For every alpha male who steps out of his Ferrari, waves his wallet and sees a thousand girls fall at his feet, there’s someone else whose wife has ditched him because she can’t stand those loanshark runners banging on the door of their flat.
Money can be a powerful relationship-builder for some, but it also ruins relationships.
While any sane person knows you should not turn to loansharks even if it means not being able to play that final hand of baccarat at the RWS casino, even the financially solvent can find themselves losing friends and making enemies if they do the following.
1. Not being careful about whom you lend money to
Borrowing money from people and not paying it back will certainly earn you a bad reputation, but trying to be the good guy and agreeing to lend money to a friend or relative in need can also ruin the relationship.
They say you should never lend money to someone unless you don’t mind losing it. That’s because if you mind losing the money, there’s a high chance you’ll lose your friend.
No matter how earnestly the person promises to pay you back, the sad truth is that money brings out the worst in people.
True story: when I was 21, I lent $100 to a friend. When I called her asking for the cash back 6 months later, she blocked me on MSN and changed her phone number. At a later age and with larger sums of money, it could get a lot worse.
2. Showing off your cash excessively
Okay, you’ve worked hard to get to where you are today. Or maybe your parents were the ones who worked hard and you’ve been enjoying the spoils of their riches since the day you were born.
While flaunting one’s wealth is socially acceptable in Singapore, refrain from being insufferable about it, as that will repel people.
Bragging about how you paid for your Audi without having to take out a loan, letting slip that your parents bought a condo in your name or being an obsessed careerist makes you seem desperate for recognition, and we all know how attractive that is.
If you’re looking for the love of your life, unless you’re interested in gold diggers, you’ll have more success if you learn to be modest.
3. Not taking responsibility for your own financial situation
As an adult, you’re responsible for your own financial situation. That means you need to obtain an income through your own efforts, and learn how to spend within your means.
Unfortunately, there are many adults who can’t seem to do this, and instead use the people around them to sustain their lifestyles.
These people appear in many guises—like that guy who always shows up at drinking sessions but never ever offers to chip in when the bill arrives or the girl who uses Tinder to get free meals.
Your friends might have been happy to bail you out when you were much younger or lend you cash for those McDonald’s meals, but an adult who can’t manage his own finances is a red flag to many.
4. Complaining incessantly about your financial situation
We all have that friend who turns down every single invitation to hang out because he doesn’t want to spend money… not even for a kopi at your local food centre.
He replies to your every invitation with a long WhatsApp text about how he can’t afford to go out because he’s chained to his HDB flat mortgage, his wife is spending all his hard-earned cash and everything in this country is so damn expensive.
True friends will respect your spending choices if you’re trying to save money. Heck, if you’ve lost your job or something, letting your friends know will more often than not yield somebody who can help, or at least some free drinks. But it’s another thing altogether to complain incessantly about how broke you are.
Nobody likes a complainer, and griping constantly gives others the impression you’re trying to make them feel guilty for not being broke themselves, or that you’re fishing for sympathy. Don’t be surprised if your friends start avoiding you because you’re such a downer.
This story first appeared on Moneysmart on 17th February 2017.