If I had a nickel every time I have heard someone say, “My friends spend too much money”, I would have $2.45.
My poor sense of humor aside, this is a problem that is universal for young adults. Out of a group of friends, there’s always one that likes to spend a bit more than everyone else. Unfortunately what happens a lot of the time is that you stop hanging out with this person. It’s not like you don’t like them, you just can’t keep up with their spending.
The big question is, how do you maintain a relationship with a friend who likes to spend more than you?
Talking About Money
If I log in to my Facebook account, I can see what my friends ate for breakfast, pictures of how much they drink last week, what they watched on TV, how they did in fantasy football, where they are SOOO excited to go on vacation, and how they hate their job.
Our generation is open about every subject but one…money.
Before I started Gen Y Wealth, I can’t remember one solid conversation I had with a friend about saving, investing, budgeting, a personal finance book, etc….Now that I do have a blog, which my friends do read, I find us talking about money often. The reason being, I’m transparent about my financial situation here. In turn, they share their own personal experiences regarding money with me.
If I turn down a chance to do something fun but expensive, my friends understand what I’m going through. They realize that my wife and I are down to a one income, have 11 weddings coming up in 2011, and they know other financial goals of mine.
On the other hand, there’s no hard feeling when they turn down something fun but expensive I want to do. I now understand what my friends are struggling with financially. Some are saving for a wedding, some engagement rings, some have some credit card debt. Whatever the reason, now that we’re open about money I have a better understanding for the reason behind their decision. There are never any hard feelings.
Set a Goal This New Year with a Friend
The obvious answer isn’t for you to spend a few hours of your day, writing a personal finance blog so you can start talking about money with your friends. Start by setting a financial goal or two with some of your closest friends.
Instead of talking about that dream vacation you’ve always wanted to take with each other, lay out a plan to save for that goal. Let your friends know what you’re going to change in order to reach that goal. Just as importantly, ask your friend what changes they will make in order to reach that goal.
If you would like, take it one extra step by having Mint email both of you an update once a month about your progress.
This method is a lot better than losing a friend. Plus, in the long run, you might even help them out more than you think.