Manners Matter: Watching Your Social Budget

Dear Mary Pat,

My friends give me a hard time for not being able to go out all the time. The main reason is budgetary and they can’t seem to understand that. I’m saving for school and my parents want me to put 80% of my paycheck into my savings account to help bump up my college fund. I don’t think some of my friends are expected to save as much as I do. My parents work really hard and I think it’s totally reasonable that I save for my future too. How do I explain this better? My friends take it as if I don’t want to spend time with them, but going out to eat and going to lots of movies starts to add up.


Budget Betty

Sister Bay, Wis.

Dear Budget Betty,

I’m sorry that your friends aren’t hearing you. This is a good lesson to learn while you are young. It doesn’t matter where you go in life; some of your friends will have unlimited funds and others will have to watch every penny. Your friends will hopefully figure this out sooner than later too.

If you want to go out with your friends, why don’t you suggest things that don’t cost a lot of money? Make some sandwiches at home and have a picnic in the park. Get together for a bike ride or a walk. Watch a movie at home. And if you want to go out to eat, pick a restaurant that is a little more affordable or meet them after dinner for ice cream cones. Spending time with your friends doesn’t have to be expensive. If they suggest something that you won’t be able to swing, then tell them directly. If these are good friends of yours, it shouldn’t be awkward for you to explain that you are saving for school and on a budget.

Good luck,

Mary Pat

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