Jan 25th, 2013 by Jennifer Lynn
Have you ever lost a friend over money?
What happens when friends are less than supportive of your financial viewpoints and certain financial discrepancies cause tension in your relationships?
Vividly I recall that worst. feeling. ever: of being squashed beneath $15,000 worth of debt and all of those crippling feelings that encompass trying to conquer such a massive debt load. Unfortunately, a prerequisite of aggressively eliminating my debt meant cutting out all unnecessary expenses, which also meant that the bulk of my social spending was in jeopardy.
If I were to vanquish my debt burden as quickly as possible, then it was no longer reasonable to squander away money on going out multiple nights a week, to unwind with the girls over mimosas and martinis, especially if I were to reign in all of that dizzying and excessive spending.
Adios, you stinkin’ turd slop of debt.
Generally, however, this particular group of friends didn’t much care to recognize my blossoming endeavor toward financial responsibility. Cutting back on spending in order to pay down debt? Basically I received puzzled looks and glazed-over eyeballs. Because, c’mon, old people worried about that type of stuff. We were young. My friends didn’t want to contemplate their finances: they wished to smear on glossy lipstick and slip into their kitten-heeled sandals to shimmy to the local saloon and mingle with other attractive singles.
The problem was that going out in the city is really expensive and there was a certain expectation to these types of rendezvous. This mentality of arbitrary willy-nilly spending quickly was interfering in and becoming incompatible with my own financial objectives.
I worried, would my financial fortitude waiver while I attempted to maintain these friendships?
Eventually, regrettably, I had to cut some of these friends loose. And naturally our lives diverged for whatever reason and we all began to drift apart.
My friend Allyson recalls when a financial imbalance caused strain in a long-running friendship of her own. “Jess and I shared a similar, modest lifestyle. Together we were bargain hunters and nearly always broke students. Then we graduated and I received a promotion at work. My net wealth rapidly increased as a result and, suddenly, I couldn’t openly talk shop any more with Jess. I feared being perceived as flaunting my new wealth and it spurred tension. The situation made me feel guilty and really insecure!”
For me, the guilt manifested from saying “no” to certain friends, due to their lifestyle choices. It was straining and difficult when others didn’t share a similar enthusiasm for sacrificing the ‘now’ in order to prudently plant those seeds necessary for future financial prosperity—such as systematically paying down debt, or saving. The lack of support sometimes was frustrating and isolating.
Finances have such a huge emotional component tied in, and so this has caused me to wonder: have money issues ever interfered with or caused a friendship of yours to crumble?