Author Topic: Spendy friends -- HELP!  (Read 908 times)

Geographer

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Spendy friends -- HELP!
« on: June 06, 2021, 01:35:15 PM »
Hey guys, I just came back to the US from living in Europe for a couple years. I'm currently unemployed, taking a little break and decided to move to a city in Florida for a month where some good friends live.

However, it's been only a week down here and the reverse spendy culture shock is KILLING me! It's been nice seeing friends I haven't seen in a while but every outing seems to lead up to $100+ on food, drinks, and other "fun activities". I can't sustain this for much longer but don't want my friends to think of me as cheap. They like fancy things and sadly I just don't find bar hopping, private boat rides, and fancy dinners to be my thing anymore (and never really did to begin with).

Any advice?! How do I cope with the anxiety of already thrown plenty of money down the drain? Thanks in advance!

Malcat

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Re: Spendy friends -- HELP!
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2021, 03:05:52 PM »
First, don't try to control your friends' reactions.

You can't control if they think you are cheap, so don't try. Also, maybe don't be friends with people who jump to the conclusion that you are cheap just because you can't afford or don't want to blow money on very expensive consumerist stuff.

If you are going to spend significantly less than your friends, then you are going to stand out as having a different lifestyle and different priorities. That's really not a big deal though, tons of people live every day with lifestyles that are slightly different than what is expected of them. The sooner you learn to own who you are and how you want to live, the easier life will be.

Again, you CANNOT control what your friends think of you, and frankly, it's actually disrespectful of them to try. Give them a chance to be cool people who totally get why you need to save your money because they like and care about you and are willing to respect that your priorities differ from theirs.

Or, get new friends. Because if they can't respect your life goals and priorities, then they're shitty friends. But it's your job to communicate clearly what you need from them, not to pussy foot around the issue because you are afraid to be judged.

Don't waste your energy worrying about what people will think of you, put that energy towards making genuine connections with people who you don't have to worry what they think.

It wouldn't cross my mind to think that my close friends won't understand why I don't want to go with them on their Vegas weekends. They understand because I've explained it to them, and they respect that, because they're my friends and not some shitty people who I don't trust.

Geographer

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Re: Spendy friends -- HELP!
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2021, 05:59:06 AM »
That's very good feedback, thanks Malcat! You're right, everybody has their own lifestyle and priorities so hopefully friends won't judge someone who's honest about that. And if they did -- correct, finding more like-minded friends is always a possibility no matter what stage of life you're in.

From my experience, the few FIRE-minded individuals I've met have been the most like-minded and non-judgemental. And I "click" with them the most.

Paper Chaser

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Re: Spendy friends -- HELP!
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2021, 06:04:14 AM »
"I'm not comfortable spending money on _________ while I've got no income" should suffice.

Malcat

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Re: Spendy friends -- HELP!
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2021, 07:14:25 AM »
That's very good feedback, thanks Malcat! You're right, everybody has their own lifestyle and priorities so hopefully friends won't judge someone who's honest about that. And if they did -- correct, finding more like-minded friends is always a possibility no matter what stage of life you're in.

From my experience, the few FIRE-minded individuals I've met have been the most like-minded and non-judgemental. And I "click" with them the most.

Friends DO NOT need to be like minded in order to respect your lifestyle and priorities, they just need to be respectful people who value your company.

Several of my close friends have mid 8 figure NW, and spend enormous amounts of money. The thing is, they don't expect *me* to do the same. They know that hanging out with me means going for walks along the river, eating at delicious hole in the wall ethnic restaurants, picnics, going to museums, free cultural events, lectures, etc.

It's similar to how anyone who hangs out with me has to be cool with the fact that I don't drink alcohol and don't really enjoy being around a bunch of people drinking. So if someone values drinking more than my company, then we won't be able to hang out very often.

They like spending time with me, and they actually really enjoy how I engage with the same city so differently than they do.

It's actually really healthy to have friends who live differently than you do, it helps you learn to connect with people beyond just having a lot of superficial lifestyle factors in common.

That's not to say you shouldn't seek out friends who have similar lifestyles and values, there's nothing wrong with that. It's just that if you aren't able to garner respect and value from your existing friends, then it's not because you aren't like them, it's because they don't respect and value you enough as a friend. And that's a much bigger issue than having differing priorities.

DeniseNJ

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Re: Spendy friends -- HELP!
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2021, 09:31:58 AM »
Invite them out for something cheap to do.  And when they want to do something ridiculous and expensive, say, "That's not in my budget right now."  Either recommend something else or decline.

TrMama

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Re: Spendy friends -- HELP!
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2021, 10:47:15 AM »
Invite them out for something cheap to do.  And when they want to do something ridiculous and expensive, say, "That's not in my budget right now."  Either recommend something else or decline.

This. I've had good results from simply beating them to the punch. If you suggest fun cheap activities first then there simply won't be as much time available for the more expensive options. Also, be aware that there's probably at least one person in the group who'd like to spend less money but isn't brave enough to speak up.