Friend Costs

Friends are a big part of our lives, but are some of yours putting a drain on your pocketbook? In tonight’s Money Monday, Lynn Martinez shows us how to deal with expensive friends.

WSVN — Celeste Catania is a busy student who knows the importance of saving.

Celeste Catania, student: “Right now, with being in school and everything, I need to budget myself.”

She still makes time for fun with friends, but sometimes friends get pricey.

Celeste Catania: “Some friends really do cost you a lot of money.”

This isn’t just a problem for college kids.

Jon Morgenstern, attorney: “Oh, my gosh. It’s very hard sometimes to say no. Although, I consider myself somewhat of a sophisticate in business and legal matters, not always is that my forte.”

But there are some tricks to identify friends who can get you into financial trouble.

Richard Ehrlich, Pure Wealth Planning Group: “If you ever have that friend that’s always complaining, hey, ‘You know, I don’t have enough money,’ or they just happen to forget their wallet when you go out.”

Richard Ehrlich says take just enough cash for yourself when you’re with this person and be sure to tell them up front. Then, we have the under-earner, the friend who can’t afford expensive dinners or events.

The key is to find frugal fun with this person.

Richard Ehrlich: “Invite them over to your house for dinner. Look for these free events on the weekend.”

And then, there’s the friend who just spends, spends, spends. Don’t take the bait. Always stick to your budget.

Richard Ehrlich: “It’s not just kids that feel the peer pressure. Unless you’re very disciplined, their mistakes can rub off on you.”

Celeste and Jon say they’ve learned the hard way to keep an eye on their friends.

Jon Morgenstern: “It does influence one’s conduct, and you have to be alert to that.”

And are using our tips to protect their finances and futures.

Celeste Catania: “Unfortunately, if that means meeting with someone once a month compared to on a weekly basis, that’s what I have to do right now.”