5 Ways to Dodge Peer Pressure to Spend
Your friends have a direct influence on your money. What do you do when you feel pressure from your friends to spend money you don't have? (See also: Should You Talk to Friends About Money?)
1. Play host.
Have a potluck or dinner party at your house. Invite your friends over for a cheesy movie marathon and spend the night mocking them. Host a BYOB beer or wine-tasting party. Everyone gets to eat, drink, and be merry for cheap, and unlike a bar, you'll actually be able to hear the conversation. You look like the gracious host, and no one needs to know you're trying to save money.
2. Spend more time around your creative friends.
When you hang out with friends who have the newest high-tech gadgets or expensive new cars, you're bound to feel inferior. Spend more time with your friends who think for themselves. Maybe you've got a friend whose passion is old silent movies or a friend who collects something obscure. You'll get to know your friend better and being around someone who doesn't follow the crowd will force you to think about what's important to you. And you'll probably be inspired to follow your own passions.
3. Blame it on your values.
It's hard to suck up your pride and say to your friends, "I can't go out because I don't have the money." So fib a little. Tell them you've committed to spending more special time with your partner. Tell them you're cutting back on the bar to train for a race. Tell them you've joined a book group and have reading to do. Sometimes replacing one excuse (broke) with another (working on physical fitness) is easier because you're not as emotionally tied to it. And as long as you're telling all your friends about your newfound virtue, you might as well join that book club for real.
4. Change the subject.
Say you're hanging out with a friend who wants to spend the day shopping for clothes. You're still paying the bills from the last time you went shopping. What do you do? Trick her into something else.
"The mall's going to be packed on a day like today. You know you never showed me those pictures from your vacation in Greece?"
Or, "You know, I have a problem and I'm so distraught. Do you think you could give me some advice?"
It happens all the time — you and your friend have plans to do one thing, but throughout the day you get sidetracked and end up doing something else completely. But this time, do it deliberately.
5. Find new friends.
Don't get rid of your old friends. Just add new ones to the mix — preferably ones who share your financial goals and values. If that's a stretch, at least find friends who can help you focus on something other than spending. When you're getting to know a new friend, it's the conversation that counts — not what you do together.
How do you manage peer pressure to spend when you're around friends who don't share your views on money?