Money can be an uncomfortable conversation to have with friends. We admit! Fears of being judged about having little or too much or even being taxed by those who might want to take advantage of our openness can cause us to shy away from the topic all the same.
We could talk about anything from politics, religion, fashion, music, sex, food, name it — but the moment money slips into our discussions, our awkward defences come to play.
“Is she about to beg me for money?”, “What could they mean?”. Our brains begin to calculate what we should say. Given the recent spate of urgent 2ks, who’s to blame?
But if our friendships are to endure the test of time, money will eventually pop up. It’s almost unavoidable like the air we breathe. This is why we advise having the conversation early enough to create boundaries.
Even more important, money convos open the door for understanding your friends better. They also provide opportunities to financially grow together.
Here are six tips to talk about money with friends.
- Start the conversation: What other way would you begin a task other than starting it? Now, I don’t mean you should barrage them with how much they earn and what’s in their bank accounts. But with simple and comfortable starters like what would they do with ₦1M? or do they save or invest?
Such questions will reveal their values and relationship with money and ultimately lead you to more important questions. Be sure to take a slow approach that is focused on building trust, support and a safe space for them to share their opinions.
2. Don’t Judge: While your friends open up their financial lives to you, please don’t judge them. We all have our individual backgrounds and money mindsets that affect our view of money. We are also on our individual financial journeys that are riddled with trials and successes. So don’t judge if yours is rosy at the moment. Remember, you’ve had your share of money mistakes too.
3. Focus on money topics rather than numbers: People find it awkward talking about how much they earn or how much they have saved up. Rather shift the conversation to topics like what their thoughts on savings and investing, budget-friendly methods you’re willing to try, a saving app you currently use, and their thoughts about retirement planning. Don’t count your friend’s money for them. And don’t make your conversations an interview.
4. Talk about financial goals: What do they think about retirement planning? What financial milestones would they love to achieve in the next year? Let your conversations be impact-oriented and positively driven. Remember iron sharpens iron. Be the friend you want to attract.
5. Be honest: Do you have a friend who seems to outsmart your other friends? They never financially contribute to events but are always the biggest recipients of group efforts. They never have and when they do they do, it’s too hard to get them to give?
Trust me, I know it might sound awkward to address the elephant in the room but you’ve got to be honest with your friend about how you feel.
Don’t keep the emotions bottled up. Constructively fill them in on their actions and create boundaries. If they are unwilling to change, you’ll have to choose occasions that won’t bring money into the picture.
6. Celebrate their financial wins: Be supportive of your friends, which includes whether they are trying to negotiate a raise at work, get a better job, accomplish a financial goal or start a business. Join them to enjoy their financial moments.
Respect and empathy are key elements to hold in your money conversation with friends. Respect the code and watch your friendship circle grow financially. Good luck!
Dara from HerVest