Pressure from 'Friends' and people you know

quantic Posts: 1,024
First Anniversary Combo Breaker
edited 19 April 2011 at 5:34PM in Debt-free wannabe
So, over the past 3 months we have struggled with balancing overdrafts and credit cards to pay for doing our house up. This has left us pretty short every month (we literally had nothing when we bought and the house needed renovation).

The reason for this thread is I just wanted to get some feelings from everyone... we have become very frugal with money now and manage it very well. The only thing we seem to be struggling with is dealing with friends etc. For instance, a lot of the people we know how loads of debt on credit cards and overdrafts, car finance and the like. They don't seem to be able to get it into their heads that not everyone wants to live like that.

Recently I have had comments like 'How can you be skint, we all bought houses and we are not skint' - in reply to us saying we can't go out with them. Or if a big hen do comes up abroad we feel really pressured as we cannot afford this at the moment (we cannot even afford our own holiday never mind a hen do in Barcalona for my OH) so it always ends in them being !!!!ed off with my OH.

These are just a few examples, but at the moment we seem to be really struggling to keep a social life with people we know because they have no problem throwing stuff on CC's etc and worrying about it later. We keep suggesting things that are less expensive but it never ends up happening.

How do you guys balance this sort of thing? Should we look for new friends if we cannot keep up with their life style? Any tips on avoiding problems caused by things like this?



  • Mrs_Jojo
    Mrs_Jojo Posts: 169 Forumite
    Sadly, looking for new friends is probably the way to go - the old ones will come back when they are up to their necks in debt and grateful for your money saving ways!

    The main thing is to stick to your guns, don't be tempted to give in, you don't want to get into the debt spiral.
    Aiming to be debt & mortgage free by November 2018!
  • I have no tips or suggestions... we are in a similar boat at the moment. We are in a bit of debt and I dont think our friends are but it has been a month so far of turning every invite down and we feel like hermits. Its just so ridiculous that I am over the moon when I save £1 or have a cheap dinner and then go to the pub and buy two drinks for £5.
  • quantic
    quantic Posts: 1,024
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    The thing that annoys me is that they think having access to a credit card means they can afford something, in my mind being able to afford something is being able to pay for it using money not credit. They don't actually believe that us not being able to afford it is a genuine reason. Like we are using it as an excuse or something?

    No doubt we will be the shoulder to cry on when they are up to their ears in debt though :( and we will get the golden oldy, 'your so lucky'...
  • suzie_wong
    suzie_wong Posts: 387
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Hmmm....a difficult one. My only suggestion would be to try suggesting a dinner party at yours, with each person/couple bringing something towards the meal, or drink (eg you could supply the main course, someone else a starter, dessert etc). You could explain that you're skint but really want to see everyone, and see how they react to the idea. It could work really well and become a regular thing with friends taking turns to host. On the other hand, a poor reaction to it might just make you think that you need to find some more sympathetic and sensible friends :o
    Save £12k in 2021: Jan £1834.40, Feb £1692.81
  • reddevilled
    reddevilled Posts: 426
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I can see exactly where you are coming from as we have been in the same situation. I would say it's a balancing act, maybe you need to spend a little less on the house now and take a little longer and still partake with your friends.

    We all have different priorities, no doubt, but it can be hard to take as a friend if someone is always "too skint" to share in a special occasion with them, and some people take this very personally.

    You're spot on with the "you're so lucky", the number of times we hear that and it makes my blood boil!!!
  • RAS
    RAS Posts: 32,444
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post
    Try to offer a few things at home to these folk - maybe a barbeque with them bringing the drink or a simple dinner party?

    And start looking for peope who have a more compatible attitude to money. It appears that some of these folk take "Because you are worth it" to mean that anyone not prepared to spend loads of dosh on the, (their celebrations) thinks they are not worth it.

    Do remember however that getting the house perfect can also be a rod for your own backs. Try to budget in one social event with this lot of mates each month? Possiby one of the cheaper options?
    The person who has not made a mistake, has made nothing
  • quantic
    quantic Posts: 1,024
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited 19 April 2011 at 9:26AM
    I agree with what everyone is saying, we are gonna try and host more things like BBQ's at our house and dinner parties etc. Don't get me wrong, we are doing things with them its just difficult. For example, this year we have had 2 weddings, 3 hen do's, 2 stag do's and its only April. Its tricky to get a balance and can cause problems between me and OH if not handled correctly.

    Its sometimes annoying when I have spent all of my wage each month for the past god knows how long getting rid of CC debt, only for a hen do to come along and wipe us out again. Something I don't even get to take part in. I hate being the gate keeper. OH comes to me saying all her friends are doing something and she knows we can't afford it, then she gets paranoid that they will all be talking about her when she's not at whatever it is.

    I don't mean to be sexist with this but my male friends seem a lot more understanding then her female friends? I think this is just in our case though and I am not suggesting for a second that all women are like this. Its must be frustrating for my OH seeing them going shopping all the time and going on holidays loads when we can't. Well, we could in the sense of putting it on a CC like all her mates do but we don't want to be slaves to debt!

    Also, I should mention that we have paid for everything house wise now so ongoing expenses are just fixed bills but its gonna be a few months until we have spare cash left.
  • MilneBay
    MilneBay Posts: 50 Forumite
    Hi quantic

    Really know where you are coming from on this - particularly with the hen/stag do part. My OH's brother got married recently and the stag was four nights abroad - which cost everyone that went at least £1,000. I felt guilty for being pleased that he was unable to get the time off work (think he was also a little relieved!). We simply don't have that kind of money.
    It's awful to say but my heart sinks slightly when we are invited to weddings. Not because I don't want to go but because the cost - even of being a guest - has got so out of hand. We are also wondering what we are doing wrong. Where do people find the money to think nothing of spending hundreds on an outfit and £6.50 per glass of wine?
    We live in a flat which I love and are also spending a fair bit doing up. Don't really have any helpful advice but just wanted to say that you sound very similar to us and have my sympathy. Although really I don't feel we have anything to be sorry for. Living within your means is no something you should be made to feel bad about.
    Surely your friends can appreciate that getting the house up-to-standard has taken all your spare cash and that for now at least, other things have to go on the back-burner.
  • timbstoke
    timbstoke Posts: 987
    First Post First Anniversary
    It's not necessarily a case of your male friends being more understanding, but (being a touch stereotypical here) women tend to talk about everything, and if your OH is missing out, she's going to assume they're talking about her. Men tend not to worry too much about what their friends are doing with their private lives - the conversation would be "Where's Bob?" "Not coming, he's broke" "Oh right. Did you see Stoke on Sunday?" whereas 'the girls' would spend half an hour analysing it.
  • wigwam
    wigwam Posts: 234
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    It is tough, plenty of us in the same position.

    My friends ( and me previously) think nothing of spending loads of cash on basic things. I have been a bit of a hermit recently but got persuaded out at the weekend. Ended up paying over £50 for dinner - more than I'd spent all week on food - and it wasn't even that nice!

    Will be stronger and leave the cards at home next time
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