Dear Blake,

How do I keep my frugal friend from meddling? I enjoy her friendship, but our lives are not the same. I married a well-to-do man, and I haven’t had to work, although I’m still careful about what I spend, and I try to find bargains on food, clothing, kids’ items and travel. My friend is single and she’s always finding ways to cut corners. What she doesn’t realize is that her advice becomes unwanted after a while.

An example: We went grocery shopping and, when I tried to buy a turkey, she went on and on about how much money I could save by catching the sale at the next store. If I mention that my husband and I are going out to dinner, she insists on telling me how much money I could save if I cooked more often at home. It is endless. I have told her in so many words I don’t need advice about money and, while I admire her thriftiness, I do just fine by myself. I try to steer the conversations away from these subjects, but it’s hard to give her the details of what I do without getting some retort that her way is better. I rarely ask for her advice; she just gives it. What can I say that won’t end our friendship yet will get the point across?

Signed, Ruth
From Fresno, California

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Dear Ruth,

I guess it’s good that she cares about you enough to try to get you to save some money. But on the other hand, I think you should put that irritating miser in her place. Here are some ideas. Tell her to get rid of her cell phone, and replace it with a walkie talkie to eliminate monthly charges. And if she wants to talk to you, she has to buy one for you and live within range to communicate. Or, if she believes in climate change, she has no excuse not to get rid of her car that costs her money through gas, insurance, and maintenance. Or this idea. If she pays rent, tell her to move to a tent city instead of squandering her money on a mortgage or rent. At lastly, this idea. Tell her she can save a lot of cash on food by going to McDonald’s and consuming the uneaten scraps left on the trays or tossed into the garbage. Also tell her to take a Covid test daily, because you never can be too careful with strangers these days. I hope this helps.