Growing up, your habits, decisions, and preferences all tend to be heavily influenced by those around you. You do things a certain way based on your familial upbringing and likewise adopt certain likes and dislikes due to the friends and peers you surround yourself with.
That being said, their influence can be both good and bad. As your life and those around you evolves and adapts, you could find that some of the habits you’ve adopted are less than desirable.
Your finances are one such area of life that should be your own. While it’s ok to take advice from others, you should in no way allow them to influence your spending.
Based on your income and the way you prefer to live, it’s up to you to decide how you’ll spend your money. So, if you find that your loved ones are influencing your spending, try these tips to keep their influence at bay.
Stick to Your Budget
One of the key steps in organizing and keeping track of your finances is creating a budget. Of course when you establish your budget, you do so in a way that best suits your income, expenses, and savings needs. You don’t base it off someone else’s lifestyle.
Ergo, your budget should reflect your spending habits.
If you find yourself straying from the set amounts in your budget, it may be time to reevaluate. While it’s easy to want to spend what your friends and family do, do your best to stick to what you’re comfortable with.
Remind yourself of that each time your tempted to spend more than you should. Think of the financial goals that are important to you. And if you really have trouble, simply work in cash. Take out only what you’re allotted. Once that’s gone, you know it’s time to stop spending.
Have a Frank Conversation
Your friends and family are supposed to be their to support you in whatever you may need, finances included. If you find yourself struggling to keep up with their spending habits or having to spend more than you’re fair share due to their pinching, it might be time to have a frank conversation.
Sit down with your friends or loved ones and simply explain that you’re saving up for certain financial goals or that you’re trying to do a better job of saving. Ask them to help keep you accountable and do their best to discourage extra spending.
More often than not, they’ll appreciate your honesty and be conscious of the topic moving forward. And if they’re not good sports about it, then they might not be the best of influences to begin with.
Going out for dinner, drinks, and entertainment is a fun and appealing way to spend your weekends. That being said, constantly doing those things racks up a rather hefty bill quickly.
Moreover, when you’re with friends it can be all too easy to simply go with the flow and forget your spending limit.
If money is tighter, however, do your best to come up with inexpensive alternatives. Offer to have a dinner party where everyone brings a dish, look up free activities throughout your city, or have a game night at your home. You’ll still have fun and enjoy each other’s company, all while keeping one another from blowing your income.
Don’t Fall to Guilt-Shaming
It’s difficult not to join in when a friend or family member has the ability to purchase whatever they please. After all, the phrase “keeping up with the Joneses,” is popular for a reason.
Furthermore, when you’re with said peer or family member, you may find them persuading or guilting you into spending as well.
On the other hand, if you’re the one spending, it’s important not to let someone else shame you for doing so if you can. If you have such people in your life, make a point to partake in activities with them that don’t involve shopping or spending money:
- go to an exercise class
- grab coffee
- find a completely free event around you’re city
By doing so, you’ll take any financial pressure or awkwardness out of your relationship and help keep your spending habits in tact.
Seek a Professional Opinion
Seeking advice from friends and family is almost an instinctual habit. In many cases, their second opinion can be helpful or direct you down a better path.
Although you should feel free to engage them for advice on a regular basis, unless they’re a financial advisor or planner, your finances are one area that you might want to seek a professional opinion on.
If you’re unsure as to how much you can budget in terms of spending or would like counsel regarding your spending habits, you might want to seek professional advice instead. More so than those around you, they can guide you from an objective view and keep from persuading you to spend a certain way simply because that’s their habit.
Pay for What’s Yours
When you go out for dinner or drinks as a group, you likely split the check or pay someone back. One of the biggest ways friends influence your habits is how they like to go about doing so.
While you in no way want to be the complicated one, more often than not, splitting the check evenly means you’ll pay for more than your share. Hence, don’t let your friends influence you to spend more simply because you feel bad or don’t want to make a fuss.
Stick to paying for what’s yours to keep your spending on track and on-budget.
The Bottom Line
Your spending habits, how much you like to spend and what you like to spend your money on, are exclusive to you. Of course, like many other aspects of life, they’re subject to the influence of those around you.
Nonetheless, don’t allow others to influence your spending or budget negatively. Be open and honest and find what works for you in order to stick to the habits that suit you.
Have you spoken with friends about how they influence your spending? If so, how did the conversation go? What are ways you keep yourself from falling into spending temptation?