Today’s post is by the always lovely, WIFE (not pictured above)! She also has a name. It is Michelle. Give her a round of applause, then take your seats and read her appeal to everyone out there who has friends. For those that don’t….I’m sorry. I feel you. I don’t have any either.
When was the list time you hung out with friends? What did you do? Was it fun? I love hanging out with close friends, enjoying each other’s company, chattin’ up a storm and celebrating life together. It was actually one of the driving factors when we were buying a home, so we knew we needed a big backyard and a place to hang out. And since we’ve now got a 2 year old and another on the way, we don’t find ourselves going out too much with friends, but back when we were DINKS, it was more the norm. Something I noticed back then was that there were varying degrees of expectation when it came to hanging out, and a majority of the time it would involve spending some cash. Totally fine, but it really got me thinking about whether or not we were being frugal friends.
How To Spot A Non-Frugal Friend
When we had much more income than expenses, we saved a bunch of it, but also blew a bunch of it as well. I would venture to say that we were non-frugal friends. We weren’t ALWAYS terrible, but definitely displayed a few of the symptoms of a non-frugal friend.
A non-frugal friend is someone who always seems to have a NEED to spend money to be entertained or have fun. Hanging out with them always involves YOU buying something you don’t need, eating out and generally feeling like spending is expected. This means they are ordering a drink instead of just having water, or picking up a pastry with their coffee, or saying “what the heck, this shirt is only $10, might as well buy it too.”
When friends spend like this, it can often be that devil on the shoulder of someone who is trying to save money, especially one who is a natural spender. It’s that tipping point between “no, I really shouldn’t” and “sure, what the heck.” I know that if I am with someone who spends a little extra like this, I am much more prone to do the same.
What Is A Frugal Friend?
A frugal friend is a person who is financially considerate of others when coming up with hangout ideas. They are someone who says “come over for a cup of coffee”, or, “can I stop by?” instead of “Hey, want to go to happy hour?”, or “want to meet at Starbucks?”
A frugal friend doesn’t even suggest going to the mall. And if you happen to already be at the mall with a frugal friend, they say things like “don’t you already have a sweater just like that?”, or “can you believe the price of this crap?! I mean, come on, this is like .1224 of a yard of fabric, no way that’s worth $76!! What does Dolce even mean anyway? And what the heck is a Gabana??”
When you’re with your frugal friend who orders water with dinner or even offers to split a meal, you’re much less likely to order the cutesiest cocktail on the menu ($15 later…ugh) or get that appetizer, even though you know an entre will be enough food. It’s really peer pressure at its finest, so subtle you barely even notice it, but your wallet does. Go on a few outings with a non-frugal friend and compare how much you end up spending to how much you spent with your frugal friend….it’s cray cray.
What Should You Do?
BE THE BIGGER PERSON, MAN! Basically, BE the frugal friend. Here’s how you can kick the devil off your shoulder without kicking your friend in their sensitive little spending heart.
Here are three little ways you can practice being a frugal friend and in turn, help your friends save a little dough as well:
- Suggest outing ideas. Instead of them coming up with things to do, you invite them over or suggest going out after you have lunch at home. Create situations in which eating out doesn’t become “necessary”
- Say “no”, say it over and over. Practice before you go out. Maybe even go out with a list. If all you need is a brown pair of boots, you can practice saying no to those gorg gold glitter UGGS (EVEN if they are “on sale”)
- Inexpensive gift giving. Since this is the season of giving, talk with your friend about doing a small gift exchange with home-made items, or maybe even just writing a heartfelt card to one another instead of giving a gift. Or, host a baking day with your friend and split the goodies as the end of the day. (Baked goods plus time with a friend…..not sure a store-bought gift could compare to this. Priceless.)
I’m totes with you on this one, wifey. We have definitely been on both sides of this dilemma, and are trying to be much more conscious of others when planning get-togethers. Instead of “hey homies, let’s meet at John Howie steak, order a few rounds and get a $100 cut o’ meat”, it’s more of a “Greetings, fellow frugal folk, please bring your favorite homemade dish and let’s kick it old school” ~ throws on some Will Smith and cranks up the bass ~. If we DO go out, we always split a meal and keep it to one glass of delicious wine. I think it helps us savor and enjoy things a bit more, and our wallet thanks us. Being a frugal friend means no guilt and more fun for everyone.
Comments: Ok, admit it. Are you a non-frugal friend? Have you ever even thought about how your actions might cause others to spend unnecessary money? For my frugal friends out there, how to do you rock getting together with friends on the cheap? How do you also make sure you still have one helluva good time? I’d love to hear your tips!