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Over the past year, I’ve cleaned up my finances a lot. I had a wake-up call when I was unexpectedly laid off from my old job and had no savings. So I downloaded a budgeting app and got serious about cutting back on spending. I got a new job within weeks of losing my old one, and it wound up paying better, so that was good. But I’m so worried about getting into a bad position again that I’ve gotten very focused on hitting financial goals, like saving 20 percent of my paycheck every month and paying down my student loans (I paid off about $10K in the past year, but I still have about $10K to go).
I’m proud of my progress. But it’s also time-consuming and takes up a lot of my mental energy. Recently, a friend told me that it’s affecting our friendship. She said that she feels judged for her spending when she’s around me. She also mentioned that others in our friend group feel the same way. I have noticed that people have been reaching out to me less (and apparently hanging out without inviting me). And now I’m embarrassed that I’ve been annoying. The thing is a lot of my friends are financially irresponsible and love to do expensive things like go out for bottomless brunch or wine tastings or whatever, which is part of what kept me from saving money before. Then they complain about being broke. I’ve tried to address this by suggesting alternative plans and talking about my own financial goals. But I guess they don’t want to hear it.
I feel really conflicted about this. I don’t want to be left out, and I care about these friendships. But I also want to be responsible. What do I do?
Sounds like you need some new friends! Just kidding — mostly. The truth is that personal growth can be hard on relationships, especially when you level up and your peers feel left behind (or, even worse, feel like you value your bank account more than their company).
All friendships ebb and flow; the strongest ones endure because they …….