I don't want to be perfect, just better...

Monday, April 20, 2009

MSN Article: 7 Friends Every Woman Needs

I love to read things about friends, I have four really good/best friends. Two I would call in the middle of the night to help me bury a body. One I could call for bail money because frankly the other three would be in the cell with me. LOL.

This is the start to the article. They’re there when times are bad (with a dirty martini or a carton of B&J in hand) and they’re there when times are good (with a dirty martini or a carton of B&J in hand). They’re our sisters, our secret-keepers, our sage advisers. Read these odes to some of the world’s greatest friends, then pick up the phone and call yours.

After reading this article, I have added the 8Th Friend: the one you can truly be honest about your finances with no matter how big or small. They don't necessarily mean they have to be your frugal buddy and deride you for buying the $2 loaf of bread instead of the $1 day old loaf. Just someone who will be supportive of your money situation and your decisions.

I was talking with my 9-5 friend after I had left the company we meet at, a now defunct company that didn't go down in flames the way I hoped. Okay, this conversation is after the switch from a job making 32,000-35,000 a year to my top salary of $55,000 a year. I was telling the 9-5 friend how I was applying for jobs in other departments because my then boss was giving me ulcers.

Spendthrift: I applied for this position Operational Assistant to Department Blanky Blanky. It is within my skill range but I am not sure if they will take my 'time in position (government speak for experience)' as enough qualification.

9-5 Friend: Well, that's good.

Spendthrift: I'm really excited it pays about 65,000 a year and it will get me out of this department.

9-5 Friend: Don't you make enough money already? When will enough be enough for you.

This stung me. I made excuses and got off the phone quickly after that remark. I was disgusted and I didn't want to say something that would ruin our friendship. Why? Her husband was making about $90,000 a year, he is making more now. She was making in the $32,000 to $35,000.

I can't explain her motivation for that comment. Was it because I was making more money than her? I have more education than her. Jealousy? Was I really being greedy?

Either way, I know it hurt me. I was looking for support in that moment. I was afraid I wouldn't be qualified enough, that I would be passed over for another co-worker I knew who had applied for the position as well. But all she heard was the salary information.

She knew I was a struggling single mother of two. That I was renting an apartment and was looking to put my kids in private school. That I was unhappy and had ulcers from my toxic work environment. I have probably said this before but the memory still stings.

How does this 8TH friend translate to personal finance? Simple, it is hard to do it alone (the transition from spendthrift to saver) and you need to find supportive people around you. They don't have to go through the transition with you but at least be willing to listen with an open mind.

Do you have a frugal friend? Who do you call when your finances overwhelm you? Do you have a frugal group?

I have mentioned my love of Gail Vaz-Oxlade before; she has started a forum for her Gail Clubs. I deperately want to be in Gail Club! Problem? I don't know anyone in the DC area besides my husband who even watches her show.

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