The people we associate with in our daily lives can greatly influence and affect how we live, and that includes how we spend our money. Think about it. When the weekend rolls around, do your friends invite you to dine out or go catch a movie? During the work week, are you coworkers always asking you to eat out for lunch?
When you’re trying to save money yet your friends are trying to get you to spend, it can seriously wreak havoc on your budget. These people are your financial frenemies. They’re your friends but when it comes to finances, they create obstacles and prevent you from reaching your financial goals. Learn how to identify your financial frenemies and how you can deal with them.
This is a friend who will egg you on and support you in your times of poor decision-making. You go out together and a little black dress catches your eye. There’s really no need for another black dress in your closet, and you know that. You’re trying to walk away when The Enabler tells you, “You should get it. It looks so good on you and you can wear it to so many different occasions.”
The Enabler is shopping vicariously through you. They don’t care that you spend money on something you don’t need. In fact, they wouldn’t care if you spent beyond control because they get to experience the thrill of shopping without having to spend a penny! They will use every trick there is. Whether it’s YOLO or FOMO, they’ll bust out any excuse to get you to spend.
You need to interact with this friend in situations that don’t involve spending money. If you genuinely enjoy this person’s company, invite them over for a movie or offer to host a potluck. If this friend only seems to want to hang out when you’re spending money, it may be time to say goodbye to this friend.
The Guilt Tripper
Do you have a friend who makes you feel bad for not wanting to spend money? When you turn down their invitations to concerts and dinners they say, “But I don’t know anyone in town and I get so lonely living by myself.” Look, you’re an adult and presumably, your friends are adults, too. It’s not your job to entertain them. Don’t let The Guilt Tripper make you feel bad about wanting to save money.
Gently suggest that they attend Meetups or volunteer their time to meet new people. If all else fails, be honest. Tell them you feel bad that they’re lonely but you’re pushing hard to meet your saving goals. You’re all for spending time together but you’re avoiding expensive activities.
You excitedly tell your friend about the good deal you got on a purse and they sneer and say, “Oh, I only buy real leather purses so there’s no way I can buy a purse for $20.” The Snob has their own money insecurities so they have to make others feel bad in order to feel good about themselves. Take what they say with a grain of salt and don’t feel like you have to compete with them. That can lead you down the dangerous road of keeping up with the Joneses.
Tell The Snob that you find a genuine sense of accomplishment when you save money because you get to put the savings towards your goals such as a down payment and retirement. Let them know that you enjoy finding bargains because you don’t see the point of paying more when the same item can be had for less. You never know, you might inspire them to embark on their own saving journey!
I think all of us have encountered The Beggar at some point in our lives. Instead of spending their own money, they try to spend yours. You’re out at dinner and The Beggar turns to you and says, “Omigosh, I’m short on cash. Can you spot me a $20?”
You know that GEICO commercial where the alligator can’t reach the bill because of his short arms? Yeah, that’s The Beggar. They act like they have every intention of paying when they’re really out to stiff you.
Next time The Beggar tries to pull a fast one on you, tell them you’re not carrying cash. Also, don’t be afraid to tell them that you budget your paycheck down to the penny so you don’t have extra money to spare. When a friend is in genuine need, it’s good to lend a helping hand. But when it’s a financial frenemy that just wants to take advantage, it’s okay to give them the cold shoulder.
This is the friend that likes to ask how much you make or how much you paid for your new shoes. They don’t stop at finding out all about your financials. Once they have the scoop, they broadcast it to anyone who will listen.
Next thing you know, not only do close personal friends know all about your finances, so do friends of friends. It’s one thing if you want people to know about your money habits, but your business for is not for The Gossip to broadcast to everyone.
The next time this friend says to you, “Congrats on your promotion, how much more do you make now?” You can answer honestly and tell your friend that you’d appreciate it if she could keep the information between the two of you. Or, you can tell your friend that you’d rather keep your finances private.
If The Gossip continues to pry, you can always ask why they’re so interested. There may be a genuine reason behind your friend’s curiosity. If your friend’s just being nosy, then don’t feel bad about shutting it down.
Have you encountered people in your daily life who sabotage your finances? If so, what are suggestions for dealing with them?