A recent survey the Money Advice Service has shown that many people nowadays are falling into debt because they feel unable to refuse to spend in social situations. It has shown that 48% of people fall into this category, the average debt caused by social spending being £1,260. This is not all caused by profligacy (although 36% did say they have a lack of self-control) – almost two thirds of those answering the survey said they spent socially because they did not want to appear mean.
Splash the cash
It has been worked out that on average, appearing generous and affluent when out with friends can cost as much as £340+ a year and whilst this is all right for many, a fifth of those who responded to the research said that they have had to cut back on food and other essentials because of overspending when out with friends. A rather worrying 9% have failed to pay essential bills for the same reason. Peer pressure seems to be the cause for many of the problems people find themselves in, with one third of people saying that they feel that those who don’t pay for rounds are ‘stingy. The other problem is that many people accept engagements that they know they can’t afford, even to the extent of going on holiday knowing they don’t have the money, just so they don’t appear to be mean.
Learn to say ‘No’ and plan ahead
It is almost inevitable that an evening will cost more than planned, with the extra drinks perhaps meaning a cab home but for anyone in financial difficulty it can mean disaster. Saying ‘No’ can be difficult but if your friends really have your best interests at heart they will understand. They may well be in the same boat as you are and will welcome the opportunity to spend less on an evening out. Using cash instead of cards is of course the best ever way to make sure you don’t overspend. Leave the cards at home so you are not tempted and announce at the beginning of the evening that when the money is gone, that will be that. There is no need to be confrontational and if you feel embarrassed about spending less, you can always say that you are saving for a special purchase or simply experimenting with budgeting ploys, but if you can bear it, honesty is by far the best policy.
You may feel that your financial problems have gone beyond what can be helped by some basic budgeting changes and if so, a call to Dissolve Debt could be the best call you ever make. Our experts have been helping people for well over a decade now and we can put you on the right track to putting your financial house in order. We don’t judge, we are here to help and you can call either 0800 0122 111 from a landline or 0161 926 7670 if you are calling from a mobile.