Your besties are your besties for a reason. They’re the people you can talk to about anything. But despite that level of closeness, it can still be hard when the topic of money comes into the conversation. Since we’re all in different places when it comes to our finances — some of us may still be paying off student loans while others are planning their dream beach vacations — chatting about our cash can be awkward. (Good news: If you can talk money with your S.O., then you can have the conversation with your friends too.) Scroll on for six tips for making sure the money talk goes as smoothly as possible.

1. Be supportive of their financial struggles and successes. Even if they don’t come right out and say it, you can tell when something is bugging your bestie. If they’re strapped for cash, be there for them as you would in any other tough time.

2. Be up-front about your limits. It can be hard to be the friend who always has to say no to plans — and it can be equally as hard if you’re always suggesting plans that get shot down by the group. Avoid these circumstances when it comes to finances by being up-front with your friends about your situation. By saying, “That trip to Vegas just isn’t in my budget right now” or “I’m hoping to splurge on a nice brunch this weekend instead,” you gracefully open the conversation without making it all about the dollar signs.

3. Nip conflict in the bud. Money plays a role in just about everything we do, so it can be a tough topic of conversation when you’re low on cash. Sometimes, it’s a source of conflict because a friend is insensitive about it — like not paying you back for the concert tickets you recently bought or always ordering an expensive meal when you agree to split the bill. In these cases, it’s best to bring up your grievances as soon as possible so you and your friend can talk about it, resolve it, and move on.

4. Start off conservatively. This is especially important if you’re in a newer group of friends. Because you don’t want to come right asking people what their salaries are, it’s best to start off by making budget-conscious plans, like hosting a potluck brunch or attending a free concert in the park. The more time you spend together, the more likely it is that your new friends will clue you in on their own spending habits.

5. Talk about financial goals. A great, productive way to actually talk about money is to talk about your money goals. This way, you’re able to hold each other accountable and support each other without the awkwardness of talking hard numbers. Just like any other life goal, your bestie should want to support your vacation savings or goal of investing in your 401(k).

6. Feel free to say no. If you’re feeling strapped for cash, don’t feel like your friendships will be affected by bowing out of a few activities. If this is the case, your best friends will totally understand, especially if you tactfully explain that taking a group trip just isn’t what you budgeted for this month.

How do you talk about money with your friends? Let us know @BritandCo!

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