Getting your friends onside with your frugality
One of the greatest gifts when you decide to make a life change is your friends. On the flipside, one of the greatest threats to your particular change stick- is your friends. It really depends on who your friends are.
Let’s say that you’ve decided you are going to live your life frugally. If you and your BFFs routinely shop-til-you drop or dine together out all the time, this sudden change in direction might present a few challenges. To make a change stick, you need their support, not their temptation. Here are a few tips.
Focus on your goal
You’ve got to have unwavering focus on the goal behind your frugality. Maybe you are choosing to go without a car, sacrifice unnecessary spending or downsize your home in favour of this goal. Instead of emphasizing what you are giving up which is what your non-frugal friends may zero in on) focus on what you are getting- more money in the bank and debt-free.
Frugal vs. cheap
There is a common misperception that frugal and cheap is the same thing. They are not. Being cheap means that you are unwilling to spend money period, and that you will always sacrifice quality in favour of savings. Being frugal means that you are strategic in your spending. You make choices that will support your financial goals, but you are a little more flexible in your ideology. Make sure your friends understand the difference.
Don’t be a drag
Don’t make your born-again frugality the centre of every conversation or experience. Leave the spreadsheets at home and resist the urge to discuss numbers. It’s cool to celebrate your success though- that’s what friends are for!
Don’t retreat from your friendships because you’re not spending money the same way you used to. Be proactive in scheduling activities that are low-cost or no-cost. It’s about the friendship after all, not the money you spend during your time together.