Author Topic: Surrounded by non-frugal people  (Read 1515 times)

Patrick584

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Surrounded by non-frugal people
« on: July 17, 2018, 06:54:56 PM »
My family has really gotten into frugality in the last year, but we have found that the people in our lives have gone in the opposite direction, which has caused some isolation. In our twenties, our friends were mostly poor, which made them cheap to hang out with. Now that they have jobs, lifestyle has crept in. They are constantly spending money, which is off putting in itself, but they also pressure us to spend money. Suggesting activities and trips that are far away, relentless gifts, expensive experiences, etc. Finding the right balance with money is generally hard, and it is even harder with spendaholics in your life. How can one structure their social networks to avoid isolation and make the frugal choices the easy choices?

Hargrove

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Re: Surrounded by non-frugal people
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2018, 07:58:11 PM »
I don't know - they may be thrilled to prove to themselves that they're not broke anymore.

Which is unfortunate for their finances, for sure, but that's more proactive than how you put it - "lifestyle has crept it." Really, lifestyle was towed in by a Ford F150.

What's the difference? To you, nothing, except perspective. You can communicate to your existing friends that they don't need to do that for your benefit, and that you're more interested in saving than spending, and you can still occasionally travel hack a trip or two to join them via AirBnB and credit card rewards (rather than all-expense-paid-resort sort of spending). If you feel obligated by gifts, politely decline the most extravagant ones, but you may want to allow for there to be some people in your life who just express affection or gratitude with "stuff," so long as it doesn't come to an arms race.

Alternatively, take a more lead role in your social network, assuming it has value, even if it's not all the values you have right now. If you're the one suggesting really cool things to do that don't cost All the Dollars, it may give them the opportunity to realize they can be friends even without meeting outside the country once every 3 months.

dang1

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Re: Surrounded by non-frugal people
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2018, 11:51:20 PM »
.. How can one structure their social networks to avoid isolation and make the frugal choices the easy choices?
make friends with frugal people?

Sibley

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Re: Surrounded by non-frugal people
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2018, 07:23:59 AM »
Some of their "wildness" may also chill a bit, if they're really just getting used to having more income. Particularly once people start having kids, that tends to cramp your style. It's a LOT harder to travel on a moment's notice when you've got a 2 year old at home who will completely freak out for a week if you screw up their schedule.

for-profit noodle

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Re: Surrounded by non-frugal people
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2018, 07:58:18 AM »
I've found that being really honest about my financial plans (paying off all debt by age 30, for example... they don't have to know about FIRE necessarily, which can be more abstract) has helped my spendy friends understand that I'm not turning down their friendship, but I need to turn down a lot of their outing suggestions or counteroffer with less expensive ideas. Makes it easier for them to avoid judgement and me to avoid guilt when it's out in the open.

Noodle

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Re: Surrounded by non-frugal people
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2018, 08:23:35 AM »
Part of what you are probably seeing is the shift from people having a shortage of money and a surplus of time to a shortage of time and a "surplus" of money. So it's easier to go out to eat in a central location where someone else plans, shops, cooks, and cleans up afterward than to get everyone to someone's house for a potluck when everyone has job, family and social obligations that take up a lot of their time. Plus, when nobody has wiggle room in their budgets, spending will naturally be similar. As people have extra, it's not surprising that they go different directions with what they want to do with it that makes it harder to find common ground.

You could try taking the lead to plan fun activities that are in your budget (thus balancing their time crunch and your budget preferences) or looking for less expensive ways to do what they want to do, or setting a budget for yourself and participating up to the limit of that budget, or being honest about why you say no to some things. For instance, I remember reading about one family that does Sunday Spaghetti night. They have a tradition of a weekly open house where anyone is welcome, and regularly invite people in their orbit to drop by. They make homemade sauce and cook enough pasta for everyone who is present, and do something in the way of simple veggies or salad. If they have more sauce than needed, they freeze it and use it for a later week. Sometimes it's just them...other times they have a houseful.

Patrick584

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Re: Surrounded by non-frugal people
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2018, 07:05:37 PM »
Great ideas. Proactively planning frugal activities seems live a great idea and will promote the evololution of our social network in the right direction. Friends that are game will become better friends, and friends that are put off by thrift will fade.

drachma

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Re: Surrounded by non-frugal people
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2018, 09:41:56 AM »
I just tend to be friends with people who do the things I do. The things I do are generally frugal. This probably doesn't work for everyone but, works for me.

I still see older friends but more occasionally if they are not doing things I like to do. Usually I join them when the activities planned are of a more frugal nature, or are something I have suggested/planned myself.

Fi365

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Re: Surrounded by non-frugal people
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2018, 10:23:45 AM »
I experienced the same thing in my late 20s... friend were no longer broke, and I discovered FI at the same time.

I love all the tips to proactively plan frugal events. This is super easy. We're the couple that invites friends and family over to our house for a simple potluck or just to hang out. We clean up (which requires a couple hours of vacuuming, taking out the trash, etc.). We buy some extra groceries (which costs money... but still less than a restaurant). I think our friends and family love it.

I had very brief conversations about personal finance with my best friends (but not with coworkers or acquaintances). I basically said, "Hey! I'd love to see you this weekend. I know you mentioned going to the baseball game downtime and maybe grabbing some drinks. We're trying to save for a house right now, so want to come over and chill instead? We can make a pizza, drink some beer, and watch the game on tv." All my best friends were on board instantly. One was saving for a house herself (the first time really talked about it). The other was feeling overwhelmed by grad school loans.

The journey to FI is a bit isolating at first. You'll have to adjust your in-person relationships and you'll "meet" people online. Good luck!!