• Katy Bishop

telling your friends you can't afford something.

We have all had that moment, a friend suggests going for drinks and despite your low budget you say yes, not wanting to admit your lack of funds. You order the cheapest drink and worry about that upcoming payment knowing you really couldn’t afford this outing from the start, but peer pressure and pride forced you into spending money you didn’t have to spare.

concerned woman holding credit card looking at her laptop / fully grown

Nobody wants to admit that they can’t afford something, it can be awkward, embarrassing and just all around unpleasant. However, sometimes it simply has to be done and it’s useful to know how to do it when the time comes.

admit it to yourself first.

The first step is being honest with yourself about your budget, understand what you can afford and what you can’t and admit to yourself when there is something you can’t splash on. Once you’re able to have that conversation with yourself, having it with someone else will be a lot easier.

suggest an option you can afford.

If you find that your friends or family are always suggesting expensive outings and lavish experiences, then maybe suggest doing something on the cheaper side. If someone has to be spending a lot of money to enjoy hanging out, then they are doing it wrong. Your friends should want to spend time with you without all the extra expenses, so if discussing finances isn’t something you wish to do, start by creating alternative options.

be polite.

It can be difficult to admit a wage gap between you and your friends, however when done, it’s best to bring the issue up calmly and politely. Begin by admitting that the suggested thing or outing isn’t ‘within your budget at this time’. If they are truly a friend to you, they will understand and possibly suggest and alternative that fits your preference.

change the date.

If there’s a time in the month or year, where you know money will be tighter than normal, ask if any plans can be rearranged to a time better fitted to your budget. Sometimes a simple conversation is the best thing.

don’t feel embarrassed.

It can hard to admit that you can’t afford something, money is always a tricky topic even amongst friends. However, don’t allow yourself to be embarrassed, there is no shame in trying to save some money. If anyone tries to make you feel shameful about it, then you probably don’t want to be hanging out with them anyway.

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