Ugh – I made my friend cry. And not the single tear shed type of cry but a weepy, snotty, high pitched squealy type of balling that can make some recoil in horror. Mind you, these tears came a flowin’ after us polishing off a bottle of wine so regardless of the topic I am pretty sure the end result was inevitable…
Anywho, here’s how it went.
Her – Girl, I miss you!! We need to hang out like this more often!
Me – Yes, we do! But, I have to be honest, as much as I love seeing you, I can’t afford to hang out with you! Every time we go out I come home with a spending hangover that takes me days (sometimes weeks) to recover from.
Now her eyes start to tear up…
Me cont… – Well, that’s not true. It isn’t that I can’t afford to go, I just choose to spend my money in different ways. And that’s ok! I have asked several times if you want to go for a walk or I’ll bring wine up to your pool deck and we can hang and chat, but you always want to go out instead. Going out like you do (every day) is a major splurge for me and my lifestyle so it is something I have to limit myself in doing.
Her eyes are spilling over and the lip is quivering…here it comes!
Her – But we all have the same job and make the same amount of money! I am sick of people saying they can’t afford to go out with me!!!
Apparently, I am not the only one telling her this…
Me – Yes, we all make the same amount. But we all choose to spend it differently. You like your nice centrally located apartment with the finest of furnishings, lovely labeled clothing, and fine meals out. I love hanging with my dog, traveling on a dime, and my small Ikea furnished condo off the beaten path. I love to cook and drink wine from a box (it’s a new thing I’m testing and although I love the environmental impact of fewer bottles and packaging, I am still not sold on the wine itself). So we have a lifestyle conflict. Of course, we are still friends, but I need to be more ME in this friendship.
Now – if it wasn’t for our other friend at the table backing me up, I am pretty sure she would have gotten up and walked out. But she didn’t and so the conversation continued. We assured her that we love her no matter what but we were making choices in our financial lives that no longer align with hers (not that mine ever did but softening the blow in these situations is a more effective approach). Our friend just had baby #2 and I am within 6 years of financial independence. Those are OUR priorities. She took a moment to listen and then declared:
Her – Well, I have chosen to live in the moment.
Me – And I LOVE that about you!!
All she needed was to realize that she was making a choice as well. Now that she has a mantra, she will be able to go out and feel good about the choices she is making – regardless of what others think. And besides my favorite money mantra, A million dollars starts with one cent, I have adopted a revised version of hers…
I will live in the moment provided I won’t regret it in the morning. 🙂
** Have you made a friend cry or do you have any spendy friends you are avoiding? Have you made it work with them in another way? Share your knowledge!! I feel I may be up for round two with this friend in the months to come! 🙂 **
Until next time…