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Your money, my way

April 4th, 2010 at 05:20 am

I suppose I'm not an easy person to be friends with.

However, as a person who has worked hard and made much personal sacrifice in order to get out of debt and make some kind of financial progress, I get kind of sensitive when people talk about how they think I should spend my money on them.

They don't want to be fiscally responsible. They don't want to hear any ideas about saving money. They just gotta have what they want, right then and there, even if it means going into serious debt. Fine.

But when you are finally into serious debt, and you don't want to find even a part-time job to alleviate your debts, please don't look at me like I'm a meal ticket. And no, even if it didn't involved my money, I still don't think your business idea is that great to begin with.

Did I mention the part where I've made much personal sacrifice to get to where I am? I don't think I can emphasize this part enough. And even then, it's not like I'm rolling in it. Far from it.

I guess I'm just venting. In the end, we all live our own lives, and I should make my feelings clearer. Anybody else have similar problems like this?

10 Responses to “Your money, my way”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    Oh yes! I've written a couple of posts about a friend. She isn't technically asking for help, but she seems to want be to agree that taking out a 401K loan to pay off debt was a good idea. I think she's just starting to realize the personal sacrifice she is going to have to make to get things under control, but I'll believe it when I see it.

  2. MonkeyMama Says:

    Not really, because I have always been pretty fiscally conscious and have always attracted like people. I just heard the other day that your income will be within 10% of your closest friends, or something like that. I think Dave Ramsey said it. I don't know the truth behind the statement, but I Certainly believe the sentiment behind it.

    I think when digging your way out of a hole, you have to re-evaluate your friendships. Suddenly, your old friendships just don't jive.

    I think a lot of people take this to mean that someone like me is cold and callous. Not at all. I have acquaintances of all types. I just don't spend a lot of time and effort on close friendships with people you describe. At some point they think you should take responsibility for them. & there will always be a ton of unresolved conflict there. I'll have a beer with these people, but I am not going to discuss my finances or get real deep with them.

    I also find it's better just not to talk about finances so much. If people think you are doing well financially, you start to attract people who just want your money. I think this is more true when you transform yourself. I feel extraordinarily lucky not to have people like this in my life, but I also know on some level it isn't all luck. (I keep reading about bloggers who have broke friends asking for loans, as they celebrate getting out of debt. IT's like winning the lottery - the less people that know, the better. People really come out of the woodwork when they smell money).

    Keep your friends, but put some distance between you. Your friendship is forever altered - because you are now a different person. That's the long and the short of it.

  3. MonkeyMama Says:

    P.S. Actions speak louder than words. I don't think your friends are lost causes, necessarily. All you can do is keep doing what works for you. I wouldn't be surprised if they some day come around, and seriously turn to you for financial advice (as they watch you succeed). But you have to accept the reality that it may not happen, and likely not anytime soon. So you need a plan to deal with all the conflict in the interim.

  4. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    Hope you get a lot of responses. This really interests me.

    I had a buddy for almost 30 years who I suspected kept up with me in part because I was a "small change" source to her. I always knew the relationship was a bit off kilter, but let it ride. Over the last 14 years, she evidently thought I was unemployed, yet I'd get occasional requests for small loans. She never asked about my employment, so I just decided to not be the first to mention it, lest she be stimulated to ask for larger sums and/or more often. (I'm married so I guess she figured I was totally supported by my DH.) I then felt amused to have this buddy who did not have an inkling about such a major matter in my life--for such a long time! Weirdly, I even felt I held some sort of power in her not knowing about my work/earnings. We enjoyed each other as buddies, and I think she enjoyed thinking she could manipulate me a little or play on my sympathies to get some money every now and then. In the end, she dumped me, I think trying to avoid paying back her last, largest loan. I have not lost a friend of deep bonding, or even to whom I could turn for minor help in everyday situations. It was a long lasting buddy-ship, but it is okay if a money wedge broke us apart.

  5. pjmama Says:

    Though I've never found myself in this situation, I'm sure I would have a similar response. I wish people would take more responsibility for their actions and finances...

  6. baselle Says:

    I haven't had that in awhile, but I used to have it when I was a grad student with other grad students. What worked okay for me was that I would loan to acquaintances the first time, and if I was paid back, fine. The second time, "I'm sorry, but you haven't paid me back the first time." Then walk away. It is a little sad that I had to play accountant acquaintance, but there it is. Doesn't work at all with friends - just didn't go there in the first place.

    With my friends now the issue is the "must be nice to have money" comment. No matter the amount of money, there's always a money problem. If its not a lack of it, its what to do with it.

    America says that "to be an adult, you have to have spent x." X is inevitably something extremely expensive (house, car, business). Too bad people believe it.

  7. blackdiamond Says:

    I'm not sure if this qualifies but I have a roommate (see one of my recent blogs) like this.

    I wanted to move out, because we really aren't getting alone, and when I told him this I had to listen to him whine about how if I do, he will be broke, will have to stop paying his cc's etc. Yet, he bought a $250K house (with 0% down) with a friend (who lives in the apt. upstairs and is unemployed). They rely on me for $400/mo and the downstairs neighbor for $900/mo. Downstairs neighbor is my BFF. If I leave, they know BFF will likely leave within a year. BFF has a lease. I don't.

    However… My roommate buys lots of nice clothes and goes out drinking with his friends all the time. He is terrified of what will happen and he loses my rent and utility payments. He routinely has $20 only in his bank account and I think he has something like $900 in cash savings. He has cashed out his 401K 3 times. He just did it again a month ago.

    He has $17K or so in cc debt, tons of student loans, a few personal loans, a car loan etc. He was very used to being able to rely on credit and taking out loans to pay off loans in the past and now with the credit crunch, he can't do it any more.

    Yet, he refuses to change his lifestyle. I have tried to help him. I have gone over his credit report with him. I have tried to help him find good BT deals. But I will not loan him money and I will not stay living there just because he is irresponsible.

    I told him last week that he'd have more money if he didn't go out drinking with his buddies every night. His response was "Well, you went out Wednesday". Yes, I went out Wednesday with my FI and we had a $25 gift card to the Olive Garden. We spent $20 and left a tip.

    In my last blog, I talk about how I wish I had bought a $99 coat I saw this weekend. I had the cash but I was responsible. I regret it now because the coat is gone and after debating, I realized it would be a worthwhile purchase. Anyway, I just remembered, roommate has a $250 coat he charged with a KOHLS card after Xmas sales. He was bragging about it. Ugh.

    Some people just don't "get it".

  8. ambitioussaver Says:

    As a fiscally responsible friend, the best thing you can do is to let them fall down on their own. My BFF tried bailing us out once but I told her "No, I don't mix friends and money"

    Friends are to help support you & be a positive outlet in your life. You're being a fantastic friend by not enabling bad behavior and not encouraging them to make decisions that will affect them negatively.

    Remember, it takes a better friend to say "No" than it does the one who enables. Think of their compulsive spending habits like an addict. Addicts have poor impulse control and it manifests in different ways... drugs, alcohol, sex, and this particular person's just seems to be spending money.

  9. ceejay74 Says:

    baselle, I got duped using that system once! A guy I was dating asked for a $400 loan to get him through to payday. I loaned it (using my overdraft, as this was back in my crazy days) and he paid it back within a week. A month or so later he asked for a slightly larger amount, maybe $600, which again I took out using my overdraft, and he never paid it back. In fact, he dumped me a couple weeks later. And kept a laptop I'd loaned him too. Sigh. I still think he wasn't a bad guy, just ashamed that he couldn't pay me back. But needless to say, that was the first and only time I loaned money to a friend or significant other. So be warned everyone: Just because you get paid back once, it doesn't make that friend a sure thing to pay you back a second time.

    Sorry I hijacked your post, BA, but baselle's post really brought back memories!

  10. Broken Arrow Says:

    Not at all, Ceejay. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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