Not everyone can be equally fortunate when it comes to wealth. Even if you're just as smart as your friends and work really hard, you may still find yourself in a situation when they make more money than you. True friends will never make you feel bad because of a wage difference, but that doesn't mean you'll never feel awkward about it. How to handle making less money than your friends?
Remember that money isn't everything. Your income isn't what defines you and your salary shouldn't affect your self-esteem in a negative way. If you're working in a competitive industry or trying to start your own business, it might take you some time to start earning more, but the wait is totally worth it. And even if you're not going to have higher income in the foreseeable future, you should by no means be ashamed of it.
Stop comparing yourself to others. Comparing yourself to your friends who have better jobs and/or make more money is unproductive and it will slowly drive you crazy. You can compare yourself to others for inspiration, making them your role models, but as soon as you start feeling jealous and allow your feeling of resentment grow, your friendship might as well be over.
Master money management. If you don't have much money, learn to work with what you've got. Install a home budget app to understand where your money goes, it will help you cut back on your spending. By the way, saving money doesn't mean that you will have to stop hanging out with your friends altogether. You can and you should have an entertainment budget, it just shouldn't be enormous. If you're still not satisfied with the amount of money you have, consider earning some extra cash.
Find common ground with activities. Your wealthier friends can afford to go to restaurants, movies, concerts etc. more often. The cost of activities is probably the most common issue when it comes to income gap in a friendship. The best way to solve the problem is to talk to your friends. They might not even realize how tight your budget is. There is nothing wrong with saying that you can't afford going out. If your friends are understanding, you'll be able to settle on a less pricey option or find some other solution.
Take matters into your own hands. You can avoid awkward money-related situations by taking control of the situation. Don't wait for your wealthier friends to choose the restaurant. Instead, suggest a place that is within your budget. Don't be afraid to talk with your friends about paying the bill. If you know that they are going to order expensive dishes, ask the waiter to provide you with separate checks or warn your friends that you are only willing to pay for what you've ordered. Just be graceful about it, and everyone will understand.
- Cool Date Ideas Without Spending Money, How to Be Honest With Your Friends, How to Fight Money Stress, 7 Things That Kill Friendship