We have all been there: down to the last singles in our wallets and the bank accounts not looking so healthy. While there are plenty of amazing articles chock-full of tips to prevent this, it is slightly taboo to talk about supporting a friend who is going through this rough time. Here are eight ways to support a cash-strapped friend without breaking your piggy bank.
1. Make sure they are comfortable with your help.
Set aside time to talk to them and approach the subject gently. Make sure they are willing to talk about their money troubles.
2. Connect with them.
If they are willing to talk about their financial struggles, try talking about your own experiences. Make them feel like they are not the only one who has gone through this and that they are supported.
3. Stay in.
As badly as you want to see that new movie in theaters, stay in and take advantage of the Wi-Fi. Pop a DVD into your laptop, grab some snacks and relax. If you have Netflix, binge-watch their favorite show.
4. Stick to the meal plan.
While it is nice to eat out, help them to consider sticking to the university’s meal plan. This will help curve back the accumulating costs of Chinese takeout.
5. Spending money does not always mean having fun.
Remind your friend that to have fun does not mean having to spend money. Look up pay-what-you-want days for local activities. Whether it is grocery shopping or buying clothes, encourage your friend to first see if there are any coupons or sales that can be applied towards the purchase. Look up student discounts for things you love to do. With the coupons and student discounts, you can pinpoint activities that will cost you very little, if anything at all. These savings add up fast!
6. Fill the piggy bank with spare change.
If they do not want to drop money on an actual piggy bank, suggest taking used water bottles and fill these up with spare change instead of having sagging wallets. When these are filled, they can cash them in.
7. Suggest creating a budget.
Help them to look up effective budgets for college students to manage their weekly and monthly spending. Instead of sporadically spending, they can keep track of their money and prepare for life outside of college.
8. Keep reminding them that they are supported.
A smile and a hug go a long way and can instantly make a person’s day better. Remind your friend that you are there for them.
While you may not be able to financially support your friend, there are many ways to show that you care for them. Connecting with them and doing activities that will benefit them shows that you really do support them.
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