Talking Money with Your Friends
So now we're going to get into the other tricky part of this process and talking money with friends. We have all had those moments in our lives where we have gone to a dinner or gone out with friends and people want to split either the dinner bill evenly or they want to pay more than you do for some sort of life experience wedding season, especially for people in the probably their mid twenties to mid thirties definitely have gone through this experience, you know, being a bridesmaid or groomsman, being asked to spend a lot of money on another person. You may love that person dearly, but you cannot throw down $3000 to go on a destination bachelorette party somewhere out of the country. So that is something to keep in mind. And here are ways that we can be starting to set boundaries with our friends without alienating our friends 1st you have to be honest and this doesn't mean that I'm saying you have to disclose your salary to your friend or disclose your debt situation to your friend.
But I am saying you need to have an honest conversation about why you are feeling the way that you're feeling or kind of setting your own financial boundaries, setting a budget ahead of time is great for any time that you're either going to go out with your friends, go on a trip with your friends participating in a large event together to make sure that everybody knows how much either individuals are willing to put in the pot or how much you as a group are going to spend. So if you're going on a, you know, reunion trip with your friends, all of your buddies from college, you're all gonna get together and spend some time together. Have an open conversation with each other about how much money you are going to spend as a group wedding season is also a really important time to be doing this. So if you, first of all, if you agree to be in somebody's bridal party man or woman, make sure that you have a brief understanding upfront about what the financial expectations are going to be. But maybe you say something early on, like I would love to be in it, but because the bachelorette parties, destination and the wedding is a destination for me and I really want to be there for you on your big day. I can't afford to go to the bridal or the bachelor party. I can only afford to go to the wedding and buy the dress and get their hair done and the makeup and the shoes and all of that. So being open early on and especially, so it's not a surprise midway through. I really like this idea of using the compliment sandwich when you are having this conversation, especially if it's something like they want to go to brunch. I know this is low hanging fruit as an example, but I think it's very common if we're trying to catch up with a friend, you might say, hey, I want to go out to brunch, let's go to this restaurant and instead you might respond, I love spending time with you, you're important to me. However I don't want to or I can't, depending what word you want to use, spend $50 on a bottomless mimosa brunch instead. Can we go get bagels and go for a walk in the park? The other reason I love the compliment sandwich method is because you are not only essentially causing a problem by not going, but you're offering a solution on the back end. So you don't just say no, I don't want to do that and leave it hanging. You say no, I don't want to do that, but let's do this instead. You also need to learn just straight up when to say no because there are going to be times in your life that your friends want to do something that is either outside of your budget or it's just not something that you value and maybe you could afford to do it, but you know, if you spend your money on that particular thing, it means you don't get to do something else that you want to actually do over here. So you need to learn how to say no again, going back to that compliment sandwich idea, It's always helpful if you provide a solution. So sometimes in these conversations, you also have to recognize that while you might not actually value the event that your friends are going to or the way your friends want to spend money, you also need to think about investing in your relationships and if this is an important friendship to you and it's something that you want to make sure that you keep cultivating in your life and you have said no three or four times already, well maybe this isn't your favorite thing to do, but heck you're going to say yes this time because you want to actually keep this friend in your life and invest in your relationships. So do actually have a little bit of balance here. Another key thing is knowing your financial friendship dynamics. I think a great example of this is your friends all have their own money baggage and relate to money in different ways. They also have their own love languages and sometimes how people want to express that is doing things like picking up tabs. The other part is some friends are going to nickel and dime everything. That's just who they are every single time you go out with this friend, they want to pay for only exactly what they ordered or they wanted to pay for only exactly their price of admission to this. One particular thing. If you guys want to do everything else great, but they're not going to pay for it. That's okay. Don't force that friend to change their dynamic for you. But just recognize that sometimes you go out with friends, they might want to always split evenly. Sometimes they always want to pay for exactly what they want to do. Sometimes it might be a back and forth. I pick up the tab this time you get it, next time we just trust in the system that, over the course of our friendship, this is all going to come out evenly.