Whether you notice it or not, the people whom you interact the most with are likely to shape your financial decisions. Some outcomes are less positive than others. The truth is, you may not be able to change the personalities of the people around. The only thing you can change is your exposure to these people.
Filter out toxic financial relationships by distinguishing these people from the rest:
There is a huge difference between prioritizing your spending and conserving because you do not want to spend your wealth! "Dollar-Pinchers" see money as a tool that they must conserve at all cost. They aim to spend a little money as possible (i.e., synonymous to a cheapskate or a miser).
Let us be realistic. Many of us have encountered a friend who seemingly dissolves when the bill arrives. To save you from an embarrassing moment with the waiter and to keep your Dollar-Pincher quiet, you opt for paying his or her share. Doing so entails that you will spend more than your allotted budget.
As the name suggests, the "Investigator" digs deeper into your life to reap information that you would normally share with your trusted financial planner. He or she desires to know how much you made, saved, and spend. You need to be especially careful if the Investigator is a co-worker. You see, this type of friend is least likely to be concerned with your well being. Anything you say may be used against you.
When it comes to painting my future, I am not afraid to test the waters. I have had several occupations and there was one thing that I noticed. My Investigator friend would constantly pry into my professional life. He would ask me how much my current job offer was and how much my monthly salary is. He goes even further by asking if what was offered was higher than my previous job. Needless to say, we are no longer friends.
If you are a frequenter of various social media platforms, you probably came across a friend who has a seemingly successful life. The "Show-Off" brags about his or her financial capacity by sharing his or her local and international endeavors. It is especially hard when you are roughly the same age as your friend and you find yourself making comparisons between each other's progress.
Regularly bombarding yourself with friends who display or tell you how great they are doing with their finances can trigger unhealthy emotional responses. You may start doubting your monetary choices or start feeling depressed with your career. Please realize that you do not need to keep up with the Show-Off! Simply focus on what you are doing right with your finances.
Be careful! You do not want to be misguided by the "Wheedler". This type of friend uses flattering words and thoughts to entice you to spend beyond the bounds of your financial capability.
To put things into perspective, let us say that you are shopping with your chum Atiqah. You wanted to buy an expensive dress that you do not really need. Instead of politely suggesting to skip on the dress, Atiqah encourages you to purchase it immediately. She continues to shower you with exaggerated pleasantry until you give in. If you cannot change the Wheedler's ways, you must only bring the amount of cash that you are willing to spend with him or her.
It is time to turn the tables around. Search within yourself and examine whether you have been financially toxic to others. Are you willing to change for the better?
Sources: 1 & 2
This article first appeared on Money Digest.sg.