In my last entry, I talked about Amy, The Spender who can’t afford it. Today I’m going to talk about Joe, The Spender who can afford it. Joe is frustrating in different ways than Amy, but at least with Joe you don’t have to worry that your friend is bankrupting himself.
Like Amy, Joe always buys clothes, furniture and gadgets at full price, eats out frequently, pays way too much for housing, and buys new cars too frequently. Unlike Amy, Joe is swimming in money. Not only has he received a generous sum of money from his parents, he invested it wisely to turn it into more money, and his paycheck is more than mine and my fiance’s combined. And his career will allow him to grow that paycheck very significantly over the next few years. Joe does not have to worry about money.
You can’t be too frustrated with Joe. Yes, he got a lot of money from his parents, but he’s also worked summer internships since his teens and has earned most of his money through hard work. Seriously, this guy triple majored in college. He has earned his money.
The problem comes in when you want to hang out with Joe. He lives in a very different world than I do. A world of fancy dinners, luxury cars, expensive cocktails and a whole lot of suits. The nice thing about Joe is that he knows he lives in a different world than most. If he wants to go do something expensive, he’ll offer to pay your way as well, and if you suggest a cheapo place for dinner, he’ll happily eat there. But you do start to feel kind of down on yourself after a while. You can only accept so many free rides, only bring your suit-wearing friend into a burger joint so many times before you start to feel awkward.
There are a few ways to hang out with a rich friend without feeling too sorry for yourself.
- Wear your favorite outfit when you hang out with Joe. You know he’s going to be wearing something expensive-looking, so you won’t feel as down on yourself if you’re wearing something similarly fantastic (but it can be your little secret that you got it for 60% off).
- Every now and then splurge for the nicer restaurant or the event you really really want to go to. Even though he can afford it, you’ll feel like a mooch if you let him pay for you every single time.
- As with Amy, there are going to be some free or inexpensive activities that Joe enjoys, so suggest those.
- Limit how often you hang out with Joe. Let’s be honest, if Joe feels like he can never do the things he really wants to because you can’t afford them, he’ll probably want to limit how often he hangs out with you as well. It’s really a win-win situation in this case to just hang out every now and then. You’ll both appreciate the friendship more.