This is a question you need to ask yourself when it comes to your financial path to independence. Friends, as much you love them, might not be the best people to rely on or emulate when it comes to money matters. More often than not, they might end up actually sabotaging your good intentions. Here is how to recognize if your friends are doing more harm than good and what to do about it.
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Your friends are your rock. The ones that bring you back down to earth when your head is up in the clouds. They are there to comfort you when your love life goes horribly wrong . The ones you can call in the middle of the night, and the ones who will have your back. All that being said, when it comes to money, they can unknowingly pull you down with them. Let’s face it, chances are that if you are struggling with money, so are your friends. Misery loves company as the saying goes, and they would of course prefer for you to be in the same boat with them. Once you get tired of constantly being broke and decide to do something about it, your path differs from theirs (assuming they don’t share your enthusiasm). They will not understand why you need to do things differently. You might try to enlighten them of course, but they might not be ready to face up to their debt ridden life and consequences.
Being broke can leave you:
- Anxious – Constantly trying to stay one step ahead of the bill collector is not fun. Juggling your utility bills, rent, car note etc. adds up to a big chunk of your pay.
- Stressed – Nothing makes you more stressed than money woes. Restlessness, inability to sleep or concentrate and non-stop worrying.
- Depressed – A natural progression for many people with money problems. Financial worries makes you feel unworthy and with low self esteem. This should be a major concern and a wake-up call.
- Health Issues – It is not unusual for people with financial problems to resort to drinking more, eating excessively and over medicating, all in an effort to avoid facing their problems.
It is important for you to realize that if your friends do not support your journey to financial independence, you might just need to leave them behind because your paths are different. They may resent the fact that you choose to stay in and eat a home cooked meal instead of checking out that hot new restaurant that costs gobs of money. They may not understand why you choose to keep on fixing minor issues and driving your old car when you could just easily buy a new one, financed of course, adding even more to your debt. They may not understand that for you, not buying that latest handbag or the brand name shoes means the money you save goes to paying down your debt, leaving you with less stress and more satisfaction. A Staycation instead of a vacation to exotic places can leave you just as satisfied. They may start to pull away from you, maybe even resent you, especially after you make solid progress and have a better outlook on life. Consider yourself lucky.
What to do if your friends are sabotaging your financial Path?
- Find your tribe filled with like-minded people. You are responsible for yourself only. There are Facebook groups filled with many on the same journey.
- Find our your net worth and work towards increasing it. Good friends will stick by you because they should want what is best for you. If they resent you, they are not friends, and are best avoided.
- Set your budget and stick to it. Do not deviate from your path. It will pay off handsomely. Work on living a frugal lifestyle without depriving yourself.
- Read. Knowledge is power. Learn from what others before you have done. This not only encourages you, but will stop you from repeating the same mistakes.
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Have you had friends sabotage your financial journey? If yes, How did you handle it?