how to say no when friends and family aren't frugal

Being Frugal When Friends & Family Aren’t

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Converting to frugality is hard. Especially, if you’re like me and started off as a big spender and enjoyed it. It doesn’t make it any easier when your closest people don’t understand and give you those cockeyed looks. Listen, I get it.

I’ve been there. I remember how I cringed the first time I had to say no to my favorite cousin on a girl’s night out, fully equipped with dinner and a movie and a night away from the hubs and kiddos. But, I said “no”.

It was my first real “no”. It wasn’t the finding any excuse kind of no, it was a solid, “I don’t want to spend that kind of money” no.

It made me feel cheap. It made me feel like for some reason, I was being judged and I was a scrooge. But the more I realized how much I could use that money for something that mattered more to me, the stronger my no’s became.

how to say no when friends and family aren't frugal

Here Are Ways You can Still Be Frugal Without Missing Out on the Fun

Practice Saying No

This is probably the hardest part. You want to unwind, relax, and have fun just like anyone one else who works hard. In fact, you deserve that time to unwind and play a little.

Did you see what I did there? I said you deserve the TIME, that time doesn’t have to require money out of your pocket. It can be a simple tea or coffee on the porch with your friend or family.

It could be you singing karaoke with your kids or friends at home in your pajamas. Or, it could be a potluck meal with family. You can still be frugal without having to miss out on important moments with your loved ones.

Remember what you are saying no to

You’re saying no to spending money that can enhance your life in a much more fulfilling and memorable way. You’re saying no to wasting money on food that you can make at home for pennies on the dollar. Saying no won’t be as hard if you think about it that way.

I know it may feel like you’re saying no to making new memories. It may feel like you’re missing out. But, trust me, you can still make memories with your friends and family without spending one single cent.

Because memories are made of moments you share with someone. A hug, a laugh, a conversation. Memories don’t necessarily have to come from a drink you bought at a bar or an expensive meal you had at a restaurant.

how to be frugal when friends and family aren't

Remember Why You’re Saying No

When you keep in mind all of the reasons you live a frugal life, it puts things in perspective. Being frugal is not like being on a diet,  you aren’t restricting yourself from the things you love. On the contrary, you’re freeing up your financial resources from non-essential, irrelevant spending to hone in on affording the things you dream about.

Grab the Frugal Living Guide for additional tips on being frugal.

Things like that week-long family vacation out of the country, or the down payment on the house of your dreams. Maybe it’s as simple as paying off your debt and living free.

Whatever your “why” is, keep that in mind when you’re saying no because it will help keep you laser focused on your goal. And, it will give you the motivation and the drive to say no to the things that won’t matter in a few weeks.

Keep your eye on the long-term prize.

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Find alternatives to saying no

While saying no is the most crucial way to stay frugal and save money, sometimes you just want to hang out with your friends. So, think of more frugal alternatives that you and your loved ones can enjoy.

Maybe go out for coffee and dessert and offer to make dinner for everyone. Instead of going to see a movie, make movie night at your house.

frugal fun

Even with your generosity, you’ll find that you’re still saving loads of money and enjoying quality time with your friends. The possibilities on activities you can do are endless. Be creative and have your friends help you with ideas, make it fun.

Keep an eye on your budget daily

The more you review your progress, the more you will keep your motivation strong to overcome weak moments. It will keep you realistic with your spending and it will remind you of why you’re being frugal in the first place.

Schedule Regular Outings With Friends

One of the hard things about regularly saying no, is that your friends and family that go to these outings without you start to bond more with each other and you start to feel left out.

When I talk to you about being frugal, I continue to stress that being frugal will enhance your life. But, if you’re always feeling left out, then you’ll start to lose motivation and you’ll fall off the wagon.

It happened to me before. It’s like a diet, being too restrictive causes you to binge. So go out, in moderation.

how to say no when friends and family aren't frugal

Sounds counterproductive if I’m telling you to practice saying no, but truthfully, outings to a park or beach will help you keep your relationships thriving while you save money.

Frugality does not mean you need to miss out on memorable events and occasions. It just means that you change the nature of the events and occasions so that you can enjoy them and still remain debt-free and saving money like a boss!

Don’t let friends and family make you stray from your dreams, as well-intentioned as they may be.

Your goals are important. They matter. And they should be held at the highest priority. Expenses that don’t align with your goals should be avoided as much as possible.

You can still enjoy your life without letting others dictate what is important and without others telling you how to spend your money. It’s your money, spend it in ways that help you attain the goals that make you happy.

2 thoughts on “Being Frugal When Friends & Family Aren’t”

  1. This is tricky terrain to navigate. You don’t want to come off as a party pooper and you don’t want to mess with your budget either. The trick, really, is to go out in moderation, as you mentioned and suggest a bunch of frugal options that your friends can choose from.

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