Friends and family ask if you’d like to do something (go out to dinner, see a movie, buy Girl Scout cookies, etc.) and if it doesn’t fit in your budget then the answer has to be no. But when you’re constantly saying no, it can get awkward!
Overcome this awkwardness by sharing your goals. I know finances are personal, but you don’t have to share dollar amounts. Just the big picture goal. For example, my response to an invitation to go out might be something like “Sorry, Matt and I are cutting back on expenses so we can pay off our debt as quickly as possible.” Being on a budget is much easier when your friends and family know your goals.
And your friends and family will respect that you are on a budget (if they don’t, you probably have a bigger problem!). If they give you any push back like “It’s only $15 for a movie ticket,” explain that these little costs add up. Or you could budget to go out with your friend the next month by cutting back somewhere else in your budget.
Another way to get around saying no to your friends is to suggest an activity that is cheaper! Instead of going to the movies, invite your friends over to watch a movie at home. Instead of going out for dinner, get takeout or try cooking a new recipe.
To save money, you could also lessen the frequency of these expenses. Instead of meeting friends for dinner every weekend, agree to meet every two weeks or once a month.
Figure out what works for you and what fits in your budget. Remember the first post in this series? Make sure your essentials, debts and savings are paid for before you start spending money on non-essential things.
Do you say no to friends and family when an activity doesn’t fit in your budget? Is it awkward? How do you handle these situations?
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