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Pressure from 'Friends' and people you know

edited 19 April 2011 at 5:34PM in Debt-Free Wannabe
116 replies 19.1K views
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  • quanticquantic Forumite
    1K posts
    Don't ask me, its not just these 2 either, there has been one abroad before these too! I usually wouldn't begrudge having to spend money on these sorts of things as its a nice occasion and all that but its just with money being so tight at the moment and a lot of uncertainty around my OH's job I am really nervous about getting into any kind of debt which we won't be able to pay back should anything happen.

    Makes you feel kind of shitty thinking they will be opening cards from everyone else with 50/100/150 off other people and getting 20 off us. I think we may have to go with your idea of getting a nice photo frame or album.
  • CH27CH27 Forumite
    5.5K posts
    ✭✭✭✭
    Two Hen dos is ridiculous.

    As for a gift buy them something like a bottle of champagne or give them £20.
    Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud.
  • allybee101allybee101 Forumite
    736 posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    ✭✭
    Two hen dos is just uneccessary - is she having two weddings as well?!

    Do you have a good off licence nearby? Perhaps you could ask them for some advice on a good bottle of wine/champagne (around the £20-25 mark?) that can be laid down for a few years - add a nice tag/label with the details and saying something along the lines of saving it for that next memorable occasion - i.e new baby, 1/5/10 yr anniversary. A reminder of their happy day and less demanding on your pocket!
    It's something a bit different, and more memorable than a couple of notes/cheque in a card that can be spent in a flash.
    "Does it spark joy?" - Marie Kondo

    "Do not wait; the time will never be "just right." Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along." Napoleon Hill
  • Don't let the pressure force you into spending money you don't have. Are both hen dos for the same wedding? If so, then your OH only need go to one of them. As for the wedding gift, if £20 is what you feel you can afford then so be it. I don't see why your OH can't explain to the bride that money is tight due to her pending redundnacy so she will only attend one of the hen dos and unfortunately you won't be able to give as much as you'd like to as a wedding gift. If that puts the bride's nose out of joint, tough.

    If your OH's 'friends' can't appreciate your situation then quite frankly they are not worth bothering with. There's a big difference between a social circle and friends. Your true friends won't care about how much money you do or don't have, they'll just be pleased to see you.

    Please don't compromise your future security for the sake of some very shallow people.
  • I have had similar feelings from friends, but we are determined not to get into unnecessary debt. We would like to save for a house, but it means that you can't do everything. I missed out on a wedding in florida last month, and its a shame, but I don't regret it.

    At our wedding we asked for vouchers/money, for practical reasons, but I would have been mortified if I thought people felt pressure to compete. £20 is great. Someone gave us an 'oxfam sponsor a teacher in Africa' card instead, and I thought that was fabulous (OH is teacher).

    If you are close friends, then maybe make something special - a photo-montage of fun times or their favourite poem in a frame - that will mean more.
    And two hen do's is ridiculous (well especially to invite someone to both)!
    I hope everything works out on the job front - planning and being sensible certainly helps there. I was unemployed for 12 months, and still had a bit of savings, it can be done!

    Good luck with everything :)
    :money:
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  • quanticquantic Forumite
    1K posts
    Thanks for the comments and advice... feels like banging my head against a brick wall sometimes. They invite OH to something really expensive, she says no - explains that we are broke. Then days/week later she gets asked to something else and has to go into all of it again... then again... then again...

    They don't seem to be able to grasp it. You'd think one of them having 17k on credit cards would make them wake up.
  • Gilly1976Gilly1976 Forumite
    70 posts
    Part of the Furniture
    I've just read this thread for the first time today and I can relate to so much of it. My wife and I earn what I think is a decent salary and we have over half our wages left after bills but we still find it a struggle as I want to clear off our debt once and for all and build up decent savings. Having 2 young kids doesn't help - they always need something!

    I have to say no to many nights out. Luckily most of my friends understand but it does make me feel embarrassed to say this and it can cause friction between my wife as we start feeling sorry for ourselves wondering why we can't afford the new clothes, expensive holiday, 4 bedroom house etc.... and then wondering how everyone else manages on seemingly lower incomes. We try an re-assure ourselves that at least we are not in a lot of debt and are in control of our budget and with a little patience the nicer things will come.

    I was in the same position with weddings last year - we were invited to 5 and they were all close friends or family. That led to stag do invites (all abroad) - I managed to afford 1 but had to turn down the rest even through it was mainly the same group of friends. They understood and while it was disappointing not going, once they were over I reassured myself with the fact that I hadn't spent the best part of £700 going away each time and I can have cheaper days out to the pub any time with them.

    As for presents - We stuck to £25 for each of them to keep things fair. Most level headed people realise how much a wedding costs for guests and are grateful for any present.

    Stick with your plans, good friends will stay with you, you'll be thankful that you can enjoy life once you are clear of any debt and the nice things in life will come and you'll appreciate them all the more knowing that you can actually afford them.
  • quanticquantic Forumite
    1K posts
    I'm sure the good times will follow if we are careful, my OH does not have a lot of her wage left after paying bills and stuff, which generally means that she pays for a night out, hen do, presents etc etc and then she doesn't have any money left for us to do anything, or she goes into her CC or overdraft, and as she never has any money spare she can never get out of it. Which means if we ever want to pay off the debt it has to be me.

    So basically, I end up paying for stuff that she has gone to, which I cannot go to myself. Don't get me wrong, she has become excellent at curbing her spending with almost everything but its just this last area which doesn't seem to be working. Its tricky trying to find a balance and I feel very selfish for feeling resentful towards paying for things when I don't really have any money to enjoy things myself.

    A part of me just wants to say !!!! it, you spend whatever you want on whatever social events your ridiculous friends want to have and you can figure out how to pay it back yourself, but of course I know this will not work longer term.
  • quantic wrote: »
    Thanks for the comments and advice... feels like banging my head against a brick wall sometimes. They invite OH to something really expensive, she says no - explains that we are broke. Then days/week later she gets asked to something else and has to go into all of it again... then again... then again...

    They don't seem to be able to grasp it. You'd think one of them having 17k on credit cards would make them wake up.

    Just stick to your guns and the message will get through eventually. The most important thing is to be consistent. If you keep saying no to stuff then suddenly say yes to something out of guilt/pressure then they will think you are just being fickle.

    Sounds like there are some major LBMs coming to her friends. Just be glad you have had yours before it all gets out of hand. Like another poster said, when they are all struggling with DMPs you will be sitting comfortably and they will be wishing they had been more like you.

    Believe me, having a big flash wedding is all well and good but when your life is on hold and you are struggling to pay for it 5 years later it all seems a little unnecessary. Don't get suckered in by your big spending friends.
  • quanticquantic Forumite
    1K posts
    Don't want a big flash anything, just want to get to the end of the month and have some money in my bank BEFORE being paid. Not even much... £5 in my bank before pay day and I would be happy. Sick of relying on payday to take us out of overdrafts, pay back stuff and finance etc.
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