How To Tell Your Mates You’re In Saving-Mode Instead Of Just Dodging Rounds At The Pub


My willpower is weak. Even if I intend to save hard for a while, all it takes to break me is one friend gently suggesting we go to the pub. Cut to my rubber arms carrying a tray of espresso martinis back to the table and hastily transferring money back out of my savings to make it through the rest of the week.

Oh No Omg GIF by SVU

Why yes, it does feel counterintuitive that my sorry ass is writing this article given my lack of saving success. But clearly, I need to find these answers out as much as you do.

Anyway, it’s hard to save around your mates. After all, the funds are right there and who wants to be a party pooper? Feelings of guilt and FOMO always get in the way when we know we should be skipping a round of drinks, passing on a group dinner, or ditching a weekend away to save. I still ‘ironically’ chuck out “YOLO” as a reasonable excuse to justify splurging with pals.

Turns out, I’m not alone in this. Research from Finder found 47% of Aussies have felt they had to spend money because of pressure from their social circle and 22% have gone into debt or spent more than they can afford because of that pressure.

When it comes to what we feel like we have to spend on, the survey showed that 28% of people felt forced to split a restaurant bill evenly when they ordered less than others, while 14% say they’ve been coerced into going on an expensive holiday with loved ones. I have made that grave error and mark my words, I will never again set foot on a cruise ship again.

So, we’ve recognised our problem. First step done — good work, everyone. Now, how do we actually tackle talking to mates about saving?

We polled ours audience to gauge how it usually goes down and grab their good ideas.

  • 28% of you reckon you earn a similar amount to your mates
  • 36% say they earn less than their friends do
  • 51% of you give your pals a heads up when you’re going into saving-mode and 49% don’t
  • 44% said the most awkward money moment they have with mates is telling them they can’t afford a restaurant

When it comes to the most common outcomes, 42% of people said they tell their friends they’re trying to save but then FOMO sucks them in and they wind up spending anyway. On the other hand, 15% keep spending to avoid looking stingy and 23% take time away from their friends to save dosh. Then, there is a determined 20% who stick to their guns and hit those savings goals.

And now, for the real tips you (I) came here for, here are some recommendations for good ways to bring up entering your saving era with mates:

“I am blunt. Tell them I’m saving and happy to have them over instead of going out.” – Sam

“Hey, can we do something cheaper? I’m saving and waiting for my next paycheck.” – Lisa

“Tell them your limit is two to three drinks, or do dinner at someone’s place instead.” – Ben 

“Let them know your goals — house, holiday, medical procedure etc — people get it.” – Isabelle

“I find them all really open and respectful. We all have clear goals and want to see success.” – Luke 

“Say you need their help to keep you on task.” – Dylan 

“I literally just say that I can’t afford to this week. Normally some of my friends are in the same position, so we plan a later date and it works out better for all of us.” – Bella

“I usually just say i’m only having a few, so don’t worry about leaving me out of the rounds. I think at my age the pressure for that stuff is pretty nonexistent, so I’m lucky in that sense I suppose. If I wanna have a big-ish night on the cheap, I’ll angle to hang at someone’s house instead of going out” – Matt

“Honesty is the best policy for me. Your friends should be supportive of your goals.” – Jasmine

“Be honest, organise cheap or free things. Dinner and drinks at yours or coffee and walks.” – Sarah

“If I’m being real strategic, I’ll drink something different to all my friends e.g. beers — and just be like ‘ah, nah I’ll sit out of rounds because I’m drinking beers.’ They usually don’t question it.” – Bree

Spending time with mates is important. Whether you choose cheaper activities, or budget a bit of fun-money, try to plan ahead and save while still having a ball with mates.

Please note that this information is general in nature and shouldn’t be construed as financial advice.