A friend is someone who I’d like to keep, so we don’t discuss money handling at all, along with politics and religion. It is just not worth it to reveal things that would hurt or create a sticky situation that could lead to a distancing. We might say things like did you get your stimulus check, did you file your taxes yet, what is your car insurance costing you…things like that.
If the situation is similar I would share what I have done and leave it at that.
Your friend is reaching out to you to share, so I would listen empathetically, and then ask, ‘Can I share an idea that I have’ or ‘what worked for me?’, especially if circumstances are similar. Then you know if they are just venting, or actually seeking solutions. If they are just venting, at a time when neither one of you are talking about money, you could bring up a situation from your life and how you are dealing with it, and ask them what they think. As we know, when we are dealing with financial issues, it feels very isolating. It can be helpful to know that others deal with it as well.
I have a friend that I speak with very frankly about money. Pre-pandemic (!) we budgeted together every pay-period and went through financial well-being classes together. Working with her was a complete game changer. (<3 @slaura )
I have one friend who is as open as me about money and finances, so we are always discussing and giving each other tips and advice. Nothing is off limits because we both know what we discuss stays between us, no judgement.