Saying no to hanging with your girlfriends is sometimes one of the hardest things to do. Socializing and hanging out with friends can be an extremely expensive habit that can be hard to break when you know it’s time to. There are so many tempting new places to try and explore—restaurants, bars, clubs, the list goes on. But what happens when you begin to realize you’re spending too much money and you’re no longer able to “keep up with the Joneses?”

Here are four tips on ‘how not to be the broke friend’ when hanging with your girlfriends:

1.It’s OK to say No

Saying no to a girl’s night out does not make you a bad friend. There will be times when ‘no’ is the most appropriate and best response in a situation in order to prevent an even bigger catastrophe from happening. You can’t say yes to everything, so getting in the habit of saying ‘no’ is a good one to take on—especially when it involves saving money. 

2. Live Within Your Means

Living within your means can definitely be easier said than done especially when we live in an era of flashiness, competition, and simply trying to outdo the next person—however, we should never be in a friendship group where we deem it necessary to outdo our friends. Eliminate the idea that you have to go to certain restaurants, wear certain brands, drive a certain car, or live in a certain neighborhood to project a certain status. You instead should focus on living and maintain the lifestyle that you can afford from the restaurants you eat at to the clothes and shoes you buy—this isn’t a competition girl!  

3. Find Free Activities to do Instead

There are plenty of free activities to do with your girlfriends. Look at your local news boards and social media tags to find free yoga classes in the park as well as other free activities around your city. You’d be surprised just how much fun these free activities truly are—besides, when spending time with your girlfriends—no matter how much or little the activity cost—it’s the time spent that counts the most!  

4. Be Mindful of Your Spending

Always, always, always be mindful of how much money you are spending—daily, weekly and monthly. This is a good habit to have even outside of hanging with your friends. Budgeting your money, holding on to receipts, and being mindful of how much you’re putting out will help you realize just how much you’re spending and how much you should cut back on. Don’t spend more money than you make—you’re only setting yourself up for failure in the long run.

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