“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”
Of course I could be wrong, but I would guess that you and your friends have similar incomes and spending habits. You belong to the same organizations, enjoy the same recreation, eat at the same restaurants and maybe even vacation together. You shop at the same stores and spend similar amounts when shopping together.
You probably live in similar neighborhoods. When you entertain, you serve similar food and drink. It just makes sense that you would have similar incomes and spending habits.
Thus my question: In what ways do your friends affect your finances? If they overspend, do you do the same? How do you handle “going out for lunch” or “seeing a movie” when you know you can’t afford it? When you speak up and say, “Not today. Our ‘eating out’ envelope is empty”, do your friends understand or do they try to talk you into it anyway?
My paraphrase of the above proverb is “It takes iron to sharpen iron and it takes friends to sharpen each other”. If you are being “dulled” by your friends, why not try a new tact: challenge them and ask them to challenge you.
Of course this is about more than finances; true friends should invoke mental sharpness in each other and bring out the best in each other. They should stimulate thought in each other and should be mature enough to challenge your thoughts without attacking you. After all, sharpening can be painful, but true friends will take the risk.
In the movie “As Good As It Gets”, while on a date, Helen Hunt asks Jack Nicholson to give her a compliment. The OCD germophobe pauses, slowly wrings his hands and finally utters, “After I met you, I started taking my pills.”
With furrowed forehead, she responds, “I don’t get how that is a compliment for me.”
Jack smiles broadly, “You make me want to be a better man.”
How about you? Are your friends better people because of your influence? Do they make you better? As you become the iron in others’ lives you will discover what real friendship is all about. As they become iron in your life, you will find yourself growing as a person. You will become more creative, more motivated and more alive.
And I have a hunch that your finances will improve.