When Your Budget Kills Your Social Life



thoreau quote - free printable at prettyprovidence.com

This week I’m kind of struggling. The husband and I have had a lot of unexpected expenses pop up in the last few months. Multiple car repairs, home repairs, etc. all on top of other expected, but expensive things we are paying for. We try to budget for the unexpected, but honestly we haven’t gotten to the point that we are so on top of it that surprises don’t hurt the pocketbook. Not yet. The thing I’m having such a hard time with at the moment is cutting back on my friend time. I know, first world problems, right? I thrive on social interaction. I’m always planning something with this friend or that friend. I just need it. Usually these outings are worked into the budget and I can have a few carefree girl dates a month. So, all of a sudden I’m finding myself with absolutely no wiggle room in the budget. Like, Jacob and I can’t even go out to eat for a date night, let alone me going out for an extra lunch or dinner once a week.

Thoreau was a smart guy.

It’s times like this that I really need the reminder that saving money is worth it later. That missing out on a few things now will allow for more fun in the long run. I know it will. I wish my wants were few, like Thoreau, but they really aren’t when it comes to this. I’m working on it. It’s not like my friends are going to dislike me if I can’t come out every time.

I made this quote into a printable and framed it. It’s such a good one and every time I read it I am reminded to have perspective. If you’d like to do the same you can print it free right here.

I’m pretty good at coming up with fun things to do that are free, but girl dates just always are easiest over a meal. It’s  a social norm. What ideas do you guys have for cheap or free friend dates?!

Pretty Providence

P.S. … thanks for letting me vent! If you want to read some motivational posts on budgeting check out It’s Personal and Budget is not a four letter word.


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    HoàngChi Smith

    where we live there are free friday concerts, second saturday artwalks, lots of nice parks and benches or picnic grounds, oodles of galleries and shops that are friendly to lookers. how about a picnic in the park? or free concerts?

      Jessica @ Pretty Providence

      That all sounds wonderful! You are lucky to live in a great place! Thanks for sharing

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    Shannyn @frugalbeautiful.com

    I feel you! Fiancé and I are saving up $20k this year for our wedding which means every penny gets pinched. Sometimes it’s totally uninspiring and unfun… where the fun, free stuff I usually find joy in just aren’t cutting it anymore! Sometimes, there’s no “fix” for it, you just have to ride out the angst! It’s good to vent and then it passes, at least in my experience!


    I was just having this conversation yesterday. I was lamenting how poor we are
    (2 kids, 1 income) – but that isn’t what I really meant. I meant that even though we have all our needs met, I miss the luxuries!

    Inner Loop Adventures

    I know this feeling very well right now. We’re trying to pay off student loans, just pulling the band aid and getting it over with. But it seems like we’re missing out on friend time, too. It WILL be worth it in the end. And the best of friends can always find things to do with you that don’t require going out, I truly believe that :)

      Sarah @ Pretty Providence

      That’s true! Maybe I need to just clean my house and invite people over to watch Mean Girls or something!

    Colleen Pastoor

    I’m with you- social outings are not in our budget right now. We stick to coffee dates or going for walks. Walking gets the conversation just as good as a meal :) Great quote by the way! It might have to get printed for my budget binder.

      Sarah @ Pretty Providence

      Walking is an awesome idea actually. Thanks!


    go on a hike together and bring a picnic!

    Prototype Mama

    I love a good ‘Junk food’ girl’s night. Everyone brings their favorite ‘not healthy’ snacks and we just chill watching old movies on Netflex and gaining weight all together :)

      Sarah @ Pretty Providence

      That is genius! It reminds me of my college days!


      I love this idea!


    Miss you, sweet friend, but I totally see where you are coming from. Even though we budgeted for all that’s going on in my house, those extra lunches and dinners and coffees make me feel guilty lately and I am definitely not going out of my way to spend more money! I think what’s hard for both of us is that driving almost anywhere takes 45ish minutes so to make the time away from home worth it, things turn into an all day or all evening thing and meals are necessary. Socializing is hard! Happy to know I will see you soon, though!

      Sarah @ Pretty Providence

      Haha I know if Houston wasn’t so big I wouldn’t have such a problem!