Save. Spend. Splurge.

When you have to leave friends behind and go your separate ways

There have been two friends in my life, whom I am sad to say are just not compatible with me any longer.

This is not indicative of all my friendships, but sometimes you have to cut ties when your lives diverge.

One, was a good friend whom I met in high school and instantly bonded with.

As we got older, went to separate colleges, and started different kinds of lives, I’ve tried to keep in touch with her once in a while (every 6 months), by sending her an email, calling her (with a long distance card I bought), and trying to keep the relationship going.

In the end, I realized the following:

  • We’re the same age (born apart by 7 months)
  • I’m always the one initiating the contact & PAYING for calls & trips
  • Every time I call her, her life is always a mess and she makes no effort to clean it
  • She never learns from her boy and frenemy drama
  • She isn’t in the same financial mindset as I am — she wastes a lot of money
  • She’s still in the college girl, drinking, partying phase
  • Her parents still give her money and do things like her taxes for her
  • She blames herself for being born in December as the cause of her messy life*
*She seriously believes that people born in January for instance, are way more organized and put together than people born in December.
It’s just a lame excuse, and I’ve told her that before.

In conclusion, our relationship was totally one-sided, and I just quietly broke it off by not trying to meet up with her or contact her any longer.

We just aren’t on the same path any more

I understand 100% that I am not what society considers to be a ‘normal person’, not only because I really like talking about personal finance (especially as a woman), but I’m also considered an oddity for not having really spent much time in the phase of drinking and partying. I just never enjoyed it.

I don’t judge others who like to party and drink, but there comes a point in your life where you have to grow up and eventually take responsibility for being an adult and start doing things for yourself like do your own taxes rather than handing it off to your mother.

You can still drink and party… but you have to start being independent too.

At least hire a tax accountant, or buy the tax software each year for $20 and go through all the numbers yourself rather than giving it to Mommy.

We are financial opposites

She saves a little (about $1000 a year), but considering what she makes ($90,000), she should be saving a lot more for her future.

I already talked myself blue in the face trying to get her to go out and understand retirement plans, compounding interest and just to start SAVING, but she has absolutely no interest or even an inkling of motivation to get a financial planner to help her.

I even went to the point of going through her finances with her for a day.

I realize now, that I care a lot more about her money than she does. I’m just wasting my breath and my time, because it isn’t my money at the end of the day and she couldn’t give 2 craps about my advice.

She’d rather spend the money on yet another bikini, on yet another Caribbean vacation where she drinks until she passes out on the beach, and this kind of financially destructive lifestyle is something that I don’t want to hear about any more, especially since I always end up being the one who is the most frustrated.


We aren’t compatible any longer

When I call her, it’s always about all this drama that doesn’t need to happen, and I have been giving her the same advice since high school. I think 10+ years is enough, don’t you?

My real benchmark is that I have other friends who are financially responsible and amazing to talk to.

They are so inspirational, and they are people I genuinely want to call, meet, and talk to on a regular basis.

They make me want to be a better person.

The other friend I’ve quietly cut ties with, are not quite as full of drama as this one (I can’t handle too much drama), but she is also on a different path of life I can no longer relate to.

She is a spoiled rich girl who has never lifted a finger to work a day in her life, but comes up with wonderful excuses as to why she is still living on her parents’ dole money but yet has the gall to preach to me about my finances and how I should manage my money.

She also has great excuses as to why she can’t do anything to change her life to be what she wants it to be, even though she is supremely unhappy. I have talked myself blue in the face for 6 years, and it’s time to cut the strings.

Sometimes, growing up is painful

You will have to leave behind friends whom you’ve connected with for so long, but ultimately, they might not be on the same path as you are, and could very well be holding you back.

I am not saying that in the future I would close the door in their faces if they called me, or asked for help; I still remember the good times and we have a history together.

I am just not going to be the one putting in all the effort into our relationships any more. It has to be a two-way street.

You know, they say that your 5 closest friends are the perfect representation of who you are as a person, and where you are financially (e.g. same salaries, same mindset).

If that’s the case, I’m thrilled beyond belief.


  • Lila

    I’ve had this happen as well. Everyone has. Sometimes you hang on to people from childhood because you grew up together, but when you’re both adults and you are both grasping for things to talk about and have a common ground it gets to be really difficult.

    I was born on January and I’m far from organized. I honestly don’t have the perfect life and put together? No way.

    Where did your ex-friend get that idea from?

  • LAL

    I’ve been both as well. I think everyone has. For me people occupy different positions of friendship. But the friends I drop are those who no matter what have a common theme. RUDE behavior. Seriously showing up 1-2 hours late and not thinking a thing about it? Always being late and rude.

    Or most recently I’ve cut out a friend because I was leaving for a trip the next day but loaning her a bike for her son (my duaghters) I got a flat tire on the way to her house. About 5 minute walk or 2 minute drive. Her husband was home and I was like can you come to the car and get the bike? Perhaps even come get my kids so they don’t have to sit in the car while I change my tire?

    HER RESPONSE???? Um i’m too busy. I just can’t make it out. OMG! A woman solo with two kids and she can’t send her husband or herself out for 2 minutes to help me out? Entertain my kids? Or even get the bike? If the roles were reversed I’d have helped her. My kids are 3 and 1 if it matter and I was changing my tire myself. How hard could it have been to pick up her keys and drive to see me for 10 minutes?

    After that I dropped her. I no longer make plans to see her period. If she’s where I am going with other friends or other people invite us both great. But otherwise I don’t bother calling or seeing her period. She’s rude and self-absorbed.

    With people like that you don’t need enemies. And she’s the second friend I’ve dropped whose behaved like that. What is wrong with people and their behavior?

    • saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      People don’t realize they’re being inconsiderate and selfish until you tell them they are so. I do this all the time with my friends and siblings, I set rules/expectations that I myself follow, for BASIC HUMAN decency. If they don’t follow them, I tell them either directly or indirectly, depending on how angry I am.

  • Tania

    I have no clue what my friends save nor do I really want to. I do think if she didn’t have so much drama, was immature and was a really good friend to you (called you, supported you and took the initiative to see you/be kind to you), I don’t know if her savings would be so relevant to your friendship. It sounds like maybe she complained to you and you were trying to help? So, I think the root of that issue is her outlook on life and less about the actual money in her bank account. I don’t get into money with my girlfriends at all.

    Other than that, I do think money can affect friendships if it plays a role in how you socialize. I don’t like it when groups of friends plan really fancy dinners and one member of the group may not have as much disposable income (or may not want to spend it that way). I can sometimes see the stress on that person’s face when the bill comes or they start to not join the group at all. Sometimes it’s a difference in salary but can also be life situation. Someone got divorced and is now a single parent, illness in the family, etc. I used to run around with a lot of professionals, other cpa types and the social activities got kind of expensive like wine tastings, the best dining with good wine/champagne. I don’t ever plan those types of evenings for a whole group (although it is fun) as my closest friends now have different income levels.We have just as much fun going to the beach or eating at a mid-range hole in the wall or having a bbq at someone’s house.

    We don’t ever talk about money but I guess no one is whining about it so it never comes up.

    • Tania

      @Tania: And yes, friendships do change as we grow older. I have maybe three friends from my teens that are still close now but we only see each other a few times a year. I have a hard time on Maui at times because I don’t like to stay out late at night, prefer a nice dinner, home early and I don’t drink much. I also like farm to table and other agricultural events that my friends aren’t into or are busy with their kids during the day. So, I have a lot of friends who aren’t close but are fun to attend these types of things with but my deep emotional support actually comes from my other long time friends who do have different interests than I do but a lot of history. Not everyone has to be your everything but if someone is toxic, by all means get out of dodge.

    • saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      When people plan fancy dinners, or suggest things I can’t afford, I say something.

      It’s “shameful” perhaps, but I say: “I’m on a budget I can’t afford that, but you please go ahead and have a good time without me.”

      If they’re true friends, they will want to see you, not spend money in a fancy restaurant alone.

  • Michelle

    I have been on both sides. I’ve been the dropper and the dropped in a friendship. It’s one of those things that happens from time to time because we change, grow, and want different things. Sometimes a friend is toxic because of something that has happened in their life, or sometimes they are stuck, sometimes you’re stuck-and you’re friend can’t handle it because they have their own stuff to deal with. Who knows. Sometimes it’s just time to move on…

    • saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      That’s part and parcel of life. Things happen, and if others are not willing to grow along with you, or you are not willing to grow with them, it’s not the end of the world, you are just two different folks in the end.

  • Jaclyn

    Aw, this was a sad post. It’s never easy breaking up with a friend, but I’ve got to hand it to you. You’re really brave for doing so. It can be so easy to stick with someone (or something for that matter) just because it’s familiar. I wish I were better at cutting friends off who served me no purpose anymore.

  • Pauline

    It does hurt to end a friendship but you can’t change anyone who doesn’t want to change. I have grown tired of the laziness of people to meet up or write an email once in a while. The excuse being “oh, I wanted to reply but was waiting for a time to write a proper email”. Who hasn’t got 10 minutes in a day if that is for something important. Anyway, last time I went to Paris, I send ONE email to people I wanted to meet, with my phone number ask them for theirs and for a day to meet. A few answered when I was already gone. Before I would have written again to push them but my time is too valuable to spend it with people who can’t make time.

  • Chellet

    I was thinking about this topic today too! But it’s more about my girl friends being in relationships and forgetting about their friends. It just pisses me off so much.

    Anyway, back to this post. I agree with the 2 way street thing. I feel like I’m always the one that initiates it. That’s why I really do appreciate the friends that contact me first. They do care!

    Honestly, I wish I had a friend like you irl. You seem like someone that I would hang out with a lot. 🙂

    • saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      Oh thank you! 🙂 I do try to keep in touch with friends because I travel so often and am never really in my “home” city that when I come back it’s like I have to schedule meetings with everyone at once. Otherwise, no one will ever really get to see me if we aren’t talking, emailing or Facbeooking each day (which I don’t really like doing). I like leaving a few months in between and then catching up in a great big talk.

  • Jane Savers @ Solving The Money Puzzle

    You can always reconnect with these friends later in life when you are more alike than different. People change.

    You could include dumping relatives in this post. I know a lot of people who’s lives would be much simpler and less stressful if they dumped or severely limited their involvement with their troublemaking relatives

    • saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      People change, but their main personalities do not. I have changed in terms of views and perspectives (more mellow, less black and white on some areas), but my aggressive (?) personality has remained.

      I am in the midst of dumping my own relatives, so I hear that.

  • Natalie

    I come to realize people don’t change easily especially as they grow older. It’s harder for them to change their habits/perspective when they are older.

    I used to hang out with these group of friends since my first year of university, 99% of them are in the same program (where I am not), same number of professional papers they need to write during/after school. Everyday, I hear about their conversation/complains about how tough these papers are, their methodologies, and their school, their co-op program experiences and everything else.

    After we graduated, we continue to hang out and spend time together since we all work in the same city downtown area. We met during lunch hours and some weekends together. Yet, all they talked about are the same thing, and escalated to bonuses they have from their companies, study days they have, trips/experiences they go on, shopping trips etc etc. I admit that I was jealous over the amount of disposable money they have right after school. But overtime, I felt like i was more like accessories to the group because they don’t even bother taking time to understand or hear my perspective.

    Even when I was moving away to another city, and met up with a friend for dinner, all he talked about was how tough his papers were, and the tough time he had at work. I was literally floored and told him: why are you guys complained so much, and you know you have to write these papers regardless, i understand your world is surrounded by these papers, but not other people around you.

    I am glad I moved away to another city, because I disconnected with these group of friends, because it really wasn’t healthy for me. We have different financial perspective from then on (maybe?) — one of them would spend 300-400 bucks shopping every week while complaining about supporting her brother to university. When I was only making half her salary, that doesn’t sit very well to me.

    Now few years have gone by, we stopped connecting with each other, i think they have moved on and so am i. But i think it’s for the better considering, we have different priorities now. (Last time i checked, she is living on the high life with designer bags 🙂 –good for her.)

    • saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      Our friends change as our priorities and lives change. It’s the reason why they say you are who your 5 closest friends are, even in salary and personality and status.

      Unfortunately this is very true, we tend to clique together and it can be hard if you aren’t in their mindset.

  • StackingCash

    I wish I had more time to read more of your posts but you are such a prolific writer 😉 This one really resonated with me, however. I find it difficult to keep in touch with friends because there seems to be a great disparity in wealth and available time away from work. Also children do take precedence over friends too. And spouses…sheesh, I wonder why I even bother having any friends…
    Nonetheless, I’m still generally a social creature and will always strive to hang on to good friends.

    • saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      Sorry. 🙂 Maybe I should scale down to 4 times a week then if that’s the case. I don’t want to overwhelm people!

      It’s really hard to keep everything juggling and in the air. I try my best, but it doesn’t always work.

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *