Money and Friends.

finger friends

Got an interesting email over the weekend from a fellow B.A.S. reader:

What’s your take on friends and their financial situation? Do you tend to hangout with people who have similar salaries, net worth, etc. or does that not matter to you?

Well, I’ve never really thought about it before so I guess it doesn’t matter to me! :) I pretty much want 2 things in friends:  I have to enjoy their company (duh), and they can’t bring me down.  That last one’s pretty important because if you surround yourself with people who’s always hating on life and getting all negative it’ll start rubbing off on you.  And you def. don’t want that – even if they’re the ones who get into the most (and troublesome) fun.

As far as money and net worth though, I can’t say I know any of my friends’ salaries or financial situations.  I know they *seem* to be doing pretty well since we’re always hanging out and spending some entertainment money here and there (esp. on adventures like New Orleans and Eurotrip!), but I’ve never asked them how much they make and I never will.  I really don’t wanna know all that stuff to be honest, unless someone’s coming to me for help or something.  It always gets weird.  Seeing how most of us went to the same college though, and we’re all from pretty much the same background, I’d venture to say we’re all pretty similar in financial status.  Some squirreling away more than others ;)

But I honestly don’t care if my friends make $5.00 an hour or $500.00 an hour. As long as they’re cool and we bring each other UP and respect each other I’m ’bout it ’bout it.  That’s how friends should be in my opinion – you don’t hang out with them because of their status or rolls of money in their bank accounts, you hang with them because they’re fun and they make you happy.  And hopefully you learn from each other too!

I can tell you that I’ve learned sooooo much from all my online friends alone!  You all are always teaching me something or making me think one way or another – and besides those who post their financials back to me here, I have NO IDEA how much your net worth is or anything!  But I do know you’re awesome and I love seeing ya pop up online ;)

So keep on dropping by my friends. And feel free to ask me anything you want, at any time!  I’m always up for sharing my thoughts on stuff… Drop me some questions in the comments if ya want, I like all sorts of them – financial or not ;)

(Photo by Juliana Coutinho)

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  1. Kevin @ October 25, 2010 at 8:35 AM

    If your friend was making $5 a hour, shouldn’t you care enough to report his employer to the authorities for paying below minimum wage? Geez, some friend you are.

    On a serious note, as long as you aren’t asking me for money, you can pretty much be my friend. In fact, I have some friends who are really bad with money and they just set a good example of what not to do.

  2. Jenn @ Paying Myself October 25, 2010 at 10:01 AM

    I don’t think any of us choose our friends consciously based on how much money they make – but I think our financial status may act as a filter. If you like to go to the movies a lot, or out for dinner, or to hockey games, etc., the people that you hang out with more will be the friends who have the cash to do those things.

  3. sarah October 25, 2010 at 11:12 AM

    That’s great insight! Here’s the trouble I found myself to be having… my husband makes a VERY nice salary. I’ll get to why that matters in a minute. I have been friends with, and still hang out with the same people I did in kindergarten. We have all gone out and done our own thing, college, and back home to start our lives and careers. I started working right out of college at a brokerage firm, and learned a great deal from my experience there. Thus making me the budget savvy person I am today. But since having kids, and my husband finding his niche I have since quit working (indefinitly) and stay home with the kids. Ok, here comes the problem. I would say that we make more then just about all my friends and their spouses. I don’t flaunt it, and I try to to ever be showy or mention things we do, places we go or things we buy because it makes me feel very uncomfortable. I know they don’t have the money we do, and most spend more then they make. It’s very hard for me to handle that. Not that they don’t make money but that I don’t like playing the “keeping up with the Jones’ game” with anyone, especially not my friends. I have been friends with these people so long that nothing is off limits and they will ask us money questions, or “how we do it” and I don’t like it. I just try to explain that I am “cheap” and I save and budget, but that never seems like a good enough answer. They don’t understand how we have the house, paid for car, trips, and nice things (if only they knew our savings and retirement accounts).

  4. Doctor S October 25, 2010 at 12:31 PM

    My friends don’t talk about these topics that much. We are too busy being immature on the weekends.

    However, we do have our moments, especially when there is something major going on in the world, we get into it. Politics, the economy, elections, all bring out the views of our friends and we clash… Oh do we clash.

    But everyone is pretty close to their chest about money. I have shared the link to my blog with a few of them and many of them did not take it seriously, maybe they just don’t believe I can talk about money or maybe they just don’t understand it enough?

    I do find that they are willing to share this info in a private setting, just not in front of the group!

  5. The Skinny On October 25, 2010 at 1:13 PM

    I personally have never chosen or associated myself with any friends due to net worth or salary size. I hang with whomever I have similar things in common with, however sometimes I am guilty of being jealous of those doing a lot better than me. (Buying new electronics and cars and such) It can really make ya feel like crap sometimes when you are struggling and start comparing yourself to those who are a lot more fortunate.


  6. Yana October 25, 2010 at 4:49 PM

    I’ve never tried to make friends or chosen them based on income. I kind of wish I had more friends who were interested in financial management/personal finance, since the topic interests me.

  7. K @ Out Smart Debt October 25, 2010 at 5:39 PM

    I tend to hang out with people that are around my same net worth. I don’t do intentionally it just kind of segregates itself. People from a similar background tend to flock together. I hung out with my girlfriends friends who are much more privileged then me and it to tends to happen that they all flock together too. It’s not a bad thing I just think it happens naturally.

  8. Jenna October 25, 2010 at 7:04 PM

    I’m with you on this. But I might feel differently if I had friends that were always asking to borrow money or always doing things too expensive I couldn’t do it with them.

  9. Brucebucks October 26, 2010 at 1:16 AM

    J$ do you have friends that are big spenders, so whenever you kick it you tend to spend more money? I wouldn’t get rid of a friend like that but we would probably hangout less often.

  10. A October 26, 2010 at 2:08 PM

    I recently moved to a new city, and am trying to cultivate friendships along a financial spectrum. I’m a saver, and would generally prefer to entertain at home (game night!) or go to low-key bars. However, I also like to go to higher-cost events every once and awhile. I find it helps to have a “roster” of friends interested (and able) to do a variety of activities. Plus, it decreases the chance of feeling pressured to do something above my means (and likewise I don’t feel like I’m pressuring others to overspend).

  11. J. Money October 26, 2010 at 11:08 PM

    @Kevin @ – Haha… I thought we were already friends?
    @Jenn @ Paying Myself – Interesting point. I’ll agree with you on that :)
    @sarah – People are always so curious cuz they just don’t GET IT! And really, it’s super easy as you know: Save more than you spend. If you can just accomplish that one thing you’ll be able to have many of these options goign forward. It’s so crazy to me that it doesn’t sink in to people. And I should clarify “people” here – I say anyone 20 and up. Before that you get a free pass in my books ;) And MAJOR points if you are on top of your $hit back then!

    @Doctor S – Haha I like being immature during weekends too :) I bet our two groups would really get a long!! Actually, I heard talks of a boys weekend up in Philly soon – I’ll keep you posted. And will save up my money questions for you…
    @The Skinny On – Yup, that’s why you gotta do your all-time best to avoid it! But it’s only natural, we all do it. I was jealous of this guy’s suit today. I have no idea what brand it was but I know it was pretty custom! And it shouldn’t even matter to me since I never WEAR suits?! Haha… weddings excluded.

    @Yana – I like that! And it’s exactly why most of my friends are now you guys online. As sad as that sounds ;) I party with my real life friends, but hang daily with the digital crowd.
    @K @ Out Smart Debt – True, it’s a very natural thing. Kinda like high school clicks in a way ;)
    @Jenna – Oh man that would blow. Esp if they weren’t understanding when you said no to things.
    @Brucebucks – That’s a great question, and I don’t think I do. A few that will splurge at the bar on a Friday or Saturday night (like, dropping $200+ each night!!!) but other than that I don’t hear much of big spending. Maybe in the traveling department but I’m usually in that group :)
    @A – Haha yeah, that’s always nice. Game nights are killer!! Miss doing those…I should get back into them, thx!