath them. As a matter of fact, when P got his promotion, and a substantial raise, we were genuinely happy for them, and told them so. Since then, they have told us that we are two of the very few people who have not changed toward them as friends since they moved upward in the income tax bracket.

Our children are given as much honesty about our financial situation as is possible for their respective ages. We use our experiences in the past few years as a learning tool. We try to keep communication open with them about money, so that they might have healthier attitudes about finances in their futures.

B has given sound advice (read advice we've pilfered from Gail Vaz - Oxlade) to co-workers when advice was sought. Some are serious about wanting change, and others are not. Those who have followed his advice, and educated themselves are already in a better situation for it.

I try to be as honest as possible with my extended family about our financial situation when it comes up in conversation. I also try not to flaunt the fact that we are better off than most of my relatives. I don't give out unsolicited financial advice either. But I don't tell them everything. Those relationships are better off without that sort of information.

Looking back, I have many stories to tell about how we came to be where we are now. In our last Gail Club meeting, it was mentioned that B suffered a serious head injury in 2008. The group was shocked. I had apparently failed to mention the accident, and how it affected our finances leading to our current situation.

I'm going to post some of these experiences over the next little while, and tell you what we've learned from them. Then I will leave it to you readers to give me your perspective on each situation. I know how far we've come in the last two years, and maybe it will help you to know that about us as well.


  1. I can talk open & honestly about money with my BFF, other than that, I guess my husband, but he's of the "don't care" mindpoint... as long as there's food on the table he's happy. He honestly has NO idea on where his $$ goes, just that the bills are always paid on the time and everyone is fed well.

  2. Hey April!

    For some reason I can finally comment on your blog - thank goodness!
    Love what you wrote here and believe it or not I walked away from that last meeting thinking the same thing - about friendships and relationships and who I have been able to confide our money situation and who I cant and right now I would say its 50/50. Some are open - our good freinds, my best friend, my sister and BIL are now totally debt free so we have talked a lot about it with them as they as well as everyone in the Gail Club have been very inspirational for us. Kyle and I did well budgeting over Christmas and still had a wonderful holiday with friends and family which is most important to us anyway.
    P.S. I am glad you shared your story with us - I love listening to people's life stories...I always learn so much!

    Happy New Year!!