Some relationships in your life come and go, while some people are in it for the long haul. Your BFFs are the people you trust to be there for you through thick and thin, and they’re not going anywhere. They’re loyal and true, and you always take care of each other.
You know what else is never going away?
Throughout your life, you may have more and you may have less, but you’re always going to be using money. Are you treating money more like a BFF you care about or more like a frenemy you subconsciously want to sabotage?
Thinking about treating money like a pal — a relationship that you spend time thinking about and nurturing — can pay big dividends for your future. Here’s why you need to start treating your cash like your new best bud:
You Don’t Want to Work Forever
Even if you love your job right now, someday you’ll want to be able to call the shots with your time. It doesn’t matter if retirement seems far away right now: You new BFF will still be there for you when it does roll around if you nurture that relationship.
Give your cash a comfy place to crash: Take advantage of your employer’s 401(k) plans and make sure that your money’s not lonely by contributing a set amount each month. By the time retirement rolls around, your BFF will pay you back many times over.
You Want to Kiss That Bitchy Debt Goodbye
If you chose to make friends with debt instead of nurturing your relationship with money, you’ve made a deal with the devil. Like the worst Regina George ever, debt makes you feel all high-class and special in the moment, but ultimately, spending money you don’t have on things you don’t need — no matter how “fetch” they seem at the time! — is a recipe for disaster. Debt is never going to love you back, so make nice with cash and use it to kick debt to the curb for good.
You Want to Enjoy Yourself
If being friends with your money sounds like it’s too much work — all give and no take — you’re doing it wrong. You don’t have to enter into a loveless marriage with your money, and you should get to spend some of it to make you happy.
Just don’t go overboard. Instead of eating out, learn to cook your favorites or invite your friends for a weekly potluck. Instead of splurging on a trip to Europe, try a staycation to explore your own city. You get to have fun with your money and enjoy your life — you’re just keeping an eye on your relationship to make sure it stays healthy.
You Want to Be a Grown Up Some Day
If you’re sitting around now assuming you’re too young to care about money or even to need much of it, here’s the thing: The clock is ticking, and it’s all going by faster than you think. If you plan to have grown up stuff like a house, cars and kids, you need to start having an adult relationship with your cash right now. That means taking the time to start a budget and savings plan. You can do it yourself or hire an advisor, but you still have to do it. The best part? Your new BFF will totally support you on this.
With all the ways that money can help you have a better life, why wouldn’t you want to treat it with the respect it deserves? It will never actually replace the wonderful people in your life, of course, but when you take care of your money like a BFF, it will take care of you.