How Do I Maintain Friendships When Incomes And Money Values Differ?

Women Who Money
7 min readJul 8, 2019

Most of us start our adult lives with lifestyles like those of our friends. The phrase “living like a broke college student” applies to many in young adulthood. At this point, everyone’s trying to keep expenses low — and score free food and entertainment whenever possible.

But, as you grow older, things change. You settle into adult life. Some friends will get married. Some will have children. Others double down on their careers and rise to the top quickly. Still, others blaze their own trail as creative entrepreneurs.

Different life paths lead to different lifestyles, values, and finances. And, sometimes, these differences can cause friends to grow apart.

Financial inequalities, in particular, can make it harder to spend time together. If your friends’ money values and budget don’t line up with yours, it can seem hard to find a way to make the friendship work.

But, it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way. Just because you and your friends’ money values and/or incomes differ, doesn’t mean you can’t remain good friends. And you don’t have to ignore your money values to do it.

How to Maintain Friendships when Money Values and Salaries Differ

Make it about the friendship, not the money

When you became friends, you became friends for a reason. Look back and ask what it was that drew you together in the first place. And revisit all the things you had in common back then.

Even though life has changed, you’re still both the same people. If you found common ground back then, you can probably find common ground now too. It just might take a little work to get there.

If you feel like money differences are coming between you and your friendship, there are things you can do to try to bridge the gap, so to speak.

Accept your differences. It’s rare to have friends that match your financial situation and beliefs. No two people will have the same money values and salaries.

The first step to making friendships work is to accept the differences. And embrace the fact that each person brings something…

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