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Caring or Jealous? When Friends Have an Opinion on Your Spending Habits
Southern Charm's Kathryn Dennis went on a spending spree recently. Her friends had an opinion.
Kathryn Dennis' spending habits are a hot topic of conversation on Southern Charm. She raised eyebrows when she purchased a Rolls Royce, and then went and rented a swanky home for $6,600. Naomie Olindo confronted her about her cash habits, calling them "foolish." (Kathryn later responded here.)
It can feel weird when you see someone you love (or even like) make a huge purchase. You wonder, whoa, where'd they get the dough? Shouldn't they be saving? But can you ever really say anything if it's not your partner?
"When it comes to weighing in on your friends' spending habits, unless you are specifically asked, keep your advice to yourself," national etiquette expert Diane Gottsman told Personal Space. "Their priorities may not be the same as yours, and your advice may not be any better than theirs. Unless you are a financial expert, and you are watching a friend make seriously bad decisions, find another topic to talk about."
But a Rolls Royce!
"If you simply can’t keep your feelings to yourself, preface the conversation with, 'I’d be happy to offer my advice. Please let me know if I can be of help,'" Gottsman added. "The ball is now in their court and they can determine whether or not they are interested in what you have to say."
People who speak up about money habits can have a number of different motives for butting in.
"The reason people want to make comments range from jealousy, a sincere desire to offer help, wanting to feel needed, or need to be in the loop," Gottsman said. "Bottom line, unless you are the one lending them the money, it’s not your business."
Just be careful, because your friends really can influence your own spending habits.
According to one report, "Trying to keep up with friends can have you living life on the edge of bankruptcy. These kinds of friends affect your finances because they keep you spending money, even money that you don’t have."
"Debt is often part of this type of social equation. You’ll never be able to earn enough money, so you borrow what you don’t have. Before you know it, you’re on a debt treadmill that you can’t get off," says the research. "It can be very difficult to keep friends when you’re trying to lower your cost of living and improve your finances while they are out spending money on entertainment, taking high-cost vacations (and wanting you to come along), buying a new car every five years, and living in a place that you can’t remotely afford."