Does Being Frugal Alienate Relationships?


I’ve always been frugal, cheap, call it what you want but I hate wasting money. This isn’t to say I don’t spend money in what I would consider a wasteful manner from time-to-time, but I don’t like doing it. Sometimes though, it’s necessary to maintain relationships.

When I went back to university for dental hygiene, a few of us quickly became friends. I was one of the older ones in the group and in a much different spot in my life. I was, on average 3 years older (than some) and engaged to be married. More so though, I was much more mature than pretty much all of them so needless to say, our ideas of ”fun” were a little different. I would not be downtown every weekend blowing money on bars and a new outfit every weekend. I did this occasionally but usually if it was a fundraising pub-crawl or something alike. I chose my battles.

They realized pretty quickly on that they didn’t need to ask every weekend if I wanted to go out with them or spend oodles of money on a shopping spree. My frugality never interfered in our friendships. As you all know, I graduated with a boatload of debt– 4 of the 7 of these girls have zero debt, 1 had daddy pay most of it off and the last girl had a little to pay off but had no other responsibility. Needless to say we view money very differently.

After graduation we all spread out and started our lives. They all attended my wedding the same year we graduated and we would make an effort to see each other occasionally but I quickly started feeling like the odd man out. Not only could I not afford their restaurant choices I had no desire to go to said places. The occasional restaurant meet up quickly turned into everyone meeting at someone’s house for the weekend eating, shopping and usually going out to drink…not my idea of fun, ever. Not to mention after a week of working I want to spend time with my husband and family. I went once though so I could see everyone, when I realized what the weekend was actually going to entail I went home before the partying started. I don’t drink (other than the occasional cheap bottle glass of red wine), don’t shop, and really don’t want to get hammered drunk and sleep on my friends floor like I did when I was 19. Some of the girls still continue on like this…well into their late 20’s early 30’s.

One of the girls recently got married and I wasn’t invited. I’d like to think it’s because I have a baby now but I don’t think it was. This weekend they’re all getting together to party it up and I wasn’t invited. This doesn’t bother me, since I probably wouldn’t go but I wish they’d consider everyone in the group and maybe extend and invitation for a normal dinner out when they’re in town (and by normal I mean somewhere I don’t have to spend $40.00-$50.00 just for myself). I genuinely like these girls and would like to keep them in my life to some regard but I don’t see how it’s possible.

I don’t know if it’s me being cheap or us not being on the same ”life page” but I can’t help but think if money wasn’t an issue I might see them more often. Or maybe my frugality is a way to streamline and filter the relationships I actually value in life, only the ones who really care about me are in it?

Has your own frugality every changed one of your relationships?