Over a year ago, I posted on the forums regarding my older sister's financial troubles, the extent of which really became clear for me when she called to ask to "borrow" money to have her suffering cat put to sleep:
Thanks to all of the great feedback I received, I decided to "play it very cool" even tho' I wanted to jump in to "crisis mode!" I think I've managed to avoid turning her off by becoming preachy. She continues to make slow progress, and I keep my eyes and ears open for opportunities to offer support and make occasional gentle suggestions.
In addition to the steps mentioned on the forums (such as giving her a copy of Suze Orman's Women & Money), I've done a couple small things since then.
- When my other sibs and I went to DC, she decided to stay home to build up her emergency savings. Tho' we normally don't exchange Christmas gifts, I bought her a small souvenier gift in DC and attached a brief note telling her how much I supported her decision. She loved the gift.
- Sis is a hard-core environmentalist. She buys TP made from recycled paper. I knew better than to tell her to buy cheaper TP. But, when I saw that Costco started carrying TP made from recycled paper, I called her to let her know, and she thanked me. (She is not a member herself, but has friends she can tag along with when she wants to.)
- When I read a blog entry on "America Saves Week" (I am so sorry that I don't remember the name of the blog author) I sent her a little "FYI" with a link.
This is the Email I received in return:
I've been doing the writing-down-every-penny-I-spend thang, to find the places I can cut a little to help save for my big trip with (name deleted). I honestly had no idea how much my couple lattes a week added up to until I did that........
Boy did that warm my heart!
Honestly, without the SA members' help, I know I would have come on too strong and just turned sis off. So thank you so much for helping me come up with a rational, reasonable approach.