We all have a circle a friends that we like to hang out with. Friends make everything more enjoyable and help us to build long lasting memories. As with all groups you can run the gamut financially and sometimes the pocketbooks may not be aligned. If you find yourself having a moment where you need to prioritize your finances, you may have to take a hard look at how you spend your money when you are with your friends.
1.) Happy Hours- It seems that the weekend now starts on Thursday with the ever present and ever hyped Happy Hour. Yes, yes reduced prices on food and alcohol during happy hour times is great, but that does not make it free. If you heading out with friends to happy hours every week or even a couple of times every week that can be a major outflow of cash.
2.) Brunch! – I see this all the time. On Sunday, every Sunday everyone heads to brunch and it is a great way to connect on the weekend and who doesn’t love mimosas, but brunch can easily head into the $60.00 range and if that is every week?! Whew! You do the math!
3.) The “Quick Trip Getaways” – Now that nice weather is here, there will be all of these weekend getaways that you can spend money on. Rooms at this rate for double occupancy and so on, but you have to get there and then eat and drink while there. Just think about the frequency of these trips and try to space them out.
4.) The Birthday Dinner- The Birthday dinner, where everyone gets together to celebrate a member of the groups birthday and everyone pays except the birthday girl or guy. Within a friendship circle you could be going to these every month!
5.) Uber trips/cab rides- You hear it all the time now, “let’s just get an Uber.” Seems so simple especially when you are not seeing the cash leave your hands. But Uber and cab rides can be expensive especially with surge pricing. Look into public transportation, like the subway. It’s much cheaper.
6.) Impromptu nights out- I have a friend that calls every week at some point and says, ” I don’t feel like cooking tonight, let’s just grab a quick bite.” Once it’s all said and done, it’s $60.00 and every week? That adds up fast!
You may like and enjoy your circle of friends because they keep things interesting and they are fun to be around, but you may need to be honest, if only with yourself about your finances. It is OK to say no to an invite or I will catch you next time.
Even have a conversation if necessary about trying to save money for a down payment on a home or increasing your emergency fund or whatever your financial goals maybe.
Good friends will understand.