How to Maintain Friendships With Non-Frugal People

In response to yesterday’s post about fun, Erin wrote the following (adding my own emphasis):

Whenever I do things with friends, they seem to always want to include eating out with the activity. Or they want to go shopping. When I suggest that we go out, but not eat out or that shopping is not of interest to me, or that to drive to the nearest metropolitan area for entertainment costs a lot in gas (I live in a small town), I immediately hear their moans or get that look that says how boring my suggestions are.

We all make decent money, but I choose to save mine. I enjoy being with my friends, but I don’t enjoy spending what I consider too much money on entertainment and I do not want anymore “stuff”. Some friends either don’t have anything saved for retirement or, even worse, they do not have any retirement money and have a lot of credit card debt. They do not see anything wrong with this.

How do people maintain friendships with good people they care about, but still maintain a frugal lifestyle?

This is an extremely challenging question, but it’s a vital one.

For many people (myself included), becoming financially aware and adopting frugal habits results in a significant shift in how one sees the world. For me, it didn’t take long to start seriously questioning how I was spending every dollar and drawing some new conclusions about the things that I participate in.

Yet, when the epiphany happened for me, most of my friends were not on board. My best friend was already rather frugal to begin with, but most of the rest were still firmly on board the spending train. How could I maintain these friendships without alienating them or selling out my own beliefs? Over time, I came to several conclusions.

First, sometimes a change in your values will reveal some sad truths about some of your friendships. I wrote about this at length in the past, when I lost a friend over frugal choices (I’ve seen Dave once since this post, when he came over to borrow golf equipment which hasn’t been returned or even mentioned since).

What I learned from this experience is that some friends value you and others don’t. Quite simply, there are people out there who build friendships based on the social role someone can fill in their life. It might be a drinking buddy or a golfing buddy or a gossip friend or a shopping friend, but once you decide to change those behaviors much at all, your friendship will vanish.

Once you switch over to a frugal mindset, you will find that some of your friendships fall into this cateogry, and there’s very little you can do to maintain that friendship unless you just allow yourself to act out old habits in their company. That’s a call you have to make as an individual, but I found that it wasn’t worth it to maintain that kind of act.

Second, don’t shove your value change down the throats of others. Sure, it’s great that you’ve figured out your finances and all, but most people don’t want to hear about it on a regular basis. If you feel the need to talk to people about personal finance, post comments on The Simple Dollar or visit an appropriate messageboard.

Third, be proactive in suggesting frugal activities, but don’t pitch them because they’re frugal. One good approach is to look at lists of fun activities that don’t cost a ton of money, identify ones that fit well with the dynamics of your friendships, and suggest those when opportunities come along.

Similarly, if your friends are willing to do frugal stuff with you, be open to some activities with them that do cost money. If you do a potluck supper and also play disc golf at the park, don’t hesitate to go out for a shopping trip with your friends (just keep your own wallet in check). My best friend likes miniature golf, so we often do that – it’s not very expensive and most of the other stuff we do is free (or close to it).

In short, your financial changes will reveal to you who your true friends are – so don’t batter those true friends with the changes you’re making.

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  1. DebtyBetty says:

    wow, that comment could have been written by me. The only idea my friends have for going out is dining out. Always, 100% of the time. I’m somewhat lucky though because usually after we go out to eat, we all go back to someone’s apartment to hang out or for some cocktails. So, although I still go out to dinner on occasion, I usually just skip it and go to the apartment where they’re going to be hanging out.

  2. klf says:

    It can often be difficult to maintain friendships which are so very often built around spending. I’ve learned that most people are not interested in the fact that you do not want to spend money. (who can they commiserate with, then).

    Instead of saying, “I’m not interested in shopping,” simply tell them “I’d love to go”. Who says that you have to buy anything? I go with friends all the time, and consider it an interesting cultural experience in people’s spending habits. I’m appalled, and entertained at the same time. It also gives me an opportunity to comparison shop and price items so that when I do want to buy something I know what I want to spend.

    Perhaps you can separate the dining from the activity. Say you can meet them for ‘activity x’, but then you need to go home and take care of whatever, or tell them you’ll meet them after they’ve eaten. If it’s not possible to do that, you are not required to eat. Perhaps you can just order a coffee or tea and nurse that along.

    Persist in inviting people over for a get-together for a potluck dinner and a movie night.

    True friends will understand; those that don’t eventually drift away for other reasons. When you meet people with the same values as your own, then you will have a group of people with the same mindset and this won’t be such an issue.

  3. Johanna says:

    While I agree that it’s not a good idea to shove your values down people’s throats, I don’t see anything wrong with being assertive and honest about your reasons. If your friends are living beyond their means because they think that’s what everybody does, you’re not doing them any favors by making up excuses to hide the fact that you’re living within your means.

    Maybe you could say something like, “I’m sorry, but (expensive restaurant) isn’t in my budget right now, because I’m trying to save for (goal). Maybe we could go to (cheaper restaurant) instead?”

  4. wesa says:

    Your first link tag needs a “

  5. devil says:

    I agree w/klf…go ahead and join your friends for a shopping trip. Just don’t overspend.

    The dining out part gets trickier. You don’t have to stop going with them altogether – just go occasionally as a treat.

    You can mention that you’re on a budget, but be prepared for the eye-rolls (no matter how casually you say it). Savers and spenders are, generally, not compatible in the long run.

  6. Dariaclone says:

    I agree that shopping is fine if you have the willpower not to buy anything (and is it your friend’s fault if you don’t), although it does contribute to the desire to buy things. I like shopping with my parents. I rarely buy anything and it gives us a good opportunity to talk about things going on in our lives in a relaxed setting.

    Also, for food, I second the less expensive idea. I’ve broached the topic by saying “who’s interested in trying out this cool hole-in-the-wall near my place.” BYOB restaurants are great.

    Beyond cheaper restaurants and taking turns hosting people, I would recommend sports: volleyball, bike rides, train for a marathon. Also, for the crowd that likes to go to the city, check for street festivals, free concerts and suggest those.

    In fact, rather than discounting other people’s ideas, I think you’ll be best served by suggesting your own: “I’m going to these show [happens to be free] on Friday. Is anyone interested in coming with me?” Don’t focus on the things you can’t or won’t do!

  7. Nadine says:

    I think that the smartest thing to do is to suggest less expensive activities and decline to participate in more expensive outings if you choose to. No one is really interested in hearing about your financial goals. Spenders feel as if they are being “preached” at. If you are truly doing smart things with money it will become apparent with time. It is better to be a good example.

  8. JReed says:

    Going out to eat is so tedious for me but we do go out with three other couples about every 6 or 8 weeks. One couple always takes advantage of our “split the check 4 ways” tradition by ordering double cocktails. I tend to not think of that couple as real friends.
    My best friendships are based on outdoor activities…running our dogs together; walking the beach, kayaking, hiking etc. I can go for weeks without spending any recreational money.
    Today I helped a friend sawzall some furniture and take it to the dump. It was my Christmas present to her and she said it was the best one ever. Then we ran our dogs through some trails in the woods, had a cup of cocoa and it was a great day spent catching up with each other. There are so many people out there who are not caught up in the endless fear, consumption, fear, consumption cycle that it is hard to stay close to those who need things and fancy meals to be happy. If I was happy playing golf I wouldn’t give it up for the sake of the budget; I would just cut out the cocktails…find a golf buddy who likes having a gatoraid on the tailgate of your truck.

  9. Erin says:

    First of all I am flattered that my question became a topic for discussion.

    Thanks to everyone for your great suggestions. Many I have tried and continue to do. Some are new ideas. I guess it becomes a little tiresome for me finding things to sugggest that are more reasonable in cost without sounding like a broken record.

    I try not to shove my cost contientiousness down their throats, but it seems people who have not adopted frugal lifestyles do not want to hear anything about alternatives to expensive entertainment or tagging an expensive restaurant meal to it.

    I will continue my lifestyle that I have even if my friends do not appreciate it. That said, I enjoy time with my friends, and will renew my effors to continue the financial balancing act.

  10. Ron says:

    What if it isn’t a friend that you have the problem with, but (gulp) your wife and kids?

    My problem is this: I work for a company that freely lets me use a company credit card when I’m out of town to eat anywhere I want. Ruth’s Chris, Texas de Brazil, you name it, there is NEVER a question asked. When I come home after being on the road for two weeks, my wife has a hard time understanding why SHE can’t enjoy those $100/person meals. It becomes difficult. I don’t want to lie to her about where I went, but she absolutely pesters me about every place I went out to eat. The kids (ages 14, 13, and 8) also want to go out to eat every Sunday after church. My response has been to insure that we have a chicken casserole in the oven or a roast in the crockpot!

    I guess the best defense against the UN-frugal is to always have an alternate plan in your head.

  11. Johanna says:

    Ron: I think your wife and kids have a point. You’re eating $100 dinners for two weeks straight, and you won’t even take your family out to lunch once a week? There should not be such a lifestyle disparity within a household. Either ease up on the purse strings and let your family enjoy some nice meals out, or choose more modest restaurants while you’re on the road out of respect to them.

  12. Chad says:

    @Erin: Don’t think of it as a struggle. Think of it as a way to get your goals. Maybe skip on the trips to town and go every other time. My friends are all going out to eat and to see Beowulf this friday. I am skipping out on that and hosting a dine in/ potluck the next friday as a way to hang out with them and save money.

    @Ron: maybe you shouldn’t live extravagantly if your family has to live within a budget (even if it is free*). Put yourself in their place.

    I think the third point that Trent made is the best. It is what I thought of right off the bat too and what most of the comments suggest. Come up with something that is cheaper (sorry frugaler) that everyone can go to and you don’t have to break your budget to do.

    * is it free if you feel so guilty about it afterwards?

  13. Johanna says:

    It now occurs to me that Ron’s post sounds a bit trollish, and that I may have fallen for it. If so, I apologize.

  14. Matt says:

    I’ll take the other opinion Ron. Your wife and kids do not have a point. Your company is being generous and allowing you some luxury to ease the time you spend away from your family. It would be incredibly wrong to take advantage of their generousity for a situation which is not work-related.

    You don’t need an alternate plan. You need to realise that you’re the man of the house and lay down the law. No offense personally against you but your wife and kids are acting very selfish. Here you are sacrificing your life to support them and they have the nerve to whine and ask more of you like that. Since they don’t seem to be too grateful perhaps you should stop going to work. Maybe then they will start to appreciate you some more.

  15. Katy Raymond says:

    Ron’s comment didn’t seem trollish to me, at all. My husband and I had a similar situation when we were broke, and I stayed home to care for 3 young kids. He travelled with a major corporation he worked for. Every night when he called, I asked where he’d eaten. I was obsessed with the fantastic meals he’d comped with his workmates, while I did the mac-and-cheese thing. But I did NOT expect that we’d be able to do similarly once he got home! Not saying I wasn’t jealous, though…. :)

  16. 60 in 3 - Fitness and Health says:

    I have a similar issue. A while back I decided to switch to a healthier lifestyle. I now enjoy physical activities like hiking and biking and I try to eat as healthy as possible. That means I have some issues with the activities my friends like which are rather sedentary and involve a lot of pizza.

    Trent’s advice applies to this situation as well. Either accept your friends as they are and go with their selection of activities while keeping yourself in check. For me, that means I’m willing to go spend a few hours on a board game but I’ll refrain from the pizza. Alternatively, you can suggest other activities. You might find yourself surprised at your friends’ willingness to adopt new habits as long as they’re not forced onto them. Many of my friends now go hiking with me. Sure, we don’t climb any mountains, but we enjoy spending time together doing something we all like.

    Gal

  17. Andrea says:

    @Matt: “You need to realise that you’re the man of the house and lay down the law.” ????

    I really hope that was trolling because I’d hate to think that there are still people out there who believe and propagate that kind of BS.

  18. !wanda says:

    @Ron: It doesn’t sound like it’s really about the meals. You need to talk with her about what she’s really saying. Has she agreed to be frugal, or is it something you’ve imposed on her? Do you two have a specific goal you’re saving for, and does she want that goal? If she feels like she’s making frugal sacrifices to fulfill goals she doesn’t care about (while you make fewer of those sacrifices!), of course she’s going to complain.
    She may also be trying to tell you something about your life together. Maybe what she’s really saying is that living a domestic lifestyle and caring for three kids is boring her to death. Maybe what she’s really saying is that she’d like you home more. You need to find out what she’s really saying when she complains that you never take her out to eat.

  19. Oswegan says:

    Let them pay for everything and the rest will take care of itself. :-)

    ~Oswegan

  20. Oswegan says:

    p.s. I was kidding, and I didn’t see the comment debate before I wrote the previous comment which was in response to Trent’s original question, not the comment debate.

    I can identify with Ron, being in the corporate world and being on a budget at home. It’s a tough question, primarily because it is often not always your decision where you go for meals when you are on business, especially if you are traveling with others, or meeting customers/vendors etc.

    And I’m not touching Matt with a 10 foot pole – you’re on your own with that comment buddy.

    ~Oswegan

  21. Dariaclone says:

    Ron: Do you expense your meals on a credit card which gives you reward points? Use them to treat the family. I’ve traveled a lot for work and always use the hotel points I accumulate for vacations for my husband and me. And I’ve never experienced the jealousy that you are apparently experiencing. But I also never brag–ever restaurant story is balanced with “but the boring person I had to sit next to…”

  22. Dariaclone says:

    Erin: It’s not easy. I work in an industry where we all know what the other makes (and we all make roughly the same amount). So it’s tough to say “I can’t afford that” when my friends know I CAN, I just don’t want to.

    I would also say keep trying, but in the meantime, you might also work on making new friends of a wider range of income level to complement this set. Perhaps volunteering?

  23. Anne says:

    @Ron

    A few years ago, I dated an accountant who traveled very frequently for business. Once, after he was out of town for a particularly long stretch, he asked his firm whether he could treat me to a nice dinner on their dime. They didn’t flinch.

    Maybe you could work something similar out with your company. Suggest that instead of you comping your meals when you travel, they give you a per diem. Spend less than your per diem when you travel, and use the remainder to take your family out. Or flat-out tell them that you’d like to dine a bit cheaper when you go out to eat but put an occasional family meal on the company card. (The per diem may work better for tax reasons, I don’t know.) If you explain your predicament, they may go out of their way to keep you (and your family) happy.

  24. @Erin

    Don’t focus on the frugality of cheaper activities. For example, my friends and I used to meet up at restaurants, but we were constantly getting kicked out by waiters and waitresses who didn’t want us lingering at the table for hours. We started holding potlucks, which not only saved us money, but also allowed us to spend time together without feeling rushed. If potlucks are too big of a jump, start with ordering take-out, at least you won’t have to pay the tip.

  25. Ron says:

    @ Everyone

    Hey, thanks for the advice. Trollish, maybe I’m behind the times a bit, but I’m really not sure what that means.

    Actually, I’m a district manager for a pretty large company with operations in about 18 states. I cover 6 states and those dinners are usually corporate events where I take other colleagues out on the company’s credit card. I don’t brag to her about where I eat and I try to downplay it in my calls home, but she literally pesters me until I cave in and tell her.

    It isn’t my own card and I don’t get points for using it. I am allowed to use the points from the hotel rooms and the airline tickets though. We’ve been able to go on some pretty nice vacations (skiing in Colorado, Disneyworld, the Biltmore Estate) on those points.

    The biggest problem is the food. I make a great living and we DO go out as a family. Heck, for our last anniversary I took her to Memphis to Texas de Brazil and spent almost $150 on one meal. I’m not cheap, but she wants to go back every time there’s the slightest holiday or birthday because, “you get to eat at these places all the time.” I don’t make THAT good of a living.

    I’m having a hard time getting her on board with living below our means. I don’t mind in the slightest taking her and the kids out to eat, but EVERY Sunday? I told them 2x per month, but they still ask every Sunday. I always end up being the bad guy.

    Just tonight, my teenage daughters asked (in front of their mother) if they could get a Visa Buxx card. I couldn’t believe the lobbying effort from all three of them. Are you kidding me? Absolutely not. The fees associated with those things have you in the hole $50 to $100 per year right off the bat! Not to mention the fact that we would be training our kids in the “Visa Way.” Talk about going over to the dark side, sheesh.

    As far as a per diem, that would be my preference but it would drastically change things for a lot of other corporate employees who would not like that change. I know. I’ve brought it up before. And in my company, you “can’t do for one without doing the same thing for all.”

    One good note (since this is a ridiculously long post about something silly), my company does send us on a trip in December and we will eat all the steak and lobster and she-crab soup we want!

  26. Kay says:

    Great post trent.
    You kind of hit home when you mentioned how we shouldn’t throw our money habits to friends that may not want to hear it. I am struggling with that but it is hard.
    My good friend just recently received about $20,000 from her mother’s sale of a home and all she talked about was “the sky is the limit”. She immediately went out and brought an $188.00 Ipod and now is talking about going to the Coach outlet to buy some designer bags.
    Almost every weekend she wants me to drive up to her area and wants to eat out and etc and I can’t keep up with her. Not to mention that my consulting contracted ended this past Tuesday.
    Again great post.

  27. Katy says:

    Yes, very thought provoking post.

    And sometimes values aren’t part of the equation; there are friends/acquaintances we know from an activity, i.e. a running partner, bowling team member, classmate, *coworker*. When the activity/job ends, so does the friendship.

    It’s hard sometimes to accept this. A very wise friend told me ‘People just move out of your orbit. It’s not personal’. Different orbits.

  28. m- says:

    Ron~ my husband travels alot and has an expense account. He always tells the guys that he is with he trying to eat healthy and goes to subway. Alot of the time they will come with because most of them are in the same boat and want to eat healthy. Granted it might get old eatting subs all the time but if you wife is eating at home all the time that gets old also.

    Then tell your wife that if she is ‘jones'(to get out of the house for a meal she too can go to subway.) Sometimes it isn’t about the meal it is about just getting out of the house.

    I am preatty sure that all the expensive meals aren’t the most healthy concoctions. So this might help out.

  29. Jenyfer says:

    Terrific post, as always. Sometimes it’s harder to give up the idea of friendship than the actual friendship.
    As I have found recently, without the enforced drama and budget binging of a former friend, I am much more peaceful. Perhaps she just came into my life so I could appreciate this frugal effort I am making.
    And for you single folk out there, there’s nothing wrong with learning how to be comfortable being alone. This by no means proposes a life without friendships and interactions! This skill will help in many life areas and situations. Frugal livers, know yourselves!!

  30. Jane says:

    Ron, I’m just curious who pays the household bills. It almost sounds to me like your wife doesn’t realize how much everything has cost. If it’s you maybe you need to schedule a time to sit down and pay them together.

    As for the Visa Buxx, that’s like a prepaid credit card rightr, tell your daughter if she wants it she pays for it see how that goes.

  31. Sandy says:

    Good advice here — I’m a recent frugal-convert, and naturally wanted to share that with friends, but will keep it to the finance posts as suggested. I made the switch to veg. and always appreciated not getting a lecture from other vegs. when I wasn’t one, so planned to follow suit there — just didn’t realize until this post I should do the same with my responsibleness toward money now. I appreciate all the tips I’ve read in earlier posts.

  32. Diane says:

    Like Sandy, I appreciate the tips I’ve read in earlier posts, but I was stunned to recognize myself as a gossip friend in your post. Another friend called me on it because I did not realize I had drifted there. When I changed, I did not pick up on why another friend was cool to me–I was not gossiping any more! Now I see that I “changed the rules” of our talks.

    Helpful post for me, Trent, and the ideas of how to stay friends with non-frugal people helped me too. I plan to pass the ideas on to our daughter in college.

  33. Not just non non-frugal friends too… it’s worse when you are naturally frugal but have a girlfriend who like most women I know, are naturally voracious shoppers. I want to take care of her by spending money on her, but she really spends way too much. It’s hard to keep up sometimes.
    -Raymond

  34. Keri says:

    The biggest thing that’s irritating to me about having friends who spend WAY more than I do is when they complain about being broke. Or they ask me why I’M not complaining about money and how I have enough when they’re struggling. Um, maybe because you eat out at $40/meal places? Or you wear $200 jeans? Or drive a brand new car?

    I’ve just learned not to spend much time getting to know people who start behaving like that. I’m not going to sit down and explain my finances with someone who obviously can’t understand “spending less than you earn”. But is IS hard to find people who are of the same mindset as I am about money. So yeah, I kind of agree with Jenyfer – sometimes it’s good to be your own best friend. :)

  35. Keri says:

    Wow, didn’t mean to sound so bitter and hateful!!!! But I think y’all know what I mean.

  36. Kaye says:

    My husband gets invited to expensive restaurants and he’ll eat the sides and bring the steak and dessert home to me! I know this won’t work for out of town meals, but I really feel loved when he does this.

  37. !wanda says:

    @Ron: OK, so it doesn’t sound like you’re denying her nice things. It still sounds like your wife doesn’t understand why you want to live on a budget. Have you talked to her about how expensive retirement is and in particular how expensive her retirement will be? (After all, if she doesn’t work, she doesn’t have access to a 401K, company match, or IRA.) Medical expenses, too, are insane. Have you talked to her about saving for your children’s college? (Have you talked to your daughter about that too?) You sound quite successful, but she apparently needs to be told that the money you make today won’t be there for you later if you spend it today.

  38. !wanda says:

    @Ron: By the way, a “troll” is a person in an online discussion who says inane or offensive things to get attention. “Feeding trolls” means replying to their comments, which usually only encourages them to post more. Therefore, it is usually a good idea to ignore trollish comments. If you want an example, Matt sounds more like a troll than you do.

  39. Ron says:

    @!wanda

    Whew! I thought maybe someone was saying I needed to quit living under a bridge and scaring the Billy Goats Gruff or something!

    I do have my kids taken care of in a 529 plan. They have about $15,000 each or so in it. I also have a really good retirement plan at work as well as a self directed Roth IRA and some other investments I’ve managed to squirrel away.

    No, she doesn’t work outside the home. She does substitute teach at the private school where the kids go, and she does a lot of volunteer work. What drives me crazy is that I make three times more than I did just 5 years ago, but seem to have less to show for it.

    Getting a meaningful grip on your financial life is difficult sometimes, especially when you feel like you’re swimming upstream. Yes, we need to sit down again and hash through a few things. Thanks for listening and allowing me to talk through these things.

  40. Keiichi says:

    I totally agree with this post! I’ve been trying to live a more frugal life. I started noticing I started so spend too much money going out for lunch and dinner with friends, but realized that it was starting to take a financial toll. Although I’m currently busy juggling work and school which also stops me from seeing my friends at this time, they all understand and also encourage a more frugal lifestyle. The best feeling is that when you hang out even after not seeing them for a month or more, it still feels like you just saw them yesterday :-).

  41. MVP says:

    Trent, you’re right on with this one. I think the hardest thing is to realize we may not have as much in common with some of our “old” friends as we did when we were spenders. Some friendships can last through the frugal transformation, but others will just fade away, unfortunately.

    I especially like that you talk about not ramming our newfound frugal beliefs down others’ throats. That’s a hard one for me, as I was so excited by the financial roll I was on at one point, that I wanted to share it with everybody, regardless of if they cared! Then, there were (and frankly still are) times when I couldn’t help but judge my friends for their shameless fancy new car purchases and ridiculous vacations. Gotta stop that.

  42. Louise says:

    When I bought my first house I lost quite a few friends as my mortgage was nearly three times what I had been paying in rent, and the house needed total renovation. I just didn’t have the money to go out as I had before. Recognise that some friends just aren’t worth having. Deep down they may be jealous, or scared, because they can see that you will end up ahead of them in the end. Remember, when you change your spending habits it’s like holding a mirror up to them and forcing them to confront their own spending habits, and they may not like what they see. Think of ways to cherish your true friends. Use the extra time freed up from no longer having shallow acquaintances take up a hobby, spend time with your family, study part time etc.

  43. Elizabeth says:

    It takes time to make friends who want to spend time and money like you do, but it can happen without even realizing it. Recently we went out to eat with my sister-in-law. One of our best friends called us just before we left and we invited him along because his wife was out of town — got to the restaurant and realized it was the first time we had ever been in a restaurant with him in the 2 years we’ve known him. This is a friend we see at least once a week. We invite each other over for dinner, or go hiking, or help each other with big projects, or play board games. And over the period that we have been spending more and more time socializing like that, I have drifted away from the happy-hour socializing of some other friends.

    I have another friend who likes to invite people over for pie or cobbler he makes from whatever he bought at the farmer’s market that morning. You can go out to eat first or you can potluck at his place. But everyone’s always happy for pie!

  44. Catherine says:

    I think that the real spending trap in these situations is one person’s (or couple’s) suggesting an activity but then everyone’s being expected to pay her or his own way. Moving to a more formal habit of entertaining (i.e. taking turns hosting) not only allows everyone a chance to play the role not only of choosing the venue but of being generous, but it also allows everyone a chance to host according to their own budget. No more being “invited” to spend money. If your friends notice that you are always having them over to your own home (the most gracious option as well as one of the more frugal, IMO) or taking them out to lunch instead of dinner, or so on, and feel indignant that they buy you more expensive meals than they get in return, then perhaps they might be “inspired” to scale back as well. Or drop you altogether, but if that’s the case, they probably weren’t such great friends.

  45. LC says:

    I will add on that many things that are environmentally friendly or healthier are the things that are the cheapest. Since losing weight and going “green” are “trendy” things to do, they might accept it more if you said it that way.

    As far as the business dinners, my husband loves to hear about the places I go and how much I can spend and has no problem with not spending as much when it’s our own money. But we have similar feelings about that kind of stuff.

  46. t says:

    Host a potluck!

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