On the path to financial happiness, you will have to make sacrifices. But, there are only so many “wine nights at home” that your friends are going to accept invitations to before they want to try the new bar down the street. There are only so many “free Saturday morning yoga’s” in the park they will want to go to before they want you to come to a $20 barre class. There are only so many homemade brunches you can make before the allure of $12 avocado toast calls their name.
I’ve used the “Hey, I’m trying to save money” excuse before. Many times, actually. Most of the time, my friends are cool with that, but sometimes my friends are so nice that they offer to pay my way — and that’s when I feel like a mooch. In my opinion, if your betterment comes at the cost of someone’s worse-ment (sure, it’s a word) then everyone loses. So when you want to get out of spending money, but don’t want your friends to pity you and your sad frugality, you can use this free technique. Some people call it lying, but I would never call you a liar because that’s rude.
Also, how many times have you lied to yourself about having money only to put it on a credit card? If you’re going to lie, at least make it a helpful one.
My favorite helpful “lies”:
1. “Oh, wow, I would go out to brunch, but my mom’s in town, and I’m having brunch with her!” Not only do you avoid $17 eggs, but it also makes you seem like a good son or daughter. Maybe even give your mom a call while you’re eating your sad, homemade eggs so you are a good son or daughter.
2. “I’m visiting my parents this weekend!” Harder if your parents live further than arm’s reach. If your parents live close, don’t lie, and actually just spend more weekends with them — especially good if you are lucky enough to have a mom that will feed you if you go home.
3. “I would, but I’m just soon tired!” A classic! I use this one so much. No one wants to hang out with a sad, tired person! You’re off the hook! And to be honest, I am always tired so it’s not technically lying.
4. “I feel like I’m getting kind of sick, so I’m gonna take it easy tonight.” Once again, no one wants to hang out with a sick person. Also, couldn’t we all slow down a little bit? Take the night off, drink some tea, and go to sleep early.
5. “I would, but I have an early morning tomorrow!” Another classic. I’ve used this one not only to avoid $11 cocktail bars with coworkers, but to exit any matter of boring or terrible first dates.
6. “I’m house-sitting for a friend right now, and I have to give the dog his/her medicine at a very specific time.” Okay, now this is getting a little more elaborate. It probably can’t be used for good friends, but maybe for acquaintances who don’t know your life. Maybe even pick up a side gig as a dog/house sitter so this lie can be used more effectively. Now enjoy your free night drinking $5 Trader Joe’s wine in a stranger’s abode!
7. “I actually have a date!” You haven’t been on a date in forever, but they don’t know that! No one would ever think to invite themself on someone’s date! If they ask who it’s with, “Some random guy from Tinder, we’ll see how this goes!” is a good response. If you never bring it up again, they’ll probably just assume it was terrible, like most Tinder dates usually are.
8. “I have a haircut appointment!” People rarely notice when you do get a haircut, so the chances of them noticing that you didn’t actually get one are slim. Can also be substituted for doctor’s appointment on weekdays.
9. “I’m going to the gym/yoga tonight/this morning!” Good for getting out of drinks with co-workers or brunch on weekends. Hell, actually GO to the gym if the burden of lying to people is too much to bear.
10. Are people trying to get you to go on some extended weekend trip that you don’t even want to go on knowing it’s going to cost hundreds of dollars and might not even be that fun? Feel free to combine excuses until they get the picture. “Oh, I would, but I’ve been so tired recently. I’m training for a 5k so I’ll be up early at the gym all weekend. Then I have a haircut on Saturday, plus I’m house sitting all weekend, but I wish I could go! :..(”
Now go forth, and bend the truth for the betterment of your financial future!
Cherith Fuller is a writer and comedian living in Atlanta, GA.
Image via Unsplash