• Keeping Friends

In the Media – Money can complicate friendships (The Debrief)

Published: February 19, 2016 | Last Updated: August 22, 2022 By | 2 Replies Continue Reading
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Screenshot (The Debrief)

Screenshot (The Debrief)

Disparities in income and lifestyle can complicate friendships. In her recent article on UK publication, The Debrief (which targets 20-something females), features editor Vicky Spratt makes the point that when people are in high school and college they are more likely to be on an even playing field. After people graduate and pursue different careers, income disparities often arise with one friend having more disposable income than another.

Admittedly, this can cause problems when eating out, going to concerts, planning trips and even taking a shopping jaunt. Having a big spender friend can easily make someone spend more than they have.

She writes:

And, perhaps, today life for young adults is even more unequal than ever before. There are reports that claim that social mobility all but stops after university, increasing divides between those who own and those who rent property and wages, on the whole, are pretty stagnant…Some people move home, far and wide across the country, while they regroup and work out what happens now. Many flock to London for a graduate job, once again money is the great divider.

In writing the piece, Vicky Pratt interviewed Dr. Irene S. Levine, The Friendship Doctor:

However, Dr Levine points out that it’s really important to remember what friendship is actually about. To hold onto why you became friends in the first place. It’s not about money, ‘it’s about more intangible things, like shared values and interests. It’s about the things you have in common and the experiences you’ve had together.’

Click here to read this provocative article on The Debrief in its entirety.


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Category: Friends and Money

Comments (2)

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  1. Lisa says:

    I find that having to keep up with who has what, and how much money one makes more than the other is just plain silly. There will always be someone who has more than you do. This is not just going on with the young, I see it in people in their 40’s 50’s and 60’s. This is about their insecurities. Those that are truly happy with themselves and their lives will never let these other things play havoc on their psyche. We can’t blame others fortune for people’s insecurities. That isn’t right either. People need to take responsibility for their own feelings and behaviors and these negative issues wouldn’t exist. I have friends who live in trailer parks, others live in million dollar homes, we all get together because nobody judges one another, and we concentrate on enjoying each others company and building stronger relationships. If you are pretending with your friends, how strong is the friendship really? If you can’t afford something your friend can, true friends would know this, and not make plans to go to these places that are a struggle for others financially. And, if you are a true friend you shouldn’t need to put up a farce for your friend(s). Maybe a re-evaluation of friendships is in order.

  2. LauraSL says:

    Love your common sense advice, Irene. Seems like the key is sensitivity. A friend that orders top end and goes to dinner with a friend who clearly orders budget conscious shouldn’t suggest splitting the check when there’s a large disparity in order amounts. One interesting trend I’ve noticed the last few years among friends and colleagues is they seem quick to say “separate checks.” I may think separate checks would be easier but I don’t even have to say anything because they usually do, except for my closest friends – we usually take turns picking up.

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