10 August 2015

Would you take money advice from your friends?

Finance has the power to be a real conversation killer.

Money – how much you earn, what you do with it and how much you owe – has long been considered a controversial topic best left to discussing with your bank manager, rather than with your pals.

But like it or not, money crops up frequently in our everyday lives – whether it’s splitting the bill in a restaurant, choosing a destination for your joint holiday or deciding how much to spend on a birthday gift – and there are signs people are becoming a lot more open to discussing money matters with their mates. 

We take a closer look at how friends deal with money issues and how to avoid financial fallouts.

Friends and finances

On the face of it, friends are pretty good at not letting money become an issue. Our own research that we conducted earlier this year1, shows just 18% of people have fallen out over finances, with not paying back cash and taking too long to repay debts among the top causes of arguments.

Friends and finances

Here at Nationwide we’ve recognised that people are increasingly happy to receive financial tips from their pals, which is why we’ve launched our Recommend a Friend scheme. If you already bank with Nationwide and recommend one of our current accounts to a friend, then you and your friend will receive £200* to share if they choose to switch their banking to us (conditions apply).

Recommend a friend and receive £100 each

Who are our financial friends?

Obviously how willing we are to take on our friends’ financial advice depends on the friend in question. According to psychologist Honey Langcaster-James, the rise of social media has changed how we understand ‘friendship’, with sites like Facebook allowing us to keep in touch with old school mates and work colleagues who we would previously have lost touch with years ago.

As such a lot of peoples’ ‘friends’ aren’t necessarily close pals who they would really confide in about money worries etc.

But on the other hand, some people may be more comfortable discussing money with people they don’t see day-to-day.

“While on one level the relationships online may be more superficial they are also a useful way to share information with one another and express our likes and dislikes in a way we wouldn't in real life,” Langcaster-James adds.

Do's and dont's

Even if you consider yourself the money guru of your group, it’s best to exercise caution when discussing finances with your nearest and dearest.

Do share any helpful tools or guides you’ve found, we've created some videos that may do the trick.

Do make it easy to pay your pals back. Paym makes it easy to send and receive money securely to and from your friends, using just a mobile phone number. Conditions apply.

Don’t encourage impulse purchases when you’re out shopping together. Don’t be afraid to ask them if they really need that new top/game/DVD.

Do offer to help your friends plan their weekly or monthly budget. Our calculator can help you get started .

Do practice what you preach. There’s no point telling your pal to watch what they are spending and then invite them out for a five-course dinner. Be mindful of their financial situation and suggest a night in instead. 

1Atomik research: total sample size was 2,003 UK adults. The survey ran in July 2015.

*Excluding FlexOne and Cash Card.  Other conditions apply.  Please read the Terms of this offer.

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