Friends and Money: Do they mix?

Have you ever lost a friendship over money? Or do you feel uncomfortable discussing money with your friends?

We recently surveyed over 2,000 people across the UK* to see if and how money affects their friendships and what financial situations with friends make them feel uncomfortable. And now it’s time to find out how you compare.

Top 5 financial scenarios with friends that make Brits feel uncomfortable

Splitting the bill at dinner (19%)


Choosing a holiday destination/hotel (17%)


Choosing a reasonably-priced restaurant to dine at (17%)


Buying group birthday presents for a mutual friend (12%)


Lending a friend money but feeling too uncomfortable to ask for it back (10%)


Stirring money into the mix

The top 5 may not come as a big surprise to many. Yet a deeper look at the research reveals some interesting points on the effects of mixing money with friendships.

Money Talks

More than one in ten (13%) have lost a friendship over an issue with money. Reasons include unpaid loans, disagreements on presents and arguing about holiday costs.

  • Men (13%) are more likely to fall out with friends over finances than women (11 %).

  • Money talk between those who are aged 18-24 and their friends (19%) is more likely to cause an issue than any other age group.

Steering clear…

  • Nearly half of UK adults (44%) avoid uncomfortable financial situations with friends because they don’t like to talk about money.

  • The majority of Chelmsford residents (81%) don’t like talking about money to their friends as it makes them feel uncomfortable.

  • Nearly half of those aged 55 and over steer clear of uncomfortable financial scenarios as they don’t want to make anyone feel uncomfortable (44%).

Money matters

  • The majority of people (84%) think that when it comes to friendships, it shouldn’t matter if you have more or less in your wage packet, as friends should find a way to make it work.

  • Women (14%) are more likely than men (9%) to think money matters in a friendship, but it shouldn’t.

  • Scottish residents (68 %) don’t think that it matters if they earn more or less than their friends. This is more than any other country in the UK.

How does money affect your friendships?

After looking a bit deeper into the survey results, there’s no doubt that mixing friends and finances can be a tricky business. Yet, it’s quite positive to see that many people already think it shouldn’t matter if you have more or less in your wage packet when it comes to friendships.

The big question is, do any of these financial situations affect your friendships and if so, how?

Discover more about our research in our news article – Money Talk


Call 0800 304 7288 for a friendly chat about your pension

4 top tips for managing money in relationships

Just how do finances really affect our relationships?


Discover more

Why your pension is like a long-term relationship

Have you ever faced the ups and downs of a relationship?


Discover more

Man Looking at a view

When was your last pension service?

Discover how easy it is to fix your pension


Discover more

Important Information

*2,000 UK adults by OnePoll in June 2018.   

The details provided in this article are for general information only and are in no way deemed to be financial advice. All of the material is correct as of the publication date, but could be out-of-date by the time you read the article. For our latest information and news, please see our articles section:

We are really looking forward to reading your comments. Before you start writing, please just remember that everything you write will be displayed publically – including your name. Not sure what sort of thing you can write, and what sort of things you should avoid? Please have a quick read of our social rules for guidance.

Add new comment

Back to top