Money & Friendships: 5 Ways to Stay Focused On Your Goals and Your Squad

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About the Author

Meet Brittan, a Personal Financial Advisor for her self-founded company, SavviHer, in Cleveland, Ohio. She is also a previous course creator for Rise. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, Brittan is passionate about helping young women break into the world of financial management and develop a network of financial advisors. Brittan advocates for changing the outdated way the financial industry approaches and works with women. Here, Brittan talks about how to navigate friends and financial responsibilities. Enjoy!

Money & Friendships: 5 Ways to Stay Focused On Your Goals and Your Squad

The One With Five Steaks and an Eggplant.

Either this is the most random title you’ve ever read, or you know that this represents that one Friends episode where the famous group of pals got themselves all fired up over money. In the episode, the gang goes out to eat at a fancy restaurant and soon find themselves arguing over how to split the bill. Half of the group ordered cheaper side menu items while the other half ordered from the menu, but yet, there’s always that one person in the group totally fine with splitting the bill evenly. When Ross is “that guy” and suggests everyone each cough up $30 for the dinner, chaos ensues.

Have you been here before? Replace “fancy restaurant” with any other expense, and it’s likely you’ve found yourself in this situation before: wanting to participate in whatever the group is doing, likely having no actual clue how to afford the event, and then ultimately, ending up in one of two situations:

  1. Removing yourself from the situation, but ultimately ending up with a horrible case of FOMO
  2. Participating in the event but immediately feeling the pangs of guilt and debt sink in the next day

There are no two ways around it: it can be dang near impossible to manage your finances and your friendships without feelings getting hurt.

More often than not, money brings out the worst in people. Sure, money isn’t necessarily to blame for every argument you and your friends get into, but money (or lack thereof) can lead to some difficult situations that may ruin friendships if you’re not careful.

So, what can you do to prevent money from impacting your relationships? The answer is honestly more obvious than you think: stay in your own lane.

Focusing on what you can afford, what experiences you can indulge in, what goals you have, and what your wiggle room your budget allows is the name of the game. We get into trouble when we begin the comparison game and try to judge or understand what “everyone else” is doing. Here’s the thing: just as it is not anyone else’s business how and what you spend your money on, it is therefore also not your business to decide how anyone else should spend their money and prioritize financially.

The next time your group of friends makes any plans involving money, keep these suggestions in mind:

1. Plan Ahead

By putting a budget in place and analyzing your spending habits each month, you can more easily save and proactively plan for those impromptu events with your friends. If you have a plan, you’ll feel more empowered to take advantage of fun opportunities when the time is right and will do so without experiencing the massive guilt hangover afterwards.

2. Prioritize

What are your financial priorities? Do you have debt and loans to pay off? Are you hoping to accumulate substantial savings for a big purchase or upcoming trip? Maybe you’re getting married or are in about a hundred weddings this upcoming #weddingszn and need to have a travel budget in place. Whatever you have going on, be sure you prioritize your spending and saving accordingly. Sure, that group ski trip may seem like the social event of the year, but keep in mind that other events happen once in a lifetime, and you won’t want to miss those because you misallocated your funds.

3. Propose an Alternative

There’s nothing wrong with grabbing the reins and taking charge. Got an idea for something else your group can do? Propose it! Instead of the most expensive girls’ night out, host your friends yourself with a little BYOB! If potlucks aren’t your thing, consider picking up a few delicious food trays from your favorite caterer or restaurant and asking the girls to chip in a bit. Sure, this event still costs money, but when you consider all that you’ll save by not ordering drinks at the bar, hailing your third Uber of the night, and ordering that over-priced appetizer plate at the restaurant, staying in starts to look like an attractive option!

4. Focus on YOU

In the day and age where social media makes everything so public, it can be incredibly difficult not to compare yourself and your situation with those of your friends. Keep in mind, what people tend to post or share is often times a “highlight reel” of sorts. After all, how often do your friends post when they’re feeling lonely, sad, or disappointed? Those feelings are real, and happen to use all. We’re all human, and each of us has our unique set of circumstances and financial priorities. As Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” You never know what difficulties someone might be facing or what financial pressures they experience. Focus on you, your needs, your goals, and what you can control.

5. Be a Good Friend

Honesty, accountability, loyalty, and trust: four key parts of any worthwhile friendship that absolutely cost nothing at all. It may seem as though there is a cost of entry associated with becoming part of a specific friend group or getting the coveted invite, but keep in mind what really matters – being real, being “there”, and being you. Friends come and go as we age and our geographies and priorities change, but there are true friendships that do hold up and stand the test of time. These rewarding friendships are worth fighting for, and likely, will not leave your budget high and dry.

“I hope my content serves as the catalyst women need to feel more confident in joining the conversation so that they, too, can take ownership of their own financial health.”

You can learn more about Brittan and checkout the great things she’s up to at her blog,

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