The Money Habits You Shouldn’t Pick Up From Your Mates
It’s no secret that within your group of mates spending habits vary. Everyone has a different income and outlook on what’s important when it comes to letting go of their hard-earned cash.
When we see our friends ballin’ with all the lux goods they’ve obtained, it can be easy to want to jump on board.
Before you do, take a step back and read this article: here’s the spending habits your mates have that you shouldn’t feel pressured to adopt.
Buying a brand new set of wheels
When you see a friend rock up in their flashy new car, it can fill you with serious envy, but while they may look like they’re living the champagne lifestyle, just know it all comes with a price tag.
While you’re still getting around in ‘ol’ faithful’, who is dented up, has had her engine light on for over twelve months and you’ve had since you were 17, your pal is now in debt. Car repayments aren’t cheap either – having to fork out hundreds every month.
At the end of the day, a car really only has to get you from A to B, so if you can deal with what you’re currently driving, keep it! After all, think of all the mems you’ve shared.
What could you do with that extra cash? Did somebody say ski trip? Then again, if you’re into cars – each to their own, you do you.
Sure, experiences are sometimes invaluable, but it pays to be smart.
I get it: when you’re sitting on the couch on a Saturday night, messily devouring ramen while scrolling through your Instagram feed only to see what seems like everyone you know having a repulsively good time in Europe, South East Asia or the states, it SUCKS.
Sometimes determining where exactly they’ve sourced their funds from can be puzzling – especially when you know for a fact you’ve been working more hours than them. Most are probably hard savers who hustled hard to get there, but some may have said “YOLO” and chucked it all on the plastic.
It’s all about weighing up the pros and cons – if you’re certain you’re good to pay it back, no biggie. But returning from a holiday with debt looming over your head doesn’t sound like the best time.
Budgeting isn’t a skill people are naturally blessed with: it’s something that only gets better with practice, so it’s understandable that some of us suck at it.
However, just because your friends are eating out for every meal and have packages arriving at their doorstep every other day filled with online purchases, doesn’t mean you should do the same.
The thing with budgeting is that unless you share a joint income, there is very little accountability – it takes a lot of willpower, in the sense that the only person affected is you.
This doesn’t mean you have to become a hermit and avoid your friends at all costs, terrified of their capabilities to burn bulk cash in a single night. It might just mean that you have to cut back elsewhere in order to afford it. Alternatively, suggest some less-expensive activities.
Making ‘adult purchases’
People save for a bunch of different reasons: to buy a house, to be set up for an early retirement or just to maintain an emergency fund. This is all determined by the individual’s outlook on the world, with everyone’s being different – that’s perfectly OK.
Just because your bestie seems super tight and is saving for a house, doesn’t mean you have to be. Likewise, just because you’ve accepted the fact you will never get into the property market because you enjoy a side of smashed avo with every meal doesn’t make you any less of a grown up. Respect that everyone has their own objectives.
It’s important to set goals and strive to achieve them, irrespective to what your mates are up to. The size of the goal shouldn’t matter: whether it’s to buy a house or buy some sick new threads, so long as you make a savings plan and stick to it, you can succeed.
Bradley is a writer from Newcastle who enjoys travel, Tina Fey and is a connoisseur of cheap red wine.