Keeping up with the Jones can have a serious impact on our personal finances. We like what we like, but we also want what our friends like. Financial peer pressure is painful when a friend persuades you to spend more than you have. It isn’t always shopping, but trips to movies, eating out, and going to clubs that keep our wallet in a tailspin. We have to decide to spend less and never utilize credit cards to keep up with social status. It’s hard to stay home when everyone you know is going out. It’s essential to regulate your budget according to what your household income can afford, not what your social calendar should look like.
#1 Live In Reality When Dealing With Your Finances
Live in reality because you don’t know what your friend’s finances look like. They may be over shopping themselves. You have to be realistic about what your income can afford to purchase new items without creating more debt. If you want to have the latest and greatest, start saving up for it, and pay cash. Save your credit cards for cash emergencies or unexpected costs, so you don’t end up relying on alternative money, such as pay advance.
#2 Create A Financial Plan
Create a financial plan with a budget plan in place; you are less apt to do damage to your finances. It’s much harder to ignore a sound money management system that works. When you see positive results at the end of the month, you won’t want to break the cycle. No matter how hard they try, your friends will not be able to convince you otherwise.
#3 Pay Yourself Each Month From Your Personal Finances
Create an area in the budget for entertainment purposes. Break it up throughout the month so that you can do something each week. You may not be able to go out to dinner each time your friends go, but you will not be left out either.
#4 Treat Yourself For A Job Well Done
When you make it through the month without overspending, it is good practice to give yourself a bonus reward. Do what you want with this money. Add it to your next month’s entertainment expense account or start saving for the next technology upgrade. This end of month bonus will help fuel your determination to make the next month’s budget work too.
#5 Let your friends know about your financial situation.
You don’t have to share all the details with them, but you can tell them that you have financial goals in the works and will have to be selective towards extracurricular activities. Who knows, you may have some friends coming to you looking for advice. After all, money troubles are rampant in this consumer-friendly society.
Getting Started Is The Hardest Part
The hardest part of any plan is getting started. It isn’t easy to watch your friends go out without you, nor is it fun to be the only one without the latest and greatest gadget. Remind yourself that you will be the one without long-term debt, have a higher credit score, and a sweet retirement lifestyle. Keep your personal finances a priority. Your real friends will understand. Don’t be surprised if some of them would like to join you.
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