Talking Money with Friends

Over the weekend we had friends come visit us here in Chicago, I have known this friend since I was 5 years old, he’s a very good friend who I don’t see enough.  We are very similar in our knowledge and excitement for money, stocks, and investing.  No two paths are the same as I know my friend graduated with either zero student loan debt or very little.  He was worked his adult life in banking and while he enjoys sports and being outdoors, he did not buy a Mercedes Benz out of college and to my knowledge all of his housing costs have been pretty low even sharing a roommate along the way. As we all grow up and get in the real world marriage and buying a house always seem to jump into the discussion of money and finances.  My friend informed me his plans to buy a house and explained his future plans of living in the house with a backyard and the multiple Home Depot trips that are now in his near distance future.  He has a “getting serious” girlfriend that will be moving in with him and at that moment I could see all of the stars aligning and the future developing over the next 5-10 years.  I could see the house, then the marriage in a couple years, and kids shortly after that.  He might not know it but I think the next 10 years of his life are planned out for him.  I realized at this point that our goals are so different and that talking about the future we are heading down such different paths.

I mentioned early retirement in a joking matter, in which Mrs. Even Steven confirmed that I was not really joking.  Depending on our friendship with those we talk about money with we usually only bring up the topic in jest, usually the expectation is for the conversation to move to vacation talk and very little about money.  Instead in this conversation we talked about a future home in the Miami area, and a possible vacation home in Nicaragua, which would be the homestead version of the Frugalwoods plans to live in Vermont.  We mentioned staying 3-6 months out of the year and renting out the property the remaining months, similar to a place we stayed near San Juan Del Sur.  We talked about our next steps in moving and possibly building a home with a guest house for my parents or buying a multi-unit to supplement our income and the cost of living.  During our talk about early retirement I realized we are heading in completely different directions.

In 2 years we could be living in Miami with a paid off rental home, maybe working from home or starting a new company or side business.  My friend will most likely be working on saving up for his wedding and trying to move up in the company and pay down his mortgage.  3 years later I will be closing in on paying off our other rental property and looking to put the icing on the cake of our early retirement blueprint.  In that same time frame my friend will probably have a little baby running around, trying to find time to enjoy the special moments and still enjoy all that life has to offer.  After we reach FI we will be looking to do some travel and projects we dream about from time to time.  My friend will be working on going to all of the little league games and creating more flexibility at work so he can see the games while still supporting the mortgage and the cost of having a kid (s).  I realized we were on such different paths, our plan of FI and Early Retirement and my friend’s plan of living the American dream of a house, wife, and 2.3 kids.  I am in a phase of my financial life that I’m not sure I can relate, it was kind of odd to talk about our plans.

I learned over the weekend that we all should have the same financial principal foundation and common sense should prevail in each of our financial futures.  Our financial paths are heading a different direction, my path is “I am going to be financially independent and retire early” and my friend’s path is “I would like to retire early, haha”.  Seriously though I think everyone has their own path, in fact my friend has beat me financially in a couple different areas along the way, but I hope to come on strong in the next couple years, either way we plan to share financial success which makes our paths the same in the end.

How do you handle money talks with friends?

32 Responses to “Talking Money with Friends

  • Yup, different directions for sure. I’ve always found the whole “American Dream” thing to be interesting…it’s almost as if people are SUPPOSED TO want to get married, buy a house, have a couple of kids and work until your 60, then retire and move into a retirement community.

    There is nothing necessarily wrong with that…if that is truly what you want to do. I would wager that a lot of people don’t actually WANT that future, but feel like that’s the natural order of things, and so they proceed forward like a good American.

    That’s definitely not the future that I want. You either. 🙂
    Steve recently posted…I’m proud to be an early bird!My Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      2 years ago

      Yeah the “American Dream” of marriage, house, kids, and work, always seemed like cogs in an assembly line to me. So we work so we can enjoy life and what we have purchased, then retire when we can no longer work to enjoy life even more? I think many of us have looked at the steps and thought, what if I don’t want one of those steps or what if I can compact those steps into 10 years instead of 40 years. Interesting to think about.

  • Many roads lead to Rome my friend.

    Keep up the FI fight, most people will never understand.

    Cheers!
    Dominic @ Gen Y Finance Guy recently posted…May 2015 – Detailed Financial Report #5 – Net Worth $210,853 [+16.3% YTD]My Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      2 years ago

      I think you are spot on with that comment, it can be laughed at or dissected, but either way they won’t understand.

  • I have had many conversations like that. It is interesting to find out someone’s financial acumen and then what their outlook is. In some cases, they just have different lifestyle goals and in others they are just uninformed about money.

    I just got an email from a coworker that he found out I was focused on early retirement. I think hat conversation will be fun and informative to learn each other’s plans.
    Vawt recently posted…Home Repair BluesMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      2 years ago

      Yeah he is a smart guy both financially and intellectually, it’s like I decided to jump in a boat to Cuba and he chose to walk to St. Louis, different paths. Let me know how the talk goes, always interested in the unavailing and conversation.

  • If your friends were exactly like you, you would get bored of them. A lot of my friends are different and we bond over many different things. Sometimes grabbing a beer with a friend that is the complete opposite of you is a great time. Your path is your path, no one else’s. I try to remind myself that when all of my friends are getting married and buying houses (to live in), and neither really is on my current plans for the next few years.
    Fervent Finance recently posted…The MIA to LGA DebacleMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      2 years ago

      Bunch of Even Steven Clone Friends does sound boring;) It’s fun to see and listen to other friends priorities and plans, some get it financially and some don’t.

  • I think with an open mind and genuine curiosity and hopefully they will be the same way. No two paths are different, and for both of your situations…you may think one way today, but have a drastic change of mind for whatever reason later down the road. We can only predict so much… 🙂 I thought my life was going one path in my early 30’s…I could not have been more wrong!

    • EvenStevenMoney
      2 years ago

      Absolutely Tonya, if I would have asked myself my plan/path 10 or 15 years ago, it would have been nowhere close to my current path and who know’s in another 10 years maybe I will say the same thing. Great point!

  • I don’t think just because you have kids and a house you can’t reach FI. Why does it have to be the American dream why can it just be your dream. I’ve always wanted a family. That had nothing to do with anyone else. Everyone going to follow a different path. When I talked to friends about money I usually talk about my failures and and how I turn it around. It’s a good way have them open up about their situation.

    • EvenStevenMoney
      2 years ago

      I agree with you Brian that anyone can reach FI. My side note would be it would be easier to reach FI without kids. I think the American Dream is different to each person, but I challenge you to find friends and family that think the steps to follow are wife, kids, house, etc it’s a social norm. If you miss out on those things you are an outlier and find yourself explaining to others why you don’t have kids or a house or wife, it’s ingrained like going to college for so many of us.

  • I like to talk about money with friends (I guess I just generally like to talk about money!), but I try to stick to general topics like saving money by cutting back on going out to eat or the best credit card for rewards points. I find that if the topics comes to assets or net worth or overall financial plan it can get very uncomfortable very quickly especially if I’m talking with someone with a very different financial situation or financial goals.
    Ali @ Anything You Want recently posted…What is Net Worth and Why Should I Care About It?My Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      2 years ago

      The every day financial topics are easier to talk about and relate with everyone like you mentioned. When you talk with someone who you have grown up with I expect more information and details because we have known each other for so long. Sharing our financial plans at least is pretty common for us in the past.

  • Most people generally don’t mind talking money to some degree, but you can see where their priorities lie when having those discussions. When I shared my financial strategy, plans, ER strategy etc… with co-workers, no one else thinks they could also achieve FIRE by 45, even though they are at same company making similar salaries, and living in the same area. They don’t see it as a priority, so they want their money to be there to support a comfy lifestyle now.

    Nothing wrong with that at all. Just a different approach to living life.
    Mr. SSC recently posted…May 2015 UpdateMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      2 years ago

      I wonder if some people at your work don’t even know it’s possible? FI and living off of investments was something I have never heard of up until a couple years ago, I wonder if they knew the options if they still would choose option retire at 65.

      I do agree there is nothing wrong with that approach, although some of me says why don’t you try to retire early it’s a great way to get all of your finances together and have a plan for freedom!

  • I’m like you…I mention my early retirement plans in jest although when we talk, they learn that I do have a blueprint and it’s not really a joke. Although my plan/blueprint is still in flux and I’m not sure how it will go in the future if I really will retire early (40s). I’ve been so obsessed with early FI/retirement that sometimes I fail to realize that maybe others just have different goals. So to each, there own. Although I sometimes often wonder if they just don’t understand that early FI is attainable so they don’t pursue it…
    Andrew@LivingRichCheaply recently posted…Live Like a College StudentMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      2 years ago

      I almost said the exact same thing to @SlowlySippingCoffee! I wonder if we would make the same joke about our retirement plans if we met, lol probably not!

  • If he’s in a good financial position, he might be able to retire early even with a mortgage and a bunch of kids.

    My husband and I are pursuing FI (though maybe not exactly ER depending on how it’s defined), and we don’t expect to ever again be a dual income home, and we hope to have a pile of kids.

    • EvenStevenMoney
      2 years ago

      That’s a really good point, they could look to only have one income while having kids which is a blessing in it’s own right. Haha pile of kids

  • I usually can’t contain my excitement of wanting to talk about these ideas and plans of working towards financial independence with friends, once we get on the topic. With my good friends, I tend to be pretty open about what I’m trying to achieve and what’s important to me, and I’ve found many people just hadn’t ever thought about it before, and love the idea! It’s awesome when you see someone embrace the idea and then diving in to their own calculations or investment plans, and then being able to discuss it further!

    • EvenStevenMoney
      2 years ago

      Yeah I probably should talk about it more, just based on the level of excitement I have for pursuing FI. I have tried to convince a co-worker to take a sabbatical and do a mini early retirement, have him go test the waters for me;)

  • Yeah, it’s funny that you bring this up because I feel like I’m still in the closet about my plans for early retirement, financial freedom, etc. Every time I’ve sort of broached the subject with people, it never ends up as a constructive conversation. It usually goes toward joking about retirement homes and whittling or just gets brushed off. I doubt I’m alone here. I think for the most part people have this notion that you either work or you have enough money (through lottery, hitting the jackpot in Vegas or that rich relative dying and leaving you a huge sum) to where you’re so rich, you can do anything you want. It seems like a middle ground never occurs to people, and I think that’s why our community thrives on the positive feedback we give each other.

    On the flip side, I had a brief talk with my cousin, and had him actually recommend me some reading material on the matter. Apparently he’d had the idea of financial independence longer than I had, so I guess you could say it’s important to keep trying.
    FI Monkey recently posted…Younger Me – You Are Trapped and No One Else Will Save YouMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      2 years ago

      It’s a tough subject to talk about because at the same time it really does say that you are kicking a$$ financially and it’s a fine line to tell someone that you are doing really well without bragging or sounding like a jerk. That’s great to have a family member on board, I don’t think anyone in my family is heading towards that direction, keep that cousin close!

  • I have some good friends from high school but I see us going down much different paths and it is becoming harder and harder to relate. They all want the American dream you talked about and I’m with you on the early retirement goal. I learned quickly to stop talking to these friends about investing and early retirement as I could see their eyes rolling over. When people wonder why my husband and I aren’t upgrading our cars and condo when they think we make a lot of money, I leave out the part that we are piling money into investments, and rather say it’s because of my student loan debt. Apparently, that is more relatable.

    • EvenStevenMoney
      2 years ago

      It’s finding a common ground that can be tough, we previously talked about houses, cars, and stocks which was all fine but early retirement felt like talking about unicorns. Keep piling in the cash, maybe the conversations will get better;)

  • It’s definitely not a common path we’re on, but it’s comforting to know we have each other in our online frugal community :). We honestly don’t talk about money all that much with friends unless they ask for advice or if they bring it up. We’re on such a different plane in terms of spending and saving that there’s usually not much common ground. I’m always happy to talk about it, but really only if they bring it up. It helps that our close friends know about the blog, so they know they can bring their money questions to us if they choose to. By the way, your plans sound awesome my friend!
    Mrs. Frugalwoods recently posted…Frugal Hound Sniffs: The Frugal CottageMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      2 years ago

      Yeah the online community is awesome! Money is already hard to talk about in society, let alone something that does not relate with FI and Early Retirement.

Trackbacks & Pings

  • The Friday Feast ~ the 12th of June | ThinkSaveRetire.com :

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