On my last post, a roundup of various articles about being able to afford things, Simple Tam asked:
I would like to know what you all think of the social aspect. I like to save. But my work buddies usually hang out after work or on weekends. They have expensive choices and invariably end up going out to eat or to the movies. I can avoid it for some time, but if I continue to, I am deemed a social outcast. Any thoughts on how this situation can be handled?
I responded there, but I thought it’s really a post-worthy subject. In Relatively Frugal, I mentioned a great visit we had with my SIL and BIL which cost very little.
Unfortunately, there will be times when making frugal and/or financially responsible decisions will make you feel left out. I felt very left out as a kid because I had used clothes and went to a private school with richer kids. On the other hand, I think that you can find ways to take some control of your life and avoid feeling as left out.
Obviously, it helps to have frugal friends. If you’re like me, you don’t prescreen friends. But if you can, mention your frugality to your close friends. Maybe they have some of the same ideas and were feeling embarrassed to mention it. Hopefully close friends will like you enough to respect your wishes. It may be harder to broach the subject with acquaintances.
If you’re getting together with friends/acquaintances, plan the activities yourself. Suggest having them for dinner at your place instead of going out. It’ll cost you the price of ingredients, but probably less than dinner out. Instead of going to a movie afterward, borrow/rent a DVD you’d all enjoy. Maybe buy microwave popcorn.
Go out for lunch instead of dinner. Go out for coffee or dessert. There are long lists of inexpensive but fun ways to hang out. The key is focusing on the people, not the price.
Whether you are frugal or not, life won’t always be smooth. You may not always feel close to your friends. You may disagree with them on certain points of living or philosophy. Hopefully your frugality won’t be one of the issues.
What do you think? Have you had trouble with finding frugal things to do with your friends?
photo by edcrowle