Has she got a shop­ping ad­dic­tion?

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My friend seems to be ad­dicted to spend­ing – and it needs to stop. I know how much her fam­ily has strug­gled in the past with money. Any time I go round, she’s got a new out­fit, neck­lace or de­signer pair of heels she wants to show me, and I don’t know how to re­act. I want to ask her where on earth she gets the cash from! But am I be­ing too in­tru­sive?

Jenny, Dundee

It’s very dif­fi­cult to crit­i­cise how a friend is spend­ing her own money. I reckon, if I was ac­cused of be­ing spend­thrift, I’d think, ‘I’ve worked hard for the money, so I’m en­ti­tled to spend it as I wish.’ How­ever, you men­tion that the fam­ily has re­ally strug­gled fi­nan­cially in the past, so you don’t want her shop­ping habit to have them strug­gling again. Ap­proach the sub­ject sen­si­tively, and watch her re­ac­tion care­fully. Only then can you judge your next move. But it’s my ad­vice that you should tackle it – if you had a po­ten­tial prob­lem, you’d want your close friend to help you re­solve it.

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