We’ve all had awkward moments in life. You know that moment when you’re Facebook stalking someone you haven’t seen in YEARS and you accidentally like their photo. Whoops.
And then there’s money.
Talking about money makes talking about sex or politics look like a walk in the park. Why is talking about money so awkward?
You talk openly to your friends about your faith, first crush, and top pet peeves.
Money on the other hand is very personal. You’ll never share with your friends how much you make, your debt-load, or how much you’re saving for retirement. With your social life, you’ve probably run into a few awkward money problems with friends.
Here are four clever solutions to common awkward money problems.
Problem 1: Your friends don’t have to deal with student loans.
You’ve just finished grad school and your student loans are weighing heavy on the ol’ pocketbook. How do you explain to your friends that your loans are the price of rent? You can’t drop $50 on dinners out or spend hundreds on a bachelorette party weekend. You also don’t want to sit at home doing nothing. What do you do?
Solution: Stop comparing yourself to your friends. Someone will always be financially ahead of you with a better job, house, and social life then you. Use your envy and frustrations to motivate yourself to get out of debt.
Share with your friends your financial goals of becoming debt-free and why it’s important to you.
Instead of constantly saying no to your friends be proactive in making plans that are low-cost. Here are five epic ways to be social when paying off debt.
Problem 2: Who pays on a first date?
You’re on a date and the check comes. Who picks up the tab? Does one person pay for the date or do you go Dutch?
Solution: When it comes to splitting tabs on dates always assume that what you order, you’ll personally pay for. According to eHarmony 32% of woman pick up the tab on first dates. This shows that culturally men do still primarily pay for the first date.
It’s unavoidably awkward when the check comes on a first date, but I recommend always reaching for your wallet. If your date says, “I’ve got this,” then politely say, “Thank you,” and accept their offer.
- Money Etiquette for Your Financial Life with Diane Gottsman
- How to Get Rid of Financial Guilt and Shame
Problem 3: How do you split tabs with friends?
You’re out to eat with a group and you only ordered water plus a half-priced appetizer. Your friends want to split the bill even, but they got martinis and a steak dinner. You don’t want to look like Scrooge counting your pennies, but what do you do if you purposefully selected lower-cost items?
Solution: Splitting tabs is awkward and it’s unavoidable. A few tips to ease the process is to select a restaurant that does split bills and directly tell the waiter when you order upfront that you’re doing separate tabs. Also come prepared by having cash on hand so you can contribute your exact amount. Have bills for twenties, tens, fives, and ones.
Problem 4: Your friend asks to borrow money, what do you do?
You love your friends to pieces and would do anything to help them…. but lending money seems like a sticky situation. How do you tackle this? Do you fork over the cash?
Solution: It’s awkward to say no, especially if your friend is in a bind. Realize if you agree to lend money to a friend your relationship gets a million times more awkward. Your relationship changes from being two friends to a borrower and lender. Saying no upfront could save tension and heartache down the road.
Don’t be awkward with your money by using these clever solutions to common money problems.
Got a specific money dilemma? You don’t have to figure this money stuff out alone. Submit your question to Ask Carly here.