Post # 1
Where Hubby & I grew up and currently live there is definitely a “Keeping up with the Joneses” mentality. When we younger (read: living at home) it didn’t seem like that big of a deal, but now that we are older, living on our own/paying bills, and have new goals & priorities, we are trying to make changes to our lifestyle so that we can save us as much as we can.
Whereas we were previously the ones that were always down to go shopping, out to eat, on random weekend trips, we are now the ones that would rather stay home & save the money! We have a ton of activities that keep us occupied and not spending money but a lot of our friends are still trying to pressure us into doing stuff that costs money that we honestly don’t want to spend.
I’m not really into this peer pressure thing, so I’m happy to decline, but when I do by either by avoiding it, making up something, or suggesting a cheaper/free alternative, it apparently comes across as “mean” or “rude” or like I don’t want to hang out with friends. I don’t want it to come across that way, but it’s like people are not getting that hubby & I don’t have money to spend like we used to.
So how do you politely decline invitations when you don’t have or can’t spend the money? Is there a way to do it without isolating friends? Do you have any suggestions?
Post # 3
Can you change up the activities? Like do a potluck at someone’s house, barbeque, or a board game night? Something fun and social without having to spend a lot of money.
ETA: I would also be up front and say you are trying to save up to be able to purchase your first home so you’re cutting back on some of the non-essential spending.
Post # 4
I had to do this recently. I just said “I’m really sorry, I won’t be able to make it, I hope you guys have a wonderful time though” and like @hisgoosiegirl suggested, I may try to set up a coffee date or board game night another day instead.
Post # 5
I usually just put it out there that we have a goal to save money for something like buying a house or taking a trip, so I always fall back on that, “I’d love to go to dinner (shopping, trip etc) but Fi and I are saving up for our trip! (and say it in an excited way) so until then we’re going to go easy on the spending.”
I say it in a way that basically forces people to be excitd for us, like “I’d love to but we’re getting ready to buy our first house, how exciting right?!” and then maybe suggest something smaller by adding, “so I can’t go to (expensive restaurant) but I still want to catch up on what’s going on with you, can we go for coffee or have a movie and pizza night?”
Post # 6
If these are close enough friends, I would just be upfront with them. “The Mr. and I are saving money for XYZ so we’ll have to pass.” I think it would be hard for someone to hold that against you.
Post # 7
This is definitely the situation Darling Husband and I have been in since we got engaged and had to buckle down on the spending. In all honesty, my friends have just stopped inviting us to anything. It hurts and I do give them a hard time about it occassionally (when I do see them 🙁 ) but I understand. We turned down just about everything they invited us to. Since they’re my good friends I just told them the truth. Yes, it was EXTREMELY hard to admit I could no longer non chalantly spend my cash, but it was the truth.
Post # 8
We always say that right now we are saving for a goal, and while going to a concert/weekend trips/nightclubs (gah) sound like fun, it’s not in our budget. Then we suggest doing something else another time (so we can still keep in touch).
For example. “Sally, we would love to join you and Dave on that trip to the States to go shopping, but we are really saving money for a house right now and trying to keep our expenses down. How about when you two are available we go for a hike at ______ and grab some ice cream like we did a few years ago?”
Post # 9
I’ve been on both sides of coin and have always appreciated it when friends are upfront: ie: I’d really love to see you and spend time together, but I need to watch my expenses (or I’m am short on cash) and can’t do “X”, but would love to see you. If you can, suggest an alternative you are comfortable with.
I compromise I’ve made is instead of going to a $50pp dinner, go to a $10-15pp dinner per person. Or, do something free – or host dinner at home, etc.
I think the key is to communicate with them that you DO want to see them and spend time with them.
IF they are only looking for fine-dining, shopping, trip taking friends, then they will not try to pursue anything other than what they wish to do. I know what friends those are in my life – and it may turn out that these people are only looking for social companions for activities they wish to do.
Bottom line – I think being upfront is really the best way to go. There’s nothing to be ashamed about and the more clear the communication is – the better it is for EVERYONE involved (ie: they’ll know not to plan $$ excursions with you in mind thereby not becoming disappointed when you say no, etc.)
Post # 10
I agree with the previous posters. Decline and say you are trying to save, but then suggest another activity on a different day so it’s not like you are trying to change their plans. You are still making the effort to hang out with them.
Post # 11
Personally, I think compromise is key. Even with valid reasoning, people will take it as a sign if you are always turning them down.…
I would suggest, beating them to the punch. Invite them over for dinner or game night. If they are suggesting a double date or lunch with a girlfriend, you can definetly offer cheaper options. Or go for coffee, dunkin donuts is a lot cheaper than sturbucks. Also, learn the art of browsing and leave your wallet at home! I think it’s fun to help a friend pick out something.
Post # 12
I would just be honest and say I cant afford it right now because…
Post # 13
I’d just be upfront and tell them that you don’t love them any less or don’t want to see them any less but that you’re simply not in a position to splurge on big ticket activities.
The best things in life are FREE, and maybe they need to get a little more on board with that mentality.
Some of the PP gave wonderful ideas!
Post # 14
Thankfully most of my friends are also in the save money boat, so when I suggest alternating cooking at each of our houses they are happy to oblige. Modern day potlucks are less casserole and more food you actually want to eat. one person brings brats, one person brings beer, one brings dessert, and the host supplies the condiments and sides. Darling Husband and I invested in a few board games geared towards adults, and our friends usually have a blast. Our recent favs are monopoly, quelf, apples to apples, and like minds.
If that isn’t your style, then I would explain your situation to your friends so they understand that you aren’t being rude, you just have more important things to save for. If they don’t understand then maybe they aren’t really friends.