When it comes to topics like politics, parenting, and finances, we all have at least two cents to share. Depending on our experience and personality, we may have a lot more to contribute. While many people, my husband included, wait for others to ask for their advice, others feel compelled to share without an invitation.
Even though I often have unsolicited financial advice to give, I don’t always offer it. I consider myself a tactful, kind, and socially aware person. Sometimes it’s not appropriate to share advice when you aren’t asked. Other times, like we talked about previously, people “ask” without realizing it and genuinely appreciate others’ insight.
Here are some things I try to think about before offering my unsolicited financial advice:
When our motives are pure, giving financial advice comes naturally. The best motive is love. We want to share financial advice with those we care about so they will avoid pitfalls, improve their financial situation and be happier. Any other motive pales in comparison to love (and some are worse than others).
Even when our motives are pure, we still need to consider the specific relationship. Not everyone handles advice or help the same way. If sharing unsolicited financial advice could jeopardize a relationship, it’s probably not worth sharing. However, if the relationship is one of mutual trust and respect, then advice can often be well-received.
Choosing our words carefully will help convey that our advice isn’t meant to be judgmental, but sincere and helpful. Instead of using words like “should” and “need to,” we can use gentler phrasing.
- I was thinking about what your situation and wondered if you have considered _____?
- Have you ever thought about _______?
We gain trust and rapport by sharing our own experiences. Starting with our own experiences can be an effective way to share advice. I was given advice about debt from someone who I knew loathed debt. At first I felt a little ashamed when she’d talk to me about debt because I knew how she felt about it. As she opened up and shared her experience, I learned that she had gone through some really rough trials in her life because of debt. She understood much more than I gave her credit for. I didn’t realize that her hatred to debt came because she had been there.
What about you?
- Are you one who keeps quiet or do you share your two cents?
- What advice do you have about giving advice?
- Have you had an epic win or fail when you gave unsolicited financial advice?