You would do anything for your friends. There are times that they seem to know that all too well and either unwittingly or slightly guiltily take advantage of that.
When it comes to finances, this topic should never ruin a friendship. Without clear boundaries, however, this can easily happen. Resentment can take root and the once inseparable can start to avoid one another.
If you value your friendships and don’t want money to come between you and them, set up these boundaries with your friends pronto.
No matter who much a person makes, what they consider hanging out with friends can be different for everyone. Of course, if you have more spending money, you may want to splurge a bit.
On the other hand, if you are on a tight budget, you can’t afford a luxurious night on the town. Maybe all you want is to watch a movie with your friend on the couch eating a homemade pizza, and you should be able to do that.
The best way to make sure no one feels left out when weekends come around is through open communication.
Granted, you can’t expect your rich friend to devote all their time to your couch, but they should be willing to hear you out and understand if you can’t hit the clubs with them.
Don’t underestimate the power of compromising. If they are dead set on going out, ask them to settle for a budget friendly venue or eat in before you go out.
You work hard for your money, and you should be able to spend it how you choose. Your friends aren’t able to make those decisions for you and shouldn’t criticize you for your personal spending habits.
Now, if you have a friend that is a financial advisor or “in the know” and share some friendly money tips, don’t get offended. They mean well but if your personal financial goals aren’t dependent on your friends approval.
Sometimes it can be helpful to keep the financial advising to someone outside of your friend circle.
If you can’t afford to get professional advice, there are some great subreddits that help you make smart money moves, without all the guilt or peer pressure.
As friends, there is no harm in lending a helping hand when you can but you shouldn’t be expected to be each other’s saviors no matter what.
In fact, some friends might need a little tough love in this department. If you find that they are often asking for a little money, you might actually be doing more harm by obliging every time.
Instead, you need to have boundaries set up beforehand so that you never feel resentful towards the one that tends to need financial help often.
Does one of your friends always have a next big thing in the making? Are they always trying to get you to invest in their ideas, promising healthy returns only for things to fall flat?
Their entrepreneurial spirit is commendable but you don’t have to invest in their every idea to be counted as a supportive friend. There are plenty of other ways to show your friend that you are rooting for them.
Being their biggest cheerleader or being a good word of mouth marketer is plenty of support from a friend.
Giving someone you care about a gift is something that many enjoy because they like to make people feel special. However, this can backfire if you go too far.
Perhaps you can afford a lavish gift for your bestie every year but what if they feel lacking because they can’t return the favor? Are you really making them feel special? Probably not.
To make sure you don’t outdo others with your gifts and inevitably make them feel low, set a certain spending limit for each occasion. Whatever number you choose, make it work for every friend involved.
Social status and financial independence should never be a priority in the friends you choose. When people of all walks of life befriend each other, it is truly a beautiful thing. They have so much to offer one another.
Just because you can overcome some differences, doesn’t mean you should be oblivious to inevitable challenges that will come your way.
You can ensure that money is never going to be an issue if you set up boundaries with your friends from the get go.