Some friends can be a serious drain on your savings. If you recognize these types of people in your life, it can be difficult to know what to do. Giving up a friend is never easy, but neither is the reckless financial habits some of them can encourage. Here are a few examples of financially dangerous friends and how to handle them.
- They go out every night.
It’s great to blow off steam with friends every once in a while. The chance to socialize and catch up after a long week is a real treat. The key word here, though, is “occasional.” Some friends may struggle with that word. When your friends want to turn every night into an event, and they want you to come along for dinner, drinks, movies, concerts, and other expensive outings, costs add up quickly. Without being rude, what can you do?
Try suggesting lower-cost alternatives. Instead of going out for an expensive meal, you and your friends could go for a walk at the park, play tennis, or head to the beach for a picnic. Spending time with those you care about does not have to empty your wallet!
- The sales friend.
It can be painful to watch a friend become drawn into a pyramid scheme or multi-level marketing arrangement. They invite you over for a fun get-together, and the next thing you know, some stranger is selling you expensive Tupperware or overpriced (and perhaps under-performing) nutritional supplements. While there is no official pressure to buy, you might still feel inclined to be supportive and make purchases you cannot afford.
The best thing you can do in these instances is just say “no.” Of course, “no” doesn’t have to be direct. You can be too busy to go to a product party, or too broke to buy anything once you’re there.
- Friends who borrow money
There is nothing more heartbreaking than a friend in financial need, and there’s nothing that can jeopardize a friendship faster than lending to a friend. Unfortunately, there is no easy way out of this situation. If you have hesitations or you are not confident in your own financial situation, just say “no” to friends who ask for a loan.
There is no guarantee that you’ll ever be paid back, and the debt will linger over the relationship and create an uncomfortable tension between you and your friend. You might also have a sudden need for the money, and not be able to get access it in a hurry, forcing you to become the needy friend to someone else!
You can help them in ways that does not involve a handout. For example, you can tell them about personal loans from a trusted credit union like SeaComm. They may not realize there is an alternative to asking for money from friends and family. Pointing them in the direction of resources that can help can get them out of a bind without harming your friendship.