Are Your Buddies Keeping You Broke?

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(Bankrate) — The gang at work heads out for lunch every day. Your book club always meets at a high-end restaurant. Your college buddies want to spring for an expensive cruise. Your neighbor just bought a new car and suddenly your 4-year-old sedan looks like a clunker. And of course you need a smartphone and high-end plan to keep up with all these people.  “We live in a society where people are very prideful,” says Danny Kofke, author of “How to Survive (and Perhaps Thrive) on a Teacher’s Salary.”  “It’s difficult to be different. But that’s why people have gotten in financial trouble,” he says. “They want to be like someone else. Even though, behind closed doors, that someone might be up to their eyeballs in debt.”  Remember, real friends want the best for you. “In a real friendship relationship, pressure to spend as much money or spend it in the same way should not be an issue,” says Jan Yager, Ph.D., friendship coach and author of “When Friendship Hurts: How to Deal With Friends Who Betray, Abandon or Wound You.”  So you can say “no” and (probably) keep your friends. Here’s how.

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