In primary school, a friend was whoever let you copy their homework in the morning before assembly. Later on, a friend became the person who’d invite you to hang out with their posse, or listen to you rant for hours on end about that boy/girl you’d been eyeing at school.
As an adult, your friends can have a profound effect not just on your life, but on your finances, too. Fall in with the wrong crowd and you can find whipping yourself into financial shape that much harder.
Here are four types of people who can have a toxic effect on your finances.
Friends who put pressure on you to spend
Ever told your friends you wouldn’t be able to open a bottle at the club because you were trying to save money and got met with an eye roll and a long, drawn-out “laaame”? When you go shopping with your friends, do they think something is wrong with you if you don’t buy anything?
These are friends who put pressure on you to spend money and maintain the same expensive lifestyle they do. If you can’t keep up with them, you risk getting cut out of the friend circle.
So what can you do? That depends on whether these people are true friends who are willing to maintain the relationship without the glitz and glamour.
If they are, you can be upfront about wanting to spend less and start inviting them to spend time with you in less costly ways. For those who aren’t, you will have to let the relationship fade away unless you are willing to screw up your finances just to hang out with them.
People who judge you for frugal lifestyle choices
Singaporeans are very good at judging, especially when it comes to how much money one has. Being poor or living frugally is looked upon as rather shameful by some. As everyone believes so fiercely in meritocracy, if you aren’t doing well financially it must mean that you are less worthy or less capable.
But when your own friends start to judge you for your lifestyle choices, it might be time to replace them with less narrow minded people.
For instance, anyone who judges you for not being a fashionista or for not being seen at the “right” places deserves a place on Mean Girls, not in your heart.
Whether you’re rich or just generous, beware of freeloaders who’ll try to profit from their association with you by leeching off your money, connections or status.
These people are only interested in being there for you when you’re paying, or if there’s a chance you’ll to introduce to them to somebody useful.
But they never seem to reciprocate. Not only do they never take out their wallets to treat you or pay their share, they’re also never interested in giving you the time of day when you when you just want to talk.
Friends who discourage you from working hard
Battling fatigue and motivating yourself to work hard in an unforgiving environment are hard enough. You don’t need people dragging you down even further.
Certain friends may, whether overtly or subtly, pull you back and stop you from progressing in your career. These friends are often in a less well-off position than you, or are having problems with their own finances, and they feel threatened by the prospect of your surpassing them.
This is a sensitive issue and should be handled with care. Ask yourself if you’ve been rubbing your career successes in their faces or been insensitive, especially if they’re not doing as well as you. Often, you don’t realise it, but you may have done something to alienate your friends.
Do you have any of the above people in your life? Tell us in the comments!