On dinners, lending cash, asking relatives, and friends favors. Read to know certain rules that you need to follow as an adult.
The majority of the conversations in our day-to-day life involve money matters. Once considered a part of life today money has become life. You are judged based on how much money you have and how much you spend.
You are either tagged as wealthy, stingy, frugal, and greedy by people, keeping money as the deciding factor of your attitude towards them. To an extent, we can’t ignore the comments nor get influenced by them but make sure to have certain principles and strategies to manage and save money for the long-term benefits especially if you are a mature adult.
Here are a few ways to follow the rules of money etiquette:
- Call A Spade A Spade
If you are asking a friend for dinner, and very well know they earn more than you, they might think otherwise about the particular restaurant you chose stating it is out of their price range — even though it’s in yours. Think twice before even trying to convince them that it’s actually pretty affordable.
What can be the reasons or possibilities?
- Maybe they have debt you are not aware of.
- They might be saving for something.
- Maybe they don’t like or prefer that kind of food or eating out.
- Maybe it’s something beyond your guess or you’ll never find out about it.
Whatever it is, everyone has their explanations and reasons for spending (or not spending) and as a good friend, it’s your duty to respect those choices rather than ignoring them.
2. Don’t Be Judgmental On Someone Else’s Decision
Never judge anybody’s way of life because they know what is best, how to manage their finances even if it is wrong.
Your shortcoming and frustration should not be expressed on somebody who is better than you financially. If your co-worker gets a weekly manicure then so be it. That’s cool!
You might feel it’s absolutely ludicrous that why would you pay someone to paint their nails when they could do it on their own at home? At the end of the day, it’s their money, not yours so relax and work towards your financial goals and strategies.
Stop being judgmental, be instrumental!
3. Respect Your Friend’s Financial Circumstances
If you truly want to celebrate the friendship with your pals then respect their financial situations.
Come on, it is an easy one. For instance, if your friend earns less than you, is watchful about his spending, is ready to sacrifice his happiness by hiding his emotions as well as money, or is saving for something else, let him decide and come to an understanding about where to meet.
Naturally, expect them to recommend or suggest a place that is within their budget and reach. It could be saving money on the fuel or transport cost to reach the place, a menu at the restaurant that can work out in terms of quantity, taste, and price.
It’s better to hand-over the reins to your friends, instead of waiting for them to sheepishly push back on something that you insist on.
A friend in need is a friend indeed!
4. Rethink About Splitting The Bill
Now, this is something every Tom, Dick, and Harry in the town would have experienced and come across. A millennial reunion after a long time or a regular meet-up means eating and drinking. While all this was happening there was someone in the pack who might have said no to a drink and ordered the cheapest thing on the menu. Splitting the bill evenly in spite of someone not being a part of it is a rude thing to do. Even worse if you yourself refused to eat or drink everything that was ordered on the table then paying only for what you consumed is fine!
But, if each member of the party insists on splitting the bill evenly then go ahead because your thoughtfulness will still be appreciated.
5. Group Gifting or Outing, Let Everyone Share Their Budget Before Planning
Look, you know your circle of friends the best, but it must be noted that the onset of WhatsApp has given birth to a lot of gift-related group chats and a breeding ground for peer anxiety and pressure.
Out of somewhere, everyone agrees that $50 is a reasonable birthday collection amount, while one person had budgeted to spend only $20 and now feels too awkward and is tight-lipped to put forth his comments. If you’re the person organizing a joint gift, it is advisable reaching out to people individually to gauge their interest and fix a reasonable dollar amount.
6. Stop Negotiating With A Skilled Friend
We all have friends who are working in various jobs and are skilled in a particular job. If you have something up your sleeves and need the help of your friend who is the perfect fit for the job like – design websites, take photos, fix the leaking pipe, cab service to drop you at some destination – and you are seeking their help or work for them then it isn’t a free service, mind you.
You should represent yourself to them as a normal customer because it is their job, they are doing it for a living and they are the bread whiner of the family. Your time can be their earnings from someone else. They will surely refuse your payment, and that’s fine. It’s the love and affection of the friendship, and that’s fine, but you still have to make your offer.
7. Do You Owe Money To Someone? Pay them Back Right Away
Whether it’s a pandemic or not, few things don’t change like returning the money that you borrowed from your pal. We are all in the same shit so nobody is really doing well financially. Borrowing money is much easier than repaying it and agreed that you wanted that money to settle something very urgent but at least you can fix a timeline to return the money. It’s embarrassing for your friend to follow-up about the money he lent you and is asking for it because he is in some deep shit.
Let’s say you are helpless then don’t break your head instead take help from an emergency fund that is interest-free and gives you enough time to repay than feeling the guilt of not returning the money to your best friend.
8. Stop Asking People About Their Belongings
Curiosity kills the cat! And, yes the relationship and attitude too!
It is human nature to get intrigued and find out what it is. For instance, if you spotted a ring, watch, or new shoes that your friend was wearing at a wedding then you don’t have to ask him straight on the face how much it costs? It can make them feel awkward about why they even purchased it in the first place or might feel they should have avoided wearing it or hidden it from everybody’s sight.
What if your attire was more than the person whom you asked about?
Try to control your excitement and words.
9. Never Feel Obliged To Reveal How Much Something Cost You
What if somebody asked you about your belongings? Well, politely avoid answering that question by replying “Why do you ask? Or “I’d rather not say actually”, to turn the arrow towards them and make them feel the awkwardness for asking that.
Being down to earth is the safest route to prevent negativity around you and handle the selfish motives of others who are known to pull legs.
10. Refrain From Making Assumptions Or Comments About People’s Big Purchases Or Nice Things
Complimenting someone is not a habit instead it should come from within, straight from your heart, it’s your duty. If your friend just told you he bought a new bike or is planning a vacation with his family then it is his efforts and money that he is banking on.
By asking them how long he had to wait for this or what it really means to them is none of your business but to acknowledge their plans and wish them success.
Be kind, expressive, and not aggressive with your comments.
11. Stop Complaining About Money Matters To Someone Whose Earnings Are Lesser Than Yours
Our lives are unique with a purpose and understanding varies from person to person. Success, opportunities, knowledge, talent, dedication, commitment, and so on decides the journey of an individual including financial well-being.
Never share your money problems with a mate whose earning is lower than yours as it can bring in a sense of negativity and try to spare your friend’s feelings.
Also, sharing your financial debts with someone who is well-off can make them sick too or feel uncomfortable spending time with you as the conversation can become one-sided with no room for other talks.
12. Remember to always be kind about your friend’s debts, income, and expenses and how you talk about money
Kindness is the key to maintaining a healthy relationship with anybody. Money is a fluctuating entity for each one of us. Few are so dejected with their earnings they go into depression and stress while for others the money that they never had before can be a challenging struggle which they can never explain.
Make up your mind to act and respond accordingly to people who are placed in a different situation financially every time you meet them. Whether money is less or in excess it displays the insecurity of people. A person with no money will distance himself from everybody and the same applies to one who has too much and fears attracting unwanted attention and help from people around him.
Remember these little tips and lessons while things will fall in place on their own.
By Karthik V.