The first few years in the real world can be rough. Bills pile up and it can become hard to maintain a steady income to pay them each month. Plus, the high cost of college tuition and loan payments after graduation can cost close to a mortgage.
The unfortunate truth is that some people get stuck in this slump and are practically broke. When that situation occurs, who can they rely on? Here are a few ways you can support your broke friends without becoming their sugar person.
Hang Out for Free
News flash: You don’t have to spend money to have fun. Don’t force your broke friend to pay for things you know they can’t afford. You don’t have to front them money to do expensive activities, either. Friends that always have to spend money to hang out can become a burden to the friends who can’t afford it.
Forget that $20 yoga class you both wanted to go to, and do yoga at home in front of the TV instead. You can find free activates for you and your friends to do that you’ll all enjoy so no one feels like they have to break the bank.
Treat Them to Coffee
When you’re broke and stuck at home, sometimes you just need to get out for a pick-me-up. Take your friend out for coffee. It will give you both ample time to talk and catch up. Maybe your friend will even open up about why they’re broke and tell you how they’re struggling. You’ll have a better understanding of how to help your friend in their time of need before jumping to conclusions about their situation.
Refer Them to a Job
Job searching can be rough when you’re doing it alone. Often, companies are looking to hire within or from referrals through people already at that company. If you have any resources for them to find a job, share it with your friend. If your company is hiring and you think they could be a good fit, then refer them to the job.
Another way to help your friend find a job is by helping them decide what they want to do. Retail, corporate, food — you name it, there’s probably a job in that industry. You can help your friend search online for the perfect job for them.
Look Over Their Resume
Maybe your friend isn’t finding a job because their resume is subpar. Offer to look over your friend’s resume and help them build it professionally. If you are the friend that has a steady job, then you know what employers look for when they’re hiring.
Whatever you do, don’t let them lie on their resume. As you both are going over the resume, help your friend prepare for interviews by asking the standard questions so your friend gets practice.
Don’t Loan Them Money
You could make a huge mistake by lending your friend money. Depending on the amount, they might not intend on paying you back. You could also enable your friend by thinking they can always come to you when they need money. Follow the golden rules of money lending, and just don’t do it unless you have to and are OK with not getting it back, ever.
There are better ways to help your friend in need than lending them money. It’s OK to say no when they ask to borrow it. You’re not being a bad friend. You’re actually helping them in the long run to learn not to rely on others for money.
Offer to Drive
If you and your friend want to go somewhere, offer to drive so your friend doesn’t have to pay for gas. If you’re the friend with the extra money, you know you can swing paying for gas. It gives you and your friend the opportunity to still hang out, without your broke friend worrying about being able to afford it.
Have a Yard Sale Together
Help your broke friend make more money. Host a yard sale together for extra cash in both of your wallets. If you’ve got the space, offer to have the yard sale at your home.
This is the perfect way for your friend to get extra money, and you’ll make some too in the process. Yard sale tips and tricks can help you make more money.
Help your friend get back into reality. Maybe your friend needs some encouragement. If you see your friend is trying hard to get a job, give them the pat on the back they need and tell them how great they’re doing. Although it’s hard, your friend might need you to be honest with them. Be sure to tell your friend what they needs to hear to get back on their feet.
Being the friend that has money isn’t always easy. When you have a broke friend, you obviously want to support them because that’s just what friends do. Be a good friend and show them your support. Just be there for them every step of the way.