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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Wealthy woman

The Green-Eyed Monster

“Wow, that’s an expensive bag.” “Oh, you can afford a full-time nanny?” “Nice watch.” The Monster tends to be jealous and suspicious—particularly of things and lifestyle choices. Her favorite exclamation? “Must be nice.”

How She Can Hurt You: Similar to the Pryer, the Monster’s sniping can result in your feeling guilty each time you’re with her, without knowing exactly why. You may find yourself second-guessing your choices, reassuring her, or playing down your accomplishments or leaving behind that new bag so as not to push her buttons.

How to Neutralize Her: The key here is to realize it’s not you, it’s her. While you don’t want to flaunt what you’ve got—especially if she really does have less—being disingenuous (“Oh, this old watch? It didn’t cost that much …”) won’t help anyone. The better response? “Thanks. It’s really special to me.”

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The Baller

She’s perfectly lovely—she’s just in a tax bracket you can barely conceive of. As your wealthiest friend, the Baller usually leads an exciting life: “Just got back from the Maldives. Want to meet for lunch at Jean Georges?” and may not even realize her fabu lifestyle makes you feel insecure.

How She Can Hurt You: She’ll naturally pick the restaurant that will max out your credit card—it’s just how she rolls. But, more than frequenting places with prices that make you blanch, you may find yourself envious of all the Baller has—and feigning a bank balance you can’t keep up.

How to Neutralize Her: It’s normal to feel jealous (who doesn’t want the new Chanel bag, or a country house in the south of France?), but, unless she’s rubbing it in, you can’t really blame the Baller. What you can do: Use your jealousy to pinpoint what you really want. Maybe her fancy car(s) leave you cold, but you really envy her exotic vacations—which you can budget for. However, if spending time with the Baller really does makes you feel bad, you may need to create some distance. Or introduce her to your lifestyle, like that hole-in-the-wall Ethiopian place you love. You never know, she might really enjoy it.

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