If your parents have done a lot for you throughout their and your life, you may feel hurt when you see your mother or father struggling due to the student loan they had taken out for your education. Although it’s not mandatory, if you decide to repay there are a few specific ways to do it.
Some mothers face financial crunch even more than fathers and therefore end up with more debts that often turn out to be unmanageable. In such a situation your mother may make one bad financial decision after another and it may hurt you seeing it happen. You may want to help her out to ease her burden and at the same time open her eyes to the situation. You have learnt from her mistakes the entire life and now you simply should not stand by and watch her do the same thing all over again.
Start by talking to her about financial matters and offer to help her to get her finances in order so that she has enough money to pay off her debt once and for all.
Ideally, these methods should work for every child who wants to lend their parents a helping hand when it comes to dealing with their debt.
Start with caution
Personal finance is absolutely personal and therefore you may have to try it in a more strategic way so that the feeling of your mother is not hurt in the process.
· First, be very cautious when you may want to help your mother, father and even friends and loved ones with their financial situation. You may have to accept that it is not possible. The reason behind is that you can only help them who are ready and willing to get help with their finance. Do not learn it the hard way but believe in the old saying, ‘You can lead a horse to the water but you cannot make it drink it.’
· Next, believe that you cannot force anyone to budget, to track their expenses and make money a taboo. You must not consider the corollaries of their purchases months down the road but your eyes must be open to notice what is going on. Remember that parents will usually bury their heads in the sand as they cannot face the reality or think practically about the situation.
In short, pick your battles judiciously even though you know that it may hurt you to step aside or keep your mouth shut. Therefore, first make sure that your mother really needs helps and she is aware of the problem and willing to take your help to get rid of her debts.
The steps to follow
The first step: Lead by example.
Why? Because talking about personal finance may not be effective always. Therefore, you should:
· Track your spending
· Create a budget
· Be open with your mother about your finances and
· Speak with her regarding any financial decisions you need to make and also ask her input.
This will convey a strong message to her that you are on top of your finances and she will see first-hand how powerful tracking spending can be. You will also be able to show how well budgeting has helped you to manage your finance and your mom may be interested and influenced enough to give it a try.
Second step: Create a debt payoff plan.
Even if your mother pays something extra toward her debt whenever she could, it may not be effective or consistent. If you create a debt payoff plan it will help her a lot.
· Start by getting all the statements together to gather as much financial information necessary to create a plan. No matter how many creditors she owes to, this step is crucial to know about the particulars of her debt and make it easy for you to help her.
· List all the debt she has in a spreadsheet and make special note of the creditor, balance owed, interest rate, minimum payment, due date and others. You will be able to sort out the debts according to each category which will help you to prioritize them for debt settlement or debt consolidation. Make sure that you read the debt settlement feedback and reviews to make an informed decision.
· Show her the reward points and redeem the points as a statement credit. This will knock out a considerable part of that particular debt and your mother will start her real debt payoff journey with a bang.
Since emotions are a huge factor in paying down debt, this info will be overwhelming and help your mom to know what to do afterward without being judgmental.
Third step: Show the methods.
· Explain different methods in which she can pay off her debts. She might find the avalanche method better which is paying off debt according to the highest interest as it is a more mathematical approach. This method will help in saving more.
· She might even be interested in opting for the snowball method which is just the other way of paying debts in which the smallest debts are paid off first using the psychological momentum that will keep one driving forward. Let it be her choice completely.
If the interest rate on the debt is unbearable, call the creditors for help which in most of the cases you will get. You may also consider a 0% balance transfer offer but make sure that the debt can be paid off in full before the 0% rate period expires. You may even ask your mother to roll it over to another offer.
Step four: Control spending
If you see any spending problems, over or unnecessary spending, make sure that it is regulated and a few of it curtailed. This can be sensitive but make your mother realize financial freedom is much more important than satisfying wants.
Last step: Put it all together
Any money saved or any extra income should be put together and used toward paying off the debt. Simple or hard, it is worth it.