Are you always on a tight budget? Do you always bail out on your friends when it comes to trips and outings? Difference between economical situations and spending habits can destroy friendships. Follow these tips and hold on to your friends while hoding on to your budget.
- Don’t assume you can afford it too: Only because your friends are buying expensive items or dining at best restaurants, doesn’t mean you should do it too. Their paycheque may be considerably higher than yours or maybe they enjoy living in a small apartment which you would not prefer. So, don’t decide based on what people in your circle are doing. You know yourself better than others, so base your decisions on your needs and preferences.
- Stay honest with your friends: If you can’t afford to go on that vacation to Goa because your expenses don’t allow it, just come out clean to your friends. Explain your situation to them. True friends don’t abandon you just because you can’t spend as much as them and if they do, they were never your true friends in the first place.
- Suggest alternatives: When your friends invite you to a four star restaurant, suggest going to your favourite chai waala or that chaat stall. If they want to visit Mumbai and stay in a pricey hotel, suggest camping or hiking. When you give options, your friends will understand that you care about spending time with them and maintaining the relationship, even if you can’t always afford the activities they plan.
- Plan the activity: Instead of always steering your friend’s plans into other direction, go on the offensive once in a while and come up with a plan on your own. You can suggest playing, watching an old classic at your place or just taking your bike on your favourite route. Good friends will understand that spending quality time does not need to cost loads of money.
- Don’t Spend on items you don’t need: Be In charge of your life. This is an important life lesson. Whatever be the purchase, you should be the one to decide how your money is spent. If you want to pay your monthly EMI more than you want to go the amusement park, then, don’t go to the amusement park. Tell your friends why you can’t go with them, so that they understand that you are rejecting the expense and not the company
- Save first: If you friends are planning for a lavish trip that you can’t afford, don’t turn them down outright. If you really want to go, make it a priority to save for the trip ahead of time. Consider stretching your budget if it’s for an experience that you will value for the rest of your life.
- Minimize the cost: If you go out with your friends on an expensive trip, we’d suggest you to leave your credit card at home and take as much money only that you can afford to spend. Then, during the outing think of ways of minimizing the cost. For example, if you have to drink, order beer instead of pricey cocktails or if you are going to a pricey restaurant, eat in advance and just order appetizers.
Having friends isn’t supposed to burn a whole in your pocket and it doesn’t have to. If you put in a sincere effort, you should be able to stick to your budget without losing friends.