How to talk about money with your friends

The mind-money connection

Friendships shouldn’t be based on financial situations—but sometimes, being a bit more open about money can help strengthen relationships. 

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Bright Dickson (0:11):

Earlier this year I was on vacation with some friends, and we were having a really good time. It was an amazing trip, but early in the trip it became really clear to me that we needed a rental car, and we hadn't talked about needing a rental car, but I just decided to go ahead and rent it. And I want to be really clear, I didn't mind doing it. I didn't feel bad around it then. I don't feel bad around it now. It was a great vacation, and the car totally came in handy. It was a good decision, but it was an expense that I hadn't necessarily planned on, and it wasn't something that we'd talked about beforehand. So this pretty simple decision to rent a car got one of my friends and me talking on the trip and thinking about the way that money comes up around friends and family members.

We started talking, and he shared this story where he experienced some weirdness around money at a family event, and naturally I had a similar story to share about weirdness over money at my family event. And what that conversation drove home for me was that everyone has a story or stories about some kind of weirdness over money and how it can affect the relationships in your life, whether you're deciding how to split the bill at a restaurant or weighing how much it's going to cost you to go to your college roommate's out-of-town wedding.

This stuff can get complicated and awkward, and it can become an issue between friends and family members in all sorts of ways. What also struck me talking to my friend about this is how rarely we have frank discussions about money with our friends. I think a lot of us don't like to talk about money with the people we're close to, but what I'm learning is that we do have to talk about it. So that's exactly what we're going to do on today's episode of Money and Mindset With Bright and Brian. Welcome to the show. I'm Bright Dickson, a senior Purpose Advisor at Truist and an expert in positive psychology. I'm here as always with my co-host Brian Ford, the head of Financial Wellness at Truist. He's also one of those rare friends who actually loves talking about money. How's it going, Brian?


Brian Ford (2:25):

I'm good, Bright. And I appreciate that story because it's so true. I think many of us have been through something like that. I know that you and I make talking about money with friends look pretty easy on this podcast, but in all seriousness, this isn't always easy, and we all struggle over this exact issue. I mean, it can be awkward to talk about money, especially if you're in a spot where maybe you and a friend are in different financial situations or different income brackets. So many things come up, like you mentioned, like who gets the bill at the restaurant? Should you spend money to go on a weekend trip or a sporting event with friends? How do you tell a friend you simply can't afford to go to a concert they've invited you to? These can be tricky questions.


Bright (3:08):

Yeah. And, you know, Brian, on this one, I probably have more tricky questions than I have simple answers, but it's really important to have these conversations. Your relationships with other people are critical to your happiness, to your overall well-being, to your health, and money is a part of that. It's there. You've got to be invested in having good relationships with money and good relationships around money too. By the way, listeners, if you're into this topic, we have another past episode called “Your relationship with money (chances are, it's complicated).” And that episode can really help you understand your own thoughts and feelings when it comes to money. And that will also help you when it comes to talking about money with friends, so it's another good one to check out.


Brian (3:55):

You are absolutely right. So, on today's episode, we're going to dig more into why it's so difficult to talk to your friends about money and why you should probably do it anyway. We'll explore some deeper issues that come up around money and friendship and also share a few ways you can be a good friend when it comes to money if you're on the other side. Are you ready, Bright?


Bright (4:16):

Brian, I am developing into a person who is ready to talk about money, so let's do it.


Brian (4:27):

So I want to share a few stats. I found one survey of millennials and people in Gen Z, or I think that zoomers, which is the official term now, not just a nickname. I don't know. Is that right? Zoomers?


Bright (4:41):

Yeah. I'm not sure how official it is, but zoomers, Gen Z. Shout out to our zoomer/Gen Z listeners. By the way, millennial, I like your name better. I'm a little jealous of your generation's nickname. Ours is played out. I think we're a little played out, Brian.


Brian (4:55):

Yeah. That is a cool name. But as a member of Gen X on the younger side of generation X, I do want to add, I'll tell you that these generational nicknames, they're not all they're cracked up to be. Anyway, almost half of the millennials and zoomers who were surveyed said that money has changed at least one friendship in their life. And in another survey, nearly 40% of millennials said they'd spent money they didn't have and gone into debt to keep up with their friends. And what's more, the research says that people across all generations would rather talk about current events, intimate relationships, and even politics before talking about money with their friends, and I think that's saying a lot. I mean, man, if we'd rather talk to our friends about politics and open up that political can of worms, then we really must not want to talk about money.


Bright (5:44):

Yeah. We really don't. And I think around talking about money, I think a lot of people, and including me up until recently, talking about money is like yucky or rude, like it's not something you should do. It's something that could hurt a friendship or at least something that can make things weirder, more complicated, awkward. It feels like an obstacle to a friendship, but it's there. It's always there, and I think in a lot of cases, it's actually an opportunity. It's an opportunity to deepen your relationships because when you're transparent about where you are and what's going on, however that comes about, that's you being honest in your relationship, and that's a deeper relationship.


Brian (6:25):

A hundred percent. That's a really good point, Bright. I mean, as we talk about why people get so hesitant to talk about money, I think there's a couple things to keep in mind. One is that we care about our relationships, and two, we care about how we look and how we're perceived in those relationships. That's normal. Guess what? Welcome to the human race.


Bright (6:49):



Brian (6:50)

But unfortunately as a society, we have this unfortunate habit of equating financial success, making money, and expensive activities with overall success, and I don't think media is helping. I mean, media in general, social media in particular contribute to that. We see people spending a lot of money on pricey vacations and dinners and big weddings, and we feel like we have to do too much, maybe when we can't afford it really just to be cool or look successful. It's an easy trap to fall into. You get to this place where you're doing things that aren't good for your financial health because you feel like you have to overspend to be perceived as successful.


Bright (7:30)

Mm-hmm. And I think what you're describing, Brian, is really this peer pressure to spend, even if your friends or your larger peer group aren't actively pressuring you to spend more money than you have, the pressure is there from social media, which includes ads. I can't tell you how many times I've seen my friend with some sort of product or experience and then a couple swipes later, there's the ad for that like they know. It's social media—


Brian (7:59):

They're listening.


Bright (8:00):

... it's FOMO... They're listening. And I've got to say that stat you shared about the 40% of millennials saying they've gone into debt to keep up with their friends, that hit close to home for me because I've literally gone into debt attending other people's weddings. Now as I've grown older, I've become a very confident decliner of invitations to wedding events, all of that kind of stuff because it's not just the wedding, it's the bridal shower, it's the bachelorette weekend, it's the engagement party, it's all of that, it's so much, but I only got there the hard way.

And one thing that I know now is that if you decline an invitation to a wedding or a wedding event, it is not necessarily that you don't care about that person's wedding or about them, or that you don't want to go. We all care really deeply about the relationships in our lives, but when you're honest with someone about, for example, the financial reasons why you can't come to their wedding, they're likely going to understand. And if they don't, well, that's a good thing to know about your friendship. And because of your honesty, nine times out of 10, I think your relationship's actually going to be stronger than it was before.


Brian (9:12):

Yeah, I agree. It's worth a little bit of awkwardness to be open and honest.


Bright (9:17):

Yeah. And I think, Brian, what I've learned too is that sometimes it doesn't end up being as awkward as I think it's going to be. And I think part of that is being confident and comfortable in yourself and your finances independently of whatever someone else's financial situation may be, that builds confidence. Just having the security to stand in who you are, where you are, and be real about that, that just really helps in so many different situations.


Brian (9:50):

Yes, I love that. I mean, we get caught up in these comparisons that quite often, I think, aren't even based in reality. What I think is crazy is we're comparing ourselves to folks, and it's not even real. It's so nutty to me. Even if it were real, it's okay, we've got to realize it's comparison, it's probably not a good thing, but especially on social media, people might look like they have more money than they really do. And, as you pointed out, Bright, a little more transparency and honesty could do a whole lot of good. Either way, just because you look like you can spend a lot of money doesn't mean that you're making good financial decisions. You can't let what other people are doing influence what's right for your financial wellness.


Bright (10:31):

Yep. Brian, I agree. And it touches on one other thing that I want to note, which is something we're not saying. So what we're not saying, y’all, is that you shouldn't be friends with people who spend more or less money than you. So we're saying the opposite is true. We have this natural tendency, I think, where birds of a feather kind of flock together when it comes to income, and whatever income bracket you're in, you're more likely to associate and be friends with people who are in that same income bracket. And I think when you only spend time with people who are in similar financial circumstances as you are, you're limiting yourself. You're limiting your ability to have a diversity of friends and relationships and experiences, and that can limit your ability to experience growth and really understand more about the world you're living in. Your friends should be your friends for reasons that have nothing to do with money or at least not a lot to do with money, don't you think?


Brian (11:26):

Yeah, for sure. And I think all of us know that we shouldn't choose our friends based on the size of their bank accounts. But, Bright, I do want to put a bit of a footnote on this point. While transparency with our friends is a good thing when it comes to talking about our spending, what we can afford, on the other hand, income is one of those areas you probably don't need to discuss in detail, if at all.


Bright (11:49):

So, Brian, you're saying that you shouldn't ask most of your buddies for a rundown of their salaries?


Brian (11:54):

Yep. I mean, our incomes can be a little too personal unless it's with a close family member or a very close friend and you want to disclose that. I think in this instance, sometimes etiquette and certain social norms, they exist for a good reason. And I think discussing income can be just a bit too personal. There's a discretion to be had there.


Bright (12:15):

Yeah, I'm with you on that, Brian. I think it's something you can discuss in close relationships, but I think it also depends on why you want to talk about it. So for example, are you just looking to brag about your income? Because that's not much fun for your friend, and you should probably look at what that's saying about you. And I think it has to be specific to the individual and the situation, and I think most people err on the side of caution on that, which I think is healthy.


Brian (12:41):

Yeah. But I think it's a good thing to talk about, Bright, because sometimes we just blanket say, "We shouldn't talk to friends and family about money," and that's silly, that's what we're talking about, you should. But there are some instances where you shouldn't, and that sometimes gets thrown into this whole big conversation when really we just mean, "Hey, be careful of the income thing, but everything else might be on the table and might be healthy," and it does depend on the situation. So if you're in a romantic relationship starting to get closer, you're getting a little more serious, you're going to want to have a decent conversation about your finances. You should absolutely talk about your finances with your spouse or your partner. And of course, if you get a raise or a promotion, or a new job or something, that's totally worth celebrating. You don't have to talk about specific numbers, but let's celebrate that with those who are close to you. I just would never flaunt your paycheck, and I think we get that.


Bright (13:37):

Yeah, that's a great point. And your friendships can and should be a really great source of encouragement and affirmation, and I think this applies to your financial goals as much as anything. If you've shared with a good friend that you're trying to achieve something, some kind of financial goal, talking with them about it, staying accountable to them about it, and celebrating your wins along the way can be huge, deepen that friendship, and get you not only more clarity, but more confidence. So, agree, Brian. It depends on the situation, and that's part of what makes this all so complicated.


Brian (14:07):

That's right. And I think the most common things you're going to run into are situations where you're doing something together with your friends that involve spending money. We've already mentioned weddings, vacations, meals. There's plenty more. You're not going to struggle to find situations where you're spending money with friends and have an opportunity to talk honestly and transparently about it.


Bright (14:27):

Coming up, we're going to talk a little more about a few of those specific situations and how you can be a good friend when it comes to money. See you in the next segment, Brian.


Brian (14:36):

I'll see you there.


Bright (14:45):

Before we return to our regularly scheduled programming, I want to remind our listeners that they can always email us at We love reading your comments and hearing your personal stories about how you're growing confidence with your money and/or your mindset. We also love seeing questions. If you write in with a question, we'll do our best to answer it on a future episode. Let me go ahead and read the question we have for today. It's a good one. It relates directly to today's topic, and I am eager to hear your thoughts, Brian. So a listener asks, "Is it okay to lend friends or family members money?"


Brian (15:22):

It's a question I get a lot, and it's something I've seen a lot. Many of us do come up against this, whether it's with a friend or a family member. This is a tricky one. What I can say is I have seen that lending money to friends and family usually does not end well. Not only have I seen this, I've experienced it. There was one time when I lent someone some money. It wasn't even that much, but it totally changed the dynamic of that relationship. So, for example, when I'd call him, he wasn't as likely to pick up, and I'll just mention I had no intention of calling him just to talk about the money. I didn't even care about that. I was calling about other stuff or just to catch up, but I felt like he perceived that I was calling to ask about the money.

And, man, it's an uncomfortable place to be in a relationship that you value, so I am not a huge fan of lending money to friends and family. I am, however, a fan of helping out when they need it and just letting them know that it's a gift, not a loan. If someone really needs help and you want to give it to them, and you can afford to do so, you can even do it anonymously through another person or some other means. And I would apply this to relatively small amounts, maybe under $500 or so, but again, this is a tricky one. I'm curious, Bright, what's your take on this question?


Bright (16:43):

Yeah. I tend to agree with you on this one. Don't make it a loan, make it a gift, and I think that's as much for you as it is for them, so you just take that expectation away. And if you can't do it, you can't do it. If someone asks you for an amount that you can't do, it is okay to not do it. There are many other ways that you can support people. And if you're in the opposite position, let's say you're the one gearing up to ask a friend or family member for a loan, you should try and anticipate what's going to happen down the road and how you're going to feel when you owe a friend or family member money. Do you want that to be hanging over your relationship? Are there other resources you can use if it's a loan that you really need? It's complicated, but I feel like most of the time you don't really want to have an actual debt changing the dynamic of your relationship with a friend or family member.


Brian (17:38):

And I think that takes us back to the importance of honesty, just being upfront with folks.


Bright (17:43):

For sure. A friend should help each other, and when you're honest about both what kind of help you need and what kind of help you can give, that should be good for the friendship.


Brian (17:52):

Totally. All right, that was a good question. Thank you. Listeners, please send us your other questions about relationships, money, about anything else that's on your mind. We just might bring it up on a future episode. That email is Bright, let me give you a little hypothetical situation.


Bright (18:25):

OK, I'm ready.


Brian (18:27):

So you're out to dinner with some friends. It's a nice restaurant. One of your friends picked it out. One friend orders a cocktail while you're sticking with water, good old tap water. Someone else is ordering appetizers. At what point does the question of the check and who gets the bill become something you talk about?


Bright (18:45):

It's a classic. So I think this is a common plot point in sitcoms and movies and commercials for a reason. It happens, and everybody has a different relationship to the bill, and the bill must be paid. What I'm learning is that it's best to establish a plan from the outset. So first, that's a me plan, "What do I want to happen?" And then it can be a group plan. And it's about that honesty and transparency. So let's get it all out there before we start adding to the bill. Now at this point, it's still a negotiation you're having with your friends. There are different approaches. You can split the bill evenly, you can get separate checks if the restaurant does that, whatever. And then there's what one of my friends calls the cosmic laundry approach. It'll all come out in the wash, and that's the way I tend to personally approach it, that someone lays their card down this time, another time, and it comes out in the cosmic wash. So, Brian, what about you? What are you doing at this hypothetical restaurant?


Brian (19:53):

Well, I can with confidence say that I'm not a cosmic laundry type of guy. I think you and I would have some negotiating to do before we placed our hypothetical orders, Bright.


Bright (20:06):

Yeah. We can get separate checks as long as I get to pick where we're hypothetically going.


Brian (20:10):

Okay, now we're talking. That's a compromise. And it's that type of compromise, it's that type of conversation, I wouldn't have done that earlier in my life, and it's because I used to let my own insecurities get in the way of what was best for me and my family financially. There was a time when I probably would've defaulted to the cosmic laundry approach simply because I was afraid to bring it up. Or even worse, even if I couldn't afford it, I might just pay for the whole thing because I wanted to look cooler, whatever. I mean, just so many silly insecurities. But nowadays, I'd say I'm much more comfortable being open about money. I've set the precedent with friends and family, "Hey, look, we're probably going to have separate checks," because one, I don't drink. I'm a water guy. I'm not big on appetizers.

Again, that just goes back to my finance things. Not that I don't love appetizers, but I'll share with you something, Bright. I know I'm going to get full off a meal, and I'm like, oh my gosh, I can't do two things, and not only is it bad for my finances, it's bad for my waistline, and that's all going spiraling downhill. Anyways, I'm sharing too much. So we're probably going to have separate checks just because of those things. Or I will say, "Look, I'm not going to do that," just if it's super awkward. If it's awkward to do that or have separate checks or the restaurant doesn't do that, I'm totally cool with just splitting the check equally. I'm not too worried about that. To me, that just makes sense. And that's pretty true, not only of dinner, but other situations as well like if I'm going on a trip together with friends, if we're renting a car, it just makes sense to split it equally, split the gas equally. For me, that's easy math. We can be fair and open about it.


Bright (21:46):

Yeah, that's interesting, Brian. So what changed from the time when you weren't so comfortable having those conversations with your friends?


Brian (21:54):

Yeah. I think what changed for me is that I've become okay with saying, "I can't afford that." And as silly as it might sound, Bright, back in the day, I can remember I'd go into a store maybe to buy a couch or an appliance or something, and I would even care what the salesperson thought about me. I worried that they might think I couldn't afford something, and they'd be showing me something just way too expensive. And I'd be like, "Hmm, that one looks good," and in the back of my mind I'm like, "Holy crap, are you serious?"

But I think a lot of us have these kinds of insecurities like telling our friends when we can't afford something. And what's crazy about this is, now I'm in a place where I'm making more money, yet I'm okay with telling people I can't afford things. I'm just more comfortable acknowledging to others, "I don't want to spend my money on that." Or I'll say, "That's a little too much for me." Or I'll just simply say, "I can't afford that," and I'm fine with that even though I probably could, but I know what that statement means for me and I'm okay saying it, and I'm okay with what people think. I'm just like, "I can't afford that."


Bright (23:05):

Yeah. And I think you're hitting it right on the head. It's about confidence. It's about confidence in who you are and where you are, that's what's at play really when you get down to it, and you should, and we want you to be comfortable and confident with who and where you are financially. That's why we do this. That comfort and confidence in who you are is also the basis of strong friendships and strong relationships, and they translate to each other. This is the transitive property situation. I think when you're in those situations, like the ones we're talking about with your friends, this is on most people's minds. It's in the air, but we're just not talking about it, we're not engaging with it. I think because it feels awkward, and we don't have great skills around it. But you can be the one who gives that relief and clarity to everyone. You can be the one who offers that friendship, that act of kindness and care in bringing up how we're going to negotiate this together.


Brian (24:04):

Yeah, I like that, Bright. So let me ask you, how does that kind of confidence in yourself come into the picture when you're negotiating tricky money questions in your friendships? More specifically, what do you do when you have a friend who wants to spend more on group activities than you do?


Bright (24:23):

Well, I mean, here's the thing. I've generally gotten more comfortable in my life not doing stuff I don't want to do, blanket statement, even if it makes somebody upset, I tend to just not do anymore stuff I don't want to do, which has been, as a recovering perfectionist and people pleaser, that is huge growth for me. But it's hard. I think the first thing is to be aware of and address your own insecurities. It starts with you. You've got to be comfortable and confident with you. That's step number one, and that's plenty of work right there. I think step number two is establishing what you can do with that friend. What are the activities that are equally enjoyable and accessible to both of you or to the whole friend group? And again, this is about having those conversations.


Brian (25:16):

Yeah. I want our friends that are listening to know that you are in control. If you get invited to something you can't afford, it's OK to say, "Not this time, sorry." You can take solace, even pride, in saying, "I choose to live below my means," because when you're saying, "I can't afford those things," what you're really saying is, yes to other things. You're saying, yes, to saving for your kids' college or, yes to retiring when you're 65 or even younger. You're making good financial decisions for yourself and your family. And Bright, if you're on the other side of it, meaning you're the friend doing the inviting, man, there's so many things that we can do that don't cost a lot of money. We can invite people over and have everyone bring a dish. We can have a barbecue. We can go to an affordable restaurant, somewhere that's still nice, but just not a crazy expensive type of thing.

So, Bright, this makes me think. I'll give you an example in my own life where this comes into play. I love sports, you know that. It's definitely my jam. So, with this passion, I love going to sporting events. I mean, when I sit in a packed stadium before the kickoff, I can't wipe the smile off my face. It's like my happy place. And I'll say that I'm happy to report that after years of hard work, I can afford good tickets. So if I'm going with my wife and it's just us, we're normally sitting in a pretty awesome spot that's a bit pricey because I genuinely enjoy good seats and I'm happy to pay a little more. But if I'm going to a game with a friend and we're talking about it, and this happens all the time, we'll be like on the phone. We're jumping online; we're looking at tickets.

There's everything from $30 seats to $800 seats, and I always want to be the one who says, "Ah, that's getting a bit pricey," and sort of gently lean toward the more affordable tickets. And that's because I want to take the pressure off and let them decide on a price point they're comfortable with. I'm totally cool with sitting wherever because these relationships and sharing the experience are what's really important to me, and that's one of the biggest reasons I love sports in the first place. It's about being with friends. It's about being with people I care.


Bright (27:35):

Mm-hmm. Brian, I think that's so smart, and I think that's a really loving and kind way to go about it. It makes me think, a couple months ago, a friend and I were thinking about going to see this comedy show with two big names in Atlantic City, where she lives. We got to look at the tickets. They were 450 bucks each. And we were like, "Yeah, no." We would have more fun sitting around her kitchen, drinking wine and eating Goldfish, and making each other laugh, even though we love these two comedians. So when you're doing stuff with friends, it should be about the friends, I think, more than about the doing stuff. And you've got to make sure that everybody's comfortable with where you are financially. That's part of the duty of friendship.


Brian (28:24):

Yeah. I love you guys sitting around with a box of Goldfish and wine.


Bright (28:29):

Oh, yeah.


Brian (28:30):

OK, funny thing. In my family we call Goldfish fishy crackers.


Bright (28:34):

Oh, that's cute.


Brian (28:35):

And my little kids just thought that's what it was called, and they would be at lunch in fourth grade, and they're like, "I'll trade you for your fishy crackers." And they're like, "What?" Anyways, I digress. Bright, we've already covered a lot of ground and looked at some great examples, but I think we'd be doing our listeners a disservice if we didn't revisit something we talked about, or I think we just touched on a little bit earlier. It's those expensive weddings. So I've got a survey here that says the average wedding guest expects to spend more than $600 attending a wedding this year, and that's just to attend.


Bright (29:15):



Brian (29:16):

You said you've become an expert decliner of wedding invitations, which is a great phrase, by the way. Love that. So what all goes into becoming an expert decliner?


Bright (29:29):

Many, many mistakes, Brian. But here's the thing. I've been in a lot of weddings. I've been to a lot of weddings. I think I'm past my prime going-to-weddings time of life, but now I'm going to second weddings and some third weddings too for my overachieving friends in that area.


Brian (29:48):

Oh boy.


Bright (29:49):

I think a couple of things. So one, my folks listening, some of you are probably in your prime time of weddings, and it adds up. It gets expensive. It's a lot. I think, culturally, this is on the list of things we need to take a look at as a culture, the wedding madness. But I want to say to you guys, you don't have to go to the wedding. You don't have to go to the bachelorette party. You don't have to go to the engagement party.

It is OK to pick and choose among the wedding events even if you're in the wedding party. You also don't have to be in the wedding party. You have control. You have choice over this, even when I know that the pressure is so high, and I'm super empathetic to that, but my life opened up and I got more confident when I got more selective around what I wanted to do and what I could do. So those of you who are in this wedding season and those of you who are having weddings, keep all of this in mind because it does add up for guests, for bridesmaids, and grooms when it all adds up, and it's a big commitment, and it can be a really big ask.


Brian (31:05):

Yeah. Good advice from experience. I love it. So, Bright, I also want to talk about this whole wedding thing from the other side of it. I've got another stat that says the average cost of organizing a wedding in 2023 is $29,000, which let me tell you, that seems pretty wild to me, especially when I think of my own wedding. And most people would make fun of me for this, but I'm actually bragging right here. My wife and I, our wedding has to be in the running for one of the least expensive weddings with over 100 guests. I mean, we were broke college students. We had no problem admitting that. We were married in a temple, which was free, and then we held our reception at our church. Again, we didn't have to pay for that. Her cousin did the catering, her brother DJ'ed the reception, which still to this day cracks me up. He's such a funny guy. He's great, but he's DJing this thing.

Instead of buying a wedding dress, my wife rented it for $200. We did pay for a good photographer and a videographer. That's what we splurged on. That was my wife's choice. She's like, "I want to remember this day, show our children, our grandchildren," so we got those two things good, but I think the whole thing was 3,000 bucks, everything in. It was local because we wanted most of our friends and family to attend without costing a whole lot. So for a decent-sized wedding, I'm talking well over 100 people, I think we win for the least expensive.


Bright (32:38):

Yeah. I think you're right there in the running, and I think that's so awesome, Brian. And I'll just say some of the best weddings, my favorite weddings that I've been to have been the ones that seem to be the least expensive and the least dramatic.


Brian (32:51):

Yeah. We were just like, "We're broke, and we can't expect our parents to spend a bunch of money, so we're just going to do this." What mattered to us was that we were just there together as a couple, having friends and family. My wife did want chocolate-dipped strawberries, so that was on the menu, but again, the cousin did that. We had a great time. My wife and I have been married now for 23 years, and we still have all these great memories of our wedding day. I will say, Bright, that everyone's different, though. Everyone's personalities, what they value, and financial situations are unique, and you may want different things for your wedding. Totally fine. But what I think these stories do show is that our financial considerations don't have to be a barrier to deepening and celebrating and cherishing our relationships with other people. You can decline the occasional wedding invite without offending anyone, and you can host a special event with your friends without asking anyone to spend money they don't have.


Bright (33:51):

I think that's one of my biggest takeaways from today's conversation, how being open about this stuff can strengthen your confidence and make your friendships stronger too. So it's a win-win. Brian, what are the top things you're taking away?


Brian (34:07):

Yeah. My takeaway is, I hope our listeners won't be as silly as I was when I was younger, and I hope they get comfortable, even confident in saying no to things that we can't afford because what we're really saying is yes to things that are more important that lead to financial wellness.


Bright (34:26):

Yeah. Hear, hear.


Brian (34:35):

All right. That's going to do it for another episode of Money and Mindset With Bright and Brian. We'll be back next month with another conversation that can help inspire you to explore the connections between your money and your mental well-being. Until then, you can email, email us with your questions, comments—especially if you have me beat on the least expensive wedding front, I want to hear from you. Again, that's Thank you so much for listening, and always thank you, Bright, my ultimate Money and Mindset friend.


Bright (35:11):

Thanks, Brian. To our listeners, if you enjoyed the show, be sure to subscribe on any platform to get new episodes when they're fresh. You can also drop us a rating or review or, hey, the next time you're having a money conversation with a friend, tell them about the podcast, send it to them. It's a good way to open up the conversation. Thanks, everyone, for joining us today. Until next time.


Announcer (35:32):

This episode of Money and Mindset With Bright and Brian is brought to you by Truist.

Even with your closest friends, money can be a sensitive subject. Talking about money doesn’t have to be awkward, though. In fact, having open conversations about your financial priorities can make your friendships stronger.

In this episode of “Money and Mindset With Bright and Brian,” our hosts explore how money affects our friendships. They also share a few ways you can be a good friend when it comes to money, whether you’re splitting the check at dinner or deciding whether you can afford to attend a pricey out-of-town wedding.

Other tips you’ll get from this episode:

  • Why your income shouldn’t affect who your friends are
  • Whether it’s ever OK to lend money to a friend
  • When it makes sense to bring up a money topic with a friend

Want to hear more about how money influences our relationships with other people? Check out these past episodes, too:

Send us your questions and stories:

We love hearing your questions and stories, whether they’re about your money or your mindset. Email us at to share with us (you can remain anonymous). We may talk about your question or give you a shoutout in an upcoming episode!

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The opinions expressed are solely those of Brian Ford and Bright Dickson.

This content does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial, mental health, or investment advice. You are encouraged to consult with competent legal, tax, accounting, financial, or investment professionals based on your specific circumstances. We do not make any warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability for your use of this information.