Go out to dinner with your friends, to a festival or on vacation. Very nice, but not if you lack cash and inflation does not make it easier. Economic differences between friends seem to be getting bigger and bigger. How do you handle it?
Earning less than your friends feels bad. According to financial expert Adine Faber-Versluis from Money Mind Academy, it can even make you feel inferior.
“On social media, it seems that everyone can easily pay for all the holidays, dinners and festivals. Especially after the corona, everyone is gone every weekend. If your friends do too and you have to stay home because of the rising costs “You have even less to spend. It’s difficult. In the worst cases, it leads to depression.”
Young people in particular are experiencing social pressure
Budget differences affect all ages, but especially among young people, partly because social pressure plays a greater role for them. Faber-Versluis: “A US study showed that 40 percent of millennials have ever been in a situation where they spent more than they wanted. Often because they did not want to miss anything.”
Young people also sometimes have a less good financial overview and are therefore more likely to make wrong money choices. “What you often see is that people have problems when they just finish their studies and start working and living alone for the first time. Their financial overview has not grown along with all the new fixed costs. Suddenly, they have to pay the gas bill, rent or pay off a mortgage. “
“From the age of eighteen you are expected to be good with money, but have you learned it?”
Frederieke Kokol on behalf of Geldfit
Frederieke Kokol from Geldfit also sees this, a platform that helps you get a handle on your finances. “From the age of eighteen, it is expected that you can handle money well, but that is not always the case. Suddenly you have to fix everything yourself, which can cause problems.” If you have not had a good financial education, you may be more likely to go out with your friends even if it costs a lot of money and you need to use it for other things.
Talking about money with friends is hard
You can prevent this by telling your friends about your financial situation, says Kokol. But it’s hard to talk about money. “Maybe you look up to your friends, then you do not take up your money problems so easily. It may well be that they do not have it at all. If you do not talk about it, you will not find out.”
Your friends are probably quite willing to take you into consideration. “Maybe you do not take everyone to one festival, but do something else fun that is cheaper.”
In the meantime, you can take a look at your finances. Is there really more going out each month than getting in? And think about what you would like to achieve. Do you want to be able to save on making fun things? Kokol: “Set a concrete goal for yourself. For example, you can save on groceries. Make it a sport to always go for the cheapest options. Then you will see that you have more left at the end of the month so you can reach the end of August. You can go to one festival. “
‘Suggest a cheaper alternative’
Faber-Versluis says it’s best to discuss your money worries before your friends suggest they do something. “Outline your situation in advance, state that you, for example, have just bought a house or have just been on holiday. Then it is less difficult to say no when you are asked to join.”
“Suggest a cheaper alternative, for example a dinner where everyone takes a course. It’s about having fun. ”
Adine Faber-Versluis, financial expert
You also do not have to accept all invitations. Faber-Versluis: “Think carefully about whether you like it enough or whether it’s something that creates more connection with your friends.” You can always come up with an idea that fits your budget better. “Suggest a cheaper alternative, for example. Arrange a dinner for everyone to do a course for. It’s about fun.”
So maintain control as much as possible. It is also possible, for example, by buying a joint gift for one of the friends. “Maybe you think it’s too expensive a gift, always stay close to yourself. Use what you want to spend on it and no more. You can always choose to buy a gift separately and not participate in the group gift.”