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Most of us have been in a situation where one of your friends has made it big. Or they just make more money than you do. Or you’ve been laid off from your job and haven’t found work for several months. Or you decided to have a family and now you can’t afford to spend $120 on drinks at a bar in one night like you used too.
Whatever the case may be, some of your friends will have a different financial situation than yourself. I’ve been laid off from my job a few times in my life already. But I had friends that still wanted to go out and party or go to a nice dinner with me or travel the world while I was unemployed. It was a tough time, especially since I wanted to do all those things with my friends but I just couldn’t afford it at the time.
I’ve also been in situations where my friend wanted to go to a fancy restaurant and spend $300 on dinner, (excluding drinks) but I just didn’t feel like splurging that much money on one meal. Also this friend makes about 4x what I make in a year, so dropping $300 on dinner was like buying a shirt at a thrift shop for him. But why am I labeled and viewed as being ‘cheap’ in this situation?
If you’ve been in a similar predicament, then you know what I’m talking about. So I’ve listed 4 things you can do when a friend suggests to do something pricey that you can’t afford.
Suggest a Cheaper Place to go to
If you have a friend that always wants to do things that are flashy and expensive, then suggest going somewhere low key and cheaper instead. I like to go to happy hour and drink for cheap. Or go to a movie with friends. Or just hang out at each other’s house and enjoy each other’s company. Why not suggest these things to do instead?
I had a friend that always wanted to go to the hottest places in town. He always wanted to see and be seen. But usually these places are super expensive to get into and drinks are about $20 bucks a pop. I always hated going with him to these places. I suggested a few times we go somewhere low key instead and he always refused. It’s safe to say we are no longer friends.
Your friend does not have to be in control and pick the place you should always go to, especially if where they want to go costs a fortune. But like all relationships, everything is a compromise. Friendships included.
Tell Your Friend You Can’t Afford It
If your friend suggests something expensive to do but you can’t afford it, just be honest with them and tell them the truth. I think many people have a hard time to admit that they just can’t afford something to their friends. They feel embarrassed and ashamed by it.
But as they say, ‘the truth will set you free’. Instead of dodging your friend and telling them a white lie about not being able to go, just be honest with them instead.
Feelings could get hurt if you tell them a different reason other than the truth. So be up front and honest with your friend about not being able to go with them to Bora Bora in two weeks. If they are a real friend, they will understand. Maybe after they come back from their lavish vacation, you both can grab a Mai Tai at your local Thai restaurant and catch up.
Have Your Friend Pay for You and Kick in What You Can Afford
If you have a pushy friend that always suggests to go somewhere expensive and you tell them no because you can’t afford it but they still will not relent, then get them to pay for you. I’ve had plenty of these types of friends in my life. They do not want to go a place by themselves so they have to drag you along with them, but the problem is you can’t afford to go.
Just tell them you’ll go with them but they will have to pay for you. If they agree, just buy them a drink or something to show them how much you appreciate them. If you immensely enjoy each other’s company, then your friend paying for you should not be an issue at all.
Find New Friends
If all else fails when it comes to trying to hang out with your friends that you can’t keep up with financially, then find new friends with a similar socio economic background as yourself. Easier said than done I know.
Go to places where you like to hangout and start talking to people. That’s how you meet new people. You can always try the online route as well. There are plenty of Meet Up groups that you can find that are based on activities that people like to do.
Hopefully money will never come between you and the people in your life. But sometimes it does and there is not much you can do about it but learn from it and move on.
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