Talking about money can be tough. With information from the Money and Pensions Service, let’s take a look at how you can open up about money with your friends and tackle some common money issues.
We’ll be exploring:
“I can’t afford it”
Usually, when you meet up with your pals, it involves going out to do something. Whether you’re grabbing a coffee or lunch or doing an activity like bowling or golf, things can quickly add up and get quite expensive.
If you’re asked to go out with your mates to do something but can’t afford it, try not to worry. Remember that your friends are your friends because they like you, not because of the amount of money you have.
You could try to suggest a different activity that doesn’t cost so much money like going for a walk, baking, or watching TV back at home. Sometimes there are free events in Cardiff that are a lot of fun to go to, too.
Take the lead and offer to plan your next activity within your budget. That way, you don’t have to worry about whether you’ll be able to afford it or not.
If you feel comfortable doing so, try to explain to your friends that you’re trying to save money or can’t afford to go out. That way, you can get them to help you stay on track and things of more creative, cheaper or free things to do when you’re spending time together.
“My friend wants to borrow money”
It can be really hard to say no when a friend ask to borrow money from you, especially if you know that they are in a tough situation and you want to help them out.
Letting a friend borrow money can put a strain on your friendship, though. Sometimes, your friend will promise to pay you back but might find it hard to actually keep the promise. You might find it stressful to chase them for repayment and this may end up in your fighting about money. If you want to lend someone money, then go ahead, but remember, you may never be able to get the money back.
If you’re thinking about lending your friend money, read this post and ask yourself these questions first:
- Can I afford to lend money?
- Can they afford to pay me back?
- Could it put a strain on our friendship?
- How and when will I be paid back?
If you decide you want to lend them money, make sure you get the agreement in writing to prove how much you loaned your mate and when they agree to give it back.
If you’re worried about getting paid back, it’s probably best not to lend your friend money. Don’t feel guilty about saying no though! You’re not a bad friend for this, and you may be able to support your mate in other ways.
You might be able to help them find a job or point them to some good advice about money (like this blog!). TheSprout has an information page all about money for children and young people which gives you advice and guides you to people who can help.
“I let my friend borrow money, and I want it back”
It’s important not to get confrontational when asking for your money back as this can ruin your friendship.
If you think they’re forgotten, try to jog their memory with a few subtle hints.
It may be easier to ask your friend for the money back by texting them rather than on the phone or in person. This also means you’ll have everything in writing about how much money is owed and when you’re due to get the money back. It may be useful to give your friend a date for why you need the money back and why, for example, “I need the money back by Friday because I have to pay my rent”.
If you cannot agree to get the money back by talking, your last resort is seeking legal help. This will likely involve making a claim in court for the money.
Check out TheSprout’s Info page on the money here.
Meic is the helpline service for children and young people up to the age of 25 in Wales. You can contact a Meic advisor for free who can listen to you non-judgementally and will help by giving you information, useful advice and the support you need.