Eight Friends Who Hurt Your Finances

Learn to spot friends who might wreak havoc on your finances - and how to keep them in check. Your wallet will thank you!
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The Pryer

She wants to know how much you pay in rent, how much you have in the bank, what your annual salary is—and how much that raise was that you just got. And that’s just over breakfast.

How She Can Hurt You: The Pryer loves to pump you for info you’d usually only share with your financial planner. She’s likely not asking out of concern for your well-being, so anything you tell her can and may well be used against you. Be particularly wary if the Pryer in your life is a colleague or a relative.

How to Neutralize Her: Whether she’s a born gossip or suffering from a bad case of comparisonitis, the fact remains: This just isn’t her business. You can deflect her questions politely with a, “Rent? Well, I definitely pay more than I did last year,” or confront her more directly: “Would you like to know my net worth, too?”

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The Purist

She doesn’t get how you can do that “corporate” job. She didn’t come to your wedding because you were part of the “matrimonial-industrial complex.” And if you ask, “Isn’t my new shirt cute?” she’ll reply, “Sure—if you’re into child labor.”

How She Can Hurt You: Your wallet is probably safe, but a Purist can do a number on your confidence. You may find yourself wondering whether registering for your wedding is pure evil—or second-guessing your well-paid career. Every purchase, and every step in your life path different from her own will leave you open to her scrutiny.

How to Neutralize Her: It depends. If it’s an old friend you’ve grown away from, you can explain that, while you know your values differ, her judging makes you feel like she’s tearing you down. If she’s an acquaintance, or a co-worker, just change the subject, or try: “I’m sorry, I really have a lot of work today.” If she keeps it up, you might decide your life would be purer without her.

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