Yes, this seems like a strange topic to touch on in a money-saving series, but hear me out! When I was single, pretty much all of my money went into my friendships...gas, food, events, movies, shopping, you name it. While friends are amazing, they can be a huge financial drain. After I had Lil Bit, I had a friend in particular where everything it seems we did involved money.
Because of my personal experiences, I have found that friends that drain your bank account aren't always the best to have around for reasons other than budget concerns. If you can find a few friends who are more than happy to just come over and chat and do other free activities, chances are these will be the people you can count on in tough times also. But online friends can be even better.
When I was pregnant I joined a mommy website with a big community. One night when I was maybe 7-8 months pregnant I did a random "who's up and bored?" web chat with a bunch of girls, some of which I consider dear friends now over two years later. The lovely Ouiser is one of those dear friends. =)
We have been through a lot together. They are always there when I need them, and I return the favor whenever I can. After a life of having friends that always seemed to need a little more than friendship, this was big for me. I have a group of girls I can depend on without shedding a dime. If I ever do spend money on them it will be a grand meet-up vacation so we can finally see each other face-to-face.
I do have offline friends too, of course. After weeding out the toxic friends, I am left with a handful of people who "get it." Even if we rarely get to see each other, we can call each other up to chat and pick up where we left off a couple of months previous.
And I can't write a post about friendship without mentioning my hubby. =) He makes me laugh. He "gets" me and all my eccentricities, and he embraces them. We can have fun together just sitting home and playing video games or watching one of our shows. The other night we were watching "So You Think You Can Dance" and having a blast talking about the performances. Sometimes I can't stand him, but at the end of the day, he is my best friend. =p
So the point of this post...
Recognize when you are in a toxic friendship. If someone only wants to hang out when you have the money to do something, please examine that relationship to make sure they are really wanting to be there for you instead of looking for someone to do something with. If they understand that you can't go out to eat because you just paid rent or your electric bill without giving you a bunch of grief, that is someone you can benefit from having in your life.
Sometimes it is ok to be selfish. That was one of the biggest lessons in life that I had to learn. And when you are a mommy, you have to be selfish for your kiddo too.
Cherish the friends you can be your true self with without holding back...even the weird, gross, somewhat disturbing you. ;)