“If your friend says they don’t have money for plans you’ve suggested, your two options are as follows,” the tweet read.
However much we try to avoid talking about it, the ‘M’ word will always rear its ugly head. That’s right - we’re talking about money.
Whether you’re worrying about credit card debt or fretting about spending what feels like a small fortune on a coffee, our relationship with and attitude towards money influences many aspects of our lives - including, it seems, our friendships.
A 2018 study into the impact of money on our closest relationships showed that 1 in 3 people are willing to ‘cut’ friends out of their life because of incompatible lifestyles. You read that correctly - 39% of richer Britons are apparently willing to end their relationships with their less well-off friends simply because they’re not willing to give up the finer things every so often.
And it seems those kinds of attitudes still exist. A viral Twitter exchange has drawn attention to the way we behave towards friends who say they have “no money” to hang out - after one user labelled the response as an “excuse”.
The tweet, which has since been deleted, complained about friends who say they can’t afford to meet up for a £3 coffee.
“Having ‘no money’ is not an excuse not to be able to make plans with your friends,” the user had written. “I’ve realised that some people only actually have money when it suits them.”
However, despite the fact that many people are willing to end friendships over money, it appears not everyone is so obsessed. One Twitter user responded to the tweet with an unapologetic response - and it seemed to go down pretty well.
“If your friend says they don’t have money for plans you’ve suggested, your two options are as follows,” Twitter user @esthergbenz wrote.
“1. Incur the full cost of said activity yourself. 2. Suggest an alternative that is FREE. Not cheaper. Not £20. Not £10. Not £3. Completely free,” they continued. “Respect people’s finances.”
In response, many Twitter users were prompted to share their own experiences of times when money got in the way of friendships - and how they successfully got around the situation.
“£3 coffee isn’t JUST £3. There is the cost of transportation as well,” one person added. “If your friend can’t afford transportation and you want to see them, offer to go to their place and bring coffee over.”
“My best friend and I always paid for each other’s drinks when we were broke, helped each other find jobs etc,” someone else shared. “That’s what friends do. One time I couldn’t come hang out because I had laundry to do, so he came to the laundry mat.”
The thread not only reveals how our attitudes towards our friends’ personal finances may be *hopefully* changing, it also highlights the simple fact that people should be able to do what they want with their money… because it’s their money.
“Even if your friend said they’re not up for any activity because they have money but choose to save up instead, you should still respect that,” one user pointed out. “After all, it’s not your money.”
Thanks to these kinds of conversations, there’s still some hope for a future where we find it a lot easier to talk about our finances and share our experiences - because that would make life a lot easier for everyone.
We’re not asking you to post your bank statement on Instagram or shout about your salary on the tube - but opening up about our relationship with money (and other people’s money, too) is definitely one step in the right direction.