Now that the Covid-19 restrictions have eased out, chances are you’ve been invited by friends to go out on dinner dates. You’ve probably been asked to be tagged along with summer road trips during long weekends too. And how can you not resist a night out with friends after enduring several lockdowns because of the pandemic? Tough, isn’t it? I can’t blame you.

The saying  “YOLO” (you only live once) has bombarded social media and nowadays, shopping, dining out, watching a concert and traveling have been the latest craze. Wouldn’t it be a shame if you miss out on these events with your friends? Yes, life is short. Life wasn’t meant to be just about working, eating, and sleeping. Furthermore, I’ve read articles about seniors stating that one of their regrets is not enjoying their younger years and not traveling.

Yes, A work-life balance is essential. But a lot of times, our overspending on things we don’t need is brought about by succumbing to peer pressure. For a budget-conscious person, you may have to think twice about whether to savor the moment or just forego that vacation trip because your budget doesn’t really permit you to do so.

I’m not saying you should avoid going out with friends just to save money. However, you shouldn’t be pressured to keep up with your friends at the expense of your wallet.

To avoid feeling that guilt of not joining your friends and the guilt of having a hole in your budget, here are some helpful tips for you to overcome Financial Peer Pressure when you’re going out with friends:

How do you overcome Financial Peer Pressure when out with friends?

1. Know and accept who you are

It starts within you. One reason why we can’t resist our friends is because we want to be accepted as part of the group. We want to be validated and have that sense of belongingness. We all want to be cool and be liked. This is true especially for teens until their early 20’s. But studies have shown that your social circle has an impact on your financial decisions.

If you know who you really are and accept yourself as a person, seeking validation is no longer a part of things that matter to you. Give yourself time to nurture your self-esteem and you’ll see that the desire to always keep up with friends will gradually vanish. Plus, this will also help you choose a good set of friends who will accept your principles and will accept you for who you are. Trust me on this one.

2. Budget in advance

December holds a lot of annual traditions. There’s Christmas, New Year, company parties, your barkada get-togethers, reunions, and so much more making it the most festive season of the year. We all are aware that it comes yearly, so why not make a budget for it in advance?

Try saving P1,000 per month starting January? By December, you’ve got yourself P12,000, enough to cover your expenses for all the parties you are about to attend. Plus, you might have an extra large portion of it to buy gifts and goodies for your loved ones. By planning a budget in advance, it can beat the stress and pressure of making one whole huge spending that can put a strain on your finances. You can still go out with friends because you have that peace of mind knowing that you have money to pull out from whenever you’re invited.

3. Be honest with your friends

Always trying to keep up to fit in even when you’re low on a budget won’t get you anywhere. If that out-of-town trip is not budget-permitting then be honest and explain why you can’t come. True friends will always accept honesty. Now if they take it against you then better evaluate them for they may not be your true friends at all.

Why not try suggesting a more budget-friendly option? For example, if you can’t join an out-of-town trip then why not recommend a local spot that’s more affordable where you can easily join in.

Overcoming Financial Peer Pressure When Out With Friends

4. Avoid borrowing money by all means

Yes, you have a credit card. You may be tempted to spend your emergency fund. You may borrow money from your friends or maybe your friends may offer to lend you money just so you won’t miss out. If any of these happen to cross your mind just so you can keep up then I hope you’ll have the courage to decline, unless there’s really a very important occasion. But still, avoid doing these. Why? Because you never know when you’ll really be needing the money for more important matters enough to make these necessary steps mentioned.

5. Save and not spend to boost self-confidence

For some people, spending is their way of boosting their self-confidence. It is their way to show others that they are financially successful since they can afford to buy it. But this shouldn’t be the measurement of financial success. 

Saving is actually the best measure of true success. Start saving, because your savings has a lot to do with how tall you walk and it is where true self-confidence really comes from.

6. Your income is not your identity

Do not let your net worth dictate your self-worth. Your value is not determined by your valuables. Your income is not your identity. Your identity is the sum of your behavior, principles, values, and beliefs that you uphold and act upon.  Like I’ve mentioned earlier, if your friends don’t accept you for declining then maybe it’s time to find a new set of friends who are on the same boat and will accept you for who you are.

Choosing your friends is not just about having someone to hang out with.  Friends can also influence your financial decisions. Choose wisely.

Yes for most of us, it may be a pity to miss out, but the feeling of sadness usually doesn’t last long. Eventually, you’ll feel better after a few days. In case you really can’t come along, always remember the tips in this post. It is way better to not apply for a loan so you can be debt-free and stress-free from the liability that comes along with it just because you wanted to keep up with your friends. 😇

Overcoming Financial Peer Pressure When Out With Friends

By Ameena Rey-Franc

Recognized as one of the Top Finance Blogs in the PH. Ameena Rey-Franc (founder of TTP) is a former Banker and BS Accountancy graduate turned Blogger, Keynote Speaker, and entrepreneur. Currently an RFP delegate, she is also the Author of a book about Financial Resilience and has held seminars for reputable companies like GrabFoodPH, Pru Life UK, VISA, JPMorgan Chase& Co., Paypal, Fundline, Moneymax, and many more. The Thrifty Pinay's mission is to empower women to LEARN, EARN, and be FINANCIALLY-INDEPENDENT no matter what life stage they are in.