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Keeping friends without spending money?

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Reader says...
Can I ask your opinions regarding friendship? 

I do like my small circle of friends but I am thrifty in nature. 

Given a choice, I would rather spend money in hawker center rather than places that cost more than $10 or 20 +. 

And also, things like drinks, movie ticket during peak hours, Sing K and etc can be costly. 

As such, I have to reject quite a few outings which are not good for friendship-wise. 

If there are free activities, I am more than willing to go out. Haha. 

How do you cope with it? And also, for work-wise how did you maintain working relationship with your colleagues even though you brought your own food from home?

AK says...
Unfortunately, no man is an island and as long as we are out in society making a living, we have to make an effort to socialize or else life could become difficult in many ways.

Having said this, we cannot choose our family but we can certainly choose our friends. ;)

If these are people who matter to you, explain your situation to them. 

If you are someone who matters to them, they will understand and accept you for who you are. :)

Related post:
Are you forced to be extravagant?


csky said...

Hi AK,

I have been thinking about this recently. There is a group of friends that I am very close to. Friends for more than 20 years.

But in recent years, I have decided to go back to my frugal nature. I am happier, less junk, less spending just for the sake of spending, less pretending to enjoy atas food (like $20 for baked sweet potatoes?) I have decided that freedom is more enjoyable that those stuff.

Is it possible to keep up the friendship? It's like when they talk about the $20 baked sweet potatoes (2 small pieces),, I really want to roll eye balls at them and say "Really? I grow up eating that kind of food... for less than $1 a piece!" I don't care how smooth and buttery you claim it to be.. it's sweet potatoes!

I feel hypocritical even just hanging around them sometimes. I feel it's very hard to find frugal friends, most people always trying to see who can spend more...

AK71 said...

Hi csky,

I know what you mean.

Unfortunately, ostentatious consumption is a big thing in our society and "a sign of success".

$20 for 2 small pieces of sweet potato? That is pretty bitter to me. OK, maybe some people would say AK sour grapes. ;p

I still eat out with friends and family but $20 per pax would have to pay for a proper meal.

Having said this, I am not condemning anyone who is happy paying $20 for sweet potato.

It is just not something I would appreciate. :)

csky said...


Thanks for your reply. Yes I think the key for me is to "not to judge"!

But I need to figure a way to balance that with my own beliefs and have the guts or be firm enough to politely decline expensive outings. :/

Each outing with this group of friends is at least $50-$100 per pax :/

WTK said...

Hi all,

My take is that it is more fruitful to be oneself. Go for the option which makes us comfortable. I will choose the frugal option which makes me happy and contented.


WTK said...

Hi all,

It is entirely up to individual's preference. My preference will be the hawker centre. $20 per pax can buy a lot of nice local food to be shared among the friends.


AK71 said...

Hi csky,

$50 to $100 per person per outing is a big deal especially if it happens frequently.

If it happens once in a blue moon, I would probably close an eye, if I can afford it. ;)

AK71 said...

Hi Ben,

Indeed. Peace of mind is priceless. :)

AK71 said...

Reader says...
I understand that you bring lunch to work last time.

I cap my daily lunch spending to $5. My colleagues have no problem spending up to $20 for lunch daily.

To me spending $20 is super heart pain for me and as a result I reduce my lunching with them. To me I rather spend the extra $15 to buy first reit for example.

It reach a stage where I guess I did not "PR" with them enough and hence when it comes to work they are less helpful to me etc.

What should I do?

AK says...
I know what you mean but no man is an island.

Sometimes, we are forced to be extravagant.

Once in a while is OK. :)

AK71 said...

Jimmy Ng says...
Better a fat bank account than a fat belly that result from being "seen with the crowd"

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