Updated: March 11, 2021
It’s summer and the time when friends would often come together. And there’s plenty of long weekends during this time to even plan an out-of-town trip or go on a beach vacation.
For someone conscious of their budget, it can be hard to remain frugal when friends start inviting them to go shopping, watch a concert, travel, or even just to dine out.
I’m not saying to avoid going out with your friends if you want to save money. However, you should never have to feel pressured to keep up at the expense of your wallet.
Here are some tips that can help you deal with the financial peer pressure, without necessarily putting a strain on your friendship.
It starts within you.
One of the reasons why we feel peer pressure is because we want to be accepted by our friends, to have a sense of belonging with them.
But if you know and accept who you are as a person, then you won’t have that need to be constantly validated by your friends. In fact, you will be able to choose good friends who could also accept who you are.
Nurture your self-esteem and the desire to keep up with others won’t be as strong, it could even feel unnecessary.
Honesty is the best policy.
Friends will always appreciate honesty. If you’re low on budget or trying to save some money, then you shouldn’t be shy and ashamed to tell them so.
And when you do, true friends will never take that against you.
However, it will help if you could suggest alternatives that you can afford. For example, if you have no budget for an out-of-town trip, then perhaps recommend a local spot that’s more affordable, which you can go to instead.
Don’t borrow money just to keep up.
You may apply for a personal loan, have an available balance on your credit card, or your friends could offer to lend you money; still, avoid doing so because you’ll never know when you need them for more important matters.
Sometimes, your friends will insist that you do. Unless there’s a special occasion that’s being celebrated, then I hope you get the courage to decline.
It will not be a good feeling to miss out, but it usually doesn’t last long and you’ll eventually be okay within a few days. What’s really worse is having to deal with debt and the stress that comes along with it for several months to come.
Plan your budget in advance.
My friends and I would always go to the beach during summer. You could say it’s already an annual tradition for us for more than a decade. And I know it’s the same for most people.
That’s why it makes sense to save for it in advance. Imagine setting aside just P1000 every month. Instantly, that’s a P12,000 travel budget for you after a year.
Doing this habit certainly beats having to stress out on where to find the money to spend for your barkada summer outing. Or worse, having to deal with loans and debts after you come back from your vacation.
Your self-worth is not tied to your net worth.
Regardless of your financial situation, you are always enough as a person. And you deserve all the love, care, and friendship that this world can give to everyone else.
Your income is not your identity. Rather, you are the values, beliefs, and principles that you uphold and act upon. If your friends don’t appreciate who you are as you are, then perhaps it’s time to consider finding ones who do.
As I always say, real friends will help raise you, and not keep you down.
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