(Closed) Friends with different financial situations than you.

posted 5 years ago in Relationships
Post # 3
2376 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Our friends are all over the place financially – some better off than us, some barely living above broke.  We all try to be mindful of other people’s situations.  Like if we’re going out to eat with one of our usually broke friends, we’ll go to a diner, or someplace pretty cheap.  And we’ve picked up the tab more than a few times.  We just ‘forget’ when it’s their turn to pick it up and we’ll grab it, or we’ll use it as an excuse – like ‘oh, you fed the cats for us when we were gone that weekend, so this is just paying you back’. 

Post # 4
1606 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I just don’t try to bring it up and if it comes up I bring up how it still has it’s own issues. We are not rich my any means but we both are much farther ahead then our measly beginnings.

I have friends who can barely make rent and just keeping their gas tank full is an issue. It sucks but I always skirt the issue.

I also don’t feel guilty. I sacrificed 4 years of my life in the military for school money and then busted my ass through two degrees. To us its a fact of life of where we are and don’t make it a big deal when with our friends.

Post # 6
1177 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I was in this situation many years ago, because I had a more successful career early on than many of my friends. My experience is, as long as you don’t come off as bragging (e.g., mentioning fancy vacations all the time, talking about the latest new whatever you bought), people aren’t typically resentful of success. I never hid anything about my lifestyle; I was just careful not to say anything that could be interpreted as bragging. Also, if I wanted to do something expensive with them, I picked up the tab.

Post # 7
8042 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2013

@6598731ssfse3:  I’d avoid talking about fancy vacations, fancy cars you may own, any type of renovations or big ticket items you’re buying for your home, or anything of that nature.

I’d stick to inviting her to affordable restaurants… so nothing over $30-$40 for an entree. If you’re very affluent and have a circle of rich friends as well, I’d avoid inviting her to any sort of gathering where she’d be the obvious odd one out.

With that said, you can’t change yourself, so I don’t recommend being too careful about this. Just try not to discuss things that cost a lot of money to do/buy. She probably is aware of your situation, and as long as you don’t rub it in her face, things should be fine.

Kinda like I have a friend who is single but really badly wants to settle down. I am closer than she is to settling down, so I try not to mention my SO very much or talk about kids and that sorta thing unless she brings it up first.

Post # 8
7417 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

I get together with a group of girls who are 8-10 years younger than I am and are thus in a very different spot than Darling Husband and I are in finanacially.  I know combined we make 10X what one particular girl makes.  But that comes with age and job experience.  I would NEVER mention our finances.  We have a lot of common interests despite the age and financial differences.

Post # 9
1459 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2017 - Bristol zoo

Generally I think normal topics of conversation don’t tend to focus on the money side of things? I’ll try to make sense XD I have some friends that are very well off, we’ll talk about what they do and I’m interested in hearing about it, stuff I might not do for such a long time because their families were better off. It’d only be annoying or make me feel bad if they only went on about themselves, so long as the conversation is equal monetary differences don’t matter so much. 

Plus, I might be more successful than them in other areas of life. Perhaps your friend us worried about making you jealous of her having kids (I assume you don’t have children?). Stuff tends to balance out ^^


Ahh, I hope that is in someway useful and I didn’t miss the point of your post 🙂 

Post # 10
993 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

This can be tough – alot of my friends are students and haven’t worked much and are in starving student mode, whereas I started working a few years ago and made good money.  FI does very well and I think there is some stigma about it… but I make an effort not to let it get in the way.  We live quite modestly but splurge when we feel like it – there’s no need to brag about it though.  I keep conversations about things everyone can relate to.  Honestly, I feel a bit of guilt about it so I go out of my way to relate to people and if I invite someone to a pricier place I pay for them. I had the same treatement when I was a poor student so I feel its a bit of a cycle – I guess once all my friends are in the working world there will be differences but it doesn’t change who my friends are.  I think as long as you are aware and conscientious these things are easy to overcome.  No one likes a braggart, especially a clueless one.

If you’re concerned maybe meet your friend to a cafe so neither compares households and you can purchase what you like – then have a nice catch up.

Post # 11
1006 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

@canarydiamond:  Nothing over $30-$40 for an ENTREE?? Are you joking?!?  Omg.  

Post # 12
4371 posts
Honey bee

Agree with everyone else that you should avoid bringing up anything that has to do with money and spending. If you don’t know what kind of restaurants are suitable, let them decide or give you a few suggestions as to where to go. I would personally not offer to pay, just because it’s like acknowledging your financial differences, and puts the other person in an awkward place. However, if it’s a birthday or something special, it’s totally fine to treat as a gift.

Post # 13
4337 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@kgirl91:  I was thinking the same thing! That’s a really nice night out for Darling Husband and I… not a casual meal.

Post # 15
3697 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

It all boils down to just not being a jerk.  🙂  There’s a huge difference between that and being able to be proud of your accomplishments.

If you’re really friends you’ll be fine.  You don’t try to rub your success in her face and she won’t try to interpret everything you say and do as you calling her poor. 

My husband and I make decent money but live well below our means.  When we do “splurge” on something (like… my engagement ring or our honeymoon) he’s loathe to talk about what it costs.  He, I, and the insurance guy are the only ones who know what my ring cost.  If someone asked me what we spent on our honeymoon I’ll tell them, because I’m certainly not ashamed of saving up my whole life to go on the trip of a lifetime with my husband.  But I don’t brag it up, either – and we always include offhand remarks about waiting until we had the money saved, or something like that. 

When you’re going out, be mindful of budget – and be adult and ask.  “What kind of place are you thinking for dinner?  There’s good stuff in a huge price range around here.”  Like I said, we can afford it, but we don’t spend more than $20pp on dinner usually.  If you invited ME to a restaurant that was $30-40pp I’d balk at the menu prices, but I know a lot of people with much lower incomes that regularly spend that much on dinners out because that’s what they enjoy doing.  But they wouldn’t dream of spending $52 on moisturizer, and my age decelerating spf 15 goodness should be on my porch today. 

Post # 16
7770 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

I don’t really get how it matters?  Why would that come up?  I do have a friend that is a heart surgeon in NYC and her parents are doctors, so sometimes I just can’t do all the things she is interested in doing.  (Expensive tours and things.)  Other than that…?

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