If you have a lot of friends (of course you do), there’s a good chance that one or more of them makes more money than you do.
Maybe how much they take home every month isn’t something you normally talk about, but you probably know who those friends are.
When hanging out with friends with more money, how do you handle things? Do you stay home when they hit up that upscale restaurant you really love? Do you pretend you’re sick when they book into a pricey resort for the long weekend?
Avoidance isn’t always the best solution, so we’ve come up with some quick life and money hacks to navigate this budget-busting minefield:
- Overspending is not a good way to keep up with rich friends. Armed with some honesty and creativity, you can tackle this tricky situation and keep your friends. We’ve all been tight for cash at some point in our lives; if they’re real friends, they’ll understand when you explain your situation honestly. They won’t want to embarrass you and also won’t want you to overextend yourself on their account.
- It’s all in how you frame things. Instead of saying something like, “I can’t afford to go there,” say “It’s not in my budget” or “I have other financial priorities right now.” The financially savvy will respect that attitude.
- Draw up a monthly budget to figure out exactly how much discretionary income you have and commit to staying within your budget. Once you have it all down on paper (or in a spreadsheet) it’s amazing what you can remove or add to make room for fun with friends.
- Be proactive and make suggestions about where to go and what to do before it’s decided for you. Save money by suggesting drinks at happy hour or by telling your friends how much fun it is to have dinner at the food trucks rather than sitting down at a fancy restaurant. Seriously, food trucks can be awesome.
- Pay your own bill quickly, before your more prosperous friend offers to treat you. We know this one is difficult, but if your friend insists on treating, pick your moment to reciprocate. Like next time you see them, simply show up with two coffees. Your generosity will be greatly appreciated, and won’t be forgotten. Brownie points, too.