They say that you can count your true friends with the number of fingers you have in one hand, if you have counted more than that, chances are, you have over counted.
I am mostly on social media these days and as much as I try to filter my feed with beneficial posts (if there’s even such a thing), I can’t help but come across these rather, very personal, “pay what you owe me” kind of posts, mostly rants. Personally, I get turned off by these kinds of posts and I mostly find myself hitting the “unfollow button” LOL. But on a second thought, these people probably are just having a really hard time with their finances just because they made a wrong move of trusting their “friends” with their money (maybe?).
I gathered eight different types of friends who can negatively impact our finances. See if you can relate to some of them; below are the first four types.
There’s a huge difference between having somebody who actually wants you to be part of their excitement when they purchase something and somebody who just wants to bring you along so s/he can show off! It’s really about the motive and intent. Some friends are known as self-publicists or show-offs; I wonder if you have someone like this in your circle?
Believe it or not, self-publicists love it when their friends are green with envy. And while it’s completely normal for people to feel a little jealous when their friends are acquiring stuff and having the time of their lives, it becomes not normal when you are surrounded with “friends” who enjoy it when you feel that way.
2. THE OPTIMIST
Being positive in life actually helps ease a few challenges. But when it comes to finances, you can’t be too careless about being positive because you could end up somewhere you don’t want to be.
The optimist friend can say, “Don’t worry too much if you go over-budget, life happens but you will recover!” or “Everything will be OK.” Financial optimists can be all sunny, sometimes, being too extreme about it. While having a pessimistic friend doesn’t really bring you any good, having one who is too positive about things, especially money can just spell the same disaster.
3. THE MEDDLER
You received a promotion at work and the meddler wants to know how much additional pay you are getting. You purchased a new handbag or a car, and the meddler wants to know how much they cost. The meddler does just that – meddling and getting his/her nose in your business. Do you have a friend like that?
Meddlers put themselves in charge of making sure they know exactly everything that’s happening and this information may be used as a means for measuring up, talking you down or even gossip – so be very careful about the information you disclose.
4. THE “ALWAYS THE BETTER ONE”
It doesn’t matter how great things are going for you; you will always have that friend who will always be the better one or compete to be the better one! If you just bought your first car, this friend will get a better car than what you have. If you’re going on a vacation, his/her vacation will be a grander one!
The problem with these friends who think that they are always the better one is that you can go on a competition with them and that will put your finances in a very difficult situation. And even if you think your finances can handle the competition, this type of friends will never give up, no matter how perfect your life seems to be, they will always fashion a more flawless one. Bottom line is, you will never win.
5. THE INTIMIDATOR
A financial intimidator or what others call the bully is someone who constantly plays you down and makes you feel sorry for your life. Most of the time, this intimidator presents his or herself as someone way better than you, financially speaking. S/he can subtly tell you: “You’re on a tight budget for a movie night, right?”
Financial intimidators thrive on being the “boss” and they find power in targeting people’s shortcomings and insecurities. And take note, even when they appear financially capable, they might actually be having a tight personal budget themselves – they just never show it. Instead of focusing on improving financial management, financial intimidators would rather change their point of focus to a different target.
6. THE COERCER
It’s a holiday and it’s the only time you and your friends can spend some quality time together. So the coercer wants to go all out beginning the day with brunch at your favorite cafe, onto a movie date and then finally capping the night with drinks and night out. Unfortunately, you know very well that a whole day with your friends could mean denting your budget for the week or month. But of course, the coercer doesn’t care about that, instead, s/he will make you feel like you’re not invested in your “friendship” when you say no.
While being in this kind of situation makes you feel guilty, you need to understand that real friendships never pressure you into spending money or maxing out your credit card just for the sake of blending in.
7. THE ACTIVATOR
“You deserve that new pair of shoes because you work so hard!”, “Life is short, just buy the bag!” – these are the words of the activator. Of course, activators think they are just being positive and being your friend, they want you to have a happy and great life but what they do not know is they might not be helping you at all.
Shopping with an activator friend who encourages you to spend your money even without first considering your finances and budget can be dangerous because you can eventually end up putting your money into places it shouldn’t be. Even the most dedicated savers are bound to be destroyed when purchases are justified.
8. THE BORROWER
I intentionally put this one last on the list because I often see posts about such “friends” and I believe we’ve encountered one in our lives.
Borrowers can be categorized into two: there are those who are actually short on money but because they don’t want to miss out on gatherings and events so they borrow money.
Second are those who aren’t actually short on cash, they are just cheap; so when they see the chance that someone in the circle can take care of the bill, they let that person take care of it.
Have you encountered any of these two kinds of borrowers?
So there goes the 8 types of friends who can spell DISASTER for your finances. You see, money can be at times user-friendly (pun intended). Seriously, I hope we all take time to re-evaluate the kinds of friendships that we have. I don’t encourage you to cut ties with those friends, just simply know how they’re impacting your life. A little distance won’t hurt, in fact, it can even be healthier for your friendship.