Financial Misery Loves Company

When you and all of your friends or family are deeply in debt, you can all be miserable together.

You can gripe about your finances, complain about how there’s never enough money for everything, and then go shopping anyway. You can egg each other into further debt by saying things like, “You’re only young once,” “You should get that because it might not be here tomorrow,” and “Your kids need that item because Mrs. Smith’s kids have one.” It makes for a twisted kind of friendship, but there is definitely a bond that is formed between people who are all in the same mess.

But what happens when one of the group steps out and does something di

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6 Responses to Financial Misery Loves Company

  1. Diane says:

    I absolutely agree. To me it has been even sadder because it is my own parents and some siblings who “booted” me out of the gang/family. Oh well, I sleep much better at night and very much enjoy my new found happiness.

  2. Alexandria says:

    So very true!

    After moving to another city I didn’t realize how much my friendships would be defined by frugality. But the thing is once you become cautious with money, you really have very little in common with spenders deep in debt.

    Anyway, what has surprised me is how rudely I have been treated when open about being more frugal. When it comes to making new friendships, I can identify. Most my old friends and family are pretty frugal. One theory I have had is that people are often just very un-trusting of someone who is different. I felt like many people just thought I Was a straught our liar. Because obviously it is “impossible” to make the kind of wage that I claimed, and to have no debt and apparently no financial problems. So, I find people were just very un-trusting of me in general. Once they know me for 5+ years, and see that I am not full of crap, they tend to come around a bit. In fact, it’s been heart warming to have several people come up to me (5-10 years later) and tell me that I really helped them financially. When really I had no idea – just setting an example or being vocal about my feelings on debt actually helped people financially! Unfortunately, after years of being treated very rudely, I am no longer open at all about my financial status or opinions. The reward was kind of “too little too late.” But I suppose I will consider some sort of middle ground in the future (versus avoiding the subject of finances as much as possible!)

    I do think their is hope that old friends will come around, but when they do the damage will be done. In the meantime, you find new friends.

  3. larabelle says:

    I am in the same boat as Diane.
    When I was $78,000 in debt with no savings I was included within my family. I thought they would be proud when I got out of debt…but the opposite occured they are very resentful about it. From beginning to end I tried to tell them how I was getting out of debt as well as keep them abreast of my progress but once I reached the finish line my mother pulled me aside and explained their resentment. So very sad……..

  4. rob62521 says:

    I agree…it’s difficult to break away from “friends” like this. I have found that many people have difficulty admitting they can’t afford things to their friends and even family. It takes a strong person to do this and be honest. We all like to keep up appearances.

  5. Jaime B says:

    Perhaps I’m oblivious or none of the people I’m close to are this superficial but none of us are judgy about where we are in our finances.

    However, one thing from (sort of) the other side. I have a friend, who for about 3 years would only go out to eat if she had a coupon and, somehow, only had a coupon for the SAME restaurant. It felt like her financial issues were hijacking the agenda, and none of us were flush with cash. I had no problems with coupons, I just wanted to go to a different restaurant sometimes. Variety.

    But to even notice how much someone spends on their meal or care that they take half home and all that foolishness is just crazy.

  6. nitemarecooper says:

    I so completely agree with this article. My sister used to have the attitude “why bother trying to be debt free as we are never meant to be debt free. She refuses to go the rest of her life having no fun because of even trying.” Now she has already gone bankrupt once years ago due to her marriage and now she is in debt agreement with a credit councelling agency.

    On the other hand, my parents are proudly debt free as of a couple of years back for the first time in their life. I’ve talked with them about that many times as I am their primary support and contact for anything computer or financial related. I find it very encouraging to think about what a relief it is for them to now be debt free (already retirement age unfortunately) compared to the past.

    I also now spend very little time myself with my brother and his wife compared to the past due to their lifestyle and not bothering with costs, just put it on the old cc and worry about paying for it later. They’ve already refinance a good $100,000 or so into their mortgage a couple of years back. Due to lifestyle, they now have a mortgage on their 20 year old house roughly equal to the value as opposed to the fact it should have been close to paid off if they had stuck to the schedule they were on 10-15 years ago.

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