It’s Friday after work and you go out with your coworkers. You order 1 drink and a meal and maybe share an appetizer in total you probably owe $34. Add in tip and tax (Yes Gratuity and Taxes are a thing for those of you who act like they are curse words: and yes you do have to contribute to each if we are splitting the bill). In total about $40. But then everyone says let’s split evenly and next thing you know you’re signing a receipt for $70+ dollars. How sway you didn’t order 3 drinks. You didn’t get steak or a seafood platter. Help me I’m confused!!!
Incidents like this happen all the time whether it’s eating out, vacations, or splitting cost with roommates. I’m sure you can think of moments where you have paid for other people’s lives. I’m not saying to be that person who is up in arms over two dollars; because…well… that person is cheap and nobody likes ridiculously cheap people. What I am saying- is be that person who is willing to have a conversation around money and positive and negative spending habits.
Recently, I’ve been more vocal about not paying way more than I ate/drank. Splitting the bill makes sense if we all ordered maybe $5 +/- but drinks in NYC cost about $10. I jokingly tell my friends “I’m not paying for your habit”. No one has ever pushed back. You might think I’m cheap- nah I’m frugal.
Avoiding the money talk is easy – there are relationships, annoying coworkers, politics, movies, fashion, celebrities and so many other fun things to talk about – all these are tied to our beliefs around money in some way and it’s important to acknowledge that.
My friends and I frequently talk about our spending habits and money goals Through talking we realized how emotional our spending is. A friend said – “I realized I shopped a lot at my old job because it made me happy after being frustrated and annoyed at work”. That’s real.
I confessed that “I eat all my emotions – the whole spectrum” aka I eat my money.
Through some more conversations and some failed attempts my best friend’s job switch helped her cut down on shopping, and now she also challenges herself to find new clothing combinations in her closet. I have always loved cooking, and eating, and lately, I have been trying new recipes for snacks and it’s working out. I eat less of my money.
Brunch and vacations “girls trip” speak to a sense of FOMO, no one wants to miss out on fun experiences, and you shouldn’t. I recently had dinner with one of my friends and when the “where we going?” question came up she quickly replied “my place”. I asked what I should bring and all in all, the dinner cost $10- it was great. We had a great conversation and caught up and actually had a better experience than we would have at a restaurant.
The emotional connections tied to money is real – acknowledge it and make some tweaks.
Inevitably you will go out, finesse the system to ensure maximum fun/ low cost. To help me I use Seated, which is an app that helps you with reservations but also gives gift card rewards to Amazon, Lyft or Starbucks :).
And, obviously don’t be afraid to ask for your money- numerous apps such as Cash App, Venmo or Zelle help make that easy.
If you are faking the amount of money you have today you are breaking the bank for the future.
If you’re reading this it’s not too late:
- Know your emotional money triggers
- Stop avoiding the money talk with friends, family, and co-workers
- Budget Budget Budget and find ways to cut back on spending
You got this! Allow your bank account to grow- first with 3 digits, then 4, then 5…
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