Uncensored Money Season Four: Friendships and Money

Melissa Browne: Ex-Accountant, Ex-Financial Advisor, Ex-Working Till I Drop, Now Serial Entrepreneur & Author, Financial Wellness Advocate, Living a Life by Design | 15/02/2023


Show Notes

This month, Mel and Lawsie are talking about all things money and relationships. In this episode, they talk about friendships and the impact that everything from meals out to destination weddings can have on your finances. Plus they share tactics and ways you can raise and discuss the issue with your friends. 

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Mel: As you know, this month on the podcast, I wanna talk all things, money and relationships, and that doesn't necessarily mean romantic or even sexual relationships. I also wanna talk friendships because, for some of us, it's our friends that can cause money to fly out of our wallets. And either we're not aware, we feel awkward bringing it up, or we don't wanna be the one that just brings the whole group down, so we just go along with it, even though that relationship and those decisions can cause us to move away from our financial goals and sometimes even to cause financial distress. Personally, I don't believe any true friend would want your finances to be harmed or your goals not to be reached because of their actions or inactions. And that's why today I wanna talk about friends and money.

Now over on Insta, I put a call out for what you love us to cover on this episode, and there were so many responses. Everything from bridesmaids to destination weddings to not wanting to spend dollars eating out, to friends presuming you'll pay because you earn more or not being able to keep up and so much more without further ado, let's start jumping into it and giving you Lawsie and my thoughts around different scenarios when it comes to money and relationships, particularly friendships.

So I wanna start by talking about FebFast, Dry July, or even one of the many people inside the My Financial Adulting Plan who are doing their 30 day financial detox, which is not spending for 30 days. Now, Lawsie, how comfortable would you be if we were doing FebFast or you were doing FebFast, and to suggest that when a bill came, the alcohol be removed before we split it.

Lawsie: I wouldn't ask.

Mel: Look at harmony. There's no way she's suggesting it

Lawsie: Oh, like I am the tale of two different sides of this story, cause I would have absolutely no dramas. If someone said it to me, I'd be like, of course. Wouldn't even second guess it. But as for me

Mel: I must admit I would be tempted to do it, that I'd be tempted to be that way too, except if I knew I had lots, cause then I would just be annoyed. So I'd have this low key annoyance because I would just expect the other people to realise that I'm not drinking which is not helpful.

Lawsie: And I'm conscious of that too. If I was out with people and they're not drinking, I'm going no, we're not splitting it equally. Like I would already be forthcoming with that anyway. But yeah, if no one had said it to me, I'd be like, oh ok and go on my way.

Mel: It's fine. Swings some roundabouts.

Lawsie: Yeah.

Mel: So what Lawsie and I wanna do though is just give you tactics and conversations you can have, and one of those can be being a good friend and being aware if that's someone else in your group. If you see someone's not drinking or if you see someone, maybe it's just ordering an appetiser to go, Hey, you didn't really have that much. I don't think that you should be contributing to an equal bill, but if you are the one that is bringing it up and as what Lawsie is saying, do what I say, not what I do. I'm saying, look, if it was only once, I probably wouldn't say anything, but if it was going to happy often, I think I'd have to say something.

So how could you do it? And one of the suggestions that I have is to bring it up before the lunch or the dinner, so to text. Most of us are on a WhatsApp or group text before we go out. So it's just putting a text out and saying, Hey everyone, I'm that friend that's doing FebFast or Dry July, or a financial detox, or whatever you're doing. So if it's okay I'd like to not pay for alcohol tonight, or I wanna be that friend who is gonna ask that we split the bill without alcohol. So I think by bringing it up beforehand, people then go into it with that expectation. And you are not at the end of dinner feeling uncomfortable. But also they're looking at you cause they didn't realise. So being brave enough to have it beforehand I think is important.

Lawsie: Yeah, definitely. I think you need to have it, like it just removes all potential mess and just being able to talk about it in advance because then people go, okay, cool. And if they've got a problem with it, can the lunch or can the dinner?

Mel: Yeah. Or if you are someone that just can't have that conversation, suggest an alcohol-free brunch instead. Like brunch is probably one of the only times there's no alcohol. So maybe it's a coffee or an alcohol-free brunch or something. And that way you can go without having to have the conversation. But invariably, if they're gonna be friends long term, you can't just probably designate them to that forever.

Lawsie: Yeah

Mel: Having that conversation beforehand and explaining why that's important to you and why you're doing it, so that it's really hard to argue about, but that's really easy if it's Dry July, FebFast, Financial Detox, I think people get it when it's for a month and they kind of expect that to happen.

But what if it's a regular thing? And that was what many of the answers to my Insta call out were about. It might be that you're saving for a goal or you're trying to pay down debt, or you don't earn as much, or you just don't value spending your dollars on eating out, and you're finding it's your friends that are either pressuring you into spending or going out is always expensive, or maybe your incomes are very different or they're very similar, but your goals are different, and what you value on spending is different.

And I had so many examples from group holidays to fancy weekends, to constantly wanting to go out for lunch at cafes, to choosing a dinner venue when you're on maternity leave and so much more. So, Lawsie, I thought it would be helpful if we talked about tactics for these long-term things where you're saving a deposit for a house. That's not a short thing. That's not a one-month thing. If it's just a difference in values when it comes to spending, that's not a short-term issue. So what do you think initially, like what are your thoughts or your gut feelings?

Lawsie: I think it comes back to what we were saying before, like I think it has to be the communication because I think there is gonna be a limit for going, oh, I can't do this, like you said, or you don't necessarily wanna say I can't afford it. There is a pride and ego thing and I would argue that if your friends are all into doing the more lavish things and stuff, it's probably not a case of that you can't afford it. So they're gonna see through that anyway. So you may as well be honest with them and go, well these are my goals and therefore I'm allocating my money and my funds to this. So as much as I still wanna see you, I can't commit to doing all the things that we've done historically because it's really important to me.  You've gotta be prepared to have that open and honest conversation and to share. And it comes back to what we've said before, like it is actually just talking about money more generally, instead of it being this closed secret thing. Because you don't wanna also be like, oh, I can't afford it cause you know, it's like when people go, oh, I don't have time. It's you probably do have time. You're just not choosing that's where you wanna put your time. And so I think it comes down to that.  It might be difficult if it's not the kind of conversations that you're used to having, but if they're a true friend you've probably spoken about things that are a whole lot more personal than what you're aiming for financially and where you wanna go in life. So you may as well throw this one into the mix and just be really open and honest about it.

Mel: Yeah, I completely agree. And I also think that it could be something where you invite them over to your apartment or your house, or you invite them to lunch specifically to talk about it and even to preempt it to say, Hey everyone, there's something I wanna talk about that's been weighing on your mind. It's not serious, but it's serious to me. So I'd love just to basically have coffee and talk to you about it. So you could actually preempt that you wanna have a conversation. So they come prepared to listen and to actually share why that is. So it's the fact that your goals, these are the goals that you have. I sat down and I decided that I really wanna buy a house within two months, or I really wanna start investing, or I really want to go on a sabbatical or whatever. And to say to them, I wanna also say that this might not be some things that you are all into. You may not want that, but this is what it means for me financially. I still wanna see you all. I just can't do an expensive dinner every month, but I could do one once a quarter, or once every six months, and I'm really open to going on free walks, coffee walks, picnics here's a whole list of things that are a lot cheaper. Like all taking it in turns to host. Coming with some ideas rather than going, I can't and I don't want to. And I think to talk about if it's a timeline around it's 12 months where I've chosen to really cut back to have a deposit, be honest that it's 12 months. If this is gonna be a long-term thing where you wanna do FIRE movement or you wanna start investing and so you wanna change your lifestyle because of it, explain why that's important. And you might find that it starts that conversation. Ask your friends. Have you all thought about where you guys wanna be in the next five years time? Have you thought about where you wanna be in 12 months time? How can I help support you to reach your financial goals as well? And I bet you if you say that last line, no one's potentially said that to them.

How many times have we said to a friend, how could I help you reach your financial goals too? And that then is gonna put it in a different light of let's support one another versus ugh, you are gonna be the fun police and suddenly we can't do anything.

Lawsie: Yeah. And I think you'd also get support from your friends, like the fact that you are thinking this and going, I can't keep up with it, but I didn’t feel uncomfortable bringing it up until now. There are probably others in your group of friends that are in exactly the same position that is now going oh, thank God you found someone's brought it up and we can actually call each other on this and work out a better way for us all to still catch up and to do things, but without having to have such a big outlay so regularly.

Mel: And I've got a group of friends where we're all in very different places. We catch up every month for business and we acknowledge that we're all in really different places. So for example, we're all planning as something for two or three years time, and we needed to plan it for two or three years time if we wanted everyone to come.

But we'll also be doing things in between where maybe not everyone in that friendship group can come. And that's okay because there's gonna be lots of other things people can dip in and dip out as well. It's not all just gonna be bougie, let's make sure no one can get there. So I think it's picking and choosing the things that are important in a friendship group as well.

And even having I'm looking forward to that thing we're all planning on doing in three years time. That is so freaking exciting. But in the meantime, let's do camping - oh, that gave me heartburn to say it, but maybe there's a cheaper version. I remember when we were like I was in my twenties, we would hire a hotel room. We would strip that hotel room down, there'd be six of us in it, and we'd make sure we hired apartments where it was a bed, where it was like a mattress on a mattress, cause then we knew we could fit four on that. There'd be two on the lounge. Like it was just I think we look back sometimes and forget that we used to do that and it's still okay to do that if we want to. Even a decade ago, Lawsie, when we were going to Queensland for every single quarter for training, you and I would sleep in the same hotel room cause I couldn't afford it. I think there's this thing around, but this is what we should be doing now that we're at this age and now that we're earning this money. But why should we?

Lawsie: Who put those rules in place and why do you have to?

Mel: And really challenging that. But another thing that you could do is start to talk about money curiously, particularly in your friendship group.

We had a podcast episode last week where it was talking about money with your romantic partner. But why aren't we discussing this in this way with our friendship groups? And how you might do it is to talk about money curiously. So it might be things like what was your money story growing up? How did your parents do money? And you might find that some people have money stories where it's about working hard and then celebrating hard, and that feast or famine, and they've never put that together, rather than just being a little bit less extreme. Looking at, do you think money is good, bad, or okay? Why? And what parts? Where do you wanna see yourself at your next significant birthday? What would make this year financially your best year yet? Because once you know that about each other, once you know what your dreams are and your financial goals are, that's when you can start to support one another. But also, that's when you can hold each other accountable so that when your girlfriend says that she really wants to pay off debt, and yet every time she meets, she's going to go for a shop. After you can say, Hey, I'm saying this with love. But you said that this was really important and your actions are showing otherwise. Do you wanna talk to me about that? And it's up to her then if she wants to tell you to piss off or not. If they were dating someone that you thought was wrong for them, you're going to talk about that. So why can't we talk about bad money behaviour as well? If it's done in a way that's gentle and kind and with love.

Lawsie: Yeah, definitely.

Mel: So I think part of the issue here is communication and it's being brave enough to have those conversations, but it's also recognising that you may miss out sometimes because of what you are choosing. And I've said before, what are you prepared to suffer for when it comes to your goals? And if your goals are exciting enough, then you are going to be okay with missing out on some stuff. I know Lawsie, you've shared that, when you were saving up for a house, your first house, you and Adam basically had a year where you didn't spend. And I betcha if friends still wanted to see you during that time, it would have to be that conversation around, sure. We'll catch up, but it's gotta be cheap.

Lawsie: Yeah. Oh, and absolutely. It was six months of just going hardcore with it, but a few friends were also saving for deposits and stuff, so we all kind of got it. So we were used to the whole, let's just, grab a bottle of wine and go round to someone's place and we just cooked dinner. We weren't going out per se. Definitely we're not having the bougie lunches and the bougie dinners and all that kind of stuff. It goes against what we're all actually working towards. But again, we'd had that conversation around it. We were all aware that we were all like, oh, wanna buy property and that made it easier because we all just held each other to account in doing that. But also just supported each other cause we're all working towards a similar thing. But again, it's the communication around it that I think is so important. And I think too with that, if you're starting to see your friend and you can see they're starting to get a little bit uncomfortable with it as well. Even if it's not for you, then to be able to step in for them and ask, is everything okay? And open that door for them to have that conversation because while some of us might be really comfortable in bringing up or more capable of bringing up and having those what we think might be awkward conversations around money and goals and stuff as well, I think opening the door and inviting others that aren't as comfortable to have those conversations as well, just then it helps remove that and just makes it all better for everybody.

Mel: It's being that good friend, is it? It's picking it and saying, is everything okay? But I think as well, it might be that part of that communication is around the dollar value that you're comfortable paying for a dinner or a lunch. So that, again, if everyone's aware, then you can go and do recon around where could we eat? You can have a really bougie dumpling lunch with wine really cheap. So it's just once you know what you got to spend, you can go out and really try and make it go as far as it can. But also there's so much free stuff you can do. Who made the rule that we always had to go to dinner or lunch?

Now it could be that you go for a free exhibition and then go have a glass of wine after. Now that could be a $20 thing, and yet it's taken you two hours, three hours to go and do. I think it's being creative around how you catch up with friends. It might be a walk along the coast or a bushwalk and a coffee afterwards. And that's gonna cost you five bucks. But you're still spending really quality time. You're having an adventure. It's the same thing as when you are with that romantic partner for a while, where you just get into that bad habit of 'but this is just what we do' because we haven't really thought any more about it. So it's being creative enough to look for almost cheap dates with your friends. And encouraging them to do the same.

Lawsie: I'm looking forward to us going camping. That'll be fun

Mel: Well, we're staying in a caravan park. That's kinda that's major for me. But I think again, it's that if everyone knows and if they know it's not about you not wanting to spend time with him, you really want to. But can we just get creative about reducing the spending when we get together? I think that's where people understand it.

So we've looked at a month of reduced spending or even a period of reduced spending, and a lot of that is communication and chats and being creative. But what about the moments where, and there's no nice way of saying this, but our friend's significant events can cost us big, such as destination weddings, being asked to be a bridesmaid, 30th birthdays, 40th, fifties, hens days, baby showers. Again, I received so many responses that covered these, and it's because we care about our friends that this becomes problematic, right? Because if we didn't, it would be easy. We'd say, screw you, we're not doing it. Instead, we agonise mostly to ourselves and then we capitulate and we do it.

But what if we could offer another? Because once upon a time, weddings and birthdays and baby showers and weekends away were a cheapish event. But now you could be looking at thousands and not just once, but depending on your age, this could happen a few times a year, and that has the potential to put a huge hole in your budget. So Lawsie, I wanna talk to you about weddings, birthdays and significant events. Do we start with weddings and the honour of being asked to be a bridesmaid?

Lawsie: Sure. Let's jump right on in. And I think this does come up for a lot of people, and I don't know if it's the Instagram era or if it's wanting to have the perfect Instagramable wedding. But definitely I feel like the cost of weddings and everything has skyrocketed. And then there's also that thing of, well, if you're asking someone to be a bridesmaid, I think you and I are similar with this. Like I'm going, well, I'm paying for that. But I know that's not the norm and very much the expectation is yes, would you please be my bridesmaid and can you please buy all of these things to support me on my special day? And so it is definitely about having to have that conversation around that. So for example, if you were saving for a house and then your friend asked you to be a bridesmaid. It's about at that point, you might celebrate in the moment and not necessarily bring this up, because obviously a milestone for us as friends and for you as a person, but within, I would say a short period of time just to say, look, as much as I'm really excited about it, and I'd really love to. But I'm saving for a house, and so I just need to get an idea of what kind of dollars you're thinking about and is it gonna be the destination wedding? Am I expected to travel to be there? How much are you thinking you're gonna want for me to buy for a dress? And all of the other bits that can go with it to be able to, so I can actually afford it.

Or is there a way that we can reach a bit of a compromise? So I think you're not gonna leave it right until you're all going bridesmaid dress shopping. I think you wanna bring it up in relatively close proximity to when it's been announced. Again, it's having to be brave and have that potentially awkward conversation. But again, if they're a true friend, which you'll imagine they are if they're asking you to be a bridesmaid, being able to have that conversation with them around how much are you thinking that I'm gonna need to outlay cause I'm gonna need and time as well. If they're doing this and it's not gonna be for five years, sure, go for gold. You've got time to potentially save for it. But if it's a shorter timeframe or whatever, you just need to just be clear. And I think the bride needs to respect that for you and to give you the timeline and the dollars and stuff involved, so then you can figure out if it's something that you're actually able to do or not.

Mel: And I think if you are the bride to add on to that, I think it's really respectful to go to your bridesmaids and say not long after you've told them again within a short timeframe and say, so this is the vision that I have. This is what I'm thinking. This is what I'd love to know. I've got in my head how much I think it will cost for you. And that might be 500 bucks each or a thousand. And I wanna hear from you as to whether that's appropriate or to ask them what's their budget? How much can they afford? Because whilst it is your special day, it's not theirs. And your special day shouldn't put them deeply in debt or move them further and further away from their goals.

So there's gotta be a compromise around how much is this gonna cost everyone? And I think as the bridesmaid, you've got a couple of choices. Once you know the cost early on, and just say that means you've got 12 or six months to save. You can choose. Let's just say it was gonna be a couple of grand. You could go, great, and I would tell the bride, I would say to them, so in order to do that and reach my goals, I'm gonna get a second job. But just so you know that, I'm happy to, but can you just be aware of that when you're planning hens nights etc. Cause I'll just need to ask for a weekend. Because then it's up to the bride to go, okay, awesome, thank you. Or, oh God, I don't want that. I think it's really important to have communication. And once you know the amount you can choose to get a second job or to find more income or to say, I'm really sorry, but I cannot afford that. And for you both to be able to be okay. And it's hard. And I think that's where, if they are genuine friends, if they're asking you to be a bridesmaid, just to tick the box, cause they need a fourth bridesmaid, they're not gonna give a shit really, honestly. But if it's your bestie, I'd wanna wanna know and then I would want to figure out how to make sure they can be involved without stress, cause this is not supposed to be that way. Having said that, let's be honest, there are a lot of bridezillas obviously from the number of comments I had.

So I wanna say that this is not necessarily a normal situation, so it's accepting that. But it's asking for the budget early, and if they're offended, I think you need to say, I'm saving for a house. I won't go into debt for this wedding. Like I won't go into a credit card. You could even say, I don't have a credit card.I'm going to have to save on top. So I need to know so I can start a plan for how I'm gonna find that money. So I think that's a really respectful thing. Destination wedding, or birthday. I think it's really similar. I think it's asking for the budget or going and doing the recon early. And if it's something where it's gonna be just say, five grand because they've chosen to go overseas, it might be one of those things where A), we have a webinar called how to Find 10 K in 12 months. So you could go deep into that and find it outside of your normal dollars if that relationship was important to you or important, or B) you may find the courage to say, I'd love to attend, but unfortunately my budget just doesn't stretch. So let's all do dinner when you get back, or look, I'd love to go, but I can't do $5,000. I could do half that much if you are able to find a cheaper alternative. So let me know if that ends up being so that you are amenable to. Or as I said if it's something you really wanted to go to, dip into that webinar. And hopefully they've given you enough time.

But the problem is it's often not just one. And I think it's explaining to that friend or to that family member, Hey, I've got three of these I've been invited to this year. I simply can't, and I guarantee that pressure will be applied to go. And it's just you then saying and deciding A) how significant is that relationship? But also them looking back and asking that same question in return because a good friend is not gonna want you to go into debt for them. It's really important to remember that a good friend is not gonna want you to go into debt for them.

Lawsie: Definitely, and I think has to be that conversation because if you've got a group of friends and someone decides they wanna do the destination birthday or whatever, and then it sets a bit of a precedence if no one is prepared to speak and there just becomes this expectation that you're all gonna do it.

And assuming that you're all similar age, like you're gonna have a good couple of years or so where you are constantly trying to do this and for most people, you're not gonna be able to afford to be able to do everything, let alone if you're also trying to have these other financial goals as well. So it is definitely just getting together, having that conversation and making sure that everyone understands where you're at and why, and I guarantee you others will be like, oh, and that pressure is now off, and we'll be really grateful that you've bought it up.

Mel: And if you're in a friendship group, I love that point where you're all turning a similar age or you're all having that similar stage. It might be that you bring it up and say, Hey, within the next two years, we're all turning x. The age that no, no one wants to speak of. Why don't we just all do something together? Why don't we pull our resources and just have one crazy weekend rather than four expensive weekends that we can't afford? Or we just do one event or something. And that way we're all able to afford it. We all agree on the price, etc. I did that with my 40th back in the day. Rod was 40 as well, and I said we were going overseas for it. He's like, oh, I was thinking of doing that. And we met over there and spent some time in a country, but we didn't ask lots of other people. It was only us two. We just happened to be celebrating our birthday at the same time.

And it was that, ooh, this could be fun. So I think it's, as you said, maybe there's a combination that you can do. But it's not about being a tight ass or a bad friend. It's about being able to have the money conversation in the same way that you would any other conversation. And I wanna acknowledge, sometimes there's an obligation, but sometimes there's not.

So remember my parents had a significant wedding anniversary and we were all invited to go on a family cruise. Kill me now. I know some people love cruising. I am not one of them. But the next significant birthday, they wanted to do it again. I said to them, I love that. And no. And then they suggested another overseas destination, and I said, again, no, and I'm the only family member that didn't go, but I was really okay with that. But it was my dad's birthday. He was pissed and I had to be okay with that, and I explained why, and he was still pissed. And I think it's that thing where it's understanding that sometimes you are just gonna really hurt that relationship. But my dad and I, my family and I, don't have a great relationship anyway, so I could have paid that money and gone just to keep the peace.

Or I could go, you know what? I'm not doing this and I'm not spending that. And if it's gonna fracture the relationship, it's gonna fracture anyway. So I think it's sometimes taking a deep, brave breath. And if you're just doing it for something that is already a bit broken, then is that really the smartest thing to do?

But also, a good friend last year had a major birthday. They did a house like a weekend away, which I went to, and then they did the big international destination. And I did not do that. This is one of my besties and I didn't go because I just don't value spending money in that way. I'm an introvert. I would've hated it. And hubby absolutely didn't wanna go. Cause again, it was a place he really didn't want to go to. We would've spent thousands of dollars for something that, yes, we wanted to celebrate our friend, but just not in that particular way. So we didn't go and we celebrated him in another way. So we still celebrated, just not in the big way that was that destination place, and this is one of my besties. So I wanna say, and the reason I gave both of those examples is because I don't wanna sit here and say do as we say, not what we do.

Lawsie: Yeah

Mel: Because in the end it is about being aware of it. It's finding a way to have the conversation that feels right for you, and then knowing that if they're a good friend, they will want you to succeed too in the same way that you'd want them to succeed.

I've been invited to so many destination weddings, birthdays, et cetera. Have you come up against that?

Lawsie: No, I think we've navigated that or avoided that. It just isn't one of those things that's really come up. But I think because a lot of our friends are older, so I think it's also circumstance. Like Adam is older than me and we do have a lot of older friends where they were already married or they're already doing things. So I think that's how we've avoided it. Not that we've just gone hid under a rock and ignored everything that was going on around us. It is such a big thing and I see people coming up against it all the time, and as much as I said at the start that I wouldn't be the person to go, oh, could we not split the bill equally when we go to lunch or do anything like that when it comes to something like this and when it is the bigger ticket things. The big weddings or the destination birthdays and stuff, I would absolutely speak up because I know what my financial goals are. I'm really clear on what I'm doing there, so I really know how many spare dollars I've got to do that, and so I wanna optimise that. And if I wanna have got these particular travel plans and things and stuff that I wanna do all as part of that, then everything's gonna have to fit together to be able to do that. Otherwise, I'm not living my life, I'm just living the life that everybody else is around me is wanting. And I'm like, no, that can't work. So I think it absolutely everything that we've said, it's gotta be brave enough to have those conversations and pick and choose the right times

Yeah, but just don't leave it dragging on. I think if there's any of these things that come up and you go, I just don't think it's gonna work. You need to bring it up early on, and the earlier you can bring it up, the better. Because it's just pushing that thing down the road when it does become a much bigger issue.

Mel: Yeah, I completely agree. And maybe Lawsie even one of the things, and we've given so many examples and practical tips and conversation starters and creative ways to look around it and more that sometimes it is just about having that conversation. But another creative thing that you could consider is if you really wanted to go. It might be they're just one and you are in a couple. It might just be that one of you goes, or if you know that there are other singles going that you talk to them and say, right, can we share? Is there a way to reduce this cost? So it's not huge. I've been to weddings before just me because just the cost of it, particularly back in the day, just was prohibitive. But even Lawsie, like you and I are travelling a bit the last couple of years. Adam doesn't join us for that reason. It's because, yes, he could and you could tick the box and go, great, but it's what do you value? And for you, you value adventure and holidays and you really wanna do this, but if you were to say to him, you have to come as well, otherwise, well A), the cost of it would suddenly become prohibitive and also it just doesn't make sense. But to the outside world, it's a bit, oh, what are you doing?

Lawsie: Yeah, you're not going on holidays with your husband

Mel: But I think it is what works and I think it's sometimes ignoring the outside world and what they think and asking the question how could I make this work for me if it's something I want to do?

Lawsie: I think it's super important and there is no right or wrong with any of this, which is where it's gotta come from. You've gotta know what it is that you're working towards. You've gotta be comfortable and confident enough in that so you don't get pushed over if you do decide to bring it up with your friends.

Cause if you do it in a really, oh, I'm thinking of doing this in good-hearted nature, I'm sure they're gonna go, oh, don't worry about that. You can do that later. You know this, let's live in the moment now. So I think you've gotta be really clear on what it is that you are working towards. Be really comfortable and confident to share as much detail around that, but also to be able to hold your ground with it and then just do it and have those conversations and ride that wave out. And like I said, yeah, don't worry about what necessarily is going on around you, as long as you're making sure that you're doing everything to still maintain those relationships, even if it's not doing all of the expensive experiences that people are expecting.

Mel: I love that. Maybe just, maybe it will mean having a new language and a new thing that you can be doing together as you start talking and experiencing money in a different way together.

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