How I spent my Friday Evening

Do you want to know what I did last Friday evening?  I went and hung out with my friend and helped her create a nifty budget and had the most fun doing it. (And yes, I answered the question before you could say “no” but I’m sure you were all going to say “YES”) Seriously, I might have talked in a super fast pitch for a while.  And I know that when I was asked if I could stay for a little longer by my guy so he could continue his guy’s night by watching UFC, that I couldn’t text back “YES! BUDGETING FUN” fast enough.  And yes, it was all capitalized and everything so he could understand the sheer amount of amazing fun I was having.

My friend just got a brand new job and as she knows that I a) love budgets and b) am working on getting us out debt, she asked me for help.  I did warn her that I tend to get over excited about budgets and if I was over stepping, she was more than welcome to bop me on the nose and say “NO” (that’s what I do to my cat).  But it turned out really great.

I let her do the work and offered suggestions about things or asked questions to make sure that she had thought of everything.  As in, how do they do pet supplies? She worked it out to be a monthly budget and asked me questions about how I did things for our budget.   I also mentioned getting an efund set up as a precautionary item—it’s something I wish I had in the past and I’m now working on getting one established.  We talked about gift budgets as that time is slowly approaching and how I figured out how much I wanted to put aside each month so that I wouldn’t be scrambling to do this come the holidays.

I also showed her what my budget looks like.  That brought up the questions about the different types of funds I currently have.  I explained how I did my happy dance (in my head) when I got my car’s brakes repaired and how ecstatic it made me feel to be able to pay for it in cash without worrying about how I was going to be able to pay for it.  I also stressed the importance to having balance.   In my opinion, a budget needs to be flexible and account for some fun things to do.  Otherwise, you are more liable to blow it and think of yourself as a failure (or at least I did).  We also talked about how she should maybe start to pay on student loans or at least set the money aside like she was paying them.

As I said, I gave suggestions and didn’t push anything on her.  Or at least I don’t think I did—I’m thinking she would have said something.  And I really tried hard to rein in most of my enthusiasm.  Not all but most!

Have you ever given budgeting advice? I waited to be asked and like I said, didn’t push “this is what I do so you should too” stuff on her because that never worked out for me.  And our situations are different  so what works for me might not for her or vice versa.  Of course, I did let her know I’m no expert 😉


28 Comments on “How I spent my Friday Evening”

  1. addvodka says:

    That’s awesome! Isn’t it nice to be able to help a friend with something you’ve been successful with? I’d love to help a friend with budgets, but nobody knows I’m a PF Blogger 😦

    Anyway. It’s great that you didn’t push her. Everybody’s financials are very different, but I think it’s awesome that you provided guidance.

  2. Michelle says:

    WOO HOO! Spreading pf knowledge is great. My friends don’t know I’m a pf blogger, but I work in the financial industry, so they’re always asking me questions. However, I don’t know if they actually listen haha.

  3. That’s great! I blog pretty publicly so my family knows that I’m interested in money. I’ve given a bit of financial advice here and there, and I have to make a conscious effort to not get over excited. Most recently I gave my older sister some tips on spending less on groceries, hopefully she found it helpful.

    • bogofdebt says:

      See my family is a whole different matter–I’m one of the only ones to take control of finances and not just run up debt (though I obviously did that in my younger years!). I have made overtures to help if they want it but I leave it at that.

      • Oh I’m the only one that is making any effort to not be in debt. Everyone else is a little bit crazy in that respect. I think that’s why I’m the go-to financial advice people, I’m the only one that has my sh*t together.

  4. That sounds so fun!!

    The only other-person’s budget I’ve looked at in detail is my parents’, but that was more of me forcing my enthusiasm and knowledge on them, so it didn’t go very well (as in, they only made a couple tiny changes). I recently had someone I just met ask if I wanted to look at his budget after he found out I’m into that stuff, but since we weren’t friends I wasn’t sure if he was serious. As we get to know each other more I might probe that again.

    I do give budgeting/investing advice to friends (as in, you should start, if you have earned income) when they bring it up. I also exchange tips with similarly-minded local grad student friends.

    • bogofdebt says:

      It was fun! A very unusual girls night out but fun anyways! Not a lot of my friends are interested in budgeting right now–they are more in the mindset of I earned it so I could spend it. Which I was in up until about a year ago so I do understand. But I’m hoping to set a good example for them!

  5. bluecollarworkman says:

    Never given budgeting advice because I hate talking about that kinda stuff. It’s crazy and sorta awesome that you like it so much though! Haha 🙂

  6. Modest Money says:

    That’s great that you were able to help your friend without her having to bop you on the nose 🙂
    It sounds like you approached it very well without being too pushy about it. We do have to appreciate that everyone’s finances and views on money are different. You may think one way of doing things is best, but that might not necessarily work for them. You ultimately have to leave it in their control and just gently guide them.

    • bogofdebt says:

      I was pretty happy to not get bopped on the nose and to have my friend actually listen to me. I also tried to explain why I did things–like the car fund or medical fund. When I suggested the starting of paying of the student loans or at least setting aside the money, I let her know that I would do it that way so that I would get used to not having that money (not to mention the added benefit of actually paying on her student loan a bit early). But I let her decide it in the end as it is her money in the end.

  7. Jessica says:

    I’ve explained to one of my friends how a Roth IRA works and how to open one. I don’t know if she actually opened one, since she wanted to talk to her parents about it and see if they think it’s a good idea. I’m not sure how well versed her parents are in pf.

    • bogofdebt says:

      But at least she knows that you know what you are talking about–she may not have acted on it yet but if she needs advice in the future she’ll know she can come to you.

  8. kathleen says:

    I can’t honestly say I have a budget… that’s awful, isn’t it?

    • bogofdebt says:

      My budgeting soul says it’s horrible but if you can pay off debt like you are and save but have fun at the same time? I’d say you are doing just fine 🙂

  9. I’m glad you could help a friend! I enjoy helping people with finances too. You’ll have to update us and let us know if they stick to their new budget.

    • bogofdebt says:

      I plan on asking her in another month or so (her new job doesn’t kick in for another week and she’ll be moving so I’ll only get to see her on a limited basis) but I will keep you all updated!

  10. OMG that’s so cool!!!! I would love to sit down with one of my friends and help them with their budget, but the one friend that asked me…. doesn’t really want my advice. You know when someone asks you but then they don’t want to hear what you have to say? Yeah. Hahah.

    I’m glad you had fun though!!!!

  11. How fantastic! I love budgets too (oh, the multi-tab 12 year spreadsheet I have), and any time I can help someone I’m happy to!

    Glad you had a good Friday night. 🙂

  12. I love teaching people how to budget! #pfnerd

  13. I spent my Friday giving my friend PF advice too! She’d sent me an email with questions and I basically had the same reaction you did to her asking me for help! I felt so honoured and ridiculously excited. The email was ridiculously long because I just couldn’t stop talking about PF stuff.

    So glad you had fund she was receptive to your suggestions!

  14. […] I spoke with my friend that I helped work on her budget a few months ago.  It has been working out for her! I know that sometimes her husband will go off […]

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