I’m lucky to have such fantastic friends. They’re an exciting and diverse group of people that continually test me. They know just how to support me when I’m at my best or worst. No doubt, I’m here today, a graduate student, because I had fantastic friendships and relationships to guide me here. I owe them a lot. But, did you know that friends affect your budget, too?
…People who felt lonely or isolated were 87 percent more likely to make a risky financial decision than those with social support. (Source)
As the study stated, loneliness begets risky financial decisions. It’s important to realize that spending carelessly goes beyond self-control. Instead, successful budgets are all about preparation.
Even temporary feelings of social isolation—say, if one of your buddies blows you off this weekend—can trigger stupid monetary decisions, Duclos says. To protect your bottom line, spend a few minutes online looking through your own Facebook pics if you’re solo. (Source)
If you feel yourself becoming vulnerable to loneliness, get social. Find organizations that may alleviate isolation and aid in friendship development. Be active and mindful of growing desires to go shopping and notice when these arise. Maybe it’s loneliness, and not that those jeans look amazing.
Depression And Spending
We’ve long known that loneliness and its consequence, depression, have terrible psychological effects. Needless to say, when you’re depressed or saddened, you’re more likely to spend. The quick fix and high of spending can entice, but the long-term effects are quick to wear off.
This is an unfortunate fact for your budgets. Psychological distress and careful spending don’t get mix. By being proactive, you may be able to circumvent increased spending and spiraling budgets, but you may want support.
Bring Your Friends
Becoming frugal isn’t usually a solitary venture. It requires soul searching and introspection for overcoming some of life’s greatest financial pitfalls. But it also necessitates including friends and family – roping them in to help encourage you along the way.
Early on in my Frugaling journey, I began telling people about my debt, plans for saving more, and how I was beginning to cut costs. I started bringing lunches to work and school. By making my frugality visible, I was also holding myself accountable in front of those that support me most.