The Influence Our Friends Have On Our Spending

Taking an interest in personal finance is great, but if you’re looking to succeed you may want to look at your circle of friends. They can either help you succeed or sabotage your financial goals.

Don’t believe that friends can influence you? Researchers found that obesity can affect a social network, meaning a person is more likely to become obese if a friend was obese. We tend to share money traits with one another intentionally or not.

In fact when one friend is in another economic level than another (higher or lower) it can cause tension and awkwardness in the relationship.

Living the College Life Vs Living It Upfriends influence spending

My friends while I was in college generally tried to keep everything cheap. When we grabbed lunch we looked out for the best specials and shared them with each other. We were in the same boat – working college students trying to keep expenses as low as we can get away with.

Once I graduated though things seemed to have changed just a bit. Perhaps it was the years of frugal living, but many of us felt like we deserved a bit of a break. I noticed that in addition to eating out more frequently, I also ordered more expensive items.

It wasn’t a conscious decision, but we started to notice our food bills were climbing up. We some effort I realized that I had to change my habits and so did my buddies. We were no longer college students, but we still had a budget to keep.

Ideas for Money Saving Challenges to Do

Having circle of friends doesn’t always have to be negative. If your friends are such an influence, why don’t you just go ahead use it for good? Have you thought about having a competition among friends for one month on one specific financial goal?

To sweeten the pot you may include a financial prize. Yes, I’m suggesting adding more money to the mix. Say you have 5 friends who put $10 in to join the challenge to eat out less. Have dinners over at each others’ houses where the host prepares a meal for everyone. It doesn’t have to be fancy. At the end of the month you vote for the best dinner. The winner gets $50 as a prize and you all probably saved even more just by eating in.

You could also host a joint yard sale to raise money for your bank accounts. With several people spreading the word, you may get some good sales which not only add money to your pocket, but also gets clutter out of your place

Whatever the goal the point is that your friends can be powerful motivators, helping you reach your goal and vice versa.

So next time you’re hanging out with your buddies see if you can come up with a mutual financial goal that you all can work on. You may be surprised with the results.

Thoughts on Spending and Your Friends

How many of you notice that you ‘ve spent more when you’re around friends? How have you been able to counter it? How many of you are on the other side of the fence – your friends encourage you to spend less?

Photo Credit: anil bhatt