One of Mr. Piggybanks’ friends recently returned from a three week work trip in Israel and came over to our place for drinks for a long-overdue catchup.
Having gotten to know his Israeli colleagues while on this work trip, cultural and social practices stood out like a sore thumb in contrast to what he was used to in Australia. What was normal for us to entertain him in our home and chat over a couple of drinks was completely socially unacceptable for young people to do back in Israel, unless you were dirt poor. Keeping up appearances took precedence over being financially stable, and young people were willing to splurge hundreds of dollars out at bars even though their wages were low, stress was overbearing and debt even higher than the West Bank Wall.
What seems shocking to a tourist who got the rare glimpse into the real life of Israelis runs scarily parallel to the lifestyles of Aussies, above all, Sydneysiders who splurge on lifestyle. The initial surprise at our friend’s cultural observations suddenly became a scary reality when I looked at my own ‘entertainment’ and ‘going-out’ expenses over the past year.
This had me thinking, are your friendships breaking the bank?
Last year, I spent over $7,500 in dining out and take-away and just under $2,500 in cocktails and alcohol. That’s $10,000 on socialising alone, averaging $833 a month. This year, I’m already hitting $1,400 in dining and take-away and $760 in drinks and alcohol, totalling $2,160 for close to half a year or $432 a month. The 50% drop in expenses attributed mostly to seeing these ‘party’ or ‘good-time’ friends less and spending my time doing other things (like starting this blog).
Do you always spend money to see your friends? Or do you do low-cost activities (whether intentionally frugal or not) like hanging out at each other’s home, going for a walk or hanging out at the beach? Are your friendships based on going out?
I’d love to hear your thoughts so please post below and don’t forget to hit the subscribe button 😀
xx Miss Piggy
Cover illustration by Jenny Walton