Money is an extremely sensitive and fragile topic. It has been the cause of breakups, fights, wars, and many forms of violence. When it comes to friendships, you should count yourself lucky if you have never been disappointed or fought with your friends because of money.
It happens all the time. You lend someone money, and when it comes to payment, they ghost you forever. Someone does you a favour that’s related to money and goes proclaiming it to the entire world, embarrassing you. There are so many instances where finances can make you part ways with your loved ones, and many times, it’s an avoidable situation. For this reason, it’s time we stop covering up the fact that the dynamics of money and friendships are difficult.
Here are 6 ways to deal with your friends when it comes to money.
1. Be honest
In life, there will always be people who are richer than you and others that are poorer than you. If your budget doesn’t allow for something, don’t be afraid to speak up. Ask to reschedule or to do something cheaper. If you can’t afford an outing, stay home. You will not die Many people go into debt trying to please their friends or to match up to their expectations. Don’t be that person. If you’re worried about feeling pressured to spend money that you don’t have, don’t avoid the friends. Instead, set boundaries.
2. Know your friends
When you’ve spent a considerable amount of time with your friends, you eventually start to learn how they behave with money. Are they hoarders or spenders? Do they stick to their word when it comes to money? If you have established that certain friends never pay back even the smallest of debts, treat them as such. Don’t agree to cater to the full bill and settle it with them later. Don’t lend them money unless you’re ready to lose it.
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3. Don’t be scared to say no
You have to learn to set boundaries. Never be afraid of declining an offer or request from your friends. If you can’t afford an Uber, then don’t cave into the pressure of doing it. If, for one reason or the other, you are unable to lend a friend money, say no. Even if your reason may not be valid to them. It’s far much better to appear broke than to go out of your way to look rich, even when your bank accounts don’t reflect that.
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4. Don’t be scared of asking for money owed to you
If a friendship is really as genuine as it seems, then bringing up money should not be such a big issue. Let’s say you go out to a restaurant and when the bill comes, you agree that you will swipe your debit card and they will refund you after. It seems better than paying separately, right? At the end of it, you each go your separate ways, and your friend forgets to send the money. Don’t be scared to ask for it. It belongs to you.
Instead of launching into a discussion about how much money your friends owe you, bring up the situation as an afterthought. This can be something along the lines of, “Thank you for the great times that we had today. I wanted to follow up about the bill. Please send me your portion of the money, which is X amount.”
What I have learnt over the years is that when asking for your money you need to have a polite and yet assertive tone. If you make it seem like a by the way, it will be treated that way.
*Unless it is something you have agreed on beforehand that you will pay the bill and get refunded don’t get into the habit of paying the full bill for people who say they will pay you later. This is usually a recipe for resentment as some friends never pay back the money. If you have this kind of friend never agree to pay on their behalf to get refunded later.
5. Remember why you’re friends in the first place
If a friendship is genuine, it will be based on the right values, including honesty, love, and mutual respect for one another. Nowhere among this list will material things like money come into play. So, don’t ever be embarrassed when you can’t afford the things that come easily to your friends. Your time will come. In the end, good and solid relationships boil down to one thing: respect for one another. Money can’t buy that and neither can it take it away.
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