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Columns | Go Far With Kovar

How should I tell my friends I'm trying to cut back on spending?

by Taylor Kovar

Hey Taylor - Any tips for how I can talk about money more comfortably? I find myself not hanging out with friends because I'm trying to cut back on spending, but I hate the idea of my finances hurting relationships. Is there a way to broach the subject? - Anne Marie

Hey Anne Marie - Yes! There are many ways to open up this conversation, and it's a shame so many people feel like money is an untouchable topic. I promise you'll feel better if you talk about your finances with friends. Let's look at a few ways you can get started.

Be as honest as possible. The very thing that's keeping you from opening up, the idea that people will know you don't have a lot of money, might be exactly what you need to bring up. Almost everyone has their form of financial struggle, making this a universal issue that really won't alienate you in ways you think it might. When you tell people you're trying to spend less and improve your financial situation, they'll probably be sympathetic and might even offer helpful advice. I know it's uncomfortable feeling like the person who doesn't have a lot of money to spend, but people have varying incomes. That's just life, and it's not as big a deal as we make it out to be.

Talk in terms of goals. If you feel uncomfortable because you don't want to spend much, you can find a way to put a positive spin on the conversation. Instead of focusing on not having enough money, talk to people about your savings and retirement goals. When you approach frugality from a place of responsibility, there's no reason to feel ashamed. If you seem excited about the money you're saving and the path you're on, friends and family won't question it. More likely, they'll be happy for you.

Ask questions. Sometimes the best way to kick off a difficult conversation is to let another person do the talking. Without being too heavy-handed or invasive, ask your friends if they budget, what their financial goals are, if they have an advisor they like working with, etc. If they feel comfortable with the conversation, it will be easy to discuss your personal situation and get on the same page. Best of all, you and your friends can learn from each other. If more people spoke freely about money, people would probably have fewer financial woes.

I won't lie and say it's easy to start this conversation, but at some point it's best to just have to rip the band-aid off and start talking about it. Come at the conversation from a positive place and you'll definitely feel better after the talk. Good luck, Anne Marie!

Taylor Kovar May 24, 2018
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Disclosure: Information presented is for educational purposes only and is not an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. Investments involve risk and, unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial adviser and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed herein. Past performance is not indicative of future performance. To submit a question to be answered in this column, please send it via email to Question@TaylorKovar.com, or via regular mail to Lessons on Wealth, 106 E Lufkin Ave., Lufkin, TX 75901.

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