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Are Your Friends Ruining Your Budget?
An important person in my life had long back quoted a life lesson: You are defined by the company you keep! Although simple, the quote kept me pondering over my circle of friends and questioning it. Human beings are social creatures with the knack of mirroring the people around us. While some friends may uplift you and help eradicate bad habits, some may influence you in the opposite equation. No matter how hard we try, we tend to follow the path laid out by our circle of influencers, mainly our friends.
If you are trying to become financially-savvy and endeavoring to manage a budget or minimise costs, take a long, hard look at the people around you. Does your social circle reflect people of good influence and role models? Or on the contrary, are they encouraging unhealthy financial habits?
Whether you agree or not, your social circle plays a huge role in shaping your attitude and behaviour towards money. The following are a few suggestions to live in a more budget friendly way.
HOW DO YOU SPEND YOUR WEEKEND
Although friendship is a priceless relation, one should gauge this equation as it can create major repercussions in the long term. We tend to imitate the friends around us. I am not implying that one should give up spending time with those who are carefree with their money. However, it may help to be cost conscious if you are on a shoe string budget, especially during weekends and holidays when you may go overboard.
CHOOSE ACTIVITIES WITHIN BUDGET
Choose activities with friends that are fun and wallet-friendly. You don’t always have to follow the norm. Do things differently, what matters is spending time together. Playing board games, watching movies at home, having a cookout or gong on a hike are all great options.
GET YOUR PARTNER ON BOARD
Nothing can devastate your planned budget faster than a partner who does not share your vision of limiting expenses. Motivating your partner will lead to motivating oneself. The best way to stick to a plan is to enlist the help of an accountability buddy who shares your vision. However, if they do not understand your desire to budget, they might understand when you are making sacrifices every now and then. I have learned this aspect from my parents who tend to skip hosting an expensive party so that they make the payment of the monthly EMI with the savings. I always hear them talking about monetary aspects which has had a positive influence on my life.
Budgeting your activities is not really depriving yourself of a few indulgences every now and then. The objective is to inch towards your goal in due course of time. Friends are the catalyst towards that objective. It is imperative to retain cost-conscious friends or influence them to be one. We are living in an era where it is extremely easy to yield to such temptations. The challenge is to keep oneself on track. In hindsight, skipping a dessert of your choice will not feel like a sacrifice when you realize that the money you would have spent on the cheesecake is now sitting in your bank account!
– Vivek Risal