SG Budget Babe
Asked on 11 Aug 2018
Sometimes I find it difficult saving money when hanging out with friends and family. Tips on saving money would be helpful!
Hello there! Well, when you hang out with your friends/family, I think there are some instances where you can save $, such as ordering lesser food for yourself, going for budget dates/outings. However, if your friends tend to always spend high and don't understand your POV, then I think it's time to re-evaluate that friendship lol sad to say but harsh truth.
Other than that, you can save money through your own means like maximizing your bank accounts & utilizing the right credit card for the right occasion. That would help in some ways as well.
And for me, in terms of family, I tend to be willing to splurge a little more, because family is more of a priority. Rather not like "no money, don't want to go out with family" and such. Family time is important!
Going out with friends and family doesn't have to be expensive. There are always budget options, and if they judge you for being cheapo / can't understand your need to save, then errrr you'll probably be better off without those friends lol.
If you take the initiative of planning instead of leaving it to someone else, you also get to choose more budget-friendly places most of the time :P that can help you to save money too.
I've written on how to deal with "expensive" friends here before: http://www.sgbudgetbabe.com/2015/05/how-to-say-no-to-your-expensive.html
and for dates here: http://www.sgbudgetbabe.com/2015/01/how-to-impress-your-date-for-valentine.html
I'm also upvoting Gabriel Tham's answer because it echos what I believe in!
When paycheck come in every month, after paying your fix expenses, separate into 3 parts. U decide it yourself how much.
For social life and entertainment
Invest in yourself
Spend within the amount. With this, you can always plan ahead.
Set aside a X% of your funds for discretionary expenses which includes outing with friends.
With the budget, allocate it on a weekly basis.
1) Say for example you set aside S$100 per week for your social activities.
2) Check out the average expenditure for that particular hangout venue. Do also include transport cost if you are going to hangout late into the night.
3) Select places that meet your weekly budget. If it doesnt, perhaps, reschedule the activity or suggest a cheaper place.
*Hawker centres are actually great places to hang out, Cheap beer, Cheap & Tasty Cuisine.
*For drinking places, maybe can check out 3 Idiots @Bendemeer MRT. Pretty value for money
Google and Suggest for places where are more wallet-friendly.
Initiate Activities that are more meaningful, for example, beach cleaning that doesn't spend money, but still contribute to our mother earth.
Find ways to increase income
Yes you can be a total social hermit cutting yourself from hanging out with people to save money. BUT to me, that is crazy now way can be it possible given that we humans are social creatures.
So we have to admit there are times we will socialise - meet up with friends for food and drinks. So to me, the question should be re-shaped to how can you save money while hanging out with friends/family
The answer: Use Grabpay/Favepay to pay if possible, Look out for credit card promotions/discount and use them. USe shopback Go rebates/ Buy capitaland vouchers at discount utilising Singtel Dash/grabpay/Lazada Promo codes to earn triple dipping savings etc
I find that it does depend on what kind of activities you embark on, some of my friends tend to invite people over to their place to chill and play games on the XboX or Playstation, and that's very cost effective...until we miss the last train home and have to grab/cab.
Other friends tend to hang out at places such as bars and disco, I saved myself the trouble because I don't like loud flashy music in the first place, and my friends know it. They still invite me for meals but I will excuse myself when they move on to the bars and the like. So I'm glad to have understanding friends as well.
I don't see it as two separate things, as long as one is disciplined about spending.
Social gatherings need not take a ton of money. Taking a walk along the beach or park conenectors, for example, is a free thing to do, and benefits the body and spirit :)
Suggest a more budget friendly place.
Choose not to join in if the activity or venue is too expensive for you.
Real friends respect your budget.
Good food need not be michelin price. Good company need not be expensive.
A drink can costs $2 at a coffeeshop or $20 at a hotel lobby.
Find those places that has lower spending and hang out with friends that matter.
If your friends insist on $20 coke place, then perhaps they may not last long with you as you guys grow up. (unless its for special occasion like birthdays?)
I always like to hang out iwth friends at starbucks or coffeebean, the drink is about $8 but I get to enjoy talking to them and finding out more on their lives than if we were to spend time at movies or dinner where the focus is on the food, or the show.
Value quality over quantity. Its the company that matters. Although the atmosphere, food, location is important, to achieve it do not require much money. Many hawkers have great food at a fraction of a price compared to restaurants for example.
Firstly, we need to have a complete understanding on our cashflow. Through this process, we will understand our earning ability and spending habit. Here is a guide to help you: https://www.blog.pzl.sg/understanding-your-personal-cash-flow/
Next, create a budget that is capable of helping you to plan for the future. The best way to do this is via automation and this is how I do mine: https://www.blog.pzl.sg/how-to-create-a-monthly-budget/
From the above two steps, you will have a clear understanding on your finances as well as on money that you are 'allowed to spend'. As a result, feel free to use the money whenever there is an additional budget.
Otherwise, find ways to either increase income or reduce expense. It will certainly be amazing if you can do both!
Having a proper budget will definitely set you apart from finding it difficult to save money to consistently saving money. 😉
Here is everything about me and what I do best.
Suggest to go and eat at cheaper places and do cheaper things when you're out! You don't always have to eat in restaurants. You could also hang out at someone's house and do a pot luck.
If you want to be more specific, you could set aside a fixed sum every month for entertainment and meals at restaurants, and once you are near the limit or hit the limit, cut yourself off for the month!
If your friends are true, you should be able to openly let them know that certain options are too expensive for you and they would understand. I always openly let my friends know my budget for the meal. I also look out for deals via Chope, Eatigo, Entertainer etc.
Can try setting aside a certain fraction of your expenses for social activities, once you've crossed that threshold then perhaps it might be better to explain your situation to your friends and request to postpone that gathering to the following month!
Also make full use of cashbacks such as Shopback, or any food deals out there :)
I set a budget for social spending! I also find that taking the initiative to choose the location for gatherings help (as you can choose one within your budget).
Also, for food places you can look for deals on eatigo, chope, shopbackgo - with discounts up to 50% it is potentially a lot. And you can just book a few hours before your meal/gathering.
If it's with family, once in a while indulgence I think is fine, else generally family members will accept wherever that's suggested as I believe family time together is more important than visiting atas places.
Hanging out with friends is more tricky in the sense that some prefer better or expensive indulgences. Be open with them and tell them your thoughts or situations, best friends will certainly respect your decision!
Have a short term and long term game plan. Pay yourself in each of these goals. Then have guilt free spending later on. Don't shortchange yourself. Perhaps your friends are earning, saving or investing more diligently than you thought!