Financially Positive People

Want to be more financially savvy and successful? Then consider what kinds of friends you are hanging out with. The more financially positive your friends, the more that will rub off on you! I’m sure at one time or another you’ve had “friends” in your life that I like to call energy vampires. In other words, negative or victim-minded people.

It’s the girl you know who always talks about how everyone has done her wrong, but doesn’t realize that the common denominator in the situation is her. Or the guy who goes on and on about how everyone he knows is wrong about everything and he is right. There is a certain feeling you get around them: you may start to feel uncomfortable, or your sunny disposition starts to turn sour. You might want to run away…as fast as you can.

I’ve gotten better over the years of dropping energy vampires from my life as quickly as possible. I think you begin to realize that life is too short to surround yourself with negativity. You may feel guilty about doing this, but you have to realize that you can’t help them. They have to help themselves first, and most energy vampires don’t even realize they have a problem.

But what about when it comes to your finances? Are you hanging around people who are constantly complaining about their money “situation,” or are you surrounding yourself with successful friends? And by success, I don’t necessarily mean mega-millioniares, but those with a financially positive mindset.

In this article about surrounding yourself with the right people from, they say, “the bottom line is that to achieve great heights, you must fly with the best. And others will judge you based on those that surround you. So choose your lieutenants carefully.”

I’ve been fortunate that almost all of my friends are not only positive, ambitious people, but also financially successful. It’s ME who was the friend who probably fell at one point into the financially negative mindset. I look back at all the times I said, “I can’t go out to eat, I’m broke.”

Now I’m not saying that you go out to eat and ignore your finances, but that sentence could be spun 100 different ways to be more financially positive: “I’m going to say no because it’s not in my spending plan,” or “I’m saving up for a big vacation so I’m trying to be really frugal right now,” or “I’ll pass on dinner, but how about we have a potluck at my house next Sunday?” Or even simply say, “thank you for the invitation, but I’m going to pass.”

So whether you’re currently the the financial energy vampire (FEV-you know I love my acronyms), or you’re surrounding yourself with FEV’s, maybe it’s time to take a look and see what you can change. These subtle positive shifts can do wonders!

Are you a FEV or FEV friend? 


Tonya is a video editor/producer and writer living in Los Angeles who enjoys beach volleyball, playing ukulele, and running. To get the latest updates, be sure to subscribe. To support her fundraising efforts to produce more video for this site, please visit her crowdfunding page!

Latest posts by Tonya (see all)

  • Adam Kamerer

    I think I was a FEV at one point — not that I’ve ever aired my finances too much to my friends, but I was definitely the “too broke to participate” friend, and for a long time, I didn’t do anything to change that other than complain (quietly) about it.

    When I did start actively participating in my own success, I found myself losing patience with friends who were vocally dissatisfied with their finances but weren’t taken steps to improve them. I’d done the exact same thing, of course, so it was a little odd to feel frustrated with them for it.

    In retrospect, I think I could have tried a little harder to turn their perspective around, instead of just hanging out with them less, but at the time, I think my motivation was shaky enough that just having their negativity around felt like it could jeopardize my drive to improve.

    • Tonya

      Yeah if you’re just starting to improve in that area of your life, it’s best to step away, even if that means just hanging out less, but not ditching them entirely. Gotta take care of yourself first.

  • Dear Debt

    I think this is so important to stay on track and keep in alignment with your goals. I think I’ve been too negative sometimes, but I’ve gotten better and more aware that it can be an energy suck for people. I’ve also done better at listening and not getting too sucked up in friends who can be energy vampires. But things are much better now. I am so grateful I have inspiring, amazing and down-to-earth friends who can help me accomplish my goals.

    • Tonya

      That’s great M! I too have been a FEV and it took me some time to realize it because I was positive in other areas of my life.

  • Laurie @thefrugalfarmer

    Love this, Tonya!!!! Also, so sorry to hear about your cousin! If you’re comfy with it, share with her that diet and exercise are crucial here (plenty of raw and steamed organic veggies and very, very limited sugar). We were, and were surrounded by, lots of FEVs before. It’s funny though, now, even though we’ve got a long way to go on our path, we’ve got that “we’re rich” mindset, and it really changes the way we do everything, and of course, who we hang around too. No more FEV friends here!

    • Tonya

      Thanks Laurie! She’s always been a healthy, active girl so I guess I have to ease into this and just see what she needs from me. We still don’t know everything yet. I love that you said “we’re rich” because that statement means more than just money. You can have money but not be rich.

  • MakintheBacon

    Financial energy vampire- sounds like its for Hallowe’en. Lol. I’m not an FEV. I don’t really discuss my finances or my financial goals in detail with my friends. They don’t seem too interested in that.

    Reading other pf blogs and reading about their financial progress and successes is how I immerse myself into the financially positive atmosphere. :)

    • Kyle James

      That is a really great point I had never thought about before. By reading and following positively written PF blogs (like Tonya’s) it can really start to rub off on you. When I think about it, there are several PF blogs out there that I don’t read anymore because they get me down. BTW, thanks for mentioning my guest post!

      • Tonya

        I have to admit I’ve been there with my blog, but I also have always tried to find solutions. Not that I should go on an on about struggles, but you have to prove that you are making the effort to do something. It’s the ones that expect things to happen TO them that drive me crazy. Or never appreciate anything they currently have. I’m definitely not getting down on pf bloggers who are financially struggling. Just wanted to make that clear so no one get’s upset about what I said. :)

  • Brian @ Luke1428

    You are touching on a great point here Tonya. To be successful hang with those people who are. Then imitate what they do, including having a positive mindset. Great stuff…and thanks for mentioning my post. Hope your weekend is a relaxing one!

    • Tonya

      Thanks Brian! I always find your posts very inspiring btw!

  • Mackenzie

    Ugh, energy vampires really do suck the life out of you! And everyone will give them advice but they don’t listen and just continue to complain :(
    Thanks for the link love! Have a great weekend :)

    • Tonya

      Yup exactly. You too! Is it warmer where you are because it’s chilly here. :(

  • Matt @ momanddadmoney

    A positive attitude makes such a big difference with just about anything. I tend to be very optimistic in some areas and more pessimistic in others. Actually my wife and I are kind of opposites in where we’re positive/negative, which helps us balance each other out. In the end, I think we both end up being more positive overall.

    • Tonya

      That’s great you balance each other out in that way. I have my pessimistic moments still…

  • DC @ Young Adult Money

    It’s intense how much negative energy can affect us. I try to stay around positive people and I think having a positive mindset is essential for many financial-related things: side hustles, paying down debt, etc.

    • Tonya

      It is easy to get sucked up into that energy space. Misery loves company and EV’s love to try to bring everyone down, whether intentional or not.

  • Shannon Ryan

    FEVs do exist. It’s really amazing how another person’a energy affects you. I consider myself to be an overall positive person but when I get around an energy vampire – they can drain all the positivity right out of me. As you said, it isn’t always easy but sometimes for your well-being, you need to let that friend go.

    • Tonya

      Your positivity always shines through your blogs Shannon. I imagine you’re a pretty darn cool person to be around.

  • Michelle

    I’ve had a few FEV’s in my friend history, they usually don’t last long as a friend. I try to surround myself with positive, passionate people as much as I can. There have been occasions where I’ve been a FEV myself but usually I catch myself before I make anyone crazy.

    • Tonya

      I think everyone occasionally slips into FEV mode from time to time, but you’re right it’s catching yourself. It’s the constant EV’s that just gotta go.

  • Done by Forty

    I’d like to think I’m not an FEV but it’s hard to know for sure. I’ve got my moments, like everyone, I guess. But in general I’d like to think I’m putting more positive stuff out there than not…

  • Girl Meets Debt

    I’ve always had friends who were more financially well off than I was so I guess they could have thought of me as a FEV but no one ever knew how much debt I had, they just knew I was “too broke” to do anything. Starting my blog has really helped me think more positively about my debt although that sounds almost ironic because there are so many other bloggers out there younger than I am and debt free but now it’s easier for me to focus on not being such a FEV and just pay off my debt ASAP. Have a great weekend T!

  • alwayshungry4

    I used to be FEV (especially when a slew of weddings, bridal parties, bachelorette parties, etc. a few years ago), but agree that at first while I was negative, I figured out that my approach was too Debbie Downer and to just simply decline. My friends have always been pretty successful, but more importantly they’re positive and loving, which I agree makes for pretty amazing lieutenants. Great post!

  • cashRebel

    I used to hangout with an FEV all the time a few years ago. I didn’t realize it then, but he was always bitter about money. Now I hang out with plenty of financially struggling folks who have a better attitude about it. I’m sure they will fair better in the long run.

  • Stefanie @ brokeandbeau

    It’s so great that the blogging community has so many like minded folks when it comes to finance. In my day to day world, it’s hard to find people who understand my financial values and mindset.

  • Tanya @ Eat Laugh Purr

    Such a timely post for me. I’m generally speaking a glass half-full kind of girl but lately I’ve been Miss Negativity. Yuck! A good reminder to check my attitude! I absolutely agree the words you use are so powerful. I once attended a workshop where we were supposed to go 24 hours without any negative self-talk. I thought easy peasy but I didn’t even last 30 minutes. It really made think about the words we speak out loud and in our head. Great post!

  • Deacon

    FEV…financial energy vampire…That is an amazing way to put it! I am very conscious of the people I hang around and I try to avoid the FEV’s as much as possible.

  • Savvy Financial Latina

    I like interacting with the blogging community for the positiveness. It makes me want to set new goals and accomplish them.

  • Lisa vs. the Loans

    I have one particular friend from college who was/is a major FEV. I just got so sick of him complaining about material possessions and whatnot!

  • Travis Pizel

    We have some friends that are definitely financially positive. They don’t hold back from enjoying life, BUT they only spend their money on things that really bring enjoyment and value to their life. They don’t go on frivolous shopping trips, or drop money on going out to eat all the time. BUT, they added a great deck onto their house (which they actually constructed themselves) and just finished their basement with a 100 inch projection TV with theater seating and a wet bar. I told Vonnie THAT’s the kind of things I’d like to spend my money on… not the latest cell phone, or $300 jeans or eating out when I’m a perfectly good cook. Value, people….spend money on the things that mean something to YOU!

  • Daniel

    This is great, I can’t stand people who are FEVs, it’s like the world is targeting them and they externalize all their problems.

    I love handing out with people who are in similar financial situations as I am. We kind of get each other and people understand that, yes, we like to have fun, but the price is going to at the very least be a consideration.

  • Amy

    First of all, great picture on this post! haha

    Second, I really agree with you. No matter what the situation (in this case, financial), it’s always best to surround yourself with those like you or those you want to be more like. One of the things I admire about you is that you do put a more positive spin on saying “no” to spending! I’ve known too many people who try to suck the guilt and joy out of others in similar situations.

  • beachmama

    Love episode one of BATB TV Tonya! I agree with your thoughts about surrounding yourself with financially positive people . . . that goes with everything else we seek in life as well . . . : )

  • Kim

    Catching up on my reading, and love this one. I was just talking to someone recently about a mutual friend who is afflicted with the “energy vampire issue.” I feel like as her friends, we should be holding up the mirror to help her see and address it, (and at least give her chance to improve before we cut her off), but confrontation of this sort is painful for all and seldom reaps appreciation. So I’ve been reluctant to take action and played the avoidance game instead.