Cutting the Friendship Cord: The Burden of Financial “Frenemies”
If you’ve ever felt financial pressure to support a friend even when that friend has plenty of money to pay for dinners, outings, and other activities, you are very likely involved in a toxic relationship. When you dread picking up a dinner bill or movie ticket yet again, there’s only one possible answer going forward: End the friendship and get rid of the headache once and for all. Here is a sturdy list of financial “frenemies” to cut loose:
The Friend Who Never Pays You Back
Friends who perpetually forget their wallets are highly annoying. Though lending people money for a stop at McDonald’s or a movie starring Vin Diesel is fine now and then, friends who never pay you back for these outings should be chopped from your life if they can’t get their act together. People who fail to pay back their friends are selfish and irresponsible. In fact, this is the definition of a mooch. To protect both your bank account and sanity, you might try sternly telling them that you don’t appreciate their actions. If it happens again, kick them out of the friendship circle.
The Friend Who Wants You to Cosign
Generally, functioning adults should be able to fill out financial documents for buying a car or renting an apartment. While parents or siblings will sometimes help to struggle with immediate family members by cosigning a document, it is not the job of a friend to take on this financial burden. This is especially true for people who already have a history of getting behind on payments or straight-up defaulting on loans. Constant pestering to cosign a document that could potentially destroy your hard-earned credit rating is a red flag that your friend is taking complete advantage of the relationship.
The Friend Who Pressures You to Buy Things Outside Your Budget
Friends who are constantly urging you, usually with a wry smile, to buy things outside your budget are not helpful human beings in any sense. If they presumably know that you are on a limited budget and yet are still bugging you to buy fancy jewelry, expensive hardback books, front-row concert tickets, fine dishware, or even a luxury sports car, don’t fall for it. Consider ending the friendship, especially if your friend is developing a hankering for living vicariously through your purchases.
The Friend Who Snoops
Personal financial information, especially when it comes to relatively big purchases, is supposed to be private. Some people have an extremely bad habit of constantly asking how much you paid for a car, house, remodeled kitchen, or stereo. This is the epitome of rudeness, and Miss Manners herself would likely have called out such behavior in one of her famed newspaper columns. There is no need for a friend to have information on what you are spending on different parts of your household budget unless you willingly tell them. This extends to checking account and savings account balances, which are none of their business.
The Friend Who Chills You with Guilt
Never underestimate the impact that guilt can have on the human psyche. If you’re a single person with a good job, underemployed friends with several kids might cleverly use you as their personal piggy bank. Though having kids and struggling with a career can certainly put a drain on finances, it is not up to you to pick up the slack. When friends begin toying with your emotions to snag a few extra dollars from your wallet, it may be time to finally cut the cord.
The Friend Whose Payday Never Comes
Plenty of people have been known to give this excuse to get rid of financial obligations. In most cases, friends will borrow some badly needed dollars just to tide them over until the next payday, which they promise is coming very soon. But the payday then recedes into the future again and again. In some cases, the friend begins to come up with other excuses, which may involve a suddenly serious stomach bug or a family emergency that leaves them unreachable for several weeks at a time. If your alter ego stoops so low as to disappear to avoid paying you, it’s time to shut down the friendship and start spending more time with other people.
The Friend Who Always Shows Off
This particular person has a flair for showing how his paycheck or purchases are always better than yours. If you buy a new lawnmower or push-cart fertilizer because you love to landscape, for example, your friend will always seem to have better tools and equipment. Even worse, he has a habit of bragging about how much he paid for different items. This not only acts as a put-down, it also subtly hints that you’re not working hard enough because you can’t afford top-of-the-line machines. A friend who continues to do this can eventually cause an inferiority complex, which can be hard to reverse. These kinds of friendships are simply not worth it.
The Oblivious Friend
Some people simply aren’t aware that they are pressuring you to spend money on expensive stuff. Younger people who are still being supported by their parents, for example, may not really understand what it means to use a credit card. Insisting that the two of you try all the best restaurants in town, from glamorous Italian pasta to high-end Japanese sushi, will, of course, cost money. The oblivious friend may possibly be the only redeemable friend on this list and sitting down for a heart-to-heart talk might give you a chance to save the friendship.
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