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Master of Nothing
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a close friend who is married with three kids and they are extremely close to a financial meltdown. They are living way beyond their means. They pretty much live paycheck to paycheck and pretty much rely on credit cards to purchase food and other neccessties. How do I approach them about it or should I just let it be? They have zero dollars in the bank and they have no plan for future retirement.

They seem to have an unrealistic plan to deal with their large amount of debt. My buddy is in the Air Force and all they talk about is if he dies during a tour that his wife will get the $1 million life insurance money so that the debts can be paid off. Also most wives would not want their husbands to be deployed into a war zone but his wife is always looking forward to when he will be deployed so that they would get extra money.

Every year they get on average $9k in tax returns and instead of saving some of the money, they pay down their credit cards which is great but then they just re-charge them later in the year. My thoughts are if they would of saved at least half of the return each year, they would have emergency money to dip into instead of charging the credit cards back up after just paying it down or off.

Even with the large amount of debt they have his wife is unwilling to work. His mother-in-law has even offered to help watch the kids so that she can work at least 20 to 30 hours a week but his wife still will not do it. I have hinted to her in the past about her needing to work so that their lives would be better especially if they want to buy a house.

I know they both have had arguments in the past about what she is spending and for 2 weeks she was applying for jobs but then she would not call back or anything. Basically, she has just settled back to her old ways. This has happened a handful of times.

I just keep having this feeling like she wants my wife and I to feel sorry for them and just offer them money. Like the last time they were here, she out of the blue started talking to us about how much debt they have and how close they are to maxing out all their credit cards.

What to do??? Should I just let the train wreck or do I say something and face making them mad at me and my wife? He has always worked hard all the way through high school into his adult life and kept his finances in place but once he got married, everything fell apart.
 

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OSU outdoorsman
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2,230 Posts
I am in the military myself and I see this WAY too much. I got deployed and saved so much money I am still living off of it 2.5 years later. Suggest many of the military support services they have for just this type of situation. Unfortunately they will have to want to change or it will be of no use. The military has GREAT, GREAT support systems in place to deal with just about any thing life can throw at a solider, but most are either 1.) too proud to ask for help 2.) too stupid to ask for help 3.) too lazy to ask for help. The last two reasons are by for more prevalent.

Best of all, these services are free to military members that cost civilians alot of money for marriage counseling, financial counseling, etc.
 

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ya got your own responsibities, let them try to control theirs.im having the same issues with my kid, being on ss i got my own worries. they put themselves where their at. god bless and thanks to our military
 

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Amateur legend
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thats a tuff situation but more than likely he Knows what is going on pointing that out mor ethan likely won't help but may hurt you r friendship/ i would not offer any advice unless asked. and i would surely not give any money to them as long she refuses to work they are adults and should be able to handle there finances. and maybe if the train wrecks it will wake them up. i know it woke me up
 

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Wow, I spent 10 years active duty Navy, and I'm still a reservist. Sadly I've seen this happen too often. First, there is no $1 million life insurance policy, it's 400k unless he paid for something else from a private company. Next, while deployments to the sand box do make more because it's all tax free, most frivolously spend that extra like your friend does with his tax return.

What's your friends rank and how long has he been in?

You could call his command and let them know how delicate the situation is. There are resources on base he can be referred to.

I've never understood the military wives who simply refuse to work but want all the finer things in life.

Good luck, and let me know if I can be of any assistance.
 

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SMB and Saugeyes.
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Give him a Dave Ramsey book (https://www.daveramsey.com). Maybe try the Total Money Makeover (https://www.daveramsey.com/store/prod326.html)

He and his wife need to agree on a written budget and stick to it. They need to do what they can to minimize interest charges and get out of debt. Tens of thousands in credit card debt will just keep piling up, especially if their credit cards are at 20%+ APR.

Don't give him money. His hard work is being wasted by careless spending and bailouts don't work at the micro- or macro- level.
 

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Flatulent Entreprenuer
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2,601 Posts
If she is unwilling to work and change her habits and he is unwilling to take the proper steps to protect their financial well being, then there is nothing you can do. We've had to drastically change our spending habits due to economy/lay-offs. If they can't help themselves, you never be able to do it for them.
 

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Defensor Fortis
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Refer him to his First Sgt. He can point him in the right direction as far a counseling goes. But also remember, you can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink. It sounds to me as if your friends know that they have a problem, and they do not want to deal with it responsibly. Good luck with this.
 

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Give him a Dave Ramsey book (https://www.daveramsey.com). Maybe try the Total Money Makeover (https://www.daveramsey.com/store/prod326.html)

He and his wife need to agree on a written budget and stick to it. They need to do what they can to minimize interest charges and get out of debt. Tens of thousands in credit card debt will just keep piling up, especially if their credit cards are at 20%+ APR.

Don't give him money. His hard work is being wasted by careless spending and bailouts don't work at the micro- or macro- level.
Great idea, EVERYBODY should follow his suggestions. He can be the found on the Fox Business Channel, very informative and has helped a lot of people.
 

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Next time she starts talking about all her doom and gloom, hand her Dave Ramsey's book. His book is awesome for anybody. One of his rules is not to lend money to anybody. You shold read a little of his book.
Other than that, stay out of it.
ski
 

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the Susan Lucci of OGF
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what makes you think if you offer help and get them out of debt, its not going to happen again next year? a zebra cant change its spots(or something like that:)) i agree with commodore, steer clear.
 

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Master of Nothing
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936 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I was not too sure about the $1 million life insurance policy but it just does not seem right to think about it like they are.

Thanks for all the input! I will just let it be.
 

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Twinsburg, OH (NE OH, northern edge of Summit Co.)
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I have a close friend
whatever you do.....dont lend them any money. or that will be "i HAD a close friend"

trust me, getting money involved is the easiest way to ruin a friendship.

i dont see any problem in talking about it though if they ask for advice in a round about way by telling how bad they have it.
 

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If they are really close friends I would think that the subject of money or bills would come up at some point in conversation. Personally I would take the opportunity to make subtle suggestions toward good practice and see how it is received. Some people will take the comments as they are...a person with genuine concern for someone else. If they accept it as such then play it from there. If they give it a "mind your own business" approach then that really tells you how to handle it from there on.

Good luck with this. I have a family member who deals with poor financial practices and knows her errors but still cannot bring herself to get beyond it. We often sort of nag at her in a joking way about it which she takes fine. But as I said some people seem much less open about their financial information which is their own right.
 

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I have a close friend who is married with three kids and they are extremely close to a financial meltdown. They are living way beyond their means. They pretty much live paycheck to paycheck and pretty much rely on credit cards to purchase food and other neccessties. How do I approach them about it or should I just let it be? They have zero dollars in the bank and they have no plan for future retirement.

They seem to have an unrealistic plan to deal with their large amount of debt. My buddy is in the Air Force and all they talk about is if he dies during a tour that his wife will get the $1 million life insurance money so that the debts can be paid off. Also most wives would not want their husbands to be deployed into a war zone but his wife is always looking forward to when he will be deployed so that they would get extra money.

Every year they get on average $9k in tax returns and instead of saving some of the money, they pay down their credit cards which is great but then they just re-charge them later in the year. My thoughts are if they would of saved at least half of the return each year, they would have emergency money to dip into instead of charging the credit cards back up after just paying it down or off.

Even with the large amount of debt they have his wife is unwilling to work. His mother-in-law has even offered to help watch the kids so that she can work at least 20 to 30 hours a week but his wife still will not do it. I have hinted to her in the past about her needing to work so that their lives would be better especially if they want to buy a house.

I know they both have had arguments in the past about what she is spending and for 2 weeks she was applying for jobs but then she would not call back or anything. Basically, she has just settled back to her old ways. This has happened a handful of times.

I just keep having this feeling like she wants my wife and I to feel sorry for them and just offer them money. Like the last time they were here, she out of the blue started talking to us about how much debt they have and how close they are to maxing out all their credit cards.

What to do??? Should I just let the train wreck or do I say something and face making them mad at me and my wife? He has always worked hard all the way through high school into his adult life and kept his finances in place but once he got married, everything fell apart.
soua0363,

It sounds like you really care about your friend and it's very commendable to outreach a helping hand in his name. I am a financial planner and have seen many situations like these. I would be willing to discuss how we could help your friend. To start, many life insuarnce policies do not cover war related deaths. Please pm me and we can discuss details further.

Regards,

Correy, "Putzin"

PS: Any OGF member that would like advice on finances, retirement planning, ROTHs, IRAs, 401ks, 403bs, or any employer retirment plan, risk management/ insurance, college funding, tax issues, asset management, estate planning, etc., I would be willing to help. The only thing I ask in return is to pm with all your questions.
 

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As a current Air Force First Sergeant I see this from time to time. This debt ridden individual needs to talk to his First Shirt! It is his military obligation to take care of his family finanacially, phiscally and emotionally. As embarrasing as it may be for him to come clean on this the better off he will be. If he is not comfortable talking to anyone in his chain of command then have look at Military One Source (www.militaryonesource.com) this is a free service that does not go to your commander. They can and will help. I also would be willing to talk to him.
 
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