Heading out with friends for a meal and drinks (and catching an Uber home if you’ve had a few) is not cheap. Not only can it easily set you back $150-200, but it can also be a major cause of social friction if your friendship group includes people from a range of financial situations.

Live life large

Here at Bill Butler we are not about scrimping and saving. Quite the opposite – we believe you should get out there – enjoy the cocktails, fine dining, or even just enjoy a cold one and snags off the barbie… if that’s what your friends are doing.

So, how to deal with the expenses of socialising, and the issues that arise when friends (or you!) want people to join them on junkets you can ill-afford?

 Frugal… or false economy?

You can justify turning down an invite, or putting off a friend’s request to go out on financial grounds (and of course sometimes that is justified). But human are social animals, and the costs of not socialising should be weighed up very carefully.  Kevin Rose over at IDKMen sums up the dilemma nicely:

A freelancer who decides to go over to a friend’s house for a two hour lunch instead of working has an opportunity cost of two hours’ earnings. This is fairly simple to calculate, and can be directly quantified financially. Conversely, if they choose to work for two hours, their opportunity cost is a bit more complex. They forego things such as the enjoyment of spending time with a friend, the health benefits of socializing instead of working in isolation, potentially the strength of the relationship with the friend, and of course the financial value of a free lunch.

In other words; opportunity cost is harder to quantify, but usually higher than you think.

We are social animals

Benefits like “health” and “strength of relationship” translate into obvious financial benefits (fewer sick days, networking for career opportunities…), but because we are social animals there are many subtle benefits to socialising.

Generally, the more stress you experience from work, the more you should prioritise “unwinding” with friends. Leaving aside the obvious networking benefits and the security that comes from having a network of friends, socialising is crucial to wellbeing: the daily activities most closely associated with happiness are social, “including socializing after work”.

Don’t spend your downtime in front of a PC; automate and delegate away those repetitive tasks, and enjoy some happy time.

Jay Stephens

Jay Stephens

Jay began his career in London with Rabobank, CLS bank and a Lloyd’s of London syndicate. Jay’s work has spanned corporate communications, content editing, newspaper articles, courseware, blogging, policy drafting, technical writing, and a regular crossword. He is passionate about 8-bit tunes, self-improvement, and the Oxford comma.