smart spending

Money lessons from 5 summer movies

'Bridesmaids'
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'Bridesmaids'

Along with insights into friendship, flying and the dangers of pink taffeta, this movie offered a realistic financial scenario: friends (and frenemies) with vastly different monetary resources.

Real-world money takeaway: Whether you have piles of the green stuff or you must stretch every dollar, it pays to be honest with your friends -- and sensitive to their situations.

It makes zero sense breaking your budget to keep up with more affluent friends. Or requiring those not as financially advantaged to either spend, or spend time alone.

"You can maintain your friendships, you can not embarrass anyone, and you can be thoughtful," says Karen Altfest, CFP, principal adviser and executive vice president of client relations for Altfest Personal Wealth Management, a fee-only financial planning firm based in New York.

For example, if you're meeting for dinner, make sure the place you pick is affordable for everyone. Keeping up or getting together with friends "doesn't always have to be spending the moon," she says.

The other lesson from the movie: Bridal fashion and food poisoning definitely don't mix.


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