Dealing With Friends Who Complain About Money
Problem: A friend complains that she has no money, then spends extravagantly. How do you deal?
Solution: Is your pal really a cash-strapped shopaholic or just someone who habitually whines about money? It's time to force her into the open. "Say something like 'Last week you said you didn't have any money, then you bought those fancy designer shoes. I'm worried about you. Are you having financial trouble?'" says Jodi Smith, author of From Clueless to Class Act: Manners for the Modern Woman ($10, amazon.com). "If she is, help her find a financial counselor or look for a good advice book on budgets." But don't get overly involved in her problems, and don't lend her money. Remember―some perfectly well-off people routinely complain about money the same way some thin people gripe about how fat they are while eating a double-fudge brownie, says Dickinson: "If you call your friend's bluff and tell her you're worried about her, she may become more conscious of the money whining and stop doing it."