We all have those friends that always want to head out on the town and spend. Whether it’s taking large vacations or wanting to eat out every week, they just seem to be made out of money. So, how do you tell someone who likes to spend that you are on a strict budget?
My wife and I have friends that like to spend and it’s hard to tell them no when they ask us to tag along. We don’t want to alienate them to the point that they don’t want to see us again. So, I thought it would be beneficial to think of a few ways to handle the situation if it should every arise again. Here are some strategies that I thought might be useful:
Learn to Say “No”
You might think that saying no is an easy concept but it’s not. When that person is standing right in front of you and you are thinking of ruining their plans, it’s hard to just say no.
It’s probably not best to just say “no” and then leave it at that. Try saying something like, “I’d love to do that, but right now we are really trying to watch our spending.” If they don’t understand that then maybe it’s time to find some new friends.
Tell Them Your Financial Goals
If they are still giving you a rough time after you said no, maybe it’s time to tell them your financial goals. If you are trying to get out of debt or saving for a down payment on a home, tell them. It may actually even inspire them to create their own financial goals.
You don’t want to get too personal with your goals though. In other words, don’t tell them that you are $150,000 in debt and just can’t afford to do anything for the next 7 years. That just might scare them off a bit.
Invite Them Over and Control the Situation
This is a strategy my wife and I use. When all else fails, invite the couple over to your place. If you are in your own domain, you can control the expenses a lot better. Cooking a meal for your guests can be a lot cheaper than eating out. Since your guests originally wanted to spend money on going out, have them bring over the drinks. Even those are cheaper when bought at the store vs. a restaurant.
Go to Places or Do Things For Free
Another great solution is to do things with your friends that are free. My wife and I live really close to Washington DC and there are a ton of things to do there for free. Whenever we have relatives or visiting friends in the area, we recommend heading into the city. There are a ton a free museums and monuments to check out. You can pack a picnic lunch and take mass transit.
Here are a few more things you can do with friends for free:
- Hiking and biking
- Game night
- Pick up a team sport
- Much more!
How do you handle situations where you friends want you to spend but you don’t have the money?