Friendship and Finances
Article Written By:
Jill Mollner
MBA, CFP®

When making plans with friends:

  • Ask for ideas from everyone in the group to ensure it fits within your friends’ budgets.
  • Give plenty of heads up if there’s a big-ticket event you’d like your crew to take part in.
  • Have an open conversation about finances to remove the taboo and build understanding.

From buying gifts and eating out, to going to weddings and planning vacations, money plays a part in all relationships. And friendships are no exception.

 

Here are some do’s and don’ts for dealing with mixed-income friendships.

Do ask your friends for input. Even if you’re the unofficial events coordinator for your group, ask everyone for ideas so nobody feels backed into a corner. You can ask questions like, “How much is OK to spend on gifts?” and What do you suggest we do for our get-together.” It will be more inclusive for everyone to suggest activities that align with their budget.

 

Do extend the invite. Always ask, even if you’re pretty sure something is out of your friend’s price range.

 

Don’t make assumptions. You can’t assume anyone’s budget and financial situation.

 

Do give plenty of notice. If you’re planning something give your friends advance notice so they can budget for it. A longer lead time gives them the chance to save up for that fancy birthday dinner or night at the theater if they want to join you. Last-minute plans might not be possible if they’re working on a tight budget.

 

Don’t be upset if they take a pass. Understand that not only do your friends’ finances differ, but so do their priorities. Even if you’ve given plenty of notice, a weekend wine tasting trip with girlfriends might not be as important as visiting family for the holidays. While you might be well-positioned to do both, you shouldn’t assume that your friend is.

 

Do offer to pay if it’s in your budget and having their company is worth it to you. That doesn’t have to mean you’ll cover the cost of their flight. But, consider offering to pay for cocktails one night while you’re away or covering the cost of a rental car in your destination city. Be open about your feelings and understand if they politely decline. Which leads to the next tip…

 

Don’t be afraid to have an honest conversation. I’m not suggesting you swap bank statements. Just don’t be afraid to say if something is out of your budget or if you’re prioritizing a different expense. With communication and understanding you can make money less of a taboo topic with friends and have a better chance of making memories that fit into everyone’s budget.

 

Keeping these do’s and don’ts in mind when it comes to finances will open communication, strengthen friendships, and provide opportunities to create lasting memories.

Sources: theeverygirl.com; huffpost.com; tampabay.com, morningbrew.com, Raymond James. 10.27.22 29508