11 Ways Your Friends Can Save You Money

by Ashley Jacobs on 20 March 2014 (3 comments)

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Sometimes it can feel like your friends are sabotaging your finances. Between heading to restaurants for dinner, buying gifts for birthdays or weddings, or participating in pricey activities, having friends can be expensive! But friends don’t have to cost you money — in fact, they can actually save you money.

Not sure how you can use your friendships to increase your savings? Here are 10 ways your friends can help you spend less!

1. Bulk Buys

Buying in bulk is almost always cheaper than buying smaller amounts, but if you happen to live alone, buying in bulk can be difficult. You might even waste money if you buy perishable items you can’t finish before they go bad. The next time you head to Costco or Sam’s Club, take a few friends with you and load up on items you all would normally buy at the supermarket. Then, divvy up your goods, and split the cost so you all can save some money.

2. Group Rates

When you are traveling or attending events, you can often pay less by going together. The next time you feel like taking a trip, grab a few of your closest friends, and look into group rates with airlines or hotels. This will save you money, and it will enable you all to make memories you will laugh about for years to come. You can also use this technique for attending many sporting events.

3. Potlucks

Throwing a party is always cheaper when everyone pitches in. The next time you host a get-together, have every friend bring something to contribute — an appetizer, side dish, salad, drink, entrée, or dessert. Heck, someone can even offer to bring cups and plates!

4. Saving Buddy

It’s always more fun to work towards a goal when you have someone to motivate you and celebrate your victories with, so if you have a friend who is as financially conscientious as you are, make a pact with him or her to save money! Set weekly or monthly saving goals for you both to work towards, and share progress with your friend. You can hold each other accountable to achieving your goals and (frugally) celebrate your wins together.

5. Fitness

If you have a friend who also likes keeping in shape, set up exercise dates. You can go hiking or running, or even host in-your-home yoga sessions. This will enable you to ditch your gym membership and save money while still leading an active, healthy lifestyle with a friend who can hold you accountable to a workout schedule.

6. Swap Stuff

Are you going on a trip to the mountains and need a scarf? There’s probably no reason for you to go buy one — borrow instead! The next time you are about to head to the store to buy something, check with your friends to see if they have what you are looking for first and if they would be willing to let you borrow it. Just make sure you’re willing to make swaps with them when they need something you have!

7. Service Exchange

Does your friend want a night out with his significant other but doesn’t want to pay for a babysitter? Or are you going out of town but don’t have anyone to take care of your dog while you are away? Offer to take care of your friend’s kids in exchange for him watching your dog while you are out of town. By offering to exchange “sitting services,” you can both save.

8. Free Expertise

Almost all of us have a friend who is amazing at DIY projects, be it painting, repairing a leaky faucet, or changing a car’s oil. Instead of hiring a professional to do something you know one of your friends is capable of, ask your friend for his or her help and repay him or her with a bottle of wine or dinner as a thank you. Just be willing to offer your expert assistance on tasks your friends need help with too!

9. Frugal Entertainment

Movies, concerts, and sporting events are great, but they can be expensive. Having a low-key coffee date can provide you with just as much (and sometimes more) entertainment than catching a movie or going to an event. Your friends will inevitably have something interesting going on in their lives, so a simple conversation with them can sometimes give you the entertainment fix you may be craving.

10. Virtual Friend Dates

If you want to get together with a friend but don’t have the time or money to travel at the moment, try a virtual friend date using Skype. You can do a free Skype video call with your friend and have a virtual coffee date. Another fun activity is to do a Skype voice chat with your friend while watching your favorite TV shows together. For example, on Sunday nights I call up my friend to watch the ABC TV show Revenge with me. We turn on the TV at the same time, call each other on Skype, and resume to gasp at all the diabolical plot twists together. With Skype’s Pay As You Go rates, you can call anyone’s landline or mobile phone in the US for pennies per minute and a small connection fee (and of course, if they have Skype too, it is completely free). This can save you money on expensive movie tickets or an overpriced latte at your local coffee shop — plus you can hang out in your PJs!

11. Good Health

Studies show that having friends can help you de-stress, retain good health, and even recover faster after a major event like cancer or a heart attack. Not only does that mean you’re potentially saving lots of dollars on health care, but you’re also probably a lot happier too!

Have any other ideas as to how your friends can save you money? Share them with us in the comments section!

Sponsored by Skype — Use Skype Credit to call mobiles and landlines home and abroad at low rates.

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Guest

I have a "savings buddy" when it comes to my online work. This is someone I share products with, such as expensive traffic, marketing videos, and things like that. It helps to keep our focus on business instead of loneliness, which can sometimes happen when working long hours online. And it's great to have someone who doesn't drain me or my bank account. Even for event trips, we can share transportation, hotel costs, etc. It can literally save thousands of dollars. :)

Guest's picture

Excellent ways to save money and get more physically and fiscally fit! Sometimes it's harder to save money when you are with friends but when you can put your heads together you may be surprised at how many ways you can save. If you plan out ahead where you want to go and what you'd like to do, you can do more than you think!

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Judith Barbuto

If you and your friend need similar items that are personal, such as a high end bike, shop together. Many retailers will give you a discount or upgrade simply for buying two. (These are items that one does not loan. A racing bike is custom fit for a single person, so please, don't ask to borrow. Also, be prepared to purchase a new " whatever you borrow" if you break or damage something belonging to someone else. And if that happens, they get both the new one and the broken one back along with a handwritten letter of apology.