smart spending

How to stay friends when salaries differ

Accept the income gap
Accept the income gap © Minerva Studio/Shutterstock.com

This is the cold, hard truth of adulthood: Your salary might not match that of your friends, and it will make it more difficult to spend time together.

For Christine Huck, a visual artist, the social dynamics with her college friends changed dramatically after graduation. In college, "We'd eat together in the cafeteria. We would go dancing," says Huck. But as graduates, her friends took corporate jobs while she struggled to find work in the creative field. Social outings "turned into going out (and) drinking." This kind of spending added up. At one happy hour, she brought a peach because she couldn't afford to nibble on the appetizers her friends were sharing. "I just felt awkward and a little bit like an outsider for not participating and eating food," she says.

"The reality is not everyone will earn the same amount of money. Not everyone will live in the same type of house. What I encourage people to do is focus on the friendship and not the finances," says Dallas-based financial adviser Derrick Kinney.

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