Updated: Jun 17, 2019
Everybody has that one friend who you know every time you go out with them you are going to spend money. That one friend that always wants to go shopping, or to a concert, or on vacation. This friend is living like that (or at least acts like their living like that), and this friend makes you feel obligated to live like that too when you hang out with them. This “friend” is actually a financial frenemy.
If this description sounds familiar to you, then chances are that you already know which one of your friends is your financial frenemy. It might be small occurrences sometimes, like going out to eat all the time…. No biggie right? But sometimes it’s bigger incidents, like “Oh, for my birthday weekend we are going to Los Angeles. I already picked a resort, you just have to pay ____ to stay with us, and pay for your plane ticket. It’s going to be super fun!” Yeah… except they left out the part where their itinerary is already planned out and it’s filled with expensive activities as well. They downplay the cost and play up the fun to entice you! The financial frenemy is a master of manipulation. They make you feel like you have to do whatever the activity is that they are doing. They make you feel like you are missing out if you do not join, extreme FOMO. Plus, when you do attempt to opt out, they make you feel guilty about it or look down upon you like maybe you are struggling financially. This is oppressive behavior!
The reason this “friend” is a financial frenemy is because they do not care about your financial wellness. They want you to participate in their life at your detriment. This person manipulates you into thinking that you have to do things that will make you broke. They make you feel guilty about not participating. And they seldom understand your point of view on things when you try to explain why you do not wish to participate.
Now that I have explained what a financial frenemy is and why they are so toxic, let me explain:
The three types of financial frenemies:
The Fronting Financial Frenemy: This person does not got it like that. They put on this front like they have all this money. They try to act like they can afford this lifestyle and they simply cannot. Not only are their lifestyle choices a detriment to you, but it is hurting them as well. They are killing themselves to keep up with the Kardashians and they will only be able to keep up the facade for so long. It is just a matter of time before their money runs out.
The Oblivious Financial Frenemy: This person is truly your friend. Your financial frenemy may not even know what they are doing or how much it affects you. Maybe you have never really spoken to them about your financial plans. They are literally oblivious to the fact that their actions upset you. They are living like that and it just never occurred to them you are not.
The “Not Your Friend” Financial Frenemy: You may have to accept the reality that this person knows very well what they are doing and that they do not care. They know your financial goals. They are very aware that you make good money but you would rather put that money towards building wealth than some random thing they plan. This type of person is not your friend at all! They put their wants above your needs. And in all honesty, their actions clearly show that they do not give a #$%@ about your financial wellness, or even you as a person.
How do you deal with a financial frenemy?!:
Talk to them. If this person is truly your friend they will understand. If you sit down with them and discuss your financial goals and explain to them how those goals are not aligned with the lifestyle they want you to participate in, then maybe they will be more understanding. The key is communication. Maybe you could even discuss their financial goals with them and you could support each other in your journeys towards financial freedom.
Cut them off. If they are aware that their actions are steering you away from your goals, then steer clear of them. This person is not your friend. A true friend would not hold you back from reaching your full potential. A true friend would not hold you back from reaching your goals and dreams. And a true friend would never put their wants before your needs. If you have tried to speak to this person before and they continue to be a financial frenemy, then maybe it’s time to move on. Maybe they are a manipulative succubus, who only uses you when it’s convenient. Or maybe you two simply grew apart and your goals and lifestyles are no longer aligned. Either way, your life will be better if you put a little space between you and your financial frenemy. If a little space is not adequate enough, then just cut them off completely.
Now, what if, after reading all of this information, you realized that YOU ARE THE FINANCIAL FRENEMY?! Do you make your friends overspend? Do you live above your friends’ means and make them try to fit into your lifestyle at their detriment? Are you the one who orders everything off the menu at an expensive restaurant that your friends already cannot afford and then asks everyone to split the check equally?! If so, then I am soooo glad you are having this revelation now. The first step to fixing a problem is acknowledging that there is one. Now you know that you are a financial frenemy. What kind of financial frenemy are you? Are you fronting, oblivious, or are you a manipulative succubus who knows exactly what they are doing? Maybe you're not even a full-blown financial frenemy, but you could do a better job of being understanding and being supportive of your friends’ financial situations. In any case, this situation can be rectified. All you need to do is adjust your behavior accordingly. Simply make smarter financial decisions in your social life. Do an Airbnb instead of a resort. Cook at the house and invite your friends over instead of going out to eat. Simple switches like this will keep your social life fun and cost efficient so that all of your friends can afford to participate and stay on track to reach their financial goals. Maybe you could even all sit down and have a money meeting to discuss your financial goals with each other and brainstorm cheaper alternatives to the activities that are drilling a hole in your wallets.
All in all, if you have read this far then you either have a financial frenemy or you are a financial frenemy. Hopefully, this article enlightens you as to the types of financial frenemies and how to deal with them.
NEVER let ANYONE hold you back from reaching financial freedom!
Friend, family member or significant other; anyone you choose to give space to in your life should be supportive and on the same page as you. Not everyone will understand or participate in your decision to become financially fit, but they do need to understand and support you.
Thanks for reading!
If you prefer listening, then you are in for a treat, because the first Money Talk Podcast is now available click the picture at the top to listen :)
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I look forward to seeing you all next Monday!