Money lessons learned from my friends

An antique Indian purse used to hold coins. Th...

Image via Wikipedia

They say there’s nothing like living vicariously. Well, there’s nothing like learning vicariously, either!

I’m kind of the go-to person in my circle for info when it comes to, you know, navigating the real world. Things like bonds and tenancies and job rights and whatnot. I gotta admit, sometimes I just have to gape at how out-of-touch people are. People who think I’m well on the way to buying a house (hello, I have been supporting myself for five years! You have had a car bought for you and are having your wedding paid for. I have to foot the bill for all those things, plus I want to do some serious travel before even thinking about settling down and saving another $60k or so.) Who have no idea what it takes to get a mortgage and embark on a rambling discussion about buying for $400k, then upgrading in a few years when it’s appreciated to $550k and so on. ARGH!

But the learning isn’t all one way. Nope, I’ve learned three valuable lessons from my friends.

1. Be frugal, not cheap. It’s not too much to spend $20 on a dinner out every few months. It’s not like we go to expensive places – we’re talking restaurants where mains are as low as $15 a head. We’d rather all pitch in to cover your meal than miss out on the chance to catch up.

2. Whoever holds the purse strings has you by the balls. It’s lovely that your parents are paying for your wedding, but if they pay, they get a say. Headaches ensue.

3. Never, I repeat, NEVER, go into debt to appease your gold-digging partner. Your psychotic, selfish ex will drive you away, eventually, leaving you with nothing but a bulging overdraft.

Yep, there’s nothing like learning from others’ mistakes.

9 thoughts on “Money lessons learned from my friends

  • Reply nicoleandmaggie December 16, 2010 at 12:10

    Excellent lessons to learn from other people’s mistakes!

  • Reply findingserenity2010 December 16, 2010 at 16:00

    Sad but true! Especially that third one. If people really care about you, they won’t make you spend money you don’t have on them

    One thing about your friend bowing out for dinner (I assume), it could be that they feel bad making you pay when they don’t have the money to go or should be prioritizing their money elsewhere. Or they could have some really good leftovers at home 🙂

    I’d feel really guilty in that situation, too, so most of the time I will bow out or try to make alternative plans that don’t cost money

  • Reply Carlee Mallard December 16, 2010 at 17:25

    thaaaaaank you for saying #1. Sure, I’m frugal, but I don’t miss out on life. I prioritize what I want to do. I hate when I want to take my friends somewhere nice for their birthday or something they complain and make up some excuse for not being able to go like “ohhh that’s too far away, I’m trying to save on gas money”. I mean, really? Are you going to save SO MUCH gas money by not driving 15-20 miles somewhere on a special occasion? I can understand not wanting to drive 20 miles each day to work to save on gas money because it adds up… but REALLY???? I’d be happy to give her the $3 in gas money.

  • Reply Amber from Girl with the Red Hair December 16, 2010 at 17:39

    Totally on board with #1 and 3! Don’t totally agree with #2 – but I guess it depends on the parents – my parents have been EXTREMELY helpful to me and Eric with money over the years because they have the extra money to spend – but they’ve never tried to control us in anyway!

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  • Reply Dmarie December 17, 2010 at 12:12

    lucky girl to have figured out so much so early. and learning through your friends is a great way to learn!

  • Reply First Gen American December 18, 2010 at 00:00

    Good ones. Here are a couple I have learned:

    Don’t make a major purchase for emotional reasons. (I need a house to prove that I’ve made it and I’m finally an adult)

    Credit Card Debt is DAMN hard to pay down when you have double digit interest rates (thanks ex boyfriend)

    I think I learned #1 from that friend who goes out to dinner with you and always short pays the check.

  • Reply Financial Samurai December 19, 2010 at 14:39

    With friends, we need to be PLENTIFUL not frugal nor cheap. I totally need to work on that MORE now that I have more money to spend on them.

  • Reply Carnival of Money Stories: Christmas Stories Edition December 20, 2010 at 23:44

    […] Musings of an Abstract Aucklander presents Money Lessons Learned From My Friends. […]

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