In this article ZOE SLATER, Counsellor and CEO of Freedom Choice Academy delves into the topic of friendship and asks us all to examine our relationships with friends when it comes to money. 

Friendships are meant to be a safe place to rejuvenate your soul. To connect with a like-minded friend, to listen to, connect, create a space for you both to be emotionally free, to be inspired, bringing out the best in you. In essence, there is an exchange that makes you want to meet with them again.

Good Friendships are fulfilling… but costly friendships can be financially emotionally and physically taxing.

What kind of friend are you…regarding friendships and money?

  • The Generous, no matter what friendship
  • The Balanced reciprocal friendship
  • The Financially Stressed friendship

Friendships and Money

The reality about money and friendships is that no matter how much you earn there will always be someone in your life who is wealthier than you or poorer than you!

Knowing how you function with friendships and money is important because Friendships are everything in this world and on a practical level money is part of the equation. So, getting the balance right with Friendships and Money are critical for your emotional and mental health and survival.

Generally speaking, when you think about catching up with a friend, several things will pass through your mind like, your last experience with them, what’s your schedule like, location, time, eating or drinking, dress code and budget for the location

What predicts the next catch up is what was your last experience with that person was like. Was your mind and heart cheerful and inspired to catch up again, was the cost of the connection worth it?  A balanced or generous catch up will say yes but if you walk away feeling drained emotionally and financially your less likely to want to catch up.

So, lets’ define the tree type of Friendships a little further. 

The Generous Friendship ‘You love to be generous’

Generosity is a beautiful characteristic. It says that you feel contented to pay. That the connection between you and your friend has filled your heart in some way.

  • Your happy to pay for a friend even though they don’t pay but give you something else in return, for example; They may make you laugh, they have an interesting life, they might be giving you free advice or the wisdom of their life or perhaps filling a lonely void and many more reasons.
  • Generosity is the enjoyment and pleasure of giving. It puts a smile on your face, creates a happy heart and a pep in your step. A sense of looking forward to the next catch up with this friend. Then you are on track, in the right place exchanging a greater gift of generosity beyond money.
  • The virtue of generosity is a code you live by and practice, it says you are not lacking in Money or the Financial area of your life.
  • Generous friends often loan money, give money or introduce you to opportunities to make money.
  • Generous friends are great teachers of abundance and remind others to consider being generous and kind too.

A deeper insight for you to reflect on; Generosity in all areas of life is a disciplined and practised, daily. Although idealistic generosity is often recognisable in only a few areas of life. For example; you might be generous with your money but not generous with your love or time. Generous to others, but a scrooge with your family.

Generous Givers are quite astute and interplay the concept of generosity and reciprocity, consequently can cut friendship ties over night when the reciprocity hits a tipping point of no regard.

The generous person often won’t tell the person there cutting ties. The generous person will just move on, and hope their friend learns the value of generosity. So, if you have lost a good generous friend, this might be their reason.

The Balanced Friendship ‘Is a sense of fairness’

There’s a sense of reciprocity and harmony that works for both of you. Taking turns to pay for things of reasonably equal value and covering costs so that one is more out of pocket than the other.

  • You tell your friend that you don’t expect financial support.
  • You enjoying the friendship regardless of money.
  • You want your friend to know that you value them.
  • You meet with them because after each connection, you walk away from the time together with a smile on your face, a happy heart and a pep in your step. Looking forward to the next catch up.
  • You don’t feel that you owe them anything.
  • A sense that all debts money or emotional are paid in full.
  • In some cases, you prefer to be in credit with the friendship, both money and emotionally.
  • Your reputation is linked to this fair balanced friendship.

A deeper insight for you to reflect on; A balanced friendship can sometimes be out of balance. You might not like receiving help, handouts, support and in some way despise people who sponge of you. The question is do you tell them you are feeling out of exchange. Ironically it can sometimes be the people nearest and dearest to us which brings me to the next type of friendship.

The Friendship that ’causes you money stress’

There are two types of friendships that have money stress. There is the friendship that has ran its cause and needs to end. Or the conundrum, of the dear friend where things have got off track between you both and it has caused money stress.

Here’s how you know if a friend is causing you money stress.

Recall your last catch up with this friend. Were you disappointed about how much it cost you emotionally and financially? Does the thought of catching up with them again make you feel stressed, anxious or angry because you have;

  • Loaned them money and they have not paid you back.
  • You don’t know how to broach the conversation.
  • What’s it going to cost you this time?
  • Can you afford to see them?
  • How much has it cost you so far?
  • Do you have enough money?
  • Can you afford to shout them because they’ll expect you to?
  • Will they ask for money again?
  • Will you feel obligated to shout them?
  • You might like expensive places and they only shout cheap places.
  • All they talk about is their money stress and you feel obliged to help them out

The costly friendship and ‘What it really costs you’.

There can often be a strange friction in these friendships. An underlying sense of mistrust an undisclosed transparency. You sense they are about to put more money stress on your friendship. There’s uneasy feeling, waiting for the truth to be said. A Friendship under false pretences.

  • You are likely to resent spending time with them
  • Feel obligated to turn up because you feel like you owe them
  • Falsely blame them as a waste of time or money
  • You’re paying for the friendship because your lonely
  • Your seeking status and this friendship connects you to that perception
  • Your Social world is lacking because you may have burnt some bridges, don’t make an effort, have low self-esteem
  • You might have a poor mindset and see yourself as the broke friend
  • You may think that because their rich, they should pay
  • Maybe you’re just a taker in life with narcissistic traits.

Here are some TIP’s to shift the costly friendships

I will warn you, that you are about to discover what your friendships really mean to you.

  • Be transparent invite them to meet up, tell them in advance or when it comes time to pay that you wish to take turns paying. For e.g. “I paid the last time, it’ now your turn”. Observe their response and gauge your own response.
  • If you usually offer to pay first, this time …don’t. Wait out the silence, then when they offer or ask who’s paying, just say “I’m okay if you pay”. Then say nothing…be silent…and step back from the paying counter. Leave your friend at the counter alone to pay the bill.
  • If you are still in connection with a generous friend and you now realise that you have been the costly friendship that caused money stress. Don’t despair endeavour to balance the friendship through an honest conversation.

The key points are;

  1. What kind of friend are you…regarding friendships and money?
  2. The generous, no matter what friendship
  3. The balanced reciprocal friendship
  4. The financially stressed friendship
  5. Endeavour to balance the friendship through honest conversation.
  6. Friendships and money stress happen every day! Don’t delay, fix it NOW.

An extra thing to think about!

Friendships are meant to be a safe place to rejuvenate your soul.

MAKE A PACT TO ACT – Practice the art of having money success and I assure you, your life will start heading in the right direction.  Keep those questions coming

If you have any questions or need help or guidance please send me an email, give me a call on M: 0414 778 476 or visit me on Facebook @freedomchoiceacademy.

Zoe is the director of Zoe Slater Counselling and CEO Freedom Choice Academy. She studied at The Australian College of Applied Psychology, Sydney Campus and completed her Diploma of Counselling and Communication at the Brisbane Campus. Zoe is an Associate Member with the Queensland Counsellors Association Inc and a member with Australian Counsellors Association.

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Finance Physiology Money Stress to Success – The Friendship Factor