Reckless spender needs help

My friend is a real estate agent in her early 30s, I was horrified to learn that in December she had a HUGE yes huge payout from great sales but by early Feb all the money was practically gone and nothing to show for it.  She’s single, no kids and renting.  Money went on being generous to friends and family with shouting for dinners out, expensive Christmas gifts,  fancy clothes.  Frittered away. She said she knows how she should manage her money, she doesnt put things into practise.  How do I help her?  I worry when she doesn’t have some house sales she wont have any savings to fall back on.  Any ideas Community?

Wow, what a great friend she has in you!
Can you show her in a subtle way what you are doing to save? You sound like your head is screwed on. Keeping it simple and discreet without being in her face.
I have a friend who is about to sell her house and is about to fritter 12k on a holiday for her small children. I don’t really approve but sometimes we can show something that will make a difference.
At the end of the day, she may be flattered you are looking to help her out. Other option is pop into your local branch, have a chat with your banking advisor and drag her a long :wink:

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I know I’m a shocker for this, but I think knowing your financial tendencies helps work around them! I think the biggest help I find personally is as soon as income comes in, savings go out. Treat it like a bill, set up a separate account, and automatically transfer ‘x’ amount in each pay day. In her case, being real estate, income is probably a bit more sporadic, so might be a case of manually doing a transfer when she checks her account to see if it’s processed through.


It is really sweet that you are so concerned for your friend’s financial well being, Pots_of_Gold. You’re a caring friend. I too would be concerned, especially given house sales tend to trend highest at the end of the year, and your friend might be expecting that windfall to happen again, only to be disappointed. I would be curious to know if she is new to the real estate game.

My advice to you would be to be very cautious about how to approach the situation; your friend may not take your concern as well you expect, and could react negatively if you take any action. Whilst it can be hard to watch people make poor choices, sometimes you do need to let people learn things on their own. Drop the finance topic, particularly savings, into conversation with her; but be cautious to talk about your own savings and approach, and not ask her about hers. She’ll either avoid the topic, or engage.


I think you are a wonderful friend. :slight_smile: Perhaps a chat with her about how you are worried (not judging) that it is fantastic when the sales are coming in and suggest she squirrel some aside with her bank as a fund when things are quiet. If she talks to a personal banker I know they will be super supportive and will know what would work for her. I know people dont like talking to their fiends about money but if you use the right approach and she knows she mean well it might give her something to think about.  Sometimes leading by example if you dont think you can broach the subject of her finances might help too.   My sister is terrible about saving or being thrifty with her money and I would never discuss it with her because she would think I was judging. So I use my kids (since she loves them so much) they tell her how every week a small amount of earned pocket money goes into their savings account and each yea the with draw a small amount so they can but christmas presents for their grandparents or friends. The kids also tell how they have money jars with labels on them. One child is saving for an i pod. One is saving for lego and every week they sit down, write a little budget and they love it.     If your friend is receptive the the first step would be a realistic budget with savings included. If she is goal orientated as in wants a new car or something else as an incentive to save money for a rainy day or when sales are slow that might help her realize she can spend and save and worry less.  Good luck and remember if she has a personal banker then she can make an appointment and they will help with advice and suggestions. I love BNZ’s approach to their customers. I feel valued and know I can  discuss my banking needs with them. :slight_smile:


I’m a bit of a reckless spender myself unfortunately. I do try, but good intentions and all that… Have you asked her questions about her job - e.g. hey xxxx, I’ve got a friend that is thinking about getting into real estate, but she’s a bit worried about what she would do if she has a lean month and doesn’t have any money to pay the rent/mortgage. What do you do? At the very least, it might make her think about it. I don’t know if you have the sort of friendship where you can be blunt and say hey, worried about you etc. If not, softly softly or you will get her back up.


Thanks everyone, isn’t it interesting how hard it is to talk to people about money. I agree the softly approach so I’m not preachy  (thanks for raising that) and I certainly want her to do some fun things as well with her money.  I like the using others as an example, really good idea to say what would she say about people wanting to enter into real estate to make her think.  I’ll use a mix of all your replies- thanks.

I can relate to this because I have substantial defaults against my credit report. I’ve always been a low income earner. When I fell on hardtimes, after the earthquakes and couldn’t pay it back, the banks and the collectors came running. Certainly I’m responsible for managing my money. No-ones to blame for that except me. As well as the lack of financial knowledge, I also have impulse control issues.  Certainly the real estate agent along with others that are in substantial debt probably suffer the same issues. Lack of skill about money and the ability to control ones urges. What kicked me in the teeth and forced me to change was there came a time when the money ran out. I found myself with only enough income to pay basic living expenses. Still today I meet the criteria for the NAP or bankruptcy. But I won’t initiate them myself. Those options to me are free money and an easy way out. Certainly I would learn nothing about how to improve my situation if I keep getting free handouts. Certainly the overdrafts and debt I have incurred since the beginning of time, have allowed that to happen. I literally had no idea about what was going on. It took a substantial life changing event and learning the truth that compelled me to change. When habits are so engrained, and you don’t have the ability to be self controlled you are at the mercy of your impulses. I’m still like this today, but literally through trial and error I am learning how to make better decisions. I’ve also found out a lot about how the debt collection industry works. Its unregulated and loopholes in the law are allowing debtors to be taken advantage of. That’s been a huge shock. Whos to blame when we have never been given the skill to learn how to make good decisions about our lives. It is not an ability we are naturally born with. The brain is geared for physical survival, so naturally it will gravitate to anything it perceives as being good for it. That’s why industries create addictive products. The brain links money with survival because it buys food, clothing and shelter. Keep giving handouts, you get used to having them and you become to expect them and rely on them. Why learn the skills for survival (budgeting) when someone gives you protection (easy access to money). But when that protection is suddenly withdrawn, too late …you’re dead meat.

Softly, softly is what has kept my situation getting worse. It took a huge shock for my brain to literally see the truth.

Go to Amazon and get the three Change Anything series of books. They are about $12.00 each. They are written by behaviour specialists and have a structured plan that you can use for change. They have a couple of websites that have some excellent easy to follow videos (free) on how people are persuaded and influenced to part with their money. The idea is that you learn how to change with strategies that you develop yourself.

So what did I start with, learning how I react impulsively to situations. Learning what it actually takes to change my ways. Looking at the actual consequences of my actions. Understanding it was about how I was giving into my emotional responses for immediate reward. It was learning about how my brain takes that impulsive stuff and turns them into habits so I can keep doing the same destructive behaviour. Human behaviour is complex, but it can be changed. And change needs to be applied to all the different points that influence behaviour.

Good luck