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Lifestyle Differences?


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Old 13th October 2018, 5:34 PM   #1
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Lifestyle Differences?

I don't know how to discuss this without sounding boastful. This is a real issue which comes up in friendships though.

My husband and I live a comfortable life. We are far from wealthy but we have disposable income for certain luxuries. We are also able to live well on one income.

I have a few friends who cannot afford the luxuries that I can. Most of them have two incomes yet they still struggle because they live above their means. I don't know how much I should share with them so I simply keep quiet until they ask. My friend inquire about my vacations and then make sad comments about not being able to afford to travel. When I buy new clothes, my friends notice and compliment me just before they say that they can't afford to shop. It makes me feel rather awkward so sometimes I downplay things just to make my friends feel better.

I never want to be the rude and tactless friend who makes others feel upset about the differences in our lifestyles. I'm also very mindful of not bragging as I think it is tacky to boast about anything. I have had friends in the past who constantly boasted about money and I thought it was very classless of them. I have also had former friends who felt the need to compete with me as well as copy my choices. I found that behavior creepy and childish.

Interestingly, there's no awkwardness between myself and my older friends.
My 50+ friends live within their means and they are more secure about their financial situations. Most of my 50+ friends are fairly well off so maybe that has something to do with the ease of our interactions.

How do you handle income/lifestyle discrepancies in your friendships?
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Old 13th October 2018, 6:13 PM   #2
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I'm not wealthy, but I'm comfortable and always have been. My parents had a comfortable lifestyle and paid for an education which allowed me to have a career that pays well.

I have friends from varying economic backgrounds. Sometimes those with less can show moments of jealousy and make comments that make me feel awkward, but the true friends remain solid and those awkward moments are only occasional.

I try to be sensitive about talking about financial issues with those that have less because I realize that it could cause resentment if I come off as out of touch with their situation.

Often, also, people fail to realize that they make choices of where their money goes. My friends with several children and grandchildren love spending their money on them and I think that's great. Having no children, my money is spent on more tangible things that can be clearly seen and therefore may make more of an impression on others.
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Old 13th October 2018, 6:15 PM   #3
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Easy, I treat my friends how I'd like to be treated.


My husband and I are not at all wealthy and struggle to make ends meet, we have some friends that are very wealthy and travel extensively and own numerous properties and flash cars, am I envious? not really, although it would be nice to have fancier lifestyle, I'm perfectly happy with my lot and would never complain to my friends that I can't afford xyz. The only time I would say anything is if they invited us somewhere, and we couldn't afford to go along.


We have our health and happiness which in my mind is way more important than material possessions and fancy holidays. Some of my wealthy friends suffer ill health, some struggle raising children with disabilities and others caught in loveless marriages. I always keep this in mind if I ever start to feel sorry for myself.


Bonus of having wealthy friends- they invite us to stay in their holiday homes. :-) They invite us out on their boats :-)
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Old 13th October 2018, 8:34 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Finding my way View Post
I'm not wealthy, but I'm comfortable and always have been. My parents had a comfortable lifestyle and paid for an education which allowed me to have a career that pays well.

I have friends from varying economic backgrounds. Sometimes those with less can show moments of jealousy and make comments that make me feel awkward, but the true friends remain solid and those awkward moments are only occasional.

I try to be sensitive about talking about financial issues with those that have less because I realize that it could cause resentment if I come off as out of touch with their situation.

Often, also, people fail to realize that they make choices of where their money goes. My friends with several children and grandchildren love spending their money on them and I think that's great. Having no children, my money is spent on more tangible things that can be clearly seen and therefore may make more of an impression on others.
We are also childfree so we are in the same situation as you are in terms of disposable income. I have ended budding friendships with some moms because their snide remarks became too much.

I hear you about causing resentment. I once had a well heeled friend who was marrying into a wealthy family. She became extremely arrogant and pompous. Every conversation was about how much her fiance spent on different items. At that time, my husband and I were struggling and she made nasty remarks about our apartment. I found her remarks difficult to handle so I distanced myself. Her in-laws tried to stop their son from marrying that woman because she was embarrassing her in-laws by bragging on social media. Real wealth is understated.

A good friend of mine makes awful financial decisions and that's why she and her husband struggle. I wish that she would make the necessary changes rather than moaning about her situation and making sad comments. Of course, she didn't ask for my advice so I am not going to tell my dear friend what needs to change in order to be in a better position. For my friend's birthday, I want to give her a gift card to our favorite store but I'm scared that my friend would feel insulted.
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Old 13th October 2018, 8:37 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by mrs rubble View Post
Easy, I treat my friends how I'd like to be treated.


My husband and I are not at all wealthy and struggle to make ends meet, we have some friends that are very wealthy and travel extensively and own numerous properties and flash cars, am I envious? not really, although it would be nice to have fancier lifestyle, I'm perfectly happy with my lot and would never complain to my friends that I can't afford xyz. The only time I would say anything is if they invited us somewhere, and we couldn't afford to go along.


We have our health and happiness which in my mind is way more important than material possessions and fancy holidays. Some of my wealthy friends suffer ill health, some struggle raising children with disabilities and others caught in loveless marriages. I always keep this in mind if I ever start to feel sorry for myself.


Bonus of having wealthy friends- they invite us to stay in their holiday homes. :-) They invite us out on their boats :-)
I'm glad that you don't complain to your wealthy friends and it's nice that they are so generous.

Health is wealth. Wealthy people know this and that's why they spend extra money on the best food and medical care.
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Old 13th October 2018, 9:04 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by BettyDraper View Post
I'm glad that you don't complain to your wealthy friends and it's nice that they are so generous.

Health is wealth. Wealthy people know this and that's why they spend extra money on the best food and medical care.
I don't agree that you must spend extra money to be healthy. The only costs I pay for my medical care are for prescriptions which are capped at $5 per item.
We are from a family of hunters, so we have a supply of venison, pig, fish and shellfish, we also grow vegetables and have fruit trees. I'm regularly given free range eggs too. I probably eat more healthily than some of my more wealthy friends.
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Old 13th October 2018, 10:14 PM   #7
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I don't agree that you must spend extra money to be healthy. The only costs I pay for my medical care are for prescriptions which are capped at $5 per item.
We are from a family of hunters, so we have a supply of venison, pig, fish and shellfish, we also grow vegetables and have fruit trees. I'm regularly given free range eggs too. I probably eat more healthily than some of my more wealthy friends.
Not all wealthy people are health conscious but many of them are. The wealthy who do not hunt and grow their own food typically buy organic.
Organic food is far more expensive than non organic.

Wealthy folks also spend money on premium supplements, gym memberships or home gyms, and holistic care. None of those extras are cheap. They can also afford the best professionals to treat them when they are ill.

You can certainly be healthy without having a lot of money. However, your choices indicate that health without extra funds requires a lot more work. Not everyone is willing or able to hunt and cultivate their own food. I applaud you for growing your own crops.
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Old 13th October 2018, 10:45 PM   #8
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We are comfortable, but have friends who can afford more expensive clothes, holidays and cars than us. I would never comment about not having the money to do those things...it just makes everyone feel awkward.

Making people feel comfortable needs to work both ways and your friends aren't holding up their end of the deal.
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