Friends and money. Not a popular personal finance topic, but definitely something that I want to cover. My mind’s so scattered on this topic that I don’t even know how to organize this article. I’m just going to throw out a bunch of random thoughts out there.
Let’s talk about friends and money…
Don’t keep score.
The one thing that I’ll always remember from the book Never Eat Alone, is that you shouldn’t keep score. This basically means that you shouldn’t be petty with your close friends and worry about keeping track of who owes who. With a good group of friends everything will always work out. You don’t have to stress about falling behind or getting ahead. Keeping score is useless.
“I’ll sum up the key to success in one word: generosity.” — Kieth Ferrazzi
Now I’m not going to contradict myself, but you need to avoid moochers and those looking for a free ride. Don’t worry though because there’s good news. These folks are usually easy to spot. We’ve all meet a moocher at some point.
Allow me to share a quick story…
I was at a friend’s birthday party a week ago. I offered an acquaintance to come join us for a shot. I enjoy vodka shots and naturally I showed up with a huge bottle as a gift. This dude turn down the group shot. Not because he hates drinking. He said that he would but that the vodka I brought sucks.
You can diss me, but my vodka? All kidding aside, that’s not what got me upset. I was shocked because this dude showed up with literally nothing and complained about the food and drinks all night. He’s known to do this. Show up, eat, and then complain once he has a full belly. So I responded:
Alright man, let’s have a drink of what you brought. Oh wait! You didn’t anything.
I didn’t want to be rude, but I hate moochers. This guy is one of many examples of people that I’ve met that are just looking for a free ride.
Don’t loan money, unless…
You don’t want it back. What I mean by this is that I wouldn’t loan money to a friend unless I knew I could live on if I didn’t get this money back.
You know that classic saying, if you want to lose a friend, lend them money.
All I want to stress is that you shouldn’t loan out a sum of money that you couldn’t live life without. Loaning $50 is cool. Loaning your whole savings account, well, that could be trouble. You don’t want to screw your own finances over just because you loaned money to a buddy.
Don’t borrow money.
I’m strongly against borrowing money from friends. Now I do realize that life can throw you a curveball and you might get stuck in a rut. This sort of stuff does happen. My philosophy here is that it’s better to use a credit card than to ruin a solid friendship.
I never want to have to borrow money from a friend.
The point of this whole piece is…
Understand what your financial situation is. Don’t be afraid to tell your friends. Your true friends will understand.
This means that if you can’t afford something, let your friends know. Don’t go to an expensive dinner or night club, blow your paycheck, and then resent your friends for bringing you somewhere that you couldn’t afford. Be upfront about your finances.
This also works in the other direction. If you have more money to blow than your friends, let them know. Don’t put your friends in an awkward position.
What’s your take on friendship and money?
Do you loan money to friends? Do you discuss money with your friends?