Yes, you read the title correctly. You may not always realize it, but having friends, and spending time with them, can actually have a huge impact on your budget. Now whether the impact is positive or negative really depends on how you and your friends celebrate your friendship.
According to Urban Dictionary, friends are:
“People who are aware of how retarded you are and still manage to be seen in public with you. People who make you laugh till you pee your pants. People who cry for you when one of your special items disappear. When you don’t have enough money to get an ice cream, they chip in.”
I actually have very few close friends. But the ones I do have are great!
How do friends affect your finances? I’m glad you asked.
-Entertainment. One area I really struggle with my budget every single month is entertainment and going out to eat. I love spending time with my friends, but most of the time our entertainment consists of going out to dinner and probably having a few drinks. Even if you are frugal with your eating out, this can still add up quickly and bust your budget.
-Splurge Shopping. Another favorite activity my BFF and I like to do together is go shopping. I know, I know. This is not a frugal or budget friendly activity as I usually end up buying something I don’t need and hadn’t planned on purchasing. We shop a lot less than we used to, but still more than what’s probably necessary. It’s a lot easier to splurge when you are distracted and having fun with friends.
-Peer Pressure. I don’t think our friends mean to put us under peer pressure to spend money, but sometimes they do so inadvertently by showing us their latest purchases which might make us envious or feel the need to “catch up”.
-Manual Labor. This past weekend my BFF came to visit and I put her to work. We generally try to work together on a household or craft project when we go to visit one another. This makes the project more fun and we are able to accomplish more than we’d each be able to do on our own. It also saves money by saving you from hiring someone to do projects for you.
-Specialized Skills. My other BFF that lives in the same town as me helped me out this past week and saved me some money thanks to her specialized skills. She’s a vet-tech and she helped me figure out what was wrong with my cat prior to my veterinarian visit. This way I didn’t have to worry about the vet trying to get me to do any unnecessary tests or medications to weed out other potential diagnoses. Her specialized skills saved me about $25 worth of lab work at the least.
What other ways do your friends affect your budget positively or negatively? Are you good at making friends?
I’m really not good at making friends and I blame it on my resting b!tch face.