How to talk to a friend about money?

posted 3 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 3
5460 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

On one hand, I would say to avoid discussing ANY money issues with friends…

on the other hand, this is someone you’ve known for a decade and there is no reason you shouldn’t be honest.  Be upfront and honest about your situation and that the sort of activities she wants you to do are out of the question, and that the other friend happens to be more understanding/accommodating/whatever.

Post # 4
7997 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2013

I think you need to just spell it out for her. It sounds like she just doesn’t get it. I’d probably be like “I’ve tried to subtly tell you that I can’t afford to do X, Y, Z with you, but since you suggested that couples’ trip last week, I don’t think you quite understand the seriousness of my situation. I can barely afford to pay my rent. Please stop suggesting these things I can’t afford.. I feel bad enough already. I’d like to spend time with you… but can we please stick to things that don’t cost a lot of money? Hopefully things will look up for me soon, but until then, I need to save all my pennies”.

Post # 5
4760 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

@lawyerchick13:  Are you sure X has money?  If she graciously “lets” you pay for everything maybe she doesn’t.

I am kinda stumped how good of a friend X can be if you can’t be honest with her. I’ve said to all my friends and they to me at some point that, “I’m sorry, but I can’t afford that, money’s tight right now.”

I’m surprized you wouldn’t split the cost of things when you go out.  Your relationship with X just seems quite fake.

Post # 6
2209 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@canarydiamond:  +1

She obviously isn’t taking the million hints you’ve given her.  I’d sit her down and pretty much say exactly what Canary Diamond suggested.

Or, have you tried suggesting low cost activities to her, for both of you to do?  Or does she take that as an invite to town with you picking up the tab every time?  If the latter, perhaps you could make some reference to going dutch or each paying your own way?

Post # 8
1327 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

The next time she suggests something expensive I would just be really honest and straight forward, “I would love to spend time with you and I value our friendship, but I cannot afford that.  Things are very bad for me right now, I can barely pay my bills.  Maybe sometime we could go to (instert free event here) or have a potluck dinner at my house.”  And just repeat everytime she asks.

Post # 9
1147 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@lawyerchick13:  You just have to be honest with her. DH & I are in a good financial position that allows us to do a LOT of things our friends aren’t able to do. I don’t ask my friends who aren’t as financially stable as us to do such activities, unless we are offering to pay, it’s just not nice. I would think that your friend doesn’t realize how much of a pinch you are in because if she did she wouldn’t continue to ask you do to things that aren’t financially possible. Since you two are close just be honest with her & based on her reaction/how the friendship progresses you’ll know if you two can continue to be friends. If she’s like “OMG i didn’t realize you were in such a pinch I feel like such a jerk” then invites you to do another expensive activity you’ll know that your conversation fell on deaf ears, which would suck. But I’m sure she’ll understand your situation if you just make it clear to her. Good luck!

PS Your other friend totally gets it and she sounds amazing!!!

Post # 10
3215 posts
Sugar bee

I don’t think there is anything wrong with her inviting you to things that you cannot afford. 

There is also nothing wrong with you saying no.

I do think that when you invite someone to do something that you are paying for it.  If I invite a friend to dinner, I pay.  If they invite me, they pay.  Perhaps she has that mindset.  Why not invite her over for a night in.  Then you can see each other, and you set the budget.

Post # 11
650 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Yeah, it sounds like X needs to be reminded that not everyone has the same financial ability. I would tell her that you want to enjoy her company, but it needs to be something more affordable, or it’s just not a possibilty. Hopefully she will value your honesty. She may ask about Y, and you can tell her the truth there too… that she’s very generous, and that is why you are able to afford the more expensive occasions with her. She might just take the hint!

Post # 12
2562 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

You’ve known her for a decade+ and can’t discuss your money woes with her?
Or is it just that she refuses to listen?

Especially since she used to be in your shoes, this is particularly troubling that she can’t pick up on and understand your situation.

Either way it points to bad communication in your friendship, and I think it’s time to work on that if you want to remain friends.

If I knew (or even sensed!) you were tight for cash, and I were your friend, I wouldn’t ask you to put out a dime of your own money. 🙁

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