They say you can pick your friends, but you’re stuck with your family. But are you stuck living the same life they’re living? I mean, if they all jumped off a bridge, would you? My lawyers told me to add that it’s just a hypothetical case, of course.
So why should you let the habits of your friends and family drag down your finances? Maybe you just aren’t aware of some of the warning signs of how your loved ones could be the cause of some of your problems.
The eternally struggling businessman. Ideas are a dime a dozen, and this person has dozens of ideas, and no dimes to put to it. They want your investment for the “next big thing”, but it doesn’t ever turn into anything. Ideas are like cars, they’re great but they need an engine to make it go, and this person just doesn’t have that motor.
Solution: Take your cues from Shark Tank and tell them they need a more solid business than the back-of-a-napkin idea sketched out before you invest.
The excessively festive person. You get a call from this person wanting you to join them for a “couple” drinks because they just needed a Wednesday off or a Thursday off, or whatever excuse this week brings for the chance to head to the pub.
Solution: Show up but since they’re celebrating, demand that they pay. Better yet, drink only soft drinks which are cheaper. Even better, say “no thanks” and watch House of Cards on Iflix. You’ll thank me later.
The evergreen charity cause. This person is collecting money for every disease and affliction under the sun. But you always happen to be the first call on their collection list.
Solution: If you go to the supermarket, you’ll see a wide variety of apples. You don’t buy every one of them; you normally stick with the ones you like. Do the same with your charities. Say no to some, and feel okay with that because you’re supporting the ones you like.
The exquisite gifter. Gifts are fine, but when you receive a Gucci bag because you landed a job, you feel obligated to spend your first paycheck with a reciprocal gift of the same value. You’d be happy with a Starbucks card, but this person always gives over and above and makes you feel like you should too.
Solution: Suggest that it would be fun to stick with a dollar limit and try to be creative with your gifts under that limit. The gifts are usually more memorable and fun that way as well.
The encourager. Have you tried this new water yet? Oh, don’t drink out of the tap, that’s so last season. This person convinces you to buy excessively over-the-top items you don’t need but absolutely “must” have.
Solution: Thank them for the advice and never answer their calls again.
The endowed friend. Your tastes might be simple, but for them, it’s too simple. You can’t just eat out; you must eat out at that hip new place where you pay $150 to simply smell the food. Tasting is another $300. It can just get embarrassing to keep saying “no”
Solution: Be honest and let your friend know her tastes are simply out of your budget.
The borrower. This person seems to know your pay dates because they’re always around asking for a quick $20 to tide them over.
Solution: Just say no. Or claim amnesia when they come around. Either solution would be fine.
The key to dealing with all of these people is communication. The real problem is often we don’t feel confident enough to break that “social barrier” and have a discussion about these issues. Getting past that is tricky and awkward at first, but worth it in the long run for your relationships (and your pocket).
If you’re still convinced you’d like to keep these people as friends, having a dialogue will be the best solution for the future.
Do you have friends who are trying to cope with one of the 7 personalities above? It’s likely that they won’t notice it, share this with them and point out which personality they are coping with. You might have helped them. Thanks for reading and have a great week ahead.