Five Advice Columns (YES FIVE) to Discuss!

Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash.

I got multiple requests to discuss the many financially-related questions that appeared in the internet’s major advice columns this week, so HERE WE GO.

First, we had a request to discuss one of the questions in Tuesday’s Dear Prudence column:

Whenever I ask my parents for financial help, or when they offer it as a gift, they always give me more money than I asked for. For example, my mother paid for a moving company even though I insisted that I could move apartments on my own. The total was approximately $600. When I checked my bank account, she had deposited $1,000. I asked my parents for a $2,000 loan when I needed to buy a “new” used car after mine was totaled, and they gave me $5,000 and won’t accept any payments from me. This happens whenever I ask for help.


How do I tell my parents to stop giving me too much money without making them think that I’m ungrateful for the help they provide?

Read Daniel Mallory Ortberg’s response and let us know what you think — and then check out this question from Thursday’s Dear Prudie:

My wife left work about a year after the birth of our first child when we could not get decent child care. The children are older now, but there is still a ton of running around. I have an excellent job, but I work from home with about half of my income coming from commission. We already split homemaking work about 75-25. If she goes back to work in an office, she could at most make about a quarter of what I make, while I would probably have to cover at least half of the housework. To me this seems like an obviously bad idea: I double my home workload while endangering our primary source of income. If I had any extra time, I would probably be better off working more and getting more commission. She does not dispute any of these facts but still wants to work. I don’t want to work harder so she can work harder, for just a little more money. How do you solve a relationship problem like this?

On the subject of money and relationships: we looked at this week’s Ask Polly column in the Question Wednesday comments, but if you missed out — or just want to continue discussing when you should let an unemployed boyfriend move in with you — feel free to keep the conversation going.

We could also discuss another recent Cut article: My Mom’s Budgeting Advice Helped Me Pay Off My Loans and Buy a House. I was a little disappointed with the advice, honestly; it’s not that it’s bad advice, it’s just that “pay your bills on time” isn’t necessarily groundbreaking, and not everyone who pays their bills on time will be able to buy a house. (Yes, I know the point of the bill-paying advice was really about building a credit score that’ll get you a better interest rate on a mortgage, but still.)

And if all that advice isn’t enough, you could always read Charlotte Cowles’ latest advice column, in which a reader asks how to talk to her friends about money:

I’m thinking of two of my closest friends in particular — one of whom is my roommate — who seem to know a lot more about this [personal finance] stuff than I do. Is there a way to bring it up without it being so awkward? I keep reading all this stuff about how important it is to discuss these things, but I have no idea how.

COME TO THE BILLFOLD, DEAR READER. We’d love to have you.

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