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!
“You should so buy that dress. It looks like it was made for you!”
“Nice purse. How much did that cost?”
“Can you spot me for dinner? I’ll get you back next time … ”
While usually there’s no one more supportive than our girlfriends, we also know there are a lot of funny things we say when it comes to money.
And the fact is, there are certain types of “friends” who can be downright hazardous to your financial health.
Sometimes their influence is so subtle you might not even realize they’re impacting your spending patterns. But studies have proven that everything from how much we weigh to how much we spend—and the investment decisions we make—are affected by who we’re closest to.
Which is why we decided to take a closer look at the most common types of financial frenemies—in other words, our field guide to pals you might want to steer clear of, at least when you have your wallet in hand, or a budget in place.
If you have a frenemy who fits this description, or know a different type, please share in the comments.
She can (and will) cajole you into buying that expensive dress you don’t really need. Or the face cream that breaks the bank. While totally supportive—“that looks so good on you, you have to get it”—this friend can also threaten your ability to pay the rent.
How She Can Hurt You: You’ll often walk away in stun mode, not even realizing how much you money you just dropped until a look at your bank balance jolts you back to reality. Fun, and frequently a hedonist, the Enabler makes a great shopping friend—as long as you have the cash to burn.
How to Neutralize Her: While you’ll never change her ways, you can be prepared for her antics. When out with her, only bring as much cash as you’re willing to spend, so you don’t wind up with “amazing” stilettos you only wear once.
The Miser isn’t someone who’s genuinely strapped for cash—she just doesn’t like parting with it. When the check comes, she informs you that you owe her eight dollars and twelve and a half cents because, “You ate three more french fries than me.” When planning a friend’s bachelorette party, she’s the one who insists that the extra cupcakes are “way too expensive,” and, besides, “Who eats dessert?”
How She Can Hurt You: If you’re the type who’s too polite to ask her to pay up, you risk dropping more than your fair share every time. She can also cause everyone else’s extra spending to cover her cheapness—done in the hopes of silencing her whining.
How to Neutralize Her: There’s a difference between genuinely being on a tight budget and just being cheap. The Miser has deep-rooted security issues around money, so don’t count on changing this perspective overnight. When it comes to group expenditures, try getting her to focus on the event, the people and the happiness instead of the dollars. If she really doesn’t want to pony up the cash, give her a chance to contribute in other ways (time, DIY, etc.)