by Stacy Francis, CFP®, CDFA
There is always that friend that makes a little bit more than you or maybe you’re the one who makes more. Regardless, once in a while that feeling of awkwardness arises when it comes time to paying the check or deciding where to go for the night. Wealth differences can drive a wedge between even the closest friendships, where even a sociable lunch can feel weird. However, there are many ways to sustain your friendship without the feeling of guilt or resentment. If You Make Less
- Be Honest- If you cannot afford it then just say so. Remember, you did not become friends with the opening line: “how much are you making?” Simply say: “Sorry, not tonight.”
- Give A Little- If you cannot afford to split the check, say so beforehand and offer to pay for something else—the tip or the wine. If you get invited somewhere and he’s paying, contribute in other ways by making reservations.
If You Make More
- Sometimes, Suggest Burgers- You don’t always have to choose the expensive places to eat-- try out a cheap place but make sure you don’t make your friend feel sorry for his or herself. Make it known that quality time is the principal.
Treat With a Purpose or Just For Fun-Treating too much can make your friends feel inferior, so give an excuse—a late birthday gift or a thank-you favor. One of the perks of being wealthy is the ability to be generous, so make sure you treat it lightly, like it’s no big deal.