Sarah Deveau: Money Matters


Friends in High Places

Friend With Cash Can Bust Your Budget

Do you have friends with much more disposable income than you? I have a few. It doesn’t usually bother me too much to see their Facebook status updates about the Turks & Caicos trip they just booked, or to decline their invite to an all day Michael Kors shopping spree. Ok, well maybe I get a teensy bit jealous!

But where I do get the “I wants” is when it comes to my husband and my kids. My husband doesn’t seem to mind turning down multiple wing night invites or making do with his stinky battered hockey pads for just one more season. He recently turned down a guy’s weekend away golfing for a buddy’s stag. He’s already going away for a five-day camping trip with a different set of friends the month before, and on his annual week long fishing trip the month after, but those two trips combined wouldn’t cost as much as this one golfing weekend. I know he wants to go, but it’s just not in the budget.

As for my kids, it’s the classes that I wish we didn’t miss out on. Gymnastics, skating, swimming, dance, art, lacrosse – the variety is overwhelming. With three kids, even one activity each per season can add up to thousands a year. Luckily there are plenty of free or inexpensive activities locally we can participate in, and there something to be said for less driving to classes and more family free time for playing and walks and trips to the park. At the same time though, I would love to be able to put my kids in more formal activities when their best friend forever is in the class.

When I start to feel this way, I make sure to give a few friends also on tight budgets a call to plan fun, family activities that do fit within our budget. What do you do when you get those “I wants”?