Friends that waste money

Visitor (not verified)
anonymous user
Registered: 12-31-1969
Friends that waste money
Mon, 10-08-2012 - 9:41pm
I don't really know if this appropriate to post but we have a lot of friends that are broke but have way nicer things then us. I know that everyone gets to make their own decision on how they spend their money. However it is painful to watch. Also because all three families have kids so the pattern and lifestyle is being taught. I would never say anything. With one of the friends I do talk with her about how we are trying to pay down our loans ASAP. She agrees but then I see her doing the complete opposite. Oh well. Has anyone ever said anything to someone way over spending? On that note I did confront my uncle nicely via email for not paying on a big loan he owes my dad. Definitely my dad was part of the problem by not calling him on it. It felt really good because it got them talking and him paying but it did make me feel also like what will I do if it happens again because I don't want to be my dads personal bill collector (since he borrows too many people money) and that could be another post.


iVillage Member
Registered: 05-08-2006
Mon, 10-08-2012 - 10:25pm
I often notice that people spend moneyin ways i think are foolish while at the same time lamenting how they don't have money, or can't afford to buy a house, or whatever. I think many people really struggle with delaying gratification, and spend on small things to make them feel better in the moment when if they would be more frugal, they could have more. For instance, where I work, they furnish coffee and tea. We have real milk and cream in the refrigerator. The coffee is decent, and tea is tea. I never buy coffee on my way to work or go to Starbucks on a break..a woman I work with, who is very open about her financial issues, insists she cannot drink the work coffee and buys at least two cups a might be only 20 dollars a week, but it would add up if she didn't do it. I feel the same way about smoking...I do not understand how people can spend money on smoke...but I do not ever say anything because I am sure I do things that are equally is all about priorities...I like this board because if people ask for advice or ideas, you can give person, I often think people do not really want to change, they want magic to happen and change to come to them...
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-02-2008
Tue, 10-09-2012 - 10:09am

So true and when I had money years ago I think I wasted alot of it. Boy I wish I had that money now? I mean I used to buy books online and buy coffee out all the time. I would also just spend money that I did have but I wished I would have saved more.. It was just wasted on stupid things...

Now I watch every penny because I have to and not necessarily because I want to.. Only thing I am not missing much.. If I see something online I want to buy I think where can I get this for free. So I go to library or even if I have to save 2.00 here and there and then when that adds up I might buy some vitamins or something. I am just more aware of what I spend.. I never drink coffee out anymore and I buy the 2.50 cent can in grocery store. It is of course generic but its fine..and lasts way more than the 3.00 for one cup at Starbucks..

I also must admit although I hate this budgeting lately I have found alot of free things to do w here I live.. I take advantage of t hat and if I have to buy food where I go for free I buy something small and first eat at home..Its  not worth the free and then having to pay for food.

Some days although like I said I hate the budget fatique as you guys are talking about I am finding I play a game with myself about it and that helps me .. Its like where can I get a sale this week or what can I do for free or where can I go and watch movies and get a dinner at someone'es house or where can i find the best dollar store? (lol)

Take Care

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-28-2009
Tue, 10-09-2012 - 11:15am

very appropriate post. I think the simple answer is, think about the first task we all did when we made the conscious decision to tackle our debt - we tracked our spending and created a budget. How many times do we hear "I didn't know how much I was spending eating out!!!" " I spend how much on drive thru coffee??"  I think we all know people like you describe. I used to be one of them. They don't know yet about how much each dollar can add up into a big pile of wasted money.

When I was living at home rent free, I had "no money". I needed a new car, the dealership told me that the payment was going to be $350/month. I remember exclaiming - there is no way I can afford that!!! I don't have an extra $350 a month!

Fast forward a couple of months, I was renting an apartment, an additional expense of $600 plus utilities. How could I afford that? And then a couple months later I also got that new car I couldn't afford, and that payment of $350/month.

So, I had no money! But yet I just added additional expenses of $1000 each month and I could pay it. Right then I realized I did have the money and there was probably more I was wasting too. That began the beginning of my debt journey.


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-2001
Tue, 10-09-2012 - 1:21pm

I had a weird friend experience this last summer . . .

I had an event to attend and was looking online at clearance dresses at various department stores when my friend stopped in for a visit.

She saw what I was doing and told me (she often likes to advise me on how to save money - which is weird since, as you said, she is one of those friends who seems to spend as though she actually has money), that I should only be shopping at ebay because it's cheaper.  She then preceeded to log on her account and show me her latest purchases (and there were a lot). 

When I pointed out to her that once you add the shipping cost to the ebay dresses, it was the same price as what I was already looking at. (I have nothing against ebay . . . i just happened to be shopping at a department site that particular day).  But she argued that if you bought enough items from the same seller, they would combine the shipping and the shipping costs per each dress was very, very reasonable.  And THEN she showed me by picking out four more dresses from the same seller to put in her cart. 

I tried to point out to her that buying FOUR ADDITIONAL dresses doesn't actually SAVE you money - lol!!

But she was so wrapped up in the "savings" that she couldn't comprehend what I was saying.

And not suprisingly the story ends by me deciding to make do with an outfit I already had in my closet, and my friend actually purchased all FIVE dresses she had used as examples of how to save money, because - according to her - "I had fallen in love with each of them, and THEY WERE SUCH GREAT DEALS!!"

I mean there is nothing you can do sometimes but roll your eyes.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-31-2010
Tue, 10-09-2012 - 2:08pm
Very appropriate post, Liz. And you know what - we ALL were where your friends are before we got real - face it! All of us just kept on living the American (or Canadian) dream, not realizing someone had to pay for it eventually.
You can only do what you can do and be an inspiration to others! Oh and publically share your victories to even those friends so they can witness you as an example! (WOW, just paid off all our student loans and debts, it was hard work, but it feels SO GREAT now! or Debt free, now time to really stock it away for retirement/kids college funding, have you guys done any of those retirement or college calculators?
Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Tue, 10-09-2012 - 2:08pm

I think this is an appropriate place to vent this, especially since you're aware that everyone gets to make their own decisions on how they spend their money.  There's a difference between thinking "everyone should do as I do" and just needing sometimes to go "GAAAAHHH!" like you did - LOL!

DH & I do waste money now, and it bugs me.  Or maybe I should say, we spend money we have that we would be wiser to save.  However I also recognize that these things do bring us happiness, and we're not so attached to them that we can't give them up - though it wouldn't be very nice.  We worked hard to get out of debt and set ourselves up for a better future, but sometimes I have to remind both of us that we made these changes so that we could retire and our kids could go to college - NOT so that we could spend our savings on wine and food.  Those are nice side benefits, after the savings.I don't want to be one of those sour-faced people who will never spend money they *do* have, but I don't want to be a prodigal either and regret it when I'm 65 and haven't saved enough money to last for the next 30 years.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2008
Tue, 10-09-2012 - 9:43pm

I see lots of ppl spending lots of money but I suspect some of them just make a lot more money than I do. So maybe then can afford it. How would I know for sure? Maybe it's like the skinny girl complaining about losing weight when she doesn't really NEED to...people just complaining about money when they don't really NEED it.

I would never in a million years bring up the subject with a friend though. Isn't that against some friendship code somewhere? (not that I have many friends, lol.)


iVillage Member
Registered: 05-08-2006
Tue, 10-09-2012 - 11:02pm
I think it is very true that you need to balance planning with the future and enjoying today. My dad and my stepmother owned a business that kept them pretty tied down, but had lost of plans for after they retired. Sadly, within a year of selling the business, my stepmother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and 18 hard months later, she died. I am glad that there were a few times that they made the effort to travel, because she definitely didn't get the life she planned and saved for. My dad is still going strong so the saving paid off for him...I think the key is to make sure you understand the choices you are making and the long term impact of even small choices.
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-02-2008
Tue, 10-09-2012 - 11:51pm

Happy;; I am so sorry about your stepmom... and your mom of course.

I keep wondering the same thing. I am already 58 and thinking should I spend more  money now and not keep hoping later on I can spend it? what happens if I dont make it to retirement which I am basically classified as that now with no job and small income.

Yes; there is balance but I am really afraid to spend alot right now and thinking maybe that is stupid..

I would love to get out of frugal land sometimes...

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2008
Wed, 10-10-2012 - 5:51am

I think there is a difference between people spending money they do not have vs. people spending money on things which we do not considered as a "need". 

The first one is just that.  Spending and buying things on credit. 

The second one is kind of a matter of priority.  For example, some my friends and myself consider our pets family.  We got them health insurance and sometimes spent thousands of dollars on their healthcare.  To someone else it may seem like wasting money, to us, it is not negotiable.  Meanwhile, I am happy to not to buy new clothes, not to eat out for months, have rice and beans for weeks on end, etc. to balance my budget.  Conversely, what seems like a complete waste of money to me may be something that is very important to someone else.

I believe as long as we are sticking to a budget, paying down debt, saving for reitirement and in general plan ahead and not allow ourselves to become a burden to society when we get old, it is OK to spend our blow money as one sees fit. Again, more often than not, it is a matter of priority.

Fortunately, almost all my friends and I seem to share more of less the same philosophy when it comes to money.