How to Spend Time With Friends Who Have More Money than You

By Precious I May 7, 2024

Navigating social gatherings and financial obligations can sometimes feel like walking a tightrope. Each occasion has its price tag, from dinners to weddings to concerts. And in a group of friends, financial situations can vary widely. While one person might see an evening out as no big deal, another might struggle to make ends meet. So, how do you balance socializing and spending without causing strain on your friendships or your wallet?

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Firstly, take a moment to reassess your financial priorities, especially considering any changes. Kathleen Burns Kingsbury, a wealth psychology expert, suggests reflecting on where you want to allocate your time, money, and resources. By identifying what experiences mean more to you, you can make more informed decisions on how to spend your money and when to decline invitations politely.

For example, if you realize that live music is something you deeply missed during quarantine, you might choose to forego expensive dinners in favor of purchasing concert tickets. If catching up with friends is your priority, consider hosting a more budget-friendly gathering like a potluck dinner or a movie night.

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Taking a proactive approach to your finances can also help take away the stress of social spending. Aja Evans, a financial therapist, suggests creating a budget that fits your financial goals. A clear understanding of your financial limits can empower you to make choices that align with your priorities.

And remember, it’s okay to decline invitations that don’t fit within your budget. Your true friends will understand and not question your decision. Kathleen Burns Kingsbury emphasizes that, especially in the wake of COVID-19, many people are more empathetic to financial struggles, regardless of their income level.

Conversely, if you find yourself in the position of being the friend with more financial flexibility, it’s essential to be understanding of your friends’ situations. While you may be able to afford lavish dinners and concerts, not everyone can. Practice empathy and avoid judgment when friends decline invitations due to financial constraints.

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Communication is key in navigating these situations. Openly discussing money with your friends can help foster understanding and support. Starting the conversation with “I” statements and keeping it casual can make it easier for everyone involved. And remember, the more you talk about money, the more comfortable and willing your friends may become to share their financial experiences and challenges.