Billeater: Dealing with Big Spender Friends without Becoming Frenemies
Everyone has a friend who likes to go out and blow cash on a big night or the latest electronic gadget. It's fun to be around someone who feels comfortable spending money, especially if you're always working to keep within your more limited budget. That fun can turn to frustration if you start to feel pressured to match your friend's spending habits, though.
Here are some ways to keep your free-spending friends without blowing through your own bank account.
Enjoy the Perks of Hanging with Big Spenders
Have fun with your friends. If they don't mind spending money, they probably have high end electronics and other fun toys that you might be doing without. Share in their good fortune and enjoy a chance to feel more relaxed about finances every now and then. Hopefully you get an opportunity to contribute to the friendship in other less material ways that are just as valuable.
Plan Ahead and Expect to Spend More Sometimes
You know that when you go out with some friends you will probably spend more than you would otherwise. Your friend might prefer more expensive clubs or demand higher quality drinks. Since you're already aware of your friend's champagne tastes, you can save yourself some panic by simply putting aside extra cash to cover the higher cost of running around in more expensive circles. It will be easier to split the check after a five star meal when you've already set that money aside.
Limit Your Resources So You Don't Accidentally Overspend
If you are going to hang out with someone who likes to spend freely, make sure you limit your access to funding. Pull out some cash to take with you and leave all of your credit cards at home so you won't be tempted to use them. Be fair to yourself and bring enough money so that you can have a good time, but keep yourself from spending money that you might regret later. When you stick to the cash you brought with you, there is no way to accidentally put yourself in a hole if you get caught up in the fun.
Don't get Tangled up in Their Finances
Some big spenders don't really have the bank accounts to cover their spending habits. Getting mixed up in someone's poor spending is a fast way to ruin a good friendship. Protect yourself from their inevitable money crash by always making sure that you and your friend share expenses equally when you go out. If you let them buy you things, they will expect you to return the favor when they're out of cash. If you let them lend you money, they'll expect you to lend them money eventually as well. The best way to avoid the emotional pitfalls that go along with huge financial swings is to keep your money and your friend's money as separate as possible.
Don't pretend that you can afford to spend like your friend spends. Be honest with yourself about your budget and be honest with your friend about your budget. It doesn't make you bad or boring if you choose to limit how much you want to spend on certain things. A real friend will respect your spending choices and find ways to hang out with you that fit into your financial limits because the friendship is more important than the spending.
Do you have big spender friends? How do you deal with staying on budget when you're with them?
Jessica Bosari writes for the money-saving site, Billeater.com. The
site is devoted to helping people reduce expenses, save money and find
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