My Two Cents

Financial-advice columnist Charlotte Cowles answers readers’ personal questions about personal finance.

my two cents

Saving Money Is Ruining My Social Life

Don’t lecture your friends on their finances. If they want to change, they will.

More From ‘My Two Cents’

  1. ‘Do I Need to Attend All of My Boyfriend’s Friends’ Weddings?’Start by examining your priorities.
  2. ‘Why Am I So Bad With Money?’Forget the big picture. You need to take small concrete steps.
  3. How to Deal With ‘Inflation Creep’The sneaky, maddening phenomenon of not being able to afford your life anymore.
  4. A Late Person’s Guide to Being on TimeBecause running late gets expensive.
  5. Is a ‘Money Diet’ As Terrible As It Sounds?Here’s how to cut back on spending without depriving yourself.
  6. How to Donate Money Even If You Don’t Have a Lot to GiveFive steps to effective giving.
  7. What to Do About That Credit-Card DebtA four-step plan for getting rid of your holiday-debt hangover.
  8. ‘How Do I Get Through the Holidays When I’m Already Broke?’You can still enjoy yourself! You just need a plan.
  9. How Can I Offer My Brother Money Without Insulting Him?Be honest and clear, and make sure he feels heard.
  10. How to Buy the Best Gifts With Less Money and TimeIt’s simple: Ask people what they want.
  11. ‘Do I Need to Buy Gifts for My Boyfriend’s Family?’Not necessarily, but it’s a good idea to rethink your gifting plans in general.
  12. What It Takes to Run a Day-Care Center“I’m absolutely exhausted. I don’t know anyone who works in child care who isn’t.”
  13. ‘I Regret Letting My Dad Pay for My Wedding’Talking with a bride-to-be who wishes she’d never cashed the check.
  14. ‘Do I Need to Pay for My New Stepkids’ Stuff?’They shouldn’t feel like an obligation. Here’s how to be supportive in a way that feels fair.
  15. ‘Should I Sell My House and Move Back to New York?’It’s time to step back and research your options before you make another move.
  16. ‘What’s the Best Way to Split Expenses With My Partner?’Now that you’ve figured out which costs to share, it’s time to find a budgeting system that works for both of you.
  17. ‘I’m a New Parent and Our Finances Are a Mess’You need a loose, forgiving plan that helps you feel more in control.
  18. 3 Women on How Much It Cost to Get Married in 2022“My sense of money got so warped that it stopped being real to me.”
  19. ‘What If I Never Own a Home?’Homeownership isn’t all it’s cracked up to be — especially in this market.
  20. ‘What Happened After I Quit’Five women reflect on the financial fallout of their own “Great Resignation,” a year later.
  21. ‘Should I Let My Estranged Dad Pay My Student Loans?’If you can, just take the money and run.
  22. ‘How Do I Tell My Friends About My Six-Figure Inheritance?’To start, ask yourself what you hope to accomplish by telling them.
  23. ‘I’m Finally Making $55K, But I’m Scared It Won’t Last’The best antidote to anxiety is to create a safety net.
  24. ‘I’m Good at Saving, But I’m Still Miserable’Not to oversimplify matters, but what if you thought about money less?
  25. I Know I Should Invest My Money, But It Makes Me AnxiousActually, putting your money in the market is the less risky option in the long-term.
  26. My Fiancée Has a Ton of Debt. Should We Do a Prenup?First, make sure you understand what prenups can and cannot do.
  27. What Can We Learn From Recessions Past?Advice for handling the next downturn based on previous ones.
  28. ‘I Can’t Stop Worrying About Money, Even Though I Have Enough’Your anxiety is valid. You just need a plan for dealing with it.
  29. How to Find a Financial AdviserAnd how to know if you really need one.
  30. ‘I’m Retiring From Sex Work With $1 Million. What Next?’Your financial situation may be unusual, but changing careers is not.
  31. ‘How We Paid Off $200,000 in Debt in 5 Years’Julien and Kiersten Saunders wanted more control over their time and their money. Now they want you to follow their lead.
  32. ‘I Inherited Money, But I’m Already Blowing Through It’First, you need to acknowledge that you are the person in control here.
  33. How to Prepare for a RecessionBecause you probably should.
  34. ‘I Love My Teaching Job, But It Doesn’t Pay Me Enough’Your options aren’t easy. But neither is squeaking by without enough money to do the things you want.
  35. ‘I’m Getting Married and Having a Baby. How Should I Plan?’There’s a lot you can do to prepare. Here’s where to start.
  36. What Should I Be Doing About My Student Loans Right Now?We don’t know exactly what Biden will do, but paying them down probably shouldn’t be a priority.
  37. ‘Help! I Have a Shopping Problem’You need to meet your urge where it really is — in a desire for connection or recognition or safety.
  38. ‘My Boyfriend Lost $14K Trading Crypto, and He Won’t Stop’I’m no professional, but this sounds like a gambling addiction, and you should be very careful.
  39. How to Turn Your Side Hustle Into Your Full-Time JobVivian Tu, better known as @YourRichBFF, on quitting her day job to be a full-time “finfluencer.”
  40. ‘Is It Worth Trying to Save Money When I Make So Little?’Focus on a savings habit instead of a savings goal.
  41. How to Run Your Own Business Without Burning OutPatrice Washington on creating boundaries and taking Wednesdays off.
  42. 6 Women on How They Raised Money to Start a Business“Asking a family friend if I can borrow money just isn’t a reality for me.”
  43. ‘I’m Tired of Being Broke in L.A. Should I Move Back Home?’Your discomfort is a signal that you need to make a change, and that’s good!
  44. ‘How Can I Get My Unemployed Husband to Do More Chores?’This is an exasperating problem, but he might not even be aware of it.
  45. Three Ex-New Yorkers on Leaving For Somewhere Cheaper“I can have a really great life that doesn’t cost so much.”
  46. Advice for Everyone Who’s Confused About Money Right NowAuthor and finance guru Ramit Sethi explains how to keep a cool head when money gets weird.
  47. How to Talk About Money in Your RelationshipA step-by-step guide to making it less awkward.
  48. ‘I’m a Stay-at-Home Parent and My Husband Just Walked Out on Us’Don’t panic. There are resources to help you out.
  49. ‘I Was Harassed at Work. Can I Afford to Sue?’Taking legal action might be more feasible than you think.
  50. ‘I Have a Lot of Debt, and I Don’t Know How to Tell My Partner’You need to be honest, but how you communicate will make all the difference.
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