All of my friends in my city make more money than I do. We go out a lot, sometimes to casual places and sometimes to really nice ones. However, I’ve realized I need to curb my spending habits, which lands me in quite a predicament. How do I choose between going out with my friends and saving money? They’re not ridiculously extravagant, and sometimes we do go to pretty low-key establishments. And sometimes it’s easy, like, if we’re just getting drinks, I can just drink less. But sometimes it’s not easy, and when I have to choose, I get even more anxious—either I’m spending money I shouldn’t be spending, or I’m sitting home alone while my friends are out. For instance, the other night, we were out for happy hour and deciding where to go for dinner. They decided on a slightly expensive place, and I was faced with spending the money or going home and being sad I was missing out. I don’t think it’s very fair for me to try to convince them to stay away from pricey places. I can’t fault them for being in better financial positions than me. So how do I cope?
—Money or Friends