Don’t Blame Others for Your Debt Get up and Do Something About It!

When is ignoring debt a good idea? Never.  What about blaming others for a debt? Never.   A buddy of mine called me today under the guise that he had a legal question.  So being the good friend that I am, I said shoot.

Turns out he went to a lender for promises of a personal loan which would consolidate his outstanding debt at a lower rate.  Well, since I am writing this post you can guess it didn’t really work out for him!  In the end the lender offered him about one-third of what he was looking for at a very high interest rate in the teens.

After telling him how the Federal Trade Commission and Better Business Bureau might help, if they weren’t busy with people that were actually defrauded, I said lets talk about the real problem.  He was really light on details and I wasn’t willing to really go deep in his situation because to be honest it makes me feel uncomfortable talking about this stuff with buddies, which is why I am grateful that there are readers out there who will engage in discussions of money with me here.

Once I discovered his real anger, i.e. he has a good amount of debt, the conversation turned from how do I blame someone else to how do we fix it.  I then talked with about how The Wife and I made a Plan and I told him I would forward him the spreadsheet I used for the first 12 months of this blog (i.e. until I was free of all consumer debt).

It isn’t a simple budget, but rather a crazy sophisticated Debt Snowball vs Debt Avalanche Excel Spreadsheet which is HIGHLY customizable and easy to use.  Oh and it is free.

I am no where near perfect, I am not frugal enough, I still have a ton of debt (split between student loans, auto loan and a mortgage), but if I can help a buddy, why wouldn’t I?

Note:  After reading back my post, I noticed that the conversation sounded way deeper than it was!  No one cried and we didn’t “hug it out” it was a quickie conversation, where I provided info that he may or may not use (as of writing this I never got a thank you email back, so we’ll see).

What resource did you use to get out of debt? Are you in debt and needed this spreadsheet? Need help using it?

22 Responses to Don’t Blame Others for Your Debt Get up and Do Something About It!

  1. Right on!
    I find it pretty uncomfortable to talk to my friends about their financial situation if they’re particularly emotional about it. No one wants to hear that they suck. Haha.

    Thanks for sharing the spreadsheet! Did you make it?

    • I find that odd coming from you for two reasons:
      1) You are a lot more compassionate than I at least as evidenced by your writing and your great blog (hey you reading this comment go a head and click his name! but only after read the rest of the commments).

      2) It is what you do! Your life is talking about money, I would see that as an asset to friends and family.

  2. I have one buddy that I grew up with that I decided to do a budget together with, we’ll see how that goes.

    One of my work buds, is trying to learn as much as he can from me, in a second hand way though, kind of. Well, I guess I did send him my mortgage amortization spreadsheet (in a template form of course)…
    He’ll come over to chat, and we’ll end up talking finances. He’s learning though, a pretty bright guy actually. I think his family just spends money carelessly.

    I think people in massive debt are in a kind of denial…

  3. Yep, self responsibility is the only way forward.

    BTW, are you aware that your social buttons are a long vertical list on some browsers? (i.e. Mine on Safari on a Mac). They take up a lot of space and produce a big grey box.

    Cool if you’re going for that, but if not you might want to try looking at the site on some different browsers so you can get the effect you’re looking for. :)

    Just a hopefully useful thought in case it’s not intended, not trying to stick my oar in! ;-)

  4. It’s always tricky breaching the money and debt issues with friends and fam. Sounds like you did him a huge service though.

    For debt reduction, I was lucky enough to have a good job and very little in expenses. I kept both till I was done with my bad debts. Now I still live on low expenses, I just bank the extra in savings.

  5. Very true, it’s our debt, therefore it’s our responsibility. We don’t have to whine and blame others, we have to do something and help ourselves. After all, no one pushed us to borrow that money, or take a loan..or what have you, let’s just be responsible enough. I have debts to pay as well, instead of complaining, I try to earn extra and pay off more than the minimum.

  6. It’s always easier to get into debt than it is to get out of it, isn’t it? Hopefully your friend learns this so that the mistake isn’t repeated throughout his life.

  7. Definitely agree. One of my blogging buddies, Shawanda @ youhavemorethanyouthink.com goes into this topic a LOT.

    While you want the person to accept responsibility, you’d don’t want to rub their nose in their debt poop.

    I think the simple act of acknowledging your debt allows you realize that you can/will eliminate it.

    Being supportive of their struggle and letting them know you are here to help should be enough to lift the awkwardness.

    Make sure to let them make the decisions. If it sounds like you’re forcing it on them, most likely they will resist.

    • We’ll see I’ll update it if it comes up, but I asked if they started using the spreadsheet and he said his wife is on top of it. All I can do it, i guess.

      • That’s all you can do. When we went through this volunteer training, one of the biggest things they stressed was NOT pushing the clients.

        They have to go at their own pace, even if it seems like its dragging to you.

  8. Your right, the first step you need to do is “get real” with yourself and own the situation, otherwise it is very difficult to make long term changes that last. You need to understand the “why” of your actions to really make it stick. So many people stick their head in the sand and avoid the ego-crushing real truth of their own situation… sad really, because they never change.

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