Even our friends can learn something from our living on a budget! It’s very difficult to be the person living on a budget who has to say no to something fun and our friends can learn to be sympathetic and understanding. Yes, I know – you’re laughing at me. They could; whether they choose to is up to them.
One of the things I find most difficult about living on a budget and working to pay off my debt is other people. That’s right: other people. Sure, I struggle with myself when I’m hungry and tired and want to stop and grab some fast food on my way home, even though it’s a poor use of my money. And there have been many tears shed because I’m not sure how I’m going to pay for a car repair, but what I find even harder is feeling like I have to justify my inability to spend money on entertainment.
Everyone’s financial situation is different. We don’t all graduate from college with the same debt to income ratio. And even if we did, the choices we all make after that would put us in different situations anyway. Very few people I know (and even those I don’t know!) have the same debt load that I do, so they find it hard to understand why my budget doesn’t include a lot of money for going out. When that happens, not only am I fighting myself – of course I want to go out and spend time with my friends and have a nice meal – but I am fighting their pressure . Without revealing details of my financial situation when, frankly, it’s not any of their business, it’s hard to get them to realize that I’m not trying to avoid them. And not to feel guilty when they do.
What about you? How do you communicate your limits to your friends?