You know the saying “Keeping up with the Joneses?” Well, hold the thought: it turns out that Gen Z and Millennials are actually now more inclined to kick the Joneses to the curb. According to a recent Credit Karma survey, 47 percent of Gen Z and 36 percent of Millennials have considered ending friendships because of a difference in spending habits. Many, the survey finds, have already gone into considerable debt to afford their friends’ lifestyles. But do you really have to call it quits? According to Credit Karma’s consumer financial advocate Courtney Alev, no.
“In general, salary should not be a deciding factor in whether or not you want to (or can) be someone’s friend,” she says. “It will improve your personal understanding of money to surround yourself with friends who have varying incomes and financial backgrounds, as they’re bound to have unique perspectives and experiences you can learn from.”
However, we totally get it when the desire for bottomless champagne brunch and a week-long jaunt through the Italy (White Lotus-inspired, of course) don’t match the reality of your bank account. So, here are five ways to keep your spending in check when you’re with those spendthrift friends—without losing the fun or the friendships.