Our closest friends are those that we feel comfortable talking to about anything and everything! Conversations between good friends can easily flow from fascinating projects at work, to the latest updates on our dating lives, to a good book we just read, or even a recipe that absolutely flopped. And yet, one topic tends to remain taboo among even the best of friends, and that is money!
Why don’t we feel comfortable sharing our financial struggles and triumphs with our friends?
Maybe it’s because society tells us money is taboo, or maybe it’s because we don’t know how to talk about money with friends!
Here are some tips to start talking about money with your friends:
#1 Keep all money chats safe and judgment-free!
Your friends are your friends for a reason because they like you for who you are and they don’t judge you for, well, being you. Your money chats should be the exact same way! So remember that everyone is on their own financial journey, even if that looks different than your own.
And let’s be real, if your friends wanted to be judged on their financial situation there are plenty of articles telling you what you must accomplish by age 30, know-it-all family members, or even trolls on the internet they can turn to. Instead, focus on being supportive of your friends no matter where they are in their financial journey.
#2 Don’t be afraid to ask questions
Chances are whatever financial obstacle(s) you are facing, your friends are either right there with you, already went through something similar, or may even go through the same experience soon. So whether it’s wondering what the heck a 401k is, how to file quarterly taxes, or how to ask your parents about their retirement plan, don’t worry about looking silly in front of a good friend. If they’ve already worked through this challenge, they’ll likely be happy to help you navigate what you’re going through and share what they learned along the way. And if they have no clue either, it can be a fun opportunity to learn something new together.
In fact, you might even want to suggest attending virtual weekly Wine & Learns together to cover all things finances 😉
#3 Communicate your own financial boundaries
Brunch. It’s almost impossible to talk about friends and finance without talking about brunch! Who doesn’t love a Sunday mimosa with close friends? But sometimes it’s just not in the budget and it can feel uncomfortable to communicate that, but it will lead to a healthier relationship among friends if you do.
Get comfortable saying, “That’s not in my budget right now,” to your friends, whether it’s a night out, a shopping spree, or vacation. You can and should set boundaries that keep you true to your own financial journey. A good friend will understand and won’t try to push you beyond that point, especially if you bring a few suggestions for alternatives that are in your price range!
Bonus points if you open the line of communication only to find out your friend(s) didn’t want to spend that much either!
#4 Avoid comparison
Once you are talking finances with your friends, it can be extremely tempting to compare your situation to theirs. You might feel like you are “ahead” or “behind” but the truth is everyone started from a different financial footing, took a different path to get to where they are now and are heading in different directions! As long as you and your friend(s) enjoy spending time together, it doesn’t matter how either of you are spending money!