How to Have a Real Money Talk With Your Friends
While we love our friends dearly, sometimes it can feel like they don’t take everyone’s financial situation into consideration, especially when making plans. Whether it’s an invitation for a weekend getaway or an impromptu dinner celebration at the new Instagram-worthy restaurant in town, it’s easy to say yes and fall into a bad money routine. But if you want to take ownership of your finances, an easy way to prevent spending beyond your means is having open and honest conversations with your friends about money.
Talking money isn’t easy. You never want to feel vulnerable around a topic that is still considered taboo in today’s culture, but spending money and spending time with your friends doesn’t need to be mutually exclusive. Yes, it can be very uncomfortable and awkward to tell your friends you can’t do certain activities because money is an issue, but once you speak up, chances are you’ll feel a wave of relief knowing your wallet won’t suffer.
It all starts with one conversation — #RealMoneyTalk. Here are some tips on how to have “the talk” with your friends about money.
1. Have the conversation where you feel comfortable. Some people find that a phone call or texting is easier than having a conversation about finances in person. You know yourself best, so when having the #RealMoneyTalk with friends, communicate the way that’s most suitable for you! If you’re comfortable with your surroundings and mode of communication, it’s likely you’ll feel more empowered to have the conversation in the first place. So whether you want to have a formal sit down conversation with your friends, or prefer to send a casual text to a coworker that happy hour just isn’t in your budget right now, go with the method that puts you most at ease.
2. Feel empowered to say “no.” Saying “no” is one of the hardest things to do, especially when FOMO can loom over you. But rethink what you’re saying no to — something that you know will push you over your budget. Then you’ll realize what you’re really saying “yes” to, bettering your financial situation. You know what makes sense for you and your finances, so don’t be afraid to say “no” to a big night out. By staying in, you can educate yourself about where you stand financially, using tools like Turbo, an app that helps you to take control of your finances, move forward, and dream bigger. Saying “no” is a powerful tool; feel empowered to use it!
3. Plan and save ahead of time. A good rule of thumb: Try to have an emergency fund in case you end up spending a bit more than expected on outings with friends. This buffer will create a sense of financial safety for you. If things ever take a turn, and you end up splurging on a much-needed vacation, you’re not left in a panic when footing the bill. But don’t get fooled by this. Just because you’ve planned to have a buffer doesn’t mean you have to spend it.
4. Change your FOMO to JOMO. Money doesn’t grow on trees — and chances are, your friends know that. Being honest and comfortable with your lifestyle choices could lead you to experience the joy of missing out (JOMO). It’s a sign of true #adulting when you can be selective about the activities you participate in to help maintain your financial health. It demonstrates strength, intelligence, will-power, and downright financial prowess!
(Photo via Getty)