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Friends with money

March 12th, 2010 at 01:23 pm

If you haven't seen the movie with the same title as my entry, then I whole heartedly suggest seeing it. I loved it! Love, love, loved it! Smile

I had a situation with a friend lately who makes a good living, but rarely will admit it. My friends and I all all think that he has to make more than we do, simply because of our profession. He is a very good person, it is just that our lives and issues and experiences with money are very different. At times, I have a hard time relating to him when he talks about budgeting. But, it may be that I just don't understand him on various levels because our lives are so different.

In any case, my friend made a comment about going to an expensive event. When he makes comments about going to those types of events or buying certain high priced items, it makes me not able to relate to him when he talks about his budget and money and all of that. I think I am not able to relate because most of my friends have worked as hard as he has, if not harder, and with all of that work, are still earning less than he is. So, I think there is just a lack of understanding about those kinds of things when he complains. Also, my friend, like another friend, says things about lacking money, but is still really into going to very current places that may not be cheap or less expensive. So, I think the event was just a reminder of our differences in some ways.

There is also the issue that both friends have a habit of receiving gifts from people, or having people spend a lot of money on them, and with my male friend, he isn't as open in that way towards his friends (or at least with me, even though I have been very open with him in that regards).

I have another friend who focuses on the price of things and feels that they deserve only the best food, etc. I understand why they feel as they do, but sometimes it is hard when you are trying to do something together, and they refuse to acknowlege your budget and would rather exclude you from a more expensive event, than take into consideration doing something that is more on your financial level.

This may just be a mini-rant because the event and the price tag just irked me a bit. My friend likes very current and popular things, and at times that goes against my feelings of being an individual and following your own music, etc.

How do you deal with friends of varying economic levels? Have you ever had similar differences?

5 Responses to “Friends with money”

  1. momcents Says:

    My best friend suggested we take my kids to see Cavalia (the Cirque du Solei on horses). The tickets were $90 per person. It would have cost me $540. I declined. She as a single person makes as much as my husband ($80K). We have a large family and are judicious on how we spend our money. She then went on to tell me that she knew that I took my kids to see Wicked and those tickets had to cost this much.

    It irked me, because this is the person who complains she never has any money - yet buys her dog organic sweet potatoe tummy yummies and some brand of dog food that is elk. She makes comments on the tuition we spend on sending our kids to a Catholic school and the tithes we give to the church. She has finally found a religious affilitation, so I'm hoping that banter will finally ease up.

    I have had to let it go in one ear and out the other, or else I'd never speak to her again. She values things other than I do (like long-term financial security and savings). She lives in the moment and takes great vacation on credit (we take them too, but we plan and save for 18-24 months for the big ones). She decided she needed a designer handbag because I have one. Does she love handbags? No. But it is a competition thing.

    Be happy with who you are and what you have and let the rest worry about themselves. If there is something that you can't comfortably afford, I would decline the offer.

  2. monkeymama Says:

    I so often read your blog and think, "You need new friends." So, since you asked...

    I also wouldn't read too much into it. Some people just have very different circumstances. Through most of my 20s I Went through everyone assuming I made more than they did. Some the time I made equal (more often, I actually made less income). But due to other circumstances, I always had much more resources. Compared to my non-frugal or deep in debt friends, I didn't have any payments. I have a few uber frugal friends. I didn't make more than them. But being married meant two incomes as opposed to their one. Or I chose to live somwhere considerably cheaper, etc. The list goes on and on.

    For the most part, I have friends on many different economic levels. BUT, I don't have friends who live in different "universes." I only hang around frugal/respectful people. I simply can not keep up with anyone who wants to go out every day or every weekend. IF they don't want to do some low cost activities, well, we live in different universes. I have plenty of acquaintances on other universes, but my friends respect me. Sometimes it is good just to be confident and hold your ground (as opposed to be timid and play along).

    I Am forging a new relationship with a major spendthrift. But she respects me and I am giving it a whirl. (Our friendship is developing over parallels in our personal lives). I am a little wary because I can see the conflict ahead. She lives in a different universe, for sure. But, if I have to spend a fortune to be her friend, well, it won't be worth it. IF we can respect each other's differences, it will work out.

  3. whitestripe Says:

    Don't compare yourself to other people, friends or otherwise, it is guaranteed to make you feel bad. Even if your financials are exactly the same as a friends, your needs, wants and values might be completely different. You need to respect that the things that are important to your friend might not be that important to you, and vice versa. Also I want to point out that it might not be fair to say that you can't relate to your friend when they talk about budgets, just because they earn more and go to expensive restaurants and events. Just because someone earns more money than someone else, doesn't mean that they don't think about money the same way as someone who doesn't have much. DF and I view money as something that allows us to do what we want to do, where a monetary transaction is required. I have plenty of friends that would not spend money on the things that we spend money on, but they also spend money on things that we would not either. Unless a friend is in serious financial trouble and putting things on credit, unable to pay their bills etc, I see no reason why I should judge them on their spending habits, whether it be art, private school fees, or a new car. We also have a few friends that are financially strapped, living with their parents, and do not have any money whatsoever to spare. It is unfortunate that they are in this position, but they do not hold our actions, choices and spending habits against us. We always include them, and we adjust meeting places and give them sufficient notice of events as well. If your friend does not do this for you or other friends, maybe it might be best to have a talk with them, they might not even realise what they are doing.

  4. Homebody Says:

    I have frugal friends who are wealthy, wealthy friends who are cash poor and people with the same income as me, but more financial responsibilities and my BFF talks a good frugal line, but loves to shop! I love to shop with her, but I don't have to buy! She is my BFF because we have so much in common and actually I learned to dress better watching her. Then we have another set of friends who make more than us, but not wealthy and they are still helping support two adult children and eat out all the time with one child left at home. We eat out with them occasionally. But we also go watch the Super bowl or Gold Medal Hockey game or other cheap stuff. Sometimes the men go out for beer and a sporting event and we wives stay home and do our own thing.

    I don't undestand why it would bother you that a person who you presume makes a good living would not want to talk about budgeting or that it would bother you. Like I said, my wealthy frugal friends are millionaires and they still talk frugal. That's how they get to be millionaires (of course being a doctor and retired military doesn't hurt).

    Besides budgeting is a spending plan, maybe he is careful in some areas to be spendy in others??

    By the way I saw the movie a long time ago and really liked it too. Thank goodness my friends like us because of us and not because of money issues.

  5. monkeymama Says:

    I just had to add that, honestly, the truly well off people I know, are more likely to understand when you are watching your budget, etc., etc. To truly succeed financially, takes some self control and budgeting, for most people. My broke acquaintances will always be the first to put me down for pinching pennies (notice I didn't call them "friends,") whereas I always feel more at ease with more well off people. Not what I expected, but has definitely been my experience with age.

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