Our “Expensive Friends"
Written by Sébastien Duperron
Wednesday, August 7th, 2019
Friends make up a big part of our lives. They're present when we need them, in the good times and the bad.
But have you thought of the financial toll that these friends can sometimes have on your finances?
You may not be aware of it, but some of your friends could be leading you to spend a lot of money.
There's the friend who's always broke and who's always asking to borrow money from you. Then there's the one who takes you shopping every weekend or the other one who doesn't want to miss a single sports game.
What should you do with the friends that don't share your financial values?
Conflicts to Expect…
Money-related conflicts don't only happen to couples. Money can also cause friction between friends.
Let's imagine that you're the kind of person who handles their finances with care. You stick to your budget, you set money aside every week, you check specials at the grocery store and you're still driving the car you bought when you were in school.
The problem is that you're surrounded by friends who spend money all over the place—trips, cars, clothes, restaurants, etc.
You would never be able to keep up with them without hindering your financial goals.
Sure, you can afford a night out once or twice a month, if your budget permits it, but not every weekend, like your friends would prefer.
If your friends don't share your values about money, a conflict could be looming large.
All it takes is for you to loan money to a friend to see it unfold. How many times have you seen friends argue because of money issues? An amount as small as $20 can be enough to derail longtime friendships.
And that is very sad. So, what can you do to avoid breaking off friendships over money?
Often, the best solution is also the simplest.
All it takes is better communication.
Before a conflict breaks out, tell your spendthrift friends that you have other objectives and that you won't always be able to follow them.
You can make them understand that there are other ways of spending time together, without spending a fortune every time. Suggest that they come over to your place for a drink. Go for a walk together, instead of spending an afternoon shopping. There are hundreds of places where you could go for a hike—for free!
We like our friends, but too often friends and money don't mix well. For the good of your friendships, you must put yourself in a position where you won't be afraid to say no.
So, talk to your friends. Clear the air. You will avoid many misunderstandings.
At the end of the day, the meaningfulness of our friendships derives from the great times we spend together… moments that often can't be bought.