How to Recognize and Avoid Financial Frenemies

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.

The Enabler

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.

The Snob

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!

The Beggar

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.

The Gossip

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?

Financial frenemies, they act like they're your friends but sabotage your finances at every turn. Learn how to recognize them and avoid them.





6 Replies to “How to Recognize and Avoid Financial Frenemies”

  1. Haha I think the beggar is the worst! There’s one stealth variety that really irks me, and that’s the kind of people that will go to a restaurant with you knowing that you will split the bill 50/50, and then order the most expensive things on the menu. They’ll know you’ll feel social pressure not to bring it up when the bill comes, and they get a discount on the lobster.

    1. Hey Miguel, thanks for stopping by. Yeah, the beggars are terrible because they’re consciously taking advantage of your friendship!

  2. I have a few friends that are ‘The Guilt Tripper.’ They tempt me in going to places I have no interest in but try to make me feel bad by saying ‘You should have gone, you missed out…this happen and that happen.’ It’s great and all that they want me to accompany them but I have my own agenda and if I don’t want to go they should deal with it.

    1. I know, my coworkers make me feel guilty for not wanting to go out for lunch everyday. I compromise by going out on Fridays and bringing my lunch for the rest of the week. I guess they just love our friendship so much that they have to guilt us into spending time with them!

  3. Funny how we all have different “financial frenemies”. I have a friend who is a Gossip. She always asks how much I make or how much my condo is or how much my husband sold his condo for and seems quite money focused. However I give it right back hahah maybe I am The Gossip too! Uh oh!

    1. Lol! Hey, if it doesn’t bother you, why not. What I don’t like is people sharing your info without your permission. It’s healthy to talk about money but I don’t like it when people use my finances as a means to gossip with others. 😉

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