So it’s Tuesday, it’s GNO, and you’re tapped. You paid the rent, utilities, materials for the kid’s science project, and bought some groceries, but your friends insist on those pomaritas. What’s a girl to do if she wants to have a social life, but she’s on a tight budget? The struggle is real. However, you CAN go out even if your friends have bigger bank accounts, or don’t care about budgeting or saving. All good things are worth a little tough love and belt loosening. Here’s how.
- Surround yourself with the right kind of peeps. I am NOT telling you to drop your friends who have fatter wallets and deeper pockets. I’m just putting that out there. Your friends should be the kind of peeps who are supportive of you; they get where you are, and what’s going on in YOUR life. They may be unable or not want to understand your budgeting finesse, but nonetheless, they should support your decisions and needs. We all have friends in life who are on a different path, their lifestyle is one you envy or not, but dream of either way. It’s the freedom to spend without worry. BUT, since most of us must keep a tight grip on our finances, you might want to re-evaluate your inner circle. Friends encourage and support, so if you’re heading out for a $100 plus night on the town weekly, it’s time to stop, think, and plan.
- Be your unique stubborn self. Keep yourself pumped and excited for a night YOU can afford. Set a strict limit for your planned activities, or decide to bite the bullet and not spend at all. Just go for the social aspect. Nobody will guess you’re drinking water over vodka. Just don’t make a big deal about it, and try not to draw attention to your plan. Be honest if asked, that you’re on a budget, and I suggest eating a nice filling meal before heading out, so you’re not too tempted if you end up at the taco place. Let them know how much you wanted to just hang out with them. Real friends, good friends, will get it, and they will support and understand your decision.
- Girls Night IN: If you’re the type to cave to peer pressure and you can’t tighten those purse strings, suggest a night in. Invite everyone to your place and host a game night or a wine tasting. Serve homemade foods, or suggest a potluck. It’s an easy way to save, and you’ll still feel like you’re contributing to the social event.
- Suggest low-cost things to do. Movie night can be fun with a Redbox movie (sign up for emails- you get coupon codes and free movies) or if you have Netflix, use it. I’ve been to homemade spa nights where we DIY something or just paint each other’s nails. Be creative, and if you must go out, suggest a museum exhibit and a picnic in the park. Check your local newspaper or online for inexpensive or free local attractions and events. Realistically ladies, we ALL just love a good chat.
Give your friends a heads up about your new savings or budget plan. If they know WHY you’re cutting back, they won’t be tempting you to blow all that extra cash…hopefully. I understand better than most how uncomfortable it can feel to tell your inner circle about your money goals or issues, but some bank draining scenarios call for an upfront chat about your cash flow, even if it’s awkward. These are your FRIENDS; they’ll get it. At the end of the day, being up front about changes in your life and financial situation will strengthen those true friendships. Real friends will understand and help you through the tough times. Besides, you may inspire some of those big spenders to start saving up.
Stay motivated and caffeinated!😉☕