A LiveRichLiveWell.com piece on “How Your Friends Affect Your Finances” offers interesting food for thought on friends and financial planning. You may see yourself as an individual and not even realize the ways in which the friends you keep can influence your financial planning decisions and your daily spending habits.
Birds of a feather flock together…
You may choose your friends because their habits, whether good or bad, reflect yours. Friends can encourage you to save and invest…and they can also lure you into overspending.
Something you may not have considered: your friends’ attitudes about their work may affect you as well. If many of your friends dislike their work and complain about it often, you may be right there with them. Have you considered the impact this can have on your career over time?
On the other hand as the article notes, “If our friends are ambitious, hard-working, and future oriented, we probably will be too.” Cultivating friendships with fellow strivers can be good for your finances.
Make new friends but keep the old?
According to writer Samuel Butler, “Friendship is like money, easier made than kept.” (If you find it challenging to make money, you might dispute that…but consider what happens with your money right after you get it.)
Some of us might prefer to read more books and watch more programs on money management than consider that our friends may not be helping us reach our financial goals. But consider this: what if your friends are also secretly longing to be more fiscally responsible? Perhaps all of you are spending money on dining out and entertainment to impress each other and pretending that your wallets aren’t hurting because of it. Consider being the one to ask if perhaps you could do more potlucks or find other ways to enjoy each other’s company and spend less.
While the people you socialize with and confide in do affect your finances, you can also seek the help of a neutral third party, such as a Fee-Only financial planner.