Friends and Money
What do you discuss with your friends when you are together? I imagine you talk about trendy bags, romantic husbands, demanding bosses, colicky babies, and weekend getaways. Not necessarily in that order or specifics but you do chat about that stuff, right? You do not need any logical reasons but those are the things you talk about simply because those are parts of your daily lives.
If we can talk about our menstrual period with our friends, we should also be able to talk to them about money, right? What can be more personal than our privates?
Money is such a difficult topic. We work our butts off to earn money. We use it to spend in our daily lives. Yet, we cannot discuss it with our friends. What is the matter with that? Should we not try to change that?
Top 5 Reasons Why We Need To Talk About Money With Our Friends:
#1 We need money to live.
- Basic needs
- Utility bills
- Support family
I don’t know about you but, I am a living thing and I need to eat at least 3x a day. OK, I eat 5x a day when I am with my family. My son eats more than 6x a day because he loves food so much. And, THAT is the primary reason why we have to talk about money with our friends. How would our friends know that we have needs that have to be met inexpensively? How would we know that our friends would feel awkward if we give them expensive gifts but they can’t reciprocate?
#2 We will know where we stand.
- Salary is lower than the industry standard
- Utility bills higher than neighbors
- The insurance premium is more expensive than peers
I would rather know how much our neighbors pay for their electricity costs than being left in the dark. If their bill is significantly lower than ours, there could be only three possible reasons: My family and I are not responsible users, there is an accounting or typo error from the provider’s side or there is an illegal connection siphoning off our power (gasp!). Either way, isn’t it better to be aware because what we don’t know will definitely hurt us?
#3 Being open about our finances can help us save.
- Credit card debts
- Travel deals
- Part-time jobs
If you need passive income and see a friend who has lots of side hustles, talk to them about it. Ask them how they started, what are the benefits and the tradeoffs. I remember, when I was looking for investment products, I still had to search online for people who can point me in the right directions. My friends and I didn’t talk about money and my Facebook feed had nothing about personal finance topics. Fortunately, I was able to meet insurance agents, stock market traders and real estate investors online. Who do you turn to when your friends can’t help you?
#4 We are human and we need to talk to someone.
- Put things into right perspectives
- Calm our nerves
- Shock absorber
Domestic abuse, retirement, moving to a different country… all of these involve money and our friends. We confide our deepest family issues, share our old-age concerns and babble our anxious worries to our best friends regularly. I don’t get to talk to my friends every day in person but oh boy, they know that I was terrified during Ms. Bookworm’s dental surgery last week. They were praying for my daughter at their respective homes while she was being treated. Bless their kind hearts! How would I keep sane without my friends?
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#5 Money cannot buy happiness but, it can provide peace of mind.
- Loss of income
- Terminal illness
We can depend on our buddies when we come up short for restaurant tips or parking fees. They know that we will always pay them back quickly. How about during times of unemployment, prolonged sickness or death in the family? Are they aware if our money can last longer than 6 months or if we have an emergency fund, at all? Do we know if they have health coverage or life insurance if the need arises? How can we help our friends if we don’t know that they need our assistance?
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Being real with money with our friends allows all of us to know our places. They would know if eating out is not a part of our monthly budget without them asking us. Similarly, we would not need to ask them for their reasons in choosing a backyard barbecue bash rather than a high-end party place for their child’s birthday celebration.
If we would not think twice about asking which contraceptive they use or how they got two girlfriends at the same time, then we should ask about money. It is definitely a little embarrassing to ask how they are able to travel to exotic places 2x a year, but it’s also a lot more important than asking where they got their nails done.
Do talks about money a taboo in your circle of friends? Do discussions about finances offend you? Do you agree with My Favorite Lists’ s reasons why we need to talk about money with our friends? Please comment below or share this post with your best buddies!
Have a great weekend ahead, Middle East residents,