There used to be three topics in our culture that were considered to be taboo: politics, religion, and money. However, in recent times, the walls have come crumbling down on our society’s hush hush, traditional attitudes about money.
After all, money matters are openly discussed today. Most people find it easy to share deals, go shopping, and book trips together. Some even feel comfortable enough to complain about their rent increase, or how much they’re willing to spend on a new home.
Besides the number one topic off limits, which is a person’s salary, another commonplace dilemma is often accompanied by fretting and uncertainty include figuring out cash transactions between friends or coworkers. For many, these interactions bring on a sense of awkwardness.
Learn how to talk about money without the discomfort, and see the following for our tips on commonplace money dilemmas.
If you want to give advice…
When it comes to giving a friend unsolicited money advice, err on the side of caution, because you never know the motivation behind their choices, or how they will react. Try gently working your way into the topic, inviting her or him to talk about financial choices.
If they want to explore it, you’ll know. If they immediately become hostile or wary, change the subject.
If you want to spend less while hanging with friends…
Consider your priorities first, and don’t worry about what your friends are doing. If you don’t have that much expendable cash right now, come clean and just be honest. Going into debt to keep up with your friends’ lifestyles will only leave you in debt, that can take years to pay off if you’re not careful.
One example of what you might say, is “I’m going to be honest, I’m on a tight budget and it doesn’t allow me to go out very often.” Explain to your friends that you do want to get together, but suggest some cheaper alternatives, such as going to a friend’s house to watch a movie or cook a nice meal together.
If you want to split the bill according to who ate what…
When everyone is busy calculating the total bill divided by the number of people there are, take a look around at what others ordered. If you have to pay for someone else’s steak, there’s a problem.
Politely bring it to their attention and suggest that everyone pay for what they ordered, as it only seems fair. Even if you do have the money to split the bill evenly, another friend might not, so speak up on their behalf.
If you’re always footing the bill…
If you notice that you always end up paying, the next time you go out it’s perfectly acceptable to give a small reminder that it’s their turn. Try saying, “Did you or I get the last one?”
This will serve as a non-confrontational prompt that there is an etiquette to paying, whoever paid last time shouldn’t pay this time, and that it is a responsibility of give and take. (Continued on page 2)