My best friend and I met when she was 6 months old and I was 2 years old. Our parents were friends and my grandma babysat us while our parents were at work. You can imagine all of the crazy things we did together as we grew up and spent countless sleepovers, camping trips, and life experiences together. We consider each other sisters because we were inseparable and we are really part of each other's families. We ended up going to different schools and when I moved away to college, she ended up hanging out with the wrong crowd in high school, and got addicted to meth when she was only 16. I still remember the day she walked to my house with these random strangers at 2am in the morning, crying and shaking, not knowing what was going on. She was rushed to the hospital and she almost died from overdosing on drugs. Without any notice, her parents had her taken away from her house in the middle of the night to go to a wilderness boot-camp type of rehab in New Mexico. Right before this happened, I told her that I would never be friends with her again if she continued to use drugs, and I told her that I was doing this because I cared about her and loved her very much. She told me that what I told her changed her life, because she got through it and finished high school at a rehab-type/boarding school in New Mexico. I'm so happy that she got through it and changed her life for the better, which is why I always find myself acting like a sister to her and watching out for her. I tend to have lots of opinions on her life and she trusts me to help her with my advice.
Fast forward a few years, and she is married and has a baby now. I want to help her get out of living paycheck to paycheck but she insists that she knows what to do with her money, but she certainly doesn't act like she does. I think this may be true for a lot of people when they want to help people out, but others just don't care to listen to your advice. I find my best friend and her husband's approach to money so childish, but since they have a kid already, they really need to be thinking responsibly. Of course this should be taken with a grain of salt as I am not a professional, and I realize that this is her life and she has the power to make her own choices, which is why I don't push my opinions on her. I tell her once, and she can take it or leave it.
Case in point:
- When my friend or her husband buys an item, the other will get mad and retaliate by buying an expensive item for themselves. Example: He bought a work-out bench and then she decided to go on a shopping spree at Macy's. This situation happens all the time, and then they fight!
- She tells her husband when he is drunk that she will buy something (usually make-up) and he will agree at the time, then later they will fight about it because her husband will say he never agreed to that.
- Her husband eats out a lot even though she cooks food everyday and after she tells him not to. She packs him lunch and he always "forgets" it. He lives about 5 minutes away from work so it wouldn't be a problem to drive back home to get it.
- When she was on unemployment, she wanted to spend her money on clothes and shopping.
- When she was on unemployment, a nice 2 bedroom condo was not "big enough" for her so they moved to a huge house.
- When she was on unemployment, she was mad that the government didn't want to keep paying her after a year.
- When she was on unemployment, she wanted to use that money to go back to school full-time (which is illegal btw).
- She will shop and then hide the evidence - take tags off and put them in her drawer and deny any new purchases.
- She takes money out of savings for frivolous items so her savings can't grow. The highest it's been was $200.
- They live paycheck to paycheck and the only debt they have are school loans. Just $200/month.
- They only think of "right now" and not the "future". No baby college fund, no emergency fund, etc.
- Her solutions have been going on unemployment (she lied on her app just to get unemployment. She was not laid off, she was fired and only at her full-time job for 2 weeks), filing bankruptcy, moving out abruptly if they can't afford rent, calling her parents for money, etc.
- She constantly tells me she and her husband need to have a budget but they never act on this.
So what advice would you give my best friend?