As many adults do, you likely have set some long-term goals for your money. Whether it is building or maintaining a six-month emergency fund, retirement nest egg, or a vacation savings account, these goals show that you are using smart thinking when it comes to your finances. Sometimes friends can add a little financial peer pressure that can put a damper on the achievement of your goals; you may even be putting that pressure on yourself without realizing it.
When your friends like to spend money by going out shopping, it can be tough for you to tell them no, you wouldn't want to be included. Most everyone wants to go out and have a good time with their friends, and there's nothing wrong with that. However, when you say yes to every shopping outing, road trip, expensive restaurant evening, or other splurges, that can get expensive.
Setting and Staying on a Budget
The first thing you should do is decide exactly how much you are willing to spend on a weekly or monthly basis for some fun time with friends. Then, set yourself a budget that allows for this spending of money.
Keep in mind that it can be easy to think you will only spend a certain amount, but once you are out with your friends, it takes discipline to say no to the extra spending.
Stick to your budget. Once you deplete your social spending, that is it for the week or month. You can find some free online budget templates that can help you stay on track with your budget. If you see that spending more than you plan is more tempting with credit cards, take only cash with you when you go out and leave the credit cards at home.
Keep focused on the future to fight pressure. Consider the benefits gained by saying no to the peer pressure to dine out or splurge a few times a week. You have priorities and goals; therefore, set yourself some limits and stay bound to them. You don't have to say yes to every invitation.
Moreover, there's no shame in watching your spending. While some of your friends may spend more on entertainment and luxury items, you will be in a much better place at the end of the day financially because of your smart money choices.
Good friends will understand that you have your limits. Plan on sticking to your budget. Your friends will respect you and your goals.