Friends. They can certainly be a blessing in anyone’s life. Unfortunately, we sometimes have friends who have negative qualities which can affect our lives and relationships as well. It’s far too easy to ignore the signs and pretend that these friends aren’t really negatively influencing our decisions. For instance, you may have friends who borrow money without paying you back, or who encourage you to buy things you can’t afford. These types of friends can be deadly to your finances. Here are some of the types of friends that you need to be on the lookout for so you can protect your finances from them.
Do you have a friend who always asks you to spot them money but forgets to pay you back? Maybe they’re always asking to borrow something you own but never end up returning that item. If so, this person is the mooch in your group of friends. A friend who mooches off of you is bad for your finances because they’re essentially taking money from you without the intention of ever returning it.
Sometimes everyone needs a little encouragement to buy something they’ve desire but are hesitant about purchasing. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, a friend who constantly enables you to buy something is a bad influence. This is a type of person who might encourage or persuade you to buy every item of clothing you try on, any car you look at, twice the amount of food you need, or a bunch of books, video games, movies, or electronics that you can’t afford. The enabler might not realize what they’re doing, but they’re harmful to your finances because before you know it, their suggestions and encouragements have made you spend hundreds of dollars without realizing it.
A friend who is a perfectionist is someone who feels that everything that needs to be done exactly in relation to their concept of perfection. That means no compromising even when the finances don’t allow for the very best and insisting on all the extras when those extras aren’t necessarily in the budget. While perfection has it’s place and time, having a friend who insists on perfection on every activity the two of you do can quickly drain your finances.
The miser is similar to the toll collector as they’re the type of person who never wants to part with their money. This is someone who tries to get out of paying their fair share. Such a person is bad for your finances because you run the risk of paying for your portion in addition to part of theirs. Have you ever planned an event with this person and ended up paying for most of it because they didn’t want to chip in? There’s a difference between a friend who is on a budget and a friend who is stingy. The miser falls into the stingy category.
A friend who manipulates you in any way is not a good friend to have. One who does so with money is the type of person you want to avoid having as a friend. This is a person who will manipulate you into either loaning them money or paying for their purchases. They might try and guilt you into it or claim you owe them money. Regardless, this person is a very big negative influence on your finances.
Do you have a friend who constantly asks how much money you make, how much you paid for a certain item, or if you have any outstanding loans or debt? These are questions that no one has the right to know the answer to unless you want to tell them. It might make you second guess your financial status or reveal too much information about your finances to a third party. Anyone who asks after your finances, especially when they have no business asking, is someone you should be careful around.
Do you have a friend who always wants to one up you when it comes to items you own? Maybe you bought a new car and then they went out a bought an even better car. Maybe you went on a nice vacation and then they decided to brag about their three month long vacation in Europe. A friend who is constantly trying to compete without is damaging for many reasons. But when it comes to your finances, you have to be careful that you don’t start trying to one up them.
Do you have a friend who judges you for what you buy? Maybe they sneer when you don’t buy clothing from a famous designer or food that’s organic. These friends might mean well, but their judging attitude could influence you to buy something way out of your price range for the simple fact that you don’t want to offend them. They’ll make you second guess your purchases and lifestyle which will have a lasting negative influence on your financial state.
The Wealthy Friend
While having a friend who is well off is nothing to be ashamed about, it could come with some negative side effects. What happens if they suggest going out to eat at a restaurant that is way out of your price range? Or what if they want to go away from a trip and it’s something you could never afford? They might mean well or be totally harmless, but it could end up with you spending more money just so you don’t feel like the “poor friend”.
The Jealous Friend
Having a jealous friend is similar to having a friend who is a manipulator, miser, gossip, or competitor. They might always question your purchases, making such statements as, “I didn’t know you could afford that”. This type of friend is not good for your mindset as they might be purposefully trying to make you feel guilty for their financial insecurity.
(Photo courtesy of Jack Newton)