You can’t escape the fact: money makes the world go round. Everyone’s always thinking about money: how to make it, spend it, save it and talk about it. But it can be a sticky subject to navigate, especially in social situations.
That’s because money is deeply personal. Some people will openly chat or complain about it, while for others, what’s in their wallet is private.
So, how do you handle group pressies? What do you do when a friend asks you for cash? Is there a delicate way to deal with friends that don’t pay you back?
Here’s how to mind your money manners.
1. Consider your friend’s financial sitch before making plans.
We all have that one friend who always wants to go to the swankiest bars and restaurants. And that’s fine, if they have the fat paycheck to support it – but it can make everyone else feel uncomfortable.
When you’re planning a night out, think about the people you’re inviting. If they’re still studying, earning a lot less than you, or saving for something, be sensitive to that. Suggest heading to a happy hour, when drinks are less expensive, or grabbing a cheap and cheerful pub meal. That way, nobody has to nervously check their bank account the next morning.
2. Don’t assume people want to spend money on the same things you do.
Let’s say you’re planning a holiday with your friend, who you know earns more money than you. But when you throw out a few ideas for hotels, she comes back saying that she’d rather stay at an Airbnb or hostel.
Rather than trying to convince her that the hotels are actually pretty affordable, or that they’re worth the $$$, try to compromise.
Maybe she has debt she’s paying off. Maybe she prefers splashing her cash on food and experiences over accommodation when she travels. Everyone has their own reasons for spending or not spending money, and that’s okay!
3. Don’t judge people for spending money on things you wouldn’t.
People work hard for their money, and they’re free to spend it on whatever they damn well please. If your co-worker buys her lunch every weekday, that’s cool.
If your sister gets a weekly mani, that’s fine too – even though you think it’s ridiculous to pay someone to paint your nails. What you consider a waste of money might be someone else’s simple pleasure.