How To Have A Social Life On A Budget (With Friends Who Are Not)

If you feel like being on a budget or living on less means that you have to give up everything fun then this post is for you. You don't have to stop having friends, doing fun things, or quit all your hobbies in order to achieve financial freedom. You just have to choose what you do wisely and with the right people. Click through to find out my tips to have a social life on a budget!

It can be hard to have financial goals or a lifestyle change to achieve those goals, when the people who you spend time with don’t share those same ambitions. It can be hard to go on a diet when all your friends go out for ice cream on Fridays, or order the extra large french fries and offer to share with you.

The struggle is real, I get it. 

But just because some of your friends don’t stick to a budget, spend willy nilly, or have a bigger income than you in general, doesn’t mean you have to admit defeat and give into their ways of spending. It also doesn’t mean you have to stop seeing each other altogether! It might be a little harder, but all good things are worth the struggle right? And goals, my friend, are good things.

Let’s get into it!

How To Have A Social Life On A Budget (With Friends Who Are Not)


If you tend to feel pressured to buy when you go out then instead invite people over to hang out. If food is usually involved then just tell people to come and bring snacks. Opening up your home or space for the evening can be an easy way to avoid spending money going out! Also, providing the place to hang out is in and of itself a contribution to the night, you don’t need to feel like you have to supply a meal with that invitation.


Depending on what your friends actually like to do you can offer up your home along with some things to do while they are there hanging out. Movie night from Netflix, or Redbox (sign up for their text alerts to get a free DVD night!) is cheap and fun. A game night can get pretty heated with the right group of people. And a pamper night (my favorite kind of night!) is always a simple one to “put together”. If all of that seems not your style, just invite them over for coffee and conversation. Let’s be real, all ladies like to chat!

Get creative with things that are free or extremely low cost outside of the home as well. There is more to do than you think, and usually is different for every town. Find those things that are cheap or free in your area and start to suggest those!

Is it going to the park or walking down town? Or is it spending a day at the lake, which costs no money when you pack your food! Maybe go someplace with cool scenery and take fancy Instagram photos (don’t act like you haven’t ever done that.. or wanted to.) Or if you are the active type, go on a hike and leave the cameras at home! A lot of times, even for friends not on a budget, a low cost option will still appeal to them!


If you really do want to go out with them and they don’t want to do anything but that, then I suggest pumping yourself up for a strict night! Either set yourself a limited amount to spend, or just cut off spending all together and go for the social aspect of it. I have definitely gone out to restaurants with people, but not ordered anything. You don’t need to make a big deal about it and pout, (because that is just not cute) but if they ask, just be honest and say you’re trying to keep a budget but that you still wanted to hang out!

If they are good friends, they’ll respect that!

Now, if you are the type of person that can’t go out without spending a lot of money, or just money you shouldn’t, then you need to be stubborn and stick to your guns. You’ll have to learn how to say no and keep saying it if you need to.

Again, you don’t have to be rude, or make them feel bad for their choices, after all this is your decision and your personal goal, but you do want to be firm in your decision. Be stubborn and don’t let them guilt or talk you into it. If they are doing that, they aren’t being very great friends in supporting your decision or goals.

And if that is the case, that brings me to my final thought.


Now, I’m 100% not telling you to drop your friends because they spend more money than you do. I wouldn’t even really call this one of the points of this post, but I did want to touch on it briefly!

Your friends should always be supportive of what you are doing and where you are at in life. If anything, they should be pushing you farther along.

If you are doing a complete 180 with your budget, spending, or just lifestyle in general it can be hard for friends to understand. Never the less they should try to understand and support you.

Sometimes you and your friends will have different goals, outlooks and lifestyles. However you can still absolutely keep those friends! The only time I’d suggest reevaluating who you have in your inner circle is if it really starts to become apparent that they do not support you or encourage you in your goals.

It’s one thing to not understand, it’s a whole other thing to just tear down the way someone is trying to live. 

Now again, I’m not saying your friends are doing that, but I would say that if you read these suggestions in this post and thought, “No, that wouldn’t work for my friends, they wouldn’t understand.” Then you just might want to reevaluate who you surround yourself with and make sure you are setting yourself up for success in your life endeavors, money and otherwise.

That’s all I have for you today friends! I hope your goals and ambitions are going strong!

As always feel free to reach out to me at any time! I’m cheering you on tribe!