How to say you can’t afford something to your family and friends

How to say ‘I can’t afford that’ – to your family and friends

Being upfront (How to say  you can’t afford something)

My personal view with family and friends is to be upfront about what you can and can’t afford wherever you feel okay to do so. If you have a partner encourage them to talk to their family and fireinds too. If you can have that uncomfortable converstaion about how now you have a little one your funds are limited and you aren’t going to be able to spend money like you used to that will make a big difference. Once it’s said its out there and smaller gifts, refusals for meals out et. will /should be met with understanding.

Offering alternatives 

Not buying gifts at all or never socialising can make others feel uncared about. Money is not the spice of liffe thought passing on an appropriate book you have read as a gift or a bunch of flowers from your garden can mean a great deal. Inviting friends to yours for  a big pot of soup after a winter walk is lovely and costs no where near the same as a night out. Pop your thinking cap on…doing something is always better received than doing nothing,

When you can’t say….. 

If the friendship is too new or lacks the depth necessary for you to be able to say you are skint then stock up on excuses and make sure they aren’t time linited.

e.g  If your answer to an invite out is ‘I am busy that day’ it  will just result in another day being offered. Instead say ‘Oh I much prefer to cook myself and invite everyoine to yours, making a course each.

e.g Instead of saying that the swimming course  was full when you tried to enrol your child  say something like we are currently thinking we’d prefer to teach her ourselves

eg Rather than aplologising for your gift to them saying it’ll be bigger next time  state proudly that you have put lots of thought into this gift and you truly hope they like it.

Good luck! and please remember if someone falls out with you because you have little money they were probaly never worth your energy in the first place..





  1. January 18, 2011 / 6:17 pm

    This is something that I’ve been struggling with since being on maternity leave. I’m having a year off so am really anxiously watching the pennies. I’m usually the one that treats family and friends to lunches etc and I’ve not been doing this any more. I thought that people would be a bit more understanding but this doesn’t seem to be the case it just means that I haven’t seen them as much. Very sad

  2. Becky
    February 28, 2011 / 7:38 am

    it is sad. i think if you speak up , offer an alternative e.g everyoe bring a dish lunch and they STILL don’t bother best to find others who do understand x

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